The Home of Fantasy Sports Analysis

Dokken’s Dudes & Don’ts: First Base Bargains And Busts

In the first iteration of this series (found here) we covered catchers. Today we move on to the first base position, which is shallower than we are used to heading into 2020. Check out the catcher write-up for more on my thought process for this series. Suffice to say, these picks are all value-based from the Fantrax ADP. The Dudes are players whose value I like relative to their ADP, the Don’ts much the opposite. Basically we’re trying to identify first base bargains and busts. Simple enough, right? Let’s have some fun.

What?! Your league is not planning on using Fantrax? Inconceivable! Check out everything Fantrax has to offer and I’m sure you’ll come around to our way of thinking.

Dokken’s Dudes & Don’ts: First Base Bargains & Busts

The Dude: Matt Olson

Alright, settle down. Yes yes yes, Matt Olson is much higher in ADP than I typically like to have for my Dude. His ADP is 61, as the fifth first baseman off the boards. That doesn’t leave as much room for profit as I like. However, I still see Olson as a guy who can turn a profit from this ADP. I also have to take into account that I just don’t see the upside from guys further down the ADP and I can’t bring myself to shoehorn one of them into this spot.

If I were forced to choose another option in the middle-ish rounds, I’d go with Luke Voit. There, are ya happy? He’s just the 15th first base option off the board with a 207 ADP. He draws a ton of walks and has huge raw power (I mean, just take a look at the guy and you can tell). On top of that, he will be hitting in a stout Yankees lineup and should drive in a ton of runs, albeit from the lower half of said lineup.

Anyway, back to Matt Olson, you ingrates. In 2019, he didn’t start playing until right around the start of May because of a hamate injury that required surgery. Whereas that is an injury that typically saps power, Olson brushed that concept aside like a child would with a bowl of peas and carrots. He posted elite marks across all power categories, ranking in the 93rd percentile or better in xwOBA, exit velocity, hard hit%, xwOBACON, and xSLG. His .276 XBA was even higher than his .267 average, to boot.

He crushed 36 HR in 127 games in 2019. Assuming health, he could approach another 162 game season as he did in 2018. With similar power numbers, he could surpass 40 HR with 200 R+RBI. Yes, even in Oakland. I basically think he can meet or exceed what Pete Alonso will give you at half the cost. Which leads us into our Don’t…

Projection: 650 PA, 95 R, 42 HR, 110 RBI, .270 AVG


The Don’t: Pete Alonso

It’s pretty hard to say that any player’s rookie season will go down as his career year. That said… Pete Alonso’s rookie season might go down as his career year. The stars aligned and he was a pure stud, smashing 52 homers with 103 R, 120 RBI, and a .260 average. While his power metrics are very good (as with Voit, just look at the guy and you can tell he’s powerful), he over-performed a bit in 2019.

He strikes out too much to hit for a .270+ batting average without some serious BABIP help. Also, if the power regresses into the upper-thirties or lower-forties as I expect, that makes him less of a difference-maker. It would be hard to spend a second-round pick on him when you can acquire the likes of Olson, Anthony Rizzo, or Paul Goldschmidt in the 60’s. Even Rhys Hoskins with his improved swing could approach Alonso’s production, and he isn’t getting drafted until beyond pick 100.

You also have to factor in the likelihood that he sees a small reduction in playing time. He posted 693 PA’s over 161 games in 2019, a number with nowhere to go but down. Listen, I love that Pete Alonso is known as the Polar Bear. We don’t want Polar Bears to fall to the brink of extinction. So, I’m not saying don’t draft Pete Alonso. Just don’t draft him so highly.

Projection: 650 PA, 95 R, 40 HR, 100 RBI, .255 AVG


The Deep League Dude: CJ Cron

Coming off his breakout 2018 with the Rays where he hit 30 HR, CJ Cron…was DFA’d. The Twins saw a fit and scooped him up, and Cron was crushing right up until a thumb injury sent him to the IL in July. He was really never quite the same after that injury, hitting just .229 over the second half with 8 HR and 24 RBI over 45 games.

If we look at his splits up until that July IL stint, though, things get a little saucy. Over those 77 games (roughly half a season), he hit .266/.326/.495 with 17 HR, 18 2B, and 54 RBI. Those are some tidy on-pace numbers. A .277 XBA compared to his .253 actual average offers further optimism for profit. He also won’t have any issues with platoons, and he should bat cleanup all year. It’s a huge dropoff going from the Twins lineup to the Tigers, though, and Comerica is a notoriously rough park for home runs. Still, as lame as this position is this year, Cron should provide nice pop with a meager ADP of 1B21/ADP303.

Projection: 600 PA, 70 R, 30 HR, 85 RBI, .265 AVG


Who are your favorite first base bargains for 2020? Show some love in the comments below.

For all the rankings, strategy, and analysis you could ever want, check out the 2020 FantraxHQ Fantasy Baseball Draft Kit. We’ll be adding more content from now right up until Opening Day!

Fantrax was one of the fastest-growing fantasy sites of 2019 and we’re not letting our foot off the pedal now! With multi-team trades, designated commissioner/league managers, and drag/drop easy click methods, Fantrax is sure to excite the serious fantasy sports fan – sign up now for a free year at

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.