First Half Summary, Second Half Foretell: First Baseman
First baseman are similar to the running back position in fantasy sports in that they provide big numbers in multiple categories. The top-tier first baseman are best in the league in regards to runs, RBI, batting average, and home runs.
Two have stood out above the rest, the AL’s Chris Davis and NL’s Paul Goldschmidt are the top hitters in their respected league.
In 393 plate appearances, Crush Davis has comparable numbers to Miguel Cabrera who hit better this first half than in his 2012 MVP first half. His MLB best 35.6% HR/ FB rate accounts for his league-leading 37 home runs. The 64 extra base hits and .402 isolated power are also first-half highs. His 1.1 OPS matches up with histories best in OBP Babe Ruth and Ted Williams.
Paul Goldschmidt leads the NL with 77 RBI’s. The Diamondback’s first baseman and Chris Davis are the only two in their position to hit better than .300 while mashing more than 20 home runs.
THE NOT FORGOTTEN
Edwin Encarnacion is third in the league with 25 home runs and top five with 72 RBI. E-sqaured had his breakout season last year hit 42 home runs driving in 100 plus RBI. On pace to top last seasons numbers, Encarnacion has raked against AL East teams this year hitting 17-of-his-25 home runs against divisional opponents.
In 2013, Allen Craig has the best batting average (.405) with runners on during the past two seasons and has the highest batting average with RISP (.489). He hits in the middle of the NL’s most potent lineup, and with only 10 home runs on the season still has 74 RBI.
Ranked as the fifth best first baseman, Michael Cuddyer holds the longest hitting streak of 27 games and is displaying power with 16 home runs in the first half. The Colorado Rockies have the highest total team batting average (.276) out of any active team in baseball (.276) and Cuddyer bats fifth.
2010 MVP Joey Votto is the sixth-ranked first baseman hitting .318 with 15 home runs. The career .317 hitter is only two years away from providing 37 home runs while hitting .324. Unlike most hitters, Votto’s home run numbers don’t effect the batting average. Expect Votto to have an MVP like second half.
PICK YOUR PONY
ATL 1B Freddie Freeman or LAD 1B Adrian Gonzalez
Freeman hitting .308 with 61 RBI has encountered a thumb injury but was able to take dry swings off a tee. Stay updated. Hits in a lineup that has struggled of late with the Uptons and the inability to find a consistent leadoff batter and table setter.
On the other hand, Adrian Gonzalez is hitting in a hot lineup with a healthy Carl Crawford back, Yasiel Puig, and a hot-hitting Hanley Ramirez. In his 10th season, the power have diminished a bit, but the average and gap power is still there
LAA 1B Albert Pujols or 1B Mark Trumbo
Mark Trumbo now in his third-full season hit 29 home runs in his first season, and now with 21 in the first half is on pace to break last years career high 32 home runs. At the All -Star break last year, Trumbo was hitting .303 with 22 home runs then faltered in the second half only hitting .227 with 10 home runs. The Angels slugger is hitting sub .250 this year below his career .255 average.
Albert Pujols had his worst year last year and still hit 30 bombs. His last two seasons are the only two where he was unable to hit better than .300 after doing for a decade straight along with mashing in 100 plus RBI. The injury bug has slowed down Pujols who is hitting a career low .252.
KC 1B Billy Butler or SEA 1B Kendrys Morales
Billy Butler had his best year out of six in 2012 hitting .313 with 29 home runs and 107 RBI. His splits have been better in the second half when combining his totals from the three previous seasons. In 100 less at bats post all-star break, Butler hit 32 home runs and .313 compared to 31 home runs and .303 pre all-star break. The consistency in batting average is there.
Kendrys Morales saw his best year in 2009 all but disappear after a tough injury experienced by jumping on home plate during a walk-off home run that he hit. After hitting .306 with 34 home runs, Morales had another great start to 2010 before the freak injury which put him out for a season and a half. He has yet to find his 2009 groove, but last year in limited playing time hit 22 home runs with Angels and this year in the first half has 54 RBI batting .280 with 14 home runs. He is projected to be around .285, 25 HR, 90 RBI at the end of the season.