Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
With the World Series just ending, those of us who play fantasy baseball are already looking ahead to next year's draft. And the best way to get ready is by analyzing last year's results.
In the second part of a series, we will evaluate the first base position.
He hit .312, batted in 111 runs, slammed 39 home runs and had an OPS of .977 - and no it was not Albert Pujols, Miguel Cabrera or Joey Votto, though they would all be very good guesses. The answer to the question, "Who was the best fantasy value at first base in 2010?" is Paul Konerko of the Chicago White Sox.
It's not that the "other guys" played badly, it's just that while Pujols cost you the first pick in the draft, Cabrera the 11th and Votto the 22nd, Konerko wasn't selected in most leagues, if at all, until the 22nd ROUND!
Konerko hadn't put up statistics this good since 2006 and most fantasy owners, dismissed him as being to far on the downside of his career to draft him.
But the White Sox first baseman fooled everyone. Except for a momentary lapse in May, Konerko was solid from start to finish. He was particularly good in the friendly confines of U.S. Cellular Field, where he owned a stellar 1.137 OPS.
Pujols, as had been the case for the nine previous years, was fantastic adding another 42 home runs and 118 RBIs to his already stunning totals. It appears you will never be disappointing in selecting the Cardinals first baseman. Over the past two seasons, he's even added stolen bases to his repertoire with 16 and 14, respectively. So despite Konerko being the best "bargain" at the position, Pujols was still the most productive.
Miguel Cabrera and Joey Votto also lived up to their top billings, while Mark Teixeira, Ryan Howard and Prince Fielder didn't. If you drafted Fielder, however, you must not have read my piece last winter which showed that he always plays better in odd-numbered years.
And Aubrey Huff of the 2010 World Champion San Francisco Giants should get a lot more respect off his performance (100 runs, 26 HR, 86 RBI, .290 batting average) than he saw last spring when he had an ADP of just 343.
Heading into 2011, the same cast of characters should be at the top of most fantasy lists. In addition, remember to add Kevin Youkilis and Justin Morneau into the mix, both of whom were sidelined by major injuries in 2010.
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