2008 Fantasy Review - First Basemen

Albert Pujols led the way for first basemen this year.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Unlike the catching position, first base was much more predictable. Seven of the top-10 selections at first base at drafting time finished the season in the top-10 in fantasy points.

Albert Pujols - When bidding on Pujols, you know you will get what you pay for. In his eight years in the majors, Pujols has posted no fewer than 524 AB, 99 runs scored, 33 doubles, 32 HRs, 103 RBI and a batting average of .314 in any season. Worth every penny and he always makes the highlight shows.

Mark Teixeira - He's been traded twice in the last two season, but still managed to post 30+ HRs, 100+ RBIs and a .300+ batting average. Teixeira doesn't have the "flash" that Pujols has, but he doesn't cost as much either. Having returned to the American League, where he toiled from 2001 to mid-2007, he should continue to post great statistics.

Justin Morneau - Following his 2006 MVP season, Morneau's numbers fell slightly in 2007 (still hit 31 HR and batted in 111), and some experts were not as high on him in 2008. He proved them wrong with another MVP-type season with 97 runs scored, 23 HR, 129 RBI and a .300 batting average while playing all 163 games. Considering he averaged out as a fourth-round selection, he overachieved.

Lance Berkman - Berkman and Chipper Jones were the two best hitters for the first half of the season, but both tailed off. Still, you can't complain about getting 114 runs, 29 HRs, 106 RBIs, 18 SBs and a .312 batting average from a third-round selection. Ok...maybe you can when he already had 22 homers and 73 runs batted in and was hitting .347 at the All-Star break.

Aubrey Huff - Huff's 370 ADP means he likely wasn't selected on draft day. He played enough games to be eligible at both 1B (24 games) and 3B (33 games). Huff also had his best season since 2003 when he was with Tampa Bay, posting 96 runs, 32 HRs, 108 RBIs and batting .304. Considering he was probably a waiver pickup, he should be considered your fantasy team's MVP if you were lucky enough to get him.

Carlos Delgado - Delgado was usually selected around the 12th round (145 ADP), but after finishing April batting .204 with three homers and 12 runs batted in, he was summarily dropped by many owners. That might have been the biggest mistake of the year. Delgado ended the year with very impressive statistics - 96 runs, 38 HRs, 115 RBI and brought his batting average all the way up to .271. He would probably have been in the running for MVP had the Mets made the playoffs, but he'll have to settle for being his fantasy team's MVP.

Kevin Youkilis - Having played 36 games at third base filling in for the injured Mike Lowell, Kevin Youkilis was eligible at both 1B and 3B, but in either position he had a great season. He posted career-bests in hits (168), doubles (43), home runs (29), runs batted in (115) and batting average (.312). Despite David Ortiz's wrist injury and Manny Ramirez being traded, Youkilis kept hitting and along with Dustin Pedroia carried the Red Sox to the playoffs. With an ADP of around 166 (13th-round pick), he probably helped carry your team too.

Adrian Gonzalez - Despite playing 82 games in "pitching-friendly" Petco Park, Gonzalez put up numbers more than equal to his ADP of 84. His 103 runs, 36 HRs, 119 RBI and .510 slugging percentage were worthy of his average seventh-round selection. If he played in Philadelphia he might hit 50 home runs and knock in 150.

Ryan Howard - Howard does hit in Philadelphia and for the third consecutive year hit posted magnificent numbers. His 105 runs, 48 HRs, 146 RBIs and .543 slugging percentage made the left handed-hitter worthy of his first-round selection (ADP 8). He even pulled his batting average up to .251 by hitting a torrid .351 in the month of September when the team needed him the most. He should be the 2008 National League MVP.

Prince Fielder - Fielder and Howard were selected right around each other, at or near the end of the first round (ADP 9), but Fielder couldn't match Howard's production and fantasy owners were probably disappointed with his performance even though he hit 34 HRs and had 102 RBIs. But he's only 24 and is going to get better, so if you are in a keeper league, don't you dare cut him loose.

Top-10 by Fantasy Points

1) Albert Pujols

2) Mark Teixeira

3) Justin Morneau

4) Lance Berkman

5) Aubrey Huff

6) Carlos Delgado

7) Kevin Youkilis

8) Adrian Gonzalez

9) Ryan Howard

10) Prince Fielder

Top-10 by ADP

Albert Pujols - 4

Ryan Howard - 8

Prince Fielder - 9

Mark Teixeira - 23

Lance Berkman - 27

Justin Morneau - 36

Derrek Lee - 44

Carlos Pena - 58

Carlos Guillen - 65

Adrian Gonzalez - 84
Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at sschwarz@sportsnetwork.com.

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