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First base stronger than ever

Kevin Youkilis leads the league in batting (.433) with five HRs, 13 RBIs and a 1.317 OPS.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Fantasy first base has always been a strong position, but in April, it has been even more than that. It looks like leagues are at least two-deep at the position.

What this does is make each individual first baseman a little less valuable on the trade market.

Yes, Albert Pujols is off to an outstanding start, hitting .355 with six home runs and 21 runs batted in, and is still tradable for any player in the league, but there aren't many people searching for first basemen in a trade because there is so much talent there.

Beside the obvious, Pujols, Miguel Cabrera, Ryan Howard, Mark Teixeira, Lance Berkman and Justin Morneau, the six first basemen who had Top-25 Average Draft Positions (ADP), there are plenty of others who you could be playing with equally good results.

Carlos Pena leads all of baseball with eight HRs and is tied with Pujols for the league lead in RBIs with 21. Yet Pena was an 80 ADP.

Aubrey Huff (ADP 78) is batting .303 with three HRs and 17 RBIs. He's hitting in the cleanup spot for the Orioles, so he's likely to continue to get opportunities to knock in runs with Brian Roberts, an improved Adam Jones and Nick Markakis in front of him.

Joey Votto (ADP 68) is the "real deal" in Cincinnati, hitting .375 with three HRs and 16 RBIs.

Kevin Youkilis leads the league in batting (.433) with five HRs, 13 RBIs and a 1.317 OPS.

Adrian Gonzalez continues to pound the ball (.310, 6 HRs, 12 RBIs) in San Diego despite a "pitcher-friendly" park and very little protection in the lineup.

Lyle Overbay has joined in the "hit-fest" in Toronto batting .310 with three HRs and 10 RBIs.

Even Adam LaRoche, historically a weak first-half hitting (career pre All-Star break OPS .777) and a very good second-half hitter (post All-Star break OPS .907), is off to a fast start, batting .288 with three HRs and 10 RBIs.

And the list so far hasn't included perennial favorites, Carlos Delgado, Price Fielder, Derrek Lee, or first-base eligible players like Nick Swisher, Casey Blake, Jorge Cantu, Adam Dunn and Hank Blalock.

What this means to you as a fantasy owner is that while your first basemen have value to you and your lineup, if you are looking to strengthen one of your weaknesses, you will probably have to use another position as trade bait.

First Baseman Statistics thru April 24th

Rank Player Team AB R H HR RBI SB AVG SLG OPS
1. Kevin Youkilis BOS 60 16 26 5 13 1 0.433 0.783 1.317
2. Albert Pujols STL 62 19 22 6 21 3 0.355 0.710 1.172
3. Nick Swisher NYY 53 13 16 4 12 0 0.302 0.698 1.129
4. Miguel Cabrera DET 61 12 25 4 13 1 0.410 0.639 1.110
5. Adam Dunn WAS 50 8 15 4 12 0 0.300 0.600 1.078
6. Adrian Gonzalez SD 58 13 18 6 12 0 0.310 0.638 1.067
7. Joey Votto CIN 64 8 24 3 16 1 0.375 0.625 1.054
8. Carlos Pena TB 67 11 17 8 21 0 0.254 0.657 0.990
9. Justin Morneau MIN 68 13 22 4 13 0 0.324 0.574 0.930
10. Aubrey Huff BAL 66 9 20 3 17 0 0.303 0.530 0.925
11. Adam LaRoche PIT 59 9 17 3 10 0 0.288 0.559 0.913
12. Mike Jacobs KC 54 7 15 4 11 0 0.278 0.574 0.913
13. Nick Johnson WAS 54 9 20 1 3 0 0.370 0.463 0.896
14. Paul Konerko CWS 59 8 18 3 12 0 0.305 0.525 0.879
15. Ryan Howard PHI 59 8 16 2 9 0 0.271 0.492 0.840
16. Carlos Delgado NYM 61 7 16 3 15 0 0.262 0.475 0.822
17. Mark Teixeira NYY 50 6 12 3 10 0 0.240 0.460 0.821
18. Lance Berkman HOU 59 7 11 4 9 0 0.186 0.424 0.757
19. James Loney LAD 64 6 18 0 11 1 0.281 0.328 0.693
20. Prince Fielder MLW 55 3 11 1 11 0 0.200 0.327 0.670


Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at sschwarz@sportsnetwork.com.

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