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Welcome to the 2016 First Base Projections and Profiles for the National League, a part of the “So-Called” Fantasy Experts Fantasy Baseball Draft Package.

While first base is generally viewed as a deep position, there aren’t as many elite bats as most people think. Especially in the National League, where once you get past Paul Goldschmidt, Anthony Rizzo, and Joey Votto, there are plenty of question marks. Whether you play in mixed leagues or deeper NL-only formats, it’s advisable to get one of the elite bats in the first two or three rounds.

What follows are the 2016 First Base Projections and Profiles for the National League. The players are listed alphabetically to make it easy to find the player you’re looking for. We’ve used the 20-game played threshold for position eligibility. If a player did not play 20 games at any position, we used the position they played the most games at.

We also list players at the position they are most likely to be drafted at.. For instance, in some formats Buster Posey is eligible at first base, but smart Fantasy owners will be using him at catcher.

The initial run of projections and profiles will focus on players with clear roles.. As Spring Training approaches and rosters start to solidify, we’ll add names so that we can satisfy not only the needs of mixed league owners, but the traditionalists out there that play in 12-team NL-only leagues. These 2016 First Base Projections and Profiles will be updated all the way up to Opening Day, so remember to check in occasionally to get the latest news.

2016 First Base Projections and Profiles

Matt Adams, St. Louis Cardinals

He got off to a decent start in 2015, but then missed almost three and a half months with a right quadriceps injury, which required surgery to be repaired. Adams’ struggles against left-handed pitching are well documented; look for the Cards to continue benching him whenever possible if there’s a southpaw on the hill. When he’s healthy and at his best, Adams has shown the ability to provide good Fantasy power that doesn’t necessarily come at the cost of batting average. His free-swinging ways limits his upside in OBP leagues, and it’s worth noting that his batting average was buoyed by a lofty BABIP in both 2013 and 2014. Early talk has St. Louis considering Brandon Moss for considerable time at first base. Keep an eye on Adams’ status this spring: if he wins the regular job at first base, he figures to be a marginal option in mixed Fantasy leagues. – Buck Davidson

Brandon Belt, San Francisco Giants

Belt essentially recreated his fine 2013 campaign last season, but when he – again – missed time with injuries we were left saying those two words that have grown so familiar to fans of the Baby Giraffe: “If only…” . One of the injuries in question was his second concussion in as many seasons, and it serves as a possible red flag insofar as Belt’s health status going forward. In addition to the aforementioned injury woes, Belt was often benched against lefties – though he did manage to craft a solid .802 OPS with five homers and 18 RBIs in 145 plate appearances against southpaws. Belt underwent surgery for a torn meniscus in his right knee in late September, but he is expected to be completely recovered from that procedure by the time spring training rolls around. Belt is of course a significant injury risk, but his modest power, solid batting average and sharp eye makes him a multi-category Fantasy contributor when he’s in the lineup. – Buck Davidson

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