Who doesn’t love drafting a breakout first basemen?
With that in mind, what do Mitch Moreland, Eric Hosmer, Adam Lind, and Justin Bour all have in common?
They’re all breakout first basemen in 2015.
All of these first baggers broke out in 2015 and for that reason, their Fantasy draft stock is on the rise this season, so it might be a little harder to draft them because of their pre-season ranking.
Since every one can’t have the benefit of drafting a stud like a Paul Goldschmidt or Miguel Cabrera as their first basemen, we’ll dive a little deeper to find the breakout first basemen of 2016.
So let’s get you ahead of the curve and let’s dive into this year’s breakout first basemen candidates.
Breakout First Basemen
C.J. Cron, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
C.J. Cron has always carried a big stick. The problem is he hasn’t seen the playing time that has garnered the interest in Angels manager Mike Scioscia for some odd reason. Cron hit .285 with 13 home runs in the second half of the season, and he looks to bat cleanup to start the season in a solid Halos lineup.
Cron will look to have a full-time opportunity while Albert Pujols misses time recovering from foot surgery, so there will be a window open for Cron to show Scioscia what he can do. If all breaks well and Cron shows that he can hit, he could move to DH when Pujols comes back.
Ben Paulsen, Colorado Rockies
The Rockies look to split ways with “The Human Concussion” that is Justin Morneau, which means Ben Paulsen will get an extended look at first base in Spring Training this year. Paulsen is a left-handed bat who got his cup of tea in the big leagues last year and responded well hitting to the tune of .277 and 11 long balls in 354 PA. A big power bat in Coors Field – yes please, sign me up.
Another intriguing factor about Paulsen is that he should have OF eligibility attached to him, which makes him more of a flex option with your team. The only knock on the guy is that he’s already 28, but, we’re talking about 2016, so scoop him up and reap the benefits of him this year!
Richie Shaffer, Tampa Bay Rays
The Rays have a power bat in the wings at first base in Richie Shaffer, but the only problem is James Loney and his anemic bat stand in his way. Once the Rays decide to give up on Loney, they’re looking at a kid who hit a whopping 27 homers in only 108 games between Double-A and Triple-A last season.
He, like Paulsen, got a taste of the majors at the end of last year, but he hopes to get a full-time job out of spring. He does strikeout a lot but his power bat would fit nicely in a lackluster Rays lineup.
Wil Myers, San Diego Padres
Wil Myers was the “can’t miss prospect” that was traded all those years ago, just to be traded again to the Pads at the beginning of last season. Injuries have derailed his career quite a bit, but some might forget he’s only 25 years old. Myer’s looks to stay healthy to start 2016 and the Padres want him as their full-time first baseman, and he should have OF eligibility as well, making him a little more intriguing this season.
Myer’s has the stick and the wheels to become a productive first baseman that will probably go unnoticed in the draft, so look to get him in the later rounds and hope for the rebound of his career.
A.J. Reed, Houston Astros
Jon Singleton’s days could be numbered already in Houston. Prospect A.J. Reed looks to make things very interesting at first base in Spring Training for the ‘Stros. Reed has a big time bat and he can hit for average – that’s right, BOTH. Singleton has been below average at best, and with Houston being a “win now” team, he could see his playing time cut down because of Reed’s potential.
In Triple-A last year, Reed hit 34 home runs, while batting a staggering .340 and a 1.044 OPS. Look to Reed as a very late draft pick who can make a huge splash in a great Houston lineup this season.
Brandon Belt, San Francisco Giants
Brandon Belt seems to get a little better each year and I believe that 2016 will be his breakout year. Injuries seem to always stop his overall progress but if he can stay healthy for a full season, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Freddie Freeman-like numbers from Belt.
He turns 28 this year, so he’s still in the middle of his prime and he will be batting in the heart of a revamped Giants lineup. Belt should also have OF eligibility, making him a little more of a dynamic first baseman who you can scoop up in the middle of your draft.
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