First base is deep. How deep you ask? Well, Kendry Morales is projected to hit .289 with 30 home runs and 96 RBI yet, based on "Value Index" he ranks 13th for 2011. Let's take a look at how the rest of the rankings shape up...
- Albert Pujols blows away the competition with Miguel Cabrera coming in a distant second, though Miggy is the only other first baseman to break the 100 Value Index point mark.
- The difference between Joey Votto, Mark Teixeira and Ryan Howard is only 5 Value Index points. Votto is likely to be the one off the boards in the first round. If Tex or Howard fall to the second or third rounds, they could end up a better draft day value.
- Prince Fielder has seen some up and down power seasons, but he'll be playing for the biggest contract of his career this season. It would not surprise me if he has his career year.
- Adam Dunn's move to the White Sox gives him a great chanceto get back to 40 home runs.
- Kendry Morales may not have the ability to sustain a .300-plus AVG from year-to-year, but he should approach 30 home runs and drive in 90-plus runs as the big bopper in the Angels lineup. Based on these projections, even if he does reach 30 home runs, he would only rank 13th.
- Adam Lind should see better numbers as he moves back into the field and learns from a 2010 season in which he (and teammate Aaron Hill) got home run happy.
- Aubrey Huff has had such inconsistent numbers throughout his career that counting on back-to-back productive years is risky. You listening Giants? I guess not.
- Both Ike Davis and Justin Smoakhave significant upside, but I'd bet on Smoak if betting on which of the two will outperform their projections.
- Looking at rankings 25 and on shows that there are plenty of valuable numbers available late in drafts or even on the free agent wire in shallower leagues.
P.S. These rankings are based on comparing the projections. When it comes to subtle differences, like five Value Index points between Justin Morneau and Prince Fielder, feel free to consider outside influences like contract year or ball park, etc. In other words, don't be afraid to take the player you personally feel you want on your team.