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  • Writer's pictureNate (@WeKnowFantasy)

Fantasy Baseball Sleepers: First Base (2024)

After offering my favorite sleepers in terms of catchers, a position that should be waited on in the draft, it’s time to tackle one of the most important positions in fantasy baseball.

First base is a position that it is crucial to target early in drafts. This is the position you typically find your power numbers. From your home runs to your RBIs, this is where you’ll rack them up. Although drafting one early, you still need depth at the position. That’s where this article comes into play.

Each year I do this sleepers series, offering my favorite sleepers per position leading up to draft season. Typically per position I will offer my three favorites, while offering five sleepers for the outfield, starting and relief pitchers.

You can find the other editions of this series below:

Josh Naylor (Cleveland Guardians)

ADP: 128th

Position: 16th

2023 Stats: 495 PA, .308 BA, 17 HR, 97 RBI, 52 R, 10 SB & 68 SO

2024 Projections: 497 BA, .282 BA, 18 HR, 80 RBI, 54 R, 9 SB & 81 SO

Naylor is being criminally undervalued heading into the fantasy baseball draft season. He’s on the brink of stardom in the MLB and his numbers a season ago tell that story. Naylor’s biggest knock is that he has not played more than 122 games in a season over his five year career. An oblique injury cost him 33 games a season ago for example. He does come with elite plate skills which is evident in his perfect blend of power numbers and an over .300 batting average last year. First base is a position you want power, but with these sleepers, we’re really looking for a second guy on your roster at the position. What’s also promising about Naylor is that in each season he’s played, his launch angle and fly-ball rate have improved. He has the potential to get to 25 homers this season and that would put him as a top 100 fantasy player. Not bad for a guy currently being drafted in the tenth round of 12 man leagues.

Vinnie Pasquantino (Kansas City Royals)

ADP: 164th

Position: 21st

2023 Stats: 290 PA, .247 BA, 9 HR, 26 RBI, 24 R, 0 SB & 31 SO

2024 Projections: 360 PA, .268 BA, 12 HR, 37 RBI, 37 R, 3 SB & 54 SO

This is one of those sleeper selections we’re taking a flier on and hoping for a breakout season. Pasquantino found himself in a similar situation a season ago but his season was cut short due to a torn labrum. His start to the season suggested that those projecting a breakout campaign were correct however. He had a 40.30-percent hard-hit-percentage a season ago. That’s nearly ten-percentage higher than the league average. He’ll also benefit from hitting behind the likes of Bobby Witt Jr. and with the addition of the hard-hitting Hunter Renfroe to the roster. All signs are pointing toward Pasquantino having a big 2024 campaign.

Anthony Rizzo (New York Yankees)

ADP: 253rd

Position: 30th

2023 Stats: 421 PA, .244 BA, 12 HR, 41 RBI, 45 R, 0 SB & 97 SO

2024 Projections: 465 PA, .238 BA, 19 HR, 54 RBI, 58 R, 4 SB & 92 SO

Rizzo has no right being this undervalued on the fantasy baseball draft boards. Sure his 2023 campaign was not great, but it was an undiagnosed concussion after colliding with Fernando Tatis Jr. that derailed his season. To start the year, Rizzo was crushing the ball to the tune of .304/.376/.505 with 11 homers and 32 RBI through his first 55 games. That would have put him on pace for 28 homers if he played 140 games. Let’s not forget that Rizzo will be hitting in the heart of the Yankees’ lineup, around names such as Juan Soto and Aaron Judge. This one just seems like a no brainer. 

*All stats and projections were provided by Baseball Reference

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