2024 Dynasty 1B Fantasy Baseball Rankings
Chris Clegg breaks down his top 75 first base rankings for dynasty fantasy baseball.
The first base position is an interesting one for fantasy baseball, especially dynasty. While a stud group is at the top, talent drops off pretty fast. There are players with power upside across the board and prospects that are on the way, but the top five bats in tier one are head and shoulders above the rest of the first base pool of players.
Let’s break down the top-75 first basemen for Dynasty.
Dynasty First Base Fantasy Baseball Rankings
Tier 1 - Dynasty First Base Rankings
1. Bryce Harper, PHI
Upon his return from Tommy John Surgery, Harper moved to first base full-time in 2023 and proceeded to slash .293/.401/.499 with 21 home runs and 11 stolen bases in 546 plate appearances.
Harper showed the same elite skills he has always had even immediately after Tommy John. With a 15 percent barrel rate ranking in the 92nd percentile and an average exit velocity near 92 mph, Harper often smokes the ball and hits it at ideal launch angles. Another year removed from surgery, he should get back to being a 30 home run threat.
Still being efficient on the base paths, Harper has stolen ten or more bases every season dating back to 2018(excluding the shortened 2020 season which he stole eight).
Despite being 31, Harper should still be a consistent player and age well, much like Freddie Freeman.
2. Matt Olson, ATL
Olson mashed his way to a career season in 2023, hitting 54 home runs while driving in 139 runs in the process. The 29-year-old settled into his second season in Atlanta very nicely and was a key part of one of the best offenses in baseball.
The underlying data all support the strong season as Olson had a 56 percent hard-hit rate and a 16.4 percent barrel rate. He hits monstrous home runs that will clear any fence and should be one of the best power threats in baseball for the foreseeable future.
Olson does have a propensity to swing and miss, making contact on pitches in the zone at a 76 percent rate and 72 percent overall. The good news is that Olson handles all pitch types well and jumps on fastballs, making contact on 74 percent of those pitches while hitting .314 last year.
You might be buying Olson at peak value in 2024, but he should continue to be a massive three-category contributor who does not kill you in batting average.
3. Pete Alonso, NYM
You would be hard-pressed to find a more consistent power bat in baseball than Pete Alonso, who has averaged 44 home runs per season over his four full seasons in MLB. During the shortened COVID year, he mashed 16, which prorated would be, you guessed it, 44 home runs.
While Alonso has also been a pretty safe .260 hitter throughout his career, he hit just .217 in 2023. It came courtesy of a .205 BABIP which was the lowest qualified BABIP over the last three seasons. Alonso did see a small dip in zone-contact, but still sat at 82 percent, which is right at MLB average, and his overall contact rate of 74 percent was also not reminiscent of a .217 batting average.
If someone in your league is down on Alonso, buy! Expect him to have another 40 home-run season with plenty of counting stats and a batting average that trends closer to .260.
4. Freddie Freeman, LAD
The ageless wonder, Freddie Freeman, continues to put up elite season after elite season despite being 34 years old. Having hit .300 or better in seven of the last eight seasons while also averaging 29 home runs per year(excluding 2020).
Freeman makes consistent contact and had the highest sweet spot percentage in baseball at 47 percent, meaning he hits the ball at ideal launch angles often. I would not consider Freeman a massive power threat but because he makes so much contact and puts the ball on ideal launch angles often, Freeman will likely continue to be a 25 home run threat.
The biggest surprise in 2023 was that Freeman stole 23 bases, a career which followed up a career-high 13 in 2022. The speed and stolen bases won’t sustain, but Freeman could steal ten bases again for the next two years, and I would not be surprised. It is hard to find a safer bet at first base.
5. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., TOR
After Guerrero smashed 48 home runs in 2021 and slashed .311/.401/.601, many would say his performance has been a bit disappointing. In 2023, he slashed just .264/.345/.444 with 26 home runs, and while they were solid results, they left many disappointed.
Guerrero Jr still hits the ball very hard, posting an average exit velocity north of 92 mph which was 91st percentile among all hitters. Unlike Freeman who we previously discussed, Guerrero does not have a high sweet spot rate, hitting the ball into the ground often which limits the damage he does when he hits it hard.
While making solid contact, shown by an 85 percent in-zone contact rate, Guerrero does not strike out often and saw his strikeout rate dip below 15 percent last year.
Guerrero actually feels like one of the better dynasty buys this offseason due to his value dipping and the potential return on investment.
Tier 2 - Dynasty First Base Rankings
6. Triston Casas, BOS
Casas’s second-half surge saw him look like the kind of player many thought he could be after a strong career in the Minors. Across 211 second-half plate appearances, Casas hit 15 home runs while slashing .317/.417/.617, which increased the full season slash to .263/.367/.490 with 24 home runs.
There has been no questioning the power as Casas puts up elite exit velocities and saw his barrel rate settle in over 13 percent in 2023. He is also a very disciplined hitter, rarely chasing pitches out of the zone, which helped lead to a 14 percent walk rate.
The profile plays better in an OBP format, but Casas was a massive second-half riser, and if the gains stick, he has the potential to jump near the top tier of first baseman.
7. Cody Bellinger, NA
While still being a free agent at the time of writing, Bellinger and his agent and are looking for a massive deal. The 28-year-old has seen many ups and downs throughout this career, but 2023 was one of the ups. Across 556 plate appearances, Bellinger slashed .307/.356/.525 with 26 home runs and 20 stolen bases.
The profile has evolved over the years, as he was once an elite power-hitting, mashing 47 home runs in 2019, to now focusing more on contact. The average exit velocity in 2019 was 91 mph, but in 2023, it sat at just 88 mph.
Meanwhile, the zone-contact rate has drastically improved over the years and was up 7.5 percentage points from 2022 as he posted an 85 percent rate. The overall contact of 80 percent was also well above the league average.
While it is a weird profile, Bellinger hits the ball at ideal angles often and does not strike out much. If he can find a blend between contact and power, he could continue the big-time fantasy success that saw him finish the 2023 season as the 17th-ranked player on the Razzball Player Rater.
8. Spencer Torkelson, DET
Torkelson put together a breakout season in 2023, which felt long awaited as he was the number one overall pick back in 2020. The expectations were sky-high, and when he struggled in his debut in 2022, many questioned the profile. Torkelson accumulated 684 plate appearances in 2023, hitting 31 home runs with a slash of .233/.313/.446.
While the slash line was rather unimpressive, it did come with a .269 BABIP, nearly .03 points below the league average, and solid contact rates that were right in line with the MLB average.
Torkelson saw his power take a step forward, posting an average exit velocity of 92 mph to pair with a 51 percent hard-hit rate. The barrel rate of 14 percent was in the 89th percentile among all hitters, so it was no surprise to see Torkelson get to 30 home runs.
The batting average should take a step forward in 2024, but even if Torkelson is a .250-.260 there is plenty of value in his profile.
9. Vinnie Pasquantino, KC
Pasquantino emerged as one of the high-end first base prospects across 2021 and early 2022, leading to a call-up in late June 2022. Pasquantino proceeded to hit ten home runs and slash .295/.383/.450 across 298 MLB plate appearances, leading to much excitement.
Unfortunately, he tore his labrum and had surgery in June 2023, causing him to miss the rest of the year. Coming back from a shoulder injury always leads to hard projections of players, but we saw guys like Josh Jung come back and hit for power right away, as did Logan O’Hoppe, giving hope that Pasquantino can hit the ground running upon his return in 2024.
The feel to hit plus pitch recognition skills lead to an exciting player for all formats, but Pasquantino can really shine in a points or OBP format. He could be a consistent 25 home run bat who posts solid batting averages and high OBPs.
*More writeups on the first base position coming tomorrow!
Tier 3 - Dynasty First Base Rankings
10. Josh Naylor, CLE
Naylor feels like one of the more underrated hitters at the first base position. In 2023, he posted a .308/.354/.489 slash line with 17 home runs and ten stolen bases across 495 plate appearances. Naylor makes strong contact and had one of the lowest strikeout rates in baseball in 2023 while showing average power metrics. Being just 26 years old, Naylor still has plenty of good days ahead of him and could be a consistent source of 20 home runs and ten stolen bases, all while posting solid batting averages.
11. Paul Goldschmidt, STL
Goldschmidt is one of the hardest players to evaluate in dynasty leagues as the stud first baseman is entering his age 36 season. 2023 was another solid year as Goldschmidt hit 25 home runs and stole 11 bases, but it came with the second-lowest batting average of his career and his first time under .290 since 2019.
While he is still hitting the ball hard and barreling it up well, Goldschmidt saw his contact rates take a step back for the third year in a row, and the overall contact rate was just 37th percentile among all hitters. While the hard decline likely does not happen in 2024, Goldschmidt might be a player to sell off now in dynasty to maximize your return.
12. Yandy Diaz, TB
Diaz had a career-best season in 2023, mashing 22 home runs while slashing .330/.410/.522 in 2023. Diaz mashed 12 home runs over the first two months of the season(205 plate appearances) while adding just ten the rest of the year(395 plate appearances). It is clear in the chart below that Diaz hits the ball on the ground too much, but when he is lifting, he gets to power.
Diaz has one of the best contact/plate discipline profiles is baseball and hits the ball extremely hard. If he can lift the ball consistently in 2024, he will soar up this list.
13. Christian Encarnacion-Strand, CIN
Encarnacion-Strand burst onto the scene in Triple-A this year, hitting 20 home runs in 67 games while slashing .331/.405/.637, earning a promotion to Cincinnati. While the slash line dropped off a bit in MLB, Encarnacion-Strand still hit 13 home runs in 63 games. While having a hyper-aggressive profile, Encarnacion-Strand has consistently made the profile work, hitting the ball extremely hard and hitting for average. With regular playing time, there is a chance we could see him vault up rankings.
14. Nathaniel Lowe, TEX
Lowe had a "down year" in 2023 in which he slashed .262/.360/.414 while hitting 17 home runs in 724 plate appearances. Following a season in which he hit 27 home runs with a .302 batting average in 2022, Lowe's 2023 looked disappointing. But as one of the more disciplined hitters who also makes strong contact, 2024 could be a bounceback. I am buying in both redraft in dynasty leagues.
15. Christian Walker, ARI
Walker has finished as a top 45 player each of the last two seasons, which I figure most people would not have guessed, but all he has done is mash. Having 69 nice home runs between the last two years and even stole 11 bases in 2023. Walker won't provide high-end batting averages, but he makes respectable contact and has struck out less than 20 percent of the time each of the last two years. There are no warning signs that Walker will regress in 2024, and he still feels undervalued, considering the production of the last two seasons.
Tier 4 - Dynasty First Base Rankings
16. Samuel Basallo, BAL
Basallo burst onto the scene in Baltimore's organization in 2023, hitting 20 home runs across three minor league levels while slashing .313/.402/.551. The power is quite advanced, and the hit tool has developed very nicely. Basallo’s 90th percentile exit velocity was one of the best for his age, checking in over 106 mph. The contact skills also play as Basallo posted a 73 percent contact rate on the season. The investment in Basallo is worth it, even if he does move to first base long-term.
17. Spencer Steer, CIN
Steer's 2023 season seems like it flew under the radar amid all the talent that was called up to Cincinnati last year. But Steer hit 23 home runs while stealing 15 bases and a .271/.356/.464 slash line. Having strong plate discipline skills, Steer plays up in an OBP format, and while the underlying power metrics are underwhelming, his bat plays up well in Great American Ballpark. Given that he steals bases and has multi-position eligibility, Steer is a sneaky good dynasty asset.
18. Kyle Manzardo, CLE
Manzardo has a strong feel for contact, leaving the barrel in the zone for a long time. He made contact on 80 percent of pitches in 2023 with a zone contact rate of 90 percent. The contact has always been strong, but some questioned the ability to get to power after 2022.
Making major strides in that department, Manzardo posted an average exit velocity north of 90 mph with a 90th percentile of 104.5 mph. Those numbers were up from 88.2 and 102.6 mph in 2022. Manzardo has a unique profile at first base and has the potential to be the everyday first baseman in Cleveland in 2024.
19. Rhys Hoskins, NA
Hoskins missed the entire 2023 season after suffering a knee injury during Spring Training. Having high-end power, Hoskins has averaged 33 home runs per 150 games played, boding well for him wherever he lands in 2024. The batting averages won't wow you, but he is consistent, averaging between .245 and .247 in four of the last five seasons. Hoskins is one of the better buys among dynasty first basemen and plays up significantly in a points or OBP format.
20. Andrew Vaughn, CHW
Vaughn has not quite lived up to the high-end expectations placed on him after being selected third overall in 2019. He has been a consistent hitter but is not flashy at all, and in 2023, he managed 21 home runs while slashing .258/.314/.429, giving him the same slugging percentage two years in a row. Vaughn still may find another level as a hitter, considering he is only 25 years old, but for now he remains a solid CI option in deeper leagues.
Tier 5 - Dynasty First Base Rankings
21. Ryan Mountcastle, BAL
Mountcastle has become a steady producer at the plate and one that provides enough value to be someone who is consistently fantasy-relevant. While the power metrics look very good under the hood, including an 83rd percentile average exit velocity and a 79th percentile barrel rate, he only managed 18 home runs across 115 games in 2023. He probably lost four or five home runs with the expanded left-field fence in Camden Yards. He is still just 26 years old, and there is a chance there is more in the tank.
22. Alec Bohm, PHI
Bohm had fairly high expectations placed on him as a prospect after a strong 2019 and then his first taste of MLB saw him hit .338. With unrealistic expectations, it was no surprise to see many fade him quickly in 2021 after some struggles. Still, Bohm has improved every season and is coming off a year in which he hit 20 home runs and hit .274. Making high-end contact, Bohm is a candidate to have consistently good batting averages and should consistently sit around 20 home runs.
23. Heston Kjerstad, BAL
Kjerstad has had quite the journey to make it to the Majors after being selected second overall in 2020; developing myocarditis and then having a Hamstring injury caused him to accumulate just 67 pro games until 2023. After starting the season in Double-A, Kjerstad spent the majority of 2023 in Triple-A, where he combined to hit 21 home runs and hit over .300, earning a promotion to Baltimore.
Kjerstad is rather aggressive but hits the ball hard and makes strong contact, especially on pitches in the zone. He has a chance to play regularly in Baltimore in 2024 where he could split time between outfield, first base, or designated hitter.
24. Ty France, SEA
France's numbers have steadily dipped each of the last two years, and 2023 was quite disappointing as he played 158 games and managed just 12 home runs with a .250/.337/.366 slash line. France talked about "not having his swing" for nearly a year and a half, which is interesting, but he is working out at Driveline this offseason, which could pay dividends. It is possible he will get back to being a 20-home-run bat who posts strong batting averages and OBPs.
25. Xavier Isaac, TB
Isaac has prodigious power for a young player who spent the 2023 season as a 19-year-old, posting a 108 mph 90th percentile exit velocity to pair with an 89 mph average exit velocity. Isaac has also hit some majestic home runs, maxing out at 115 mph.
The contact skills have shown to be questionable at times, as he posted just a 67 percent contact rate in 2023, which dropped down in the second half to 65 percent. The zone contact also showed slightly below average at 77 percent. The good news is that Isaac had a strong strike zone recognition and chased just 22 percent of pitches out of the zone, leading to solid walk rates near 15 percent in 2023.
While Isaac often hits the ball at ideal launch angles, the number was actually near zero degrees to the pull side, which, if corrected, could lead to big-time power outputs. While Isaac is not the best runner, I mentioned his athleticism, and it showed as he was 12 for 12 on stolen base attempts in 2023.
26. Lazaro Montes, SEA
Montes is a massive human being with a sweet left-handed swing that generates easy power. After dominating the Dominican Summer League in 2022 as a 17-year-old, Montes went stateside in 2023, spending equal time between the complex and Single-A, slashing .303/.440/.560 with 13 home runs.
The calling card here is the power as Montes generates easy bat speed and can send a baseball to the moon. At the complex, Montes registered a 118 mph exit velocity, which is insane for an 18-year-old. His swing generates natural loft, allowing Montes to get to home run power with ease.
The contact skills are the major question mark here. With a big frame and an aggressive swing, Montes does have holes. He ran a contact rate near 69 percent last year, but as the season wore on, he began to see more breaking balls which really ate him up. In September, the swing rate ticked up, as did the chase rate, all while the contact rate dropped below 65 percent, a concerning mark.
While Montes will likely move to first base long-term, the bat will play. The power is some of the best in the minors, and even if the hit tool stays below average, the OBP skills are there, which helps. There is no speed to speak of, but Montes could be a 30-home-run bat consistently.
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