2023 Dynasty Fantasy Positional Rankings: First Base

Unlike other positions on the diamond, first base has historically been populated by powerful sluggers and some of the best hitters in the game. With less emphasis on defensive value at the position, it’s far more likely that the best hitter among a team’s first base group sees the majority of the reps there. 

This often means that the first base position is loaded with power hitters, often balancing out home runs and RBIs with batting average and on-base skills. Despite a lack of base stealers at the position, first base has managed to consistently produce top 10 hitters in overall fantasy scoring year after year. In fact, according to Razzball’s player rater (a system created by Razzball’s Rudy Gamble to measure in-season fantasy value) three of the top five hitters in fantasy in 2022 were first basemen (Paul Goldschmidt, Freddie Freeman and Pete Alonso). There’s certainly upside at the position regardless of its lack of premier speedsters. 

Our rankings are targeted specifically for dynasty leagues, with a focus on balancing a variety of scoring formats. To achieve this we focus on wRC+ as our primary measure. While wRC+ by its nature is OBP-slanted, we take into consideration high and low batting averages when ranking players. The goal of these positional rankings is to provide the best possible order based on a value of three to five years, which means older productive veterans are discounted and may be ranked alongside or even behind prodigious talents yet to debut.

Keep all of this in mind when considering your team’s needs and the context of your league. If you are trying to compete in 2023, you should prefer Jake Cronenworth to Tyler Soderstrom (who we have ranked back-to-back)—but some of your league mates, especially those not competing, would likely prefer Soderstrom in a trade.

At the bottom of the list, we leaned toward players who may contribute in 2023 (and potentially not have a regular role in 2024) over prospects who would not contribute for a year or more.


1. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., TOR

2. Pete Alonso, NYM

3. Freddie Freeman, LAD

4. Matt Olson, ATL

5. Paul Goldschmidt, STL

6. Vinnie Pasquantino, KCR

7. Nate Lowe, TEX

8. Andrew Vaughn, CHW

GP’s Target: It’s easy to forget just how young Vaughn is. Entering his age-25 season, Vaughn already has two full major league seasons under his belt despite playing under 60 games in the minor leagues. After learning a new position in the early part of his career, Vaughn is slated to move to his natural position of first base. Vaughn’s power returns to this point have not been in-line with what was expected of the former Golden Spikes winner coming out of California. His bat speed and ability to make consistent hard contact is still there, it’s just a matter of adding a little more loft to his swing. I’m willing to gamble on a breakout season for Vaughn in 2023. 

9. Curtis Mead, TBR

10. Rhys Hoskins, PHI

11. Kyle Manzardo, TBR

12. Triston Casas, BOS

13. Ryan Mountcastle, BAL

14. Jose Abreu, HOU

15. Anthony Rizzo, NYY

16. Rowdy Tellez, MIL

DW’s Target: Last year Rowdy Tellez had a higher barrel rate and hard-hit rate than Vlad Jr, as well as a better contact rate. His career-low .215 BABIP made his surface level numbers appear middling, but (aggregated) projections understand his true talent—they project a 120wRC+ with 30 home runs. What makes me confident that Tellez will reach those projections is that he shows above-average barrel rates against several pitch types: fastballs, sliders, curves and cutters. He mashes against them all and he’s still in his twenties.

17. Christian Walker, ARI

18. Ty France, SEA

GP’s Fade: One of my favorite preseason sleepers in 2022, France dominated over the first half of the season, hitting .308/.376/.470 over the first 79 games. Things didn’t quite hold up over the second half of the season. France struggled, hitting .229/.287/.390 over his final 61 games. The lack of approach without premium power has me looking elsewhere at his price point. 

19. Josh Naylor, CLE

20. Jake Cronenworth, SDP

21. Tyler Soderstrom, OAK

22. Spencer Torkelson, DET

23. Josh Bell, CLE

24. Alex Kirilloff, MIN

DW’s Fade: Once ranked 19th on the BA Top 100, Kirilloff has suffered nagging wrist injuries since 2019 (and had his second season-ending surgery on the same wrist last year). Early reports indicate he still has wrist soreness. The Twins showed that they have confidence that he should recover by trading Luis Arraez this offseason and per Kyle Glaser’s conversations with scouts, he’s the most likely of the graduated prospects who have yet to establish themselves in the major leagues to regain his luster, but unless your risk profile can handle it, it might be better to err on the side of caution.

25. Matt Mervis, CHC

26. CJ Cron, COL

27. Joey Meneses, WAS

28. DJ LeMahieu, NYY

29. Trey Mancini, CHC


30. Christian Encarnacion-Strand, CIN

31. Wil Myers, CIN

32. Ryan Noda, LAD

GP’s Sleeper: Throughout his minor league career Noda has displayed elite plate discipline, plus power and defensive versatility, including elite defense at first base. The second overall pick in this year’s Rule 5 draft, Noda has an opportunity to prove his minor league production was no fluke. For formats that count walks (OBP or points), Noda could be prime value. It’s going to cost very little to acquire Noda in most leagues, and his upside is that of a top 20 hitter at the position. It’s very little risk for a potentially large reward. 

33. Bobby Dalbec, BOS

34. Tyler Locklear, SEA

DW’s Sleeper: Locklear has double-plus power and last year at Virginia Commonwealth put up one of the highest OPS totals in college baseball while only striking out 8% of the time. After the Mariners sent him to Low-A Modesto, he continued to mash with seven home runs in 29 games with an in-zone contact rate of just under 90% (clustered on a graph of in-zone contact rate and hard-hit rate with James Wood, Jackson Merrill and Junior Caminero). If he can continue to mash against upper level pitching, he may find himself on the Top 100 list by the end of the year.

35. Blaze Jordan, BOS

36. Jared Walsh, LAA

37. Garrett Cooper, MIA

38. Luke Voit, free agent

39. Wilmer Flores, SF

40. Harold Ramirez, TBR

41. Nick Pratto, KCR

42. Dominic Smith, WAS

43. Xavier Isaac, TBR

44. Ji-Man Choi, PIT

45. Joey Votto, CIN

46. Jonathan Aranda, TBR

47. Dustin Harris, TEX

48. Dan Vogelbach, NYM

49. Eric Hosmer, CHC

50. Brandon Belt, TOR

The Next Prospects: Who will be the next to enter this list?

1. Lawrence Butler, OAK (50/High)

2. Ivan Melendez, ARI (50/High)

3. Jordan Diaz, OAK (45/Medium)

4. Niko Kavadas, BOS (45/High)

5. Robert Perez Jr., SEA (45/High)

6. Nathan Martorella, SDP (45 High)

7. Malcom Nunez, PIT (45/High)

8. Spencer Horwitz, TOR (40/Medium)

9. Michael Toglia, COL (40/Medium)

10. Bryant Betancourt, COL (45/Extreme)

11. Lizandro Rodriguez, KCR (45/Extreme)


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