This week’s fantasy baseball first baseman review will help you identify first basemen available in 50% or more of Yahoo! fantasy baseball leagues. For deep league players, the third is available in 85% or more of Yahoo! leagues.
Mike Napoli, Texas (39% owned)
Napoli’s season-long slash line is beyond miserable (.188/.262/.416). However, there’s a lot to unpack with that line. First, his BABIP is horrible, as it sits at .200 (from a career .302 line). That mans that his .188 has nowhere to go but up. Second, his .188 comes from a dreadful April, where he managed just 13 hits, ending the mont with a .505 OPS. Since then, he’s managed a respectable-but-not-great .246/.311/.600. His BABIP for that span sits at .231, so that means even more positive regression is on the way. Napoli’s slow start had owners ditching him, but you can snatch him up if you need a first base option.
Justin Bour, Miami (29% owned)
Bour has made it onto a couple of these free agent pieces, and it’s honestly surprising the Freddie Freeman injury did not surge his ownership. The power hitter Bour cracked seven home runs over the last two weeks, carrying a clear-to-regress .375 average. He has cleaned up his terrible hitting against lefties, going for a .281/.378/.531 slash line against south paws. Bour has no platoon to take his plate appearances, and is taking advantage of it. His 31.4% HR/FB rate means his power will slow, but he’s on a near-45 home run pace. He will still hit for tons of power, but don’t expect that rate to continue. His BABIP is within career norms, so the average shouldn’t change too much.
Mitch Moreland, Boston (13% owned)
The consistent drumbeat of Mitch Moreland’s April was that his home runs would come for him. He hit far too many doubles and far few home runs for someone with his power. The positive regression fairy came in the last couple of weeks, as Moreland placed three over the wall in that time frame. Moreland’s hot start regressed to a much lower average in May (as to be expected). However, Moreland responded by turning doubles into home runs. While it’s unclear if that was a change in approach (sell out average for power), it makes him useful while his BABIP normalized his average.