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2016 1B and DH Rankings

by Matthew Pouliot
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Time for some All-Star break fun: here are my very, very preliminary 2016 player rankings. I’ve done my best to list players where they’ll be eligible next year, and the free agents-to-be are listed without teams. Players with options for next year are still listed with their current teams if those options are likely to be exercised.


Along with the position rankings is a top 300 list for 2016. Click to see other preliminary 2016 rankings:

Top 300 | SP | RP | OF | 1B | 2B | SS | 3B | C | DH


Follow us at @Rotoworld_BB and @matthewpouliot on Twitter.



2016 First Baseman Rankings


2016 First Base Team 2015 July
1 Paul Goldschmidt Diamondbacks 4 2
2 Miguel Cabrera Tigers 1 1
3 Anthony Rizzo Cubs 7 5
4 Jose Abreu White Sox 2 4
5 Edwin Encarnacion Blue Jays 3 3
6 Prince Fielder Rangers 5 7
7 Albert Pujols Angels 6 6
8 Freddie Freeman Braves 9 10
9 Adrian Gonzalez Dodgers 8 8
10 Joey Votto Reds 11 9
11 Chris Davis   4 3B 8 3B
12 Carlos Santana Indians 5 3B 9 3B
13 Eric Hosmer Royals 12 11
14 Mark Teixeira Yankees 28 12
15 Lucas Duda Mets 14 14
16 Brandon Belt Giants 15 15
17 Matt Adams Cardinals 13 NR
18 Ryan Zimmerman Nationals 11 3B 24 3B
19 Joe Mauer Twins 16 19
20 Pedro Alvarez Pirates 15 3B 17 3B
21 Adam LaRoche White Sox 17 17
22 Chris Carter Astros 2 DH 16
23 Logan Morrison Mariners 23 21
24 Adam Lind   20 22
25 Justin Morneau Rockies 18 34
26 Mike Napoli   22 23
27 Michael Morse Marlins 47 OF 58 OF
28 Yonder Alonso Padres 30 24
29 Mitch Moreland Rangers 35 30
30 Wilin Rosario Rockies 15 C 14 C
31 James Loney Rays 26 31
32 Ryan Howard Phillies 25 26
33 Ben Paulsen Rockies 47 28
34 Ike Davis Athletics 31 27
35 Jon Singleton Astros 36 32
36 Christian Walker Orioles 40 NR
37 Justin Smoak Blue Jays 32 37
38 Justin Bour Marlins 48 40
39 C.J. Cron Angels 34 NR
40 Kennys Vargas Twins 3 DH 35
41 Kyle Blanks Rangers 37 39
42 Clint Robinson Nationals 57 38
43 Josh Bell Pirates 213 OF NR
44 Dan Vogelbach Cubs 79 NR
45 Gregory Bird Yankees 58 NR


First Basemen


o I feel pretty good about the top 10 here. There could be a lot of changes after that. Chris Davis will tumble several spots if he heads to a lesser home run park in free agency. The second halves of players like Santana, Hosmer, Teixeira and Duda will affect their rankings. One guy who could move up is Alvarez. It’s not hard to see the Pirates moving on from him this winter, and if he lands in the right situation in the right ballpark, he could still be a 35-homer guy.


o In light of Morneau’s concussion problems, the Rockies have the most difficult situation to read here. I like Paulsen over Rosario, but I have Rosario higher since there’s the chance he could head elsewhere and regain his catcher eligibility. Paulsen is more likely to stick around as a fallback for Morneau, if Morneau is able to play. There’s also Kyle Parker lurking as a possibility, but I don’t think very much of his bat. If Morneau were forced to retire because of the concussions, then Paulsen might be a top-20 first baseman next year.


o Only at the bottom of the rankings do the prospects start to emerge. I’m just not convinced that any of them will go into the year as starters. Walker in Baltimore might have the best shot, since Davis seems likely to depart. He’s probably not going to be a star, but he could hit 20 homers right away. Singleton seems to have mastered Triple-A this year, and he has the big power upside. Still, I’m not sure it will ever make sense for the Astros to play him and Carter together. Bell is hitting .312/.380/.431 in Double-A. I doubt he gets a job on Opening Day even if Alvarez is sent packing, but he should be ready at some point in 2016.



2016 Designated Hitter Rankings


2016 DH Team 2015 July
1 Victor Martinez Tigers 10 1B 13 1B
2 Alex Rodriguez Yankees 22 3B 11 3B
3 David Ortiz Red Sox 1 1
4 Evan Gattis Astros 3 C 5 C
5 Kendrys Morales Royals 24 1B 18 1B
6 Billy Butler Athletics 21 1B 29 1B
7 Nick Swisher Indians 33 1B 26 1B
8 John Jaso   20 C 28 C
9 Jimmy Paredes Orioles 43 3B 28 2B
10 Jesus Montero Mariners 7 2
11 Henry Urrutia Orioles 8 NR


Designated Hitters


o This looks like it’ll be the deepest DH class in a few years. There’s a chance Gattis or Jaso could get 20-game outfield eligibility, but I’m leaning no. Gattis has played just five games in the outfield. Jaso, who just came off the DL, has taken the field only once, though he’s likely to see occasional starts in left during the second half.


o The top three guys here are all pretty closely bunched in the top 300. Obviously, Rodriguez has been the class of the list to date, but at 40 years old, he could still fall of a cliff with hardly a moment’s notice. The same goes for Ortiz. He’s hitting the ball harder than his numbers suggest, but it’ll still be a third straight year with a substantial decline in OPS.

Matthew Pouliot

Matthew Pouliot is the Executive Editor of NBC Sports Edge and has been doing the site's baseball projections for the last 10 years. Follow him on Twitter @matthewpouliot.