We'll begin the final position rankings updates for the 2020 season with first baseman. Although he's tweaked with his swing after a frustrating end to 2019, Cody Bellinger, unsurprisingly, leads the way at the position.
Overall, this is an old position group filled with a lot of power, but some traps as well. The later tiers could provide sharp owners with value that far exceeds ADP and compliments roster-building well if planned correctly. Let's take a look:
You'll notice some landmines early on the list in the form of coronavirus positive tests. LeMahieu's pre-COVID ranking is aggressive, but he finished No. 20 overall last season, hits in a great lineup, and has valuable position flexibility.
Rizzo is a fade for me because his back is already barking, and better power isn't difficult to find later in drafts.
Another player with important positional flexibility, Muncy hits in arguably the game's best lineup and finished No. 56 last season. Although his hard hit rate and barrel% dipped slightly, they were still very strong numbers with similar contact rates and a more aggressive approach inside the strike zone.
Olson could make this ranking look foolish. Remember, he had an injury early last season notorious for zapping a hitter's power, and he still finished in the top seven percent of xSLG, hard hit%, xwOBA, average exit velocity, and barrel%.
Walker enjoyed big adjustments to his chase% last season and showed his big power. According to his xSLG, he was actually pretty unlucky last season, and he can swipe a bag or two also.
Reports from Spring Training - remember that stuff months ago? - stated Hosmer was hitting the ball in the air much more often by design. He's always had elite bat-to-ball and natural hitting ability. Plus, his profile last season was similar to his 2016 season when he hit 25 homers and drove in 100+.
Diaz is extremely undervalued after Tampa Bay proved last season it could get him to hit the ball in the air instead of pounding 100+ MPH rockets into the ground. Projected to hit third and play everyday, Diaz is simply a healthy season away from a top 150 season.
Cron and Pederson are my favorite late bets for homers, and the addition of the DH to the NL should keep Pederson's at-bats near that of an everyday player.
If age 36 wasn't beside Kendrick's name, he'd go 150 spots earlier. Hell, maybe I should have ranked him that way. Kendrick, according to his Statcast profile, which could be nicknamed the "Red Light District of Columbia," was one of the best hitters in baseball during the 2019 season. Unfortunately, he's yet to be cleared for workouts, which likely means COVID-19 issues.
Gonzalez's issues last season can be directly attributed to injuries, and he's set to play everyday and hit in one of the best lineups in baseball. Plus, he's eligible at multiple spots.
I'm an enormous believer in Smith's talent, and with the addition of the DH, I think he gets enough opportunity early to grab meaningful at-bats all season.
This section dives deeper into some likely platoon situations, and both Choi and Moreland have attractive ones.
I can't believe Pujols is still an everyday player for the Angels, and I can't believe I'm ranking him here. But as long as he's in the lineup, he's going to have a lot of RBI opportunities.
Caratini will be Yu Darvish's personal catcher this season, according to reports, and he could get some DH starts as well. Intriguing bat that posted a wRC+ of 108 last year.
Photos courtesy AP Images