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2009 In Review: First Base

We change pace today as we continue our recap of the 2009 season, switching from the light-hitting catcher position to focus on the behemoth’s of the fantasy world, first basemen. Make sure to check out our other stops along the way as we profile seven positions in seven days:

Catcher
Second Base
Shortstop
Third Base
Outfield
Pitchers

The table below gives you a quick recap of what we saw in 2009. All players are sorted according to PSR Rankings, our unique ratings system that takes into account both player performance and position scarcity. Once again paced by three-time MVP winner, Albert Pujols, first base was  the highest rated position last season. But don’t take our word for it. See for yourself.

PSR
Player
R
HR
RBI
SB
AVG
18.42Pujols, Albert1244713516.327
13.67Fielder, Prince103461412.299
13.55Howard, Ryan105451418.279
12.21Reynolds, Mark984410224.260
11.09Teixeira, Mark103391222.292
11.01Cabrera, Miguel96341036.324
9.63Lee, Derrek91351111.306
9.26Morales, Kendry86341083.306
8.77Youkilis, Kevin9927947.305
8.19Gonzalez, Adrian9040991.277
7.93Sandoval, Pablo7925905.330
7.51Cuddyer, Michael9332946.276
7.35Votto, Joey8225854.324
7.05Dunn, Adam81381060.267
6.00Morneau, Justin85301000.274
5.91Pena, Carlos91391003.227
5.27Butler, Billy7821931.301
5.05Helton, Todd7915860.325
5.03Berkman, Lance7626837.276
4.69Konerko, Paul7528881.277
4.29LaRoche, Adam7825832.277
3.88Cantu, Jorge67161003.289
3.44Loney, James7313907.281
2.60Branyan, Russell6431762.251
1.39Jones, Garrett45214410.293
0.83Johnson, Nick738622.293
0.49Prado, Martin6411481.307
0.09Blalock, Hank6225662.234
-0.35Murphy, Daniel6012634.266
-0.52Overbay, Lyle5716640.265
-0.57Huff, Aubrey5915850.241
-1.94Davis, Chris4821590.238
-2.13Tatis, Fernando428484.282
-2.68Garko, Ryan3913510.268
-2.87Wigginton, Ty4411411.273
-3.47Ishikawa, Travis499392.261
-3.83Kotchman, Casey377481.268
-4.09Aybar, Willy3812411.253
-5.71Gload, Ross336300.262
-5.78Atkins, Garrett379480.226
-5.85Giambi, Jason4313510.201
-6.10Hoffpauir, Micah2810351.239
-6.21Kotsay, Mark164233.278
-6.22Tracy, Chad298391.237
-6.32Barton, Daric 313240.269
-7.33Crosby, Bobby356292.223
-7.84Millar, Kevin297290.223
-8.33Marte, Andy206250.232
-10.41Pearce, Steven194161.206

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MVP of 2009

Albert Pujols (STL) – Sir Albert turned in his best season since 2006, finishing first among first basemen in R and HR, second in SB and AVG, and third in RBI. There isn’t a more well-rounded fantasy contributor in the game, regardless of position.

Honorable Mention: Prince Fielder (MIL)

Comeback Player of 2009

Derrek Lee (CHC) – Many, myself included, thought Lee had nothing left in the tank. Instead, he kicked it into overdrive and had his best season since 2005, belting 35 HR, driving in 111 runners, and maintaining a .306 AVG. His season was good enough for seventh among all first basemen and 25th overall. Not too bad for a guy who was a mid-round draft pick back in March.

Honorable Mention: Prince Fielder (MIL)

Breakout Player of 2009

Kendry Morales (LAA) – Who needs Mark Teixeira when you have Kendry Morales? After spending parts of three seasons with the Big League club, Morales finally got his chance to play full-time in 2009 and he delivered. It’s not like this wasn’t expected, though. He averaged 89/.332/25/105/2 per 550 AB in his minor league career, which reflects his success at the Major League level. While I doubt he has the power to improve much on his HR totals, at 26 years old he should spend the next few seasons developing his already well-rounded game.

Honorable Mention: Mark Reynolds (ARI)

Most Disappointing Player of 2009

Lance Berkman (HOU) – After an absolutely terrible start to 2009 (10/.162/5/10/0 entering May) Berkman actually had a few good months, but finished the season with a 24/.278/7/25/1 second half. In all, he had his fewest HR (25) since 2005, fewest RBI (80) since 2000, and lowest AVG (.274) and fewest R (73) since 1999. How good was he expected to be? Let’s just say that in my league last season, he was traded straight up for Tim Lincecum in March and back then, it actually wasn’t that lopsided of a deal. What a difference a year makes.

Dishonorable Mention: Garrett Atkins (COL)

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About the author: Bryan is the co-founder of Baseball Professor and works as a consultant specializing in operational metrics and efficiency analysis. When he’s not working, blogging, or tending to basic human needs, he enjoys pondering the vastness of the universe, rewatching episodes of Breaking Bad, and avoiding snakes. (@BaseballProf)

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