Top 10 fantasy baseball first basemen heading into the 2022 season

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 01: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. #27 of the Toronto Blue Jays ahead of their MLB game against the Baltimore Orioles at Rogers Centre on October 1, 2021 in Toronto, Ontario. (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 01: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. #27 of the Toronto Blue Jays ahead of their MLB game against the Baltimore Orioles at Rogers Centre on October 1, 2021 in Toronto, Ontario. (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images) /
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Fantasy Baseball
VENICE, FLORIDA – MARCH 17: Matt Olson #28 of the Atlanta Braves poses for a photo during Photo Day at CoolToday Park on March 17, 2022 in Venice, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

#2 Matt Olson

The newest member of the Atlanta Braves had his best season in 2021. The slugger slashed .271/.371/.540/.911/ with 39 homers, 35 doubles, 111 RBI, and 101 runs scored, good for an OPS+ of 153. Olson finished in the 92nd percentile in walk rate, 90th percentile in xwOBA, 87th percentile in average exit velo and hard hit rate, 84th percentile in xSLG, and 82nd percentile in  barrel rate. He does strikeout a lot (76th percentile), but he also takes his walks and has good control over the zone. He joins a lineup that features Ozzie Albies, Austin Riley, and eventually Ronald Acuna, so he’ll have plenty of opportunities to drive in runs, and some protection behind him. Olson entrenched himself among the elite tier of first basemen, and since the ball flies in Atlanta, you should expect more of the same for several years to come.

#1 Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

Valdito had one of the most insane seasons in recent memory in 2021. He would’ve won the MVP in pretty much any other year, but since Shohei Ohtani had his breakout season on both sides of the ball, he took the honors. Vladdy slashed .311/.401/.601/.1.002 with 48 homers, 29 doubles, 111 RBI, and 123 runs scored, good for a 169 OPS+. Vladdy hits the ball really freaking hard, finishing in the 99th percentile in average exit velo, 98th percentile in hard hit rate, xwOBA, xBA, and xSLG, and 90th percentile in barrel rate. He doesn’t strike out much at all for someone with as violent a swing as he has (82nd percentile) and he has a very good eye too (87th percentile in walk rate and 69th percentile in chase rate). Simply put, he’s one of the best hitters in the game – both in real life and in fantasy baseball — and he’s just going into his age 23 season.

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