MLB Opening Day is set for April 7th so the hype for fantasy baseball is reaching its preseason peak. As you are doing your research for your fantasy lineups, you want to pick players that have not only a high ceiling but a high floor. Your main goal is productivity while minimizing the risk of drafting a bust. With that in mind, here are some first basemen that you should avoid as they are prime bust candidates.
Fantasy baseball 2022 busts: First base
Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds
Votto is coming off a resurgent year where he knocked 36 home runs. That tied the second-most in a single season of his 15-year career. The problem with Votto’s fantasy outlook is that there should be some regression for his stats, and it’s not entirely his fault. The front office committed to a firesale approach as they traded away Jesse Winker and Eugenio Suarez to the Seattle Mariners and they let Nick Castellanos walk in free agency. Votto will be missing the lineup protection he became accustomed to in 2021. Votto changed his swing last season and gave up contact for more power. While it worked in the short term last year, in 2022 he needs to focus more on contact due to the lack of lineup protection around him.
Josh Bell, Washington Nationals
Bell put together a productive 2021 campaign hitting .261 with 27 home runs and 88 RBIs. The switch hitter comes with upside, but he doesn’t hit for average as much as you want from your starting first baseman. His ADP has him going in the early part of the eighth round so you aren’t using huge draft capital on him. Bell strikes out more than you would like to see from him, and his high flyball rate increases his bust potential.
Frank Schwindel, Chicago Cubs
Schwindel was a late add by the Cubs in the 2021 season. He played 334 games at the AAA level and joined the Cubs' big league roster in July. Schwindel brings a strong bat to a rebuilding Cubs team and he hit .326 over 242 major league at-bats last season. Being held at the AAA level for so long, regression is expected for his performance over an entire big league regular season. Schwindel is going to be drafted based on his 2021 stats, but is likely going to fall short when expanded over an entire season due to the poor quality of his contact.