Continuing our series on Top Prospects by Position, here is a look at some of the best First Base Prospects in the game. It’s actually an impressive group of players. Some with prototypical 1B power, as well as a few great athletes. An interesting group with only a few near MLB-ready, 2014 will be a big year for most of these as they stamp their names (potentially) on top prospect lists.
1. Jose Abreu : Abreu is a 26-year-old power hitting first baseman from Cuba. He is a free agent and could sign any time. He has exceptional power and it should play right away in the majors. Hitting 30 HRs as early as 2014 is not out of the question. His bat speed is a question, and scouts wonder how he’ll handle hard stuff inside. There’s no denying the power though, and if he makes the necessary adjustments to major league pitching, look out.
2. Jonathan Singleton HOU (AAA) 22-year-old left-handed (perfect for dutchie passing) power first-baseman had a mellow 2013. He’s big and strong and should be ready to contribute in 2014. He’ll strike out a lot, but he’ll also draw some walks. Should play an adequate enough 1B.
3. Dominic Smith NYM (R). Just 18 years old, Smith was the one of the youngest in the 2013 draft. He has the potential to have both elite power and elite contact tools. He performed exceptionally well in his brief 2013 debut. There’s a lot to be excited about with Smith.
4. Dan Vogelbach CHC (A+) Elite power, low strikeouts, nice BB%, Vogelbach should hit for a good average with huge power. He’s just 20 years old still. The only concern is his size and whether he can handle first.
5. Ronald Guzman TEX (A) Guzman signed for $3.5M out of DR, Guzman played on the exciting Hickory team. Nearly 19 years old, he’s very advanced for his age, showing a great hit tool and excellent power. He’s 6’5 with an insane ceiling.
6. D.J. Peterson SEA (A) 21 yr old RHH has quick hands and excellent power and hit tools. He was drafted #12 overall in 2013. Peterson has an absolutely beautiful swing and could be someone who hits for both power and average.
7. Rowdy Tellez TOR (R) 18 yr old left-handed hitting first baseman had some of the best power in his class. At 6’4 and 225 lbs, he has the classic first base frame. He barrels the ball nicely, definitely someone to keep an eye on.
8. Ryon Healy OAK (A-) Healy is a right-handed hitting 21-year-old firstbaseman, drafted in 2013 by the Athetics. A lot is projection as far as his power goes, but he’s got a great hit tool and was one of the best college hitters for 3 years.
9. Max Muncy OAK (AA) Muncy blew up in the California league in 2013, hitting 21 HRs with 15%BB rate and a 15%K rate. From that extreme hitter’s league, he was promoted to AA where he became a doubles machine with a 12%BB and 17% K rate. He should produce a good BA and a great OBP in the majors. How much power is yet to be determined.
10. Greg Bird NYY (A) 21-year-old LHH had a great A ball season for Charleston in 2013. With 20 HRs and 107 BBs, Bird showed some of the pop that got him a $1M signing bonus in 2011. He’s a ways away, but there some nice potential here.
11. Keon Barnum CHW (A) Just 20 years old, Barnum is another huge left-handed hitting first base prospect. There is enormous power upside, but he’s a long way off. He struggled in A ball in 2013 and will likely return there next year. He needs to increase his power output and reduce his Ks ; he’s a project.
12. Matthew Olson OAK (A) 19-year-old prospect drafted in 2012 has a quick left-handed bat. There is some serious power here, but he’s got to cut down on the strikeouts. He’s young enough that it’s not a huge concern yet. 2014 will be an important developmental year.
13. C.J. Cron LAA (AA) Big 23-year-old shows some pop. He doesn’t strike out a lot (15%) but his BB rate of 4% is ridiculously low. He hits for a good average but he’ll need to provide some serious power to find a full-time job with the Angels.
14. Rock Shoulders CHC (A) Roderick is a 22-year-old power-hitting first baseman. He’s listed at 6’2″, 225 lbs, and while the K’s are a concern, Shoulders is not afraid to take a walk. He was drafted in the 25th round in 2011 and he is still a distance away from being anything more than just a really cool name. There is no disputing his power and he’s someone to keep an eye on in as he develops.
15. Stetson Allie PIT (A+) Allie is a recently-converted SP, so he’s a young 22-year-old prospect. He has shown great power, but also ridiculous K rates. It’s worth noting that he can also take a walk (14%). His swing is long, but he’s got enough HR pop to hit 25-30 in the majors if he continues to progress as a hitter.
A couple of bonus entries. Already in the majors, these two could fill more immediate needs in deep or NL-only leagues
16. Tommy Medica SD . Medica got a brief stint with the Padres in 2013, hitting .290 with 3 HRs in 79 ABs. The power is legit, but he strikes out at an alarming rate. At 25 years old he needs to prove himself now. With Alonso at 1B, I can see him sharing some at bats in left field. Someone to keep an eye on in deep leagues perhaps.
17. Joey Terdoslavich ATL . This 25-year-old switch hitter made his debut with the Braves in 2013. He struck out 26% which was about 40% more often than he got a hit. He lacks true power and he’s not a great defender so his ceiling is limited. He does have some gap power though and could find himself a big league future playing some LF as well. He could hit 20 HRs and carve himself out a major league career.
Check out all of our prospect rankings