Fantasy Baseball

2018 Fantasy Baseball: Generation Next– First Basemen

There are a number of catchers that have already arrived that made it to Generation Next. First base really only has one such player. So, we will take a different tact with this position. We are looking at five guys that have either already debuted in the big leagues or are projected to debut this season. We evaluated them based on their likelihood of making an impact this season with their clubs.

So, we will look at their minor league total points numbers instead of the limited action in the big leagues. Obviously, we have to take those numbers in context. Did the player maintain his performance or improve as he moved up the chain? Also, it makes sense to question whether a player will even be as good as his overall minor league numbers at the next level.

Bobby Bradley—Cleveland Indians 

2017 131 308 2.35
2016 131 321 2.45
2015 110 274 2.49
2014 39 176 4.51
AVG 103 270 2.62

Bradley’s odds of making in 2018 are pretty long. It involves a lot of what ifs that all have to come to pass in his favor. What if the Indians don’t bring Carlos Santana back. Then, what if the Indians don’t sign anyone else on the open market. What if they have no one else to put in that position that has more big league experience. His minor league track record is about what you would expect. He has gotten a little less effective as he has gone up the system. Simply put, he hasn’t done enough yet to force their hand.

Ronald Guzman—Texas Rangers 

2017 125 306 2.45
2016 127 265 2.09
2015 131 286 2.18
2014 118 188 1.59
2013 49 91 1.86
AVG 110 227 2.07

The good news for Guzman is that he is coming off his best minor league season to date. The other good news is that they definitely don’t want Mike Napoli back. With Joey Gallo cemented as the DH, it would appear that first base is the only open slot for Guzman. So, he has to hope they don’t sign anyone else and that they give him a reasonable opportunity. Unfortunately, he doesn’t profile as the kind of power hitter that you normally hope for, so he has to hope to profile as a kind of Eric Hosmer or John Olerud type.

Rhys Hoskins—Philadelphia Phillies 

2017 115 390 3.39
2016 135 449 3.33
2015 135 389 2.88
2014 70 137 1.96
AVG 114 341 2.99

If you combine the numbers Hoskins put up between AAA and the majors you would have to conclude that he was the best player in baseball last season (combined for 574 total points). We’ve seen this before. Kevin Maas hit 21 home runs in very limited action when he debuted. He did nothing after that. Hoskins has been dominant in the minors, so hopefully for the Phillies he will continue to produce, but I doubt he does at the pace he had last season. It’s nearly impossible to handicap exactly where he will land, but the minor league numbers may be a reasonable facsimile.

Ryan McMahon—Colorado Rockies 

2017 119 383 3.22
2016 133 203 1.53
2015 132 312 2.36
2014 126 347 2.75
2013 59 184 3.12
AVG 114 286 2.51

McMahon can play first or second base, so he has a future in the big leagues. The question is whether his future is as a regular or a part-time player. Certainly, his most recent performance is promising at face value, but the bulk of that came in Albuquerque which is more than a mile above sea level. In other words, your grandmother could probably hit .250 there. So, while his .374 average was impressive we should probably hold off before calling him the next George Sisler.

A.J. Reed—Houston Astros 

2017 127 359 2.83
2016 70 195 2.79
2015 135 415 3.07
2014 68 206 3.03
AVG 100 294 2.94

There is little appreciable difference between Hoskin and Reed’s track records in the minors. The difference is that while both have similar numbers of plate appearances and games at the big league level, Hoskins has succeeded and Reed has not. We cannot allow that limited exposure to completely change our opinion of both players. Granted, it should have some effect. Carlos Beltran retired and that leaves an opening at DH. Reed has a shot along with some other young players. It might make for an interest Spring Training.

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