Top 10 First Base Prospects (Mid-Season 2018 Edition)

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The All-Star game is upon us…  It feels like the season just got underway, but we are already more than 50% through the 2018 season.  obviously a lot has changed from when we originally did our prospect rankings and now is the perfect time to update things.  Who is on the rise?  Who has fallen off?  Let’s take a look (the number in parenthesis is our preseason ranking):

1) Yordan Alvarez – Houston Astros (1)
ETA – 2019
Current Grade – B+

He’s missed time due to injury, but when he’s been on the field he’s simply been awesome (.311 with 12 HR over 180 AB).  He’s done a good job making consistent contact (8.7% SwStr%), using all fields (35.3% Opp%), and has seen his power grow.  Maybe he can’t maintain quite this power pace, but now at Triple-A what he’s done has been impressive.

2) Peter Alonso – New York Mets (3)
ETA – 2019
Current Grade – B+

It was a surprise when he was ranked #3 in our preseason rankings, but he backed it up during his time at Double-A.  He hasn’t hit the ground running at Triple-A, but you need to give him time to adjust.  It’s clear the Mets don’t view Dominic Smith as the 1B of the future so it’s just a matter of time before Alonso is summoned to the big leagues.

3) Jake Bauers – Tampa Bay Rays (9)
ETA – Already Arrived
Current Grade – B+

While he adds speed to a position where it’s not normally associated, he also has proven capable of commanding the strike zone (24.4% O-Swing% in the Majors) and is maturing into his power (22 doubles, 2 triples, 7 HR).  Ultimately he profiles as a .280/20/10 type option (who will be even more valuable in OBP formats).

4) Pavin Smith – Arizona Diamondbacks (2)
ETA – 2020
Current Grade – B

One of the bigger disappointments of ’18, he’s hitting .225 with 8 HR at High-A.  However his ability to make contact (6.4% SwStr%) and power potential keeps him from falling too far down rankings.

5) Ryan McMahon – Colorado Rockies (4)
ETA – Already Arrived
Current Grade – B

Will the Rockies ever actually give him an opportunity?  That’s the question…

6) Matt Thaiss – Los Angeles Angels (NR)
ETA – 2018
Current Grade – B

With Shohei Ohtani back in the lineup Thaiss’ arrival no longer appears imminent, but he’s thrived at both Double-A (.287 with 6 HR) and Triple-A (.287 with 7 HR).  With the power developing and a solid contact rate (10.0% SwStr%) he deserves our attention.

7) Josh Naylor – San Diego Padres (NR)
ETA – 2019
Current Grade – B

He’s taken a huge step forward as he’s paired power with contact (7.2% SwStr%).  He has carried a 17.1% line drive rate, raising a slight red flag, but not enough of one.

8) Evan White – Seattle Mariners (6)
ETA – 2020
Current Grade – B-

9) Lewin Diaz – Minnesota Twins (NR)
ETA – 2020
Current Grade – B-

10) Chad Spanberger – Colorado Rockies (NR)
ETA – 2020
Current Grade – B-

He’s posted an eye popping line at Single-A, but the locale has to be taken into account and he’s also old for the level (22-years old).  How he performs at the next level will really be telling.

Note – Brendan McKay – He was left off our preseason rankings, valuing him more as a pitcher, and hitting .230 with 2 HR over 113 AB we will continue to view him as such.

Dropped From Rankings – Bobby Bradley (5), Nick Pratto (7), Edwin Rios (8), Chris Shaw (10)

Make sure to check out all of our 2018 Midseason Rankings:

Catcher
First Baseman
Second Base
Shortstop
Third Base
Outfield
Pitcher

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