It's the second installment of Assume the Position for 2014. Here are some relevant articles:
2014 Assume the Position:
2013 Assume the Position:
|Name||Age (2014 season)||AVG||OBP||SLG||wOBA||Oliver wOBA||AVG||OBP||SLG||wOBA|
The MLB average wOBA for a first baseman last year was .333.
Anthony Rizzo was slightly below-average with the stick last year; for a good article on why that is, check out this article. I tend to think that Rizzo is going to end up being a .280/.360/.500 guy which is a solid guy in the middle of the order. He's an above-average defender who gets a little too much credit in that area, but he's a real asset at the major league level for the next 6 years.
Lars Anderson is what happens when Anthony Rizzo goes wrong. There are quite a few parallels, actually: both are big lefties that can field and walk but strikeout just a little too much. In fact, Lars Anderson was much more dominant at the lower levels, but he ended up floundering against big-league pitching and Rizzo hasn't (yet). He's the Quad A guy this year.
Greg Rohan didn't ride until late in the season due to injury, and you can't really put stock in this 65 2013 PA appearances. At 28 and in AA, it's fair to assume he's just organizational depth, and he will probably bounce around organizations as a fungible AAA guy for the next half-decade. Jonathon Mota is similarly leveraged. Neither player figures to be a long-term contributor at the major-league level, or even a short-term one.
I put Vogelbach here despite the relative paucity of PA at the level. He clearly will go to Daytona to start the season barring an extremely aggressive promotion (which, honestly, I'd welcome). He was much worse in 2013 than in 2012, but still had a .284/.364/.450 line in Kane County. Scouts love his approach, and while the power halved from 2012 to 2013 (.310 to .165), I would almost expect a re-emergence of the power stroke that some called the best of the 2011 draft. I hate Daytona due to the constant delays and rainouts, but that's more of a problem for pitchers. I expect a heavy does of the D-Cubs for Daniel. Dustin Geiger is 70 pounds lighter than Dan but outslugged him last year (.458). He's athletic enough to play some 3B and there is a need at Tennessee for it, so he might get that opportunity to see if he can handle it. Dustin took a step forward with the plate discipline last season, but he still needs to prove it at the upper levels to have any semblance of a future at the majors.
Vogelbach was here, but I profiled him at A+. Rock Shoulders played the majority of the season at DH so Vogelbach could play 1B. He also saw some time in the outfield where he was mediocre. He already strikes out around 28% of the time and I assume that number will get unmanageable as he climbs in level.
Jacob Rogers, hit .278/.394/.413 in A- ball last year. He was a 40th round pick in the 2012 round, but he needs to move very quickly to avoid being aged out of the levels he's in right now. I honestly know very little about him, but it seems like he'll have a rough time stealing playing time from Vogelbach. I wonder if he might be promoted aggressively to AA, where there is a need. He'll also look to add some weight to his 6'5", 195 lb frame.
Mark Malave was on On The Rise pick at BP this year, and he has the pedigree: Malave was a bonus baby in 2011 to the tune of $1.6 million. He was a catching prospect back then, and still might end up behind the plate as that is his (rumored) 2014 landing spot. Still, he played more 1B than not last season, and that's why he's here. I've never seen Malave play, but it seems like he's a glove-first guy with a good approach and projectable pop. Good enough for me; Malave is still just 19 years old.
Kelvin Freeman was a 17th round pick in last year's draft. He had 157 PA and had 4 extra base hits, all doubles. When you have more GBP and SF than XBH, it wasn't a good year. Who knows.
All in all, the cupboard is pretty bare at 1B, with only one legitimate prospect (and there are doubts as to his defensive ability at 1B). I'm a firm believer in Vogelbach's ability to handle first defensively so that's unimportant to me. I wouldn't consider anyone else at the position a prospect, with the possible exception of Geiger (who should get every chance to move to a more physically demanding position). It's not a real issue, because you'd rather have your prospects at literally any other position, but it is something to note.