Tuesday, October 24, 2006

First Base Rankings

I have heard on numerous occasions people talk about the glut of 1st baseman the Royals. Quite simply there is no glut. People just assumed that you could pencil in Huber, Butler, Teahen in there. Well Dayton smartly went out and got Ryan Shealy. He should be an league average firstbaseman for the next few years. It’s a good thing because the Royals have very little depth in the minors. Of course, the good news is that you shift people to play first easily.

Omaha:
Justin Huber
—Huber is no longer a firstbaseman but the Royals don’t have a lot of first base prospects and I wanted to write about someone good. Whoever is writing about LF can feature Huber again.

I still like Huber. I think he can be a good LF-perhaps even an above average LFer. Just a year ago, this guy hit 343/432/570 in the Texas league. I fear that Dayton is not as high on this guy and may trade him for something less valuable. Huber got off to a blistering start, was called up to ride the bench and then got sent down where he went into an awful slump, got hurt and then rebounded to have an 838 OPS. He certainly seems to have no future with this club as it is expected that Mark Teahen will move to LF. Huber could definitely come in handy when Mike Sweeney get hurts.

If Dayton is going to trade him, I would want someone like Erik Aybar or Hayden Penn.

Wichita:
Kila Kaaihue
—I really likedKila coming into the year—coming off his 925 OPS at High Desert. Sure it would drop some as he entered more sane hitting environments. But Kila’s OPS this year was 602. Ouch. He was a little better after the All Star break by having an 787 OPS—still nothing to write home about from a firstbaseman. Perhaps he will move to Omaha and try to regain the plate discipline that helped him look like a poor man’s Nick Johnson.

High Desert:
Mike Stodolka
—the #4 pick in the 2000 draft moved from the mound to the batters’ box with decent results. He posted an 845 OPS. He also has hit well in 30 AB’s in the Hawaian Baseball League, posting a 1033 OPS. Of course being a 25 year old first baseman in the Cal League puts those numbers in perspective. He had a 911 OPS at home and 778 on the road. Stodolka is a nice story but not much of a prospect.

Burlington:
Miguel Vega
has got good power and that’s about it. He had a 271 OBP. That is Berroa-esqe. He had 13 walks and 121 K’s. Vega was a 4th round pick a few years ago, but will probably get eaten alive in Wilmington this year.

Short Season Clubs:
Scott Lucas, Carlos Avila, and Jase Turner
played 1st for our Short Season Clubs—none of them look like they are prospects.

Rankings:

Huber
Kaaihue
Stodolka
Vega
Avila
Lucas/Turner

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