Top first-base prospects 2023

MLB Pipeline will reveal its 2023 Top 100 Prospects checklist at 7 pm ET on Thursday, Jan. 26, with a one-hour present on MLB Network and Leading as much as the discharge of the Top 100, we’ll study baseball’s high 10 prospects at every place.

And now we flip our consideration to some actual boppers — the primary basemen.

Red Sox slugger Triston Casas ranked No. 2 on final 12 months’s preseason checklist, completed 2022 atop the 1B rankings and finds himself there once more to start the 2023 marketing campaign. Having performed extra video games at first final 12 months than at his drafted place (catcher), A’s prospect Tyler Soderstrom joins a first-base preseason checklist for the primary time and slides in behind Casas within the second spot. Rays breakout star Kyle Manzardo jumped seven spots from final 12 months’s spring checklist to affix the 2023 model of the Big Three on this class.

Based on this rating, some golf equipment might have enjoyable place battles on their fingers sooner or later. The Red Sox, A’s, Rays and Rockies all have two first basemen every on our Top 10. Oakland’s pair of Soderstrom and Jordan Diaz, specifically, each have ETAs of this upcoming season.

The Top 10 (ETA)
1. Triston Casas, Red Sox (2023)
2. Tyler Soderstrom, Athletics (2023)
3. Kyle Manzardo, Rays (2023)
4. Matt Mervis, Cubs (2023)
5. Jordan Diaz, Athletics (2023)
6. Michael Toglia, Rockies (2023)
7. Grant Lavigne, Rockies (2024)
8. Ivan Melendez, D-backs (2025)
9. Xavier Isaac, Rays (2026)
10. Niko Kavadas, Red Sox (2024)
Complete checklist »

Top 10 prospects by place:
RHP | LHP | C| 1B
Fri: 2B
1/23: 3B
1/24: SS
1/25: OF
1/26: Top 100

Hit: Manzardo (65)
The 2021 second-rounder led Minor League first basemen (min. 300 PA) with a .327 common final season between High-A and Double-A in his first style of full-season play. Manzardo was already credited with a formidable data of the zone and high quality swing choices throughout his time at Washington State, and people expertise translated immediately to the professionals. While he could lack the stellar exit velocities of others on this checklist, he is capable of finding the barrel in different methods, resulting in the idea that he might be a .300 hitter over a number of seasons in The Show.

Power: Casas (65)
Take a have a look at Casas’ 6-foot-4, 252-pound body, and you’ll inform instantly the place the ability projection comes from. Projection stays an optimum phrase as a result of the left-handed slugger’s focus has been on growing an all-fields hitting method within the early levels of his profession. That’s good for the long run however has saved him from slugging above. 500 for a full-season membership. Now that he is 23 and Major League-ready, Casas’ energy ought to pop at Fenway this 12 months, simply in time to lock in his place as Boston’s long-term cornerstone at first. Notably, 5 of his 11 hits with the large membership left the yard final 12 months.

Run: Diaz, Toglia (45)
You aren’t going to search out many burners at this place, or else they might be taking part in elsewhere. Toglia’s comparatively fast toes make him a Gold Glove-caliber defender at first and acquired him some appears in proper area within the Majors final 12 months. Similarly, Diaz made the vast majority of his MLB begins at second base as a result of Mark Kotsay and Co. needed to see how his pace would translate to a extra athletic place. Both nonetheless undertaking greatest at first, however to their credit score, they’ve sufficient athleticism to maneuver round.

Arm: Casas, Mervis (60)
Casas was initially drafted as a 3rd baseman due to his sturdy arm, and he threw within the low-90s throughout his days taking part in highschool ball in Florida. Mervis threw 59 innings over his 4 years at Duke whereas sporting a heater across the identical velocity and a low-80s slider. The pair could not use their cannons as a lot as they used to, however any overly aggressive baserunner would possibly need to heed this warning in the event that they see both first baseman with the ball of their fingers.

Field: Toglia (65)
We named Toglia to our All-Defense Prospect Team final week, and it was a reasonably straightforward name. Toglia reacts effectively on balls hit laborious in the direction of first and exhibits the mandatory gentle fingers to scoop rockets off the bat or throws from anyplace on the grime. His stellar glovework offers him a good ground, and it would not shock to see him deliver some golden {hardware} to Denver inside the subsequent three years.

Highest ceiling: Casas
Casas is the one member of this checklist with 4 instruments that grade out a minimum of above-average, making him essentially the most well-rounded first-base prospect within the sport right this moment. He ought to hit for each common and energy, and even on days when he does not try this, he can nonetheless influence the sport defensively. All of that’s the reason Boston has cleared out area to make Casas its Opening Day first baseman in March.

Highest ground: Manzardo
There’s little doubt now that the Tampa Bay prospect will produce stable averages and on-base percentages. Questions about his general slugging skill mood expectations of his future worth, however guys along with his expertise will at all times discover their means right into a Major League lineup. Anything near a copy of his 2022 season, and he’ll be in St. Petersburg by the autumn.

Rookie of the Year candidate: Casas
Eric Hosmer was designated for project. Bobby Dalbec’s days as a starter seem numbered. Casas acquired 27 video games within the Majors final 12 months, and though his .197 common in that point doesn’t stand out, he nonetheless drove the ball effectively to all fields in an indication that his superior method will play within the bigs. The ceiling is there. The potential taking part in time is there. Everything is lining up for a Casas run at ROY.

Highest riser and humblest starting: Mervis
Never thoughts the 1B checklist, Mervis wasn’t even ranked among the many Cubs’ Top 30 prospects on the finish of the 2021 season. The former Blue Devil was signed by the Cubs for $20,000 as a nondrafted free agent in 2020 after which produced only a .676 OPS in 69 Single-A video games in his first full season a 12 months later. Then, he exploded for 36 homers (tied for third-most within the Minors) throughout three ranges in 2022 and heads into his age-25 season competing for a spot in Wrigley. Talk a few fast turnaround.

Most to show: Isaac
The Rays shocked the trade by deciding on North Carolina high-schooler Isaac with the twenty ninth general decide final July. Tampa Bay decision-makers famous how a lot they beloved Isaac’s skill to generate bat pace and excessive exit velocities, but it surely nonetheless appeared like a attain for a participant listed at No. 113 in MLB Pipeline’s Draft rankings. It could take years earlier than Isaac lives as much as his dad or mum membership’s hopes from that Draft slot, however his improvement within the meantime will likely be fastidiously watched by many.

Keep a watch on: Robert Perez Jr., Mariners
After beforehand topping out at 15 homers, Perez broke out with a career-best 27 blasts in 127 video games at Single-A and High-A final season. He was in some way much more dominant away from the California League with a .342/.477/.583 line in his 53 contests with High-A Everett. Seattle examined the 22-year-old additional with an project to the Arizona Fall League, and he responded there with a .753 OPS in 19 video games and the circuit’s Home Run Derby crown. His enhancements to get to his above-average energy potential appear actual however will likely be examined once more when he reaches the higher ranges this summer season.

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