It is Monday, and you know what that means: GM Mondays! In this series we are going to play the role of GM and analyze players, positions, etc. We will take an in-depth look at the team and diagnose whether something is a strength or not. If it is a weak area, we will also look at possible ways to improve that part of the team. So, without further adieu, let us jump right into looking at first-base!
The Depth Chart
Because our team doesn’t have many players that are first-baseman first, we will include players that could likely see some decent playing time there.
The Major Leaguers
As it stands the Dodgers only have two players on the 40 man roster that play 1B more than not and that’s Cody Bellinger and Rob Segedin. Let’s start with the obvious: Cody Bellinger. With Adrian Gonzalez now sent to the Braves in that whirlwind trade last weekend, Cody Bellinger is the undisputed starter at 1B! And my oh my what a wonderful sight it will be to see Belli Bombs manning first-base. Under team control until 2024, Bellinger will provide stability for years to come. After slashing .267/.352/.581 and popping 39 homers, 2018 brings high expectations. Bellinger’s beautiful swing and big Belli Bombs will be a sight of joy for years to come For Dodger fans.
Rob Segedin is mostly a career minor leaguer and had difficulty staying healthy in 2017. In 2016 with the OKC Dodgers, Segedin slashed .319/.392/.598 and hit 21 home runs in 103 games. He has a strong track record, but I can’t imagine him seeing more than 10-15 games at 1B this year. Because of this, we could even see Segedin left off of the 25-man roster with guys like Kyle Farmer, Kiké Hernandez, Logan Forsythe, and Yasmani Grandal all capable of covering the position.
Because Bellinger has stormed his way to the Majors and will have 1B locked down until at least 2024, we shouldn’t expect to see many of these prospects at 1B anytime soon. It is very rare to see teams draft or sign pure first-basemen. Instead, most teams see players move there out of necessity. Whether it is because of the defensive limitations of a player, or because a team desperately wants to get their bat in their lineup, many first-baseman are not necessarily first-basemen by trade.
Such is the case with Edwin Rios. Primarily drafted as a third-baseman, Rios has had trouble with his defense. This has prompted the Dodgers to have him see more time at 1B over the years. When it comes to raw power, few in our system can match that of Rios’. While many rankings don’t place Rios in our top 10, that is no fault of his own. When players hit to the tune of .302/.350/.542 in their minor league career, scouts usually tout them as a top prospect. The problem for Rios is that he is lost in the shuffle of a deep farm system.
With Matt Beaty you have another intriguing prospect. He has spent enough time at 1B to garner a place on this list. However, he has also played 2B, 3B, and the OF. His triple-slash of .311/.365/.449 is certainly solid. Furthermore, he has long been praised for his keen eye. Having only struck out 159 times in 308 games, this is certainly clear. Without a clear path in front him Beaty is most likely to become a strong utility player for the Dodgers.
Belli Bombs! Not since the days of Eric Karros have the Dodgers had such an amazing home-grown talent at 1B! Adrian Gonzalez will be missed, but injuries really derailed his productivity in 2017. Unfortunately age, injuries, and ever shrinking playing time for Gonzo cost him his spot on the roster. Despite this, with Cody Bellinger, the future is as bright as it has ever been. In him, we have our first-baseman today, and for tomorrow! Belli Bombs away!
[button color=”red” size=”big” alignment=”center” rel=”follow” openin=”newwindow” url=”http://www.dodgersnation.com/gm-mondays-analyzing-the-dodgers-catching-depth-bc0887/2017/12/11/”]GM Mondays: Analyzing The Dodgers’ Catching Depth[/button]