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The Future of First Base

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This may have been discussed before, but since news has been slow and we've been talking a lot about the future of the team, I was wondering to myself last night about first base.  It's not a position that is worried about much, and I think we care more about the offensive production from the position than the defensive.  We've seen how important a solid first baseman can be.  Abreu, even if he is extended, would most likely spend more time as a DH over time.  Alonso most likely isn't with the team beyond 2020.

So, is Gavin Sheets the future at 1B?  Or do we believe there are plans to put someone else there whether it's through trading or signing?  Or is 1B not a position of worry, and the Sox believe they can keep it filled with 1-2 year rentals?

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1B/DH types have been remarkably cheap on the FA market in recent years, I wouldn't worry too much about our 1B after Abreu even if nobody from the farm takes his job.

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I'm pessimistic on sheets. When you look at even average 1b, they often came up in minors as something else, and they freakin destroy the minors.

The idea that he'll hit enough to justify it is unlikely to me after last year, and he's not evan white with the glove. Someone of Palka/Collins/Burger/FA/trade will be our 1b of future.

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1 hour ago, SoxBlanco said:

Burger, Sheets, Collins, or one of our outfielders could end up there. 

My guess is Eloy ends up there in a few years.

58 minutes ago, Cashman said:

Collins is going to get the 1st crack at it, it might be this year with catcher sprinkled in there around June/July.

Collins had a hard time in AA last year, on both sides of the ball. I think the chances of him being in the majors in 2019 are extremely slim. The smart move is for him to repeat at AA, then go to AAA once he gets better dialed-in, and allow him more time to potentially still be a catcher.

 

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If Sheets, Burger, and Collins seem to be the unanimous choice should we really be looking to draft a player like Andrew Vaughn in the upcoming draft if Adley is selected 1/2? People believe you don’t draft for “need” but when do you stop drafting guys that are projected for the same position?

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Just now, DH in the NL said:

If Sheets, Burger, and Collins seem to be the unanimous choice should we really be looking to draft a player like Andrew Vaughn in the upcoming draft if Adley is selected 1/2? People believe you don’t draft for “need” but when do you stop drafting guys that are projected for the same position?

If you draft vaughn it's because you believe he has a monster bat that makes those other guys just guys.

I hope we dont' draft vaughn though.

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9 minutes ago, bmags said:

I'm pessimistic on sheets. When you look at even average 1b, they often came up in minors as something else, and they freakin destroy the minors.

The idea that he'll hit enough to justify it is unlikely to me after last year, and he's not evan white with the glove. Someone of Palka/Collins/Burger/FA/trade will be our 1b of future.

Thing is, Sheets pretty much did destroy MiLB pitching in 2018, save for literally one thing - home runs. He hit for a high average, got on base a lot, and was a plus defender.

On the home runs, the raw is definitely there. He could be like Thome in that (AND ONLY IN THAT) he could be a strong guy who hits for average and doesn't add the power until he gets to the upper levels.

 

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Just now, NorthSideSox72 said:

Thing is, Sheets pretty much did destroy MiLB pitching in 2018, save for literally one thing - home runs. He hit for a high average, got on base a lot, and was a plus defender.

On the home runs, the raw is definitely there. He could be like Thome in that (AND ONLY IN THAT) he could be a strong guy who hits for average and doesn't add the power until he gets to the upper levels.

 

The "growing into power" thing is harder to believe for me from a college hitter that was a power hitter in college, and had his drought not in birmingham but in one of our friendliest power environments. 

But it's not that he can't do it, it's that I now think it's much less likely than prior to last year. He certainly could find that motion that taps into his power, but he hasn't shown it yet and so it's hard for me to say "he's definitely our 1b of the future" especially when we are already collecting what hopefully will be plus bats that may not have great positional defense.

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1 minute ago, bmags said:

The "growing into power" thing is harder to believe for me from a college hitter that was a power hitter in college, and had his drought not in birmingham but in one of our friendliest power environments. 

But it's not that he can't do it, it's that I now think it's much less likely than prior to last year. He certainly could find that motion that taps into his power, but he hasn't shown it yet and so it's hard for me to say "he's definitely our 1b of the future" especially when we are already collecting what hopefully will be plus bats that may not have great positional defense.

Oh I'm not saying he's defintely THE GUY. Not at all. Just that I wouldn't dismiss the *possibility* yet either.

 

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37 minutes ago, GermanSoxFan said:

1B/DH types have been remarkably cheap on the FA market in recent years, I wouldn't worry too much about our 1B after Abreu even if nobody from the farm takes his job.

This.  Not too worried about.  Sort of expect Sox to give Abreu a 2 year deal after this season anyway.  

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47 minutes ago, DH in the NL said:

NSS72, what are your feelings about drafting a guy like Vaughn if the Sox have several options for the same position? 

I think you should almost never take MLB need into account in the draft. I'm a solidly BPA guy, at least in the first 15 rounds or so. Then for the next 20 rounds you can start filling in depth and roster holes, but that's more about gaps in the system as a whole, not the MLB club.

 

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I think they might take vaughn. Abrams and witt have a higher ceiling but the sox went with "safe" polished college bats in the last years. There is an argument for more diversity in their profile but i think now they will stick with their approach especially since most of their good prospects will be ready by 2020 and now a HS player wouldn't really fit that timeline.

I don't think vaughn will become a superstar but he probably can hit 280 with decent obp and 25-30 homers in his prime and he has a very high chance to reach that. That is probably a top 5 first baseman in the AL and pretty similar to what Abreu did.

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If I had to put money on a prospect that's going to blow up this year, it would be Sheets.  The home runs haven't been there yet, but didn't he hit 3 or 4 over the last couple weeks of the season, including the playoffs?  Maybe added some launch angle to his swing?  He has such a complete offensive game other than the home runs -- good batting average, good walk rate, low strike out rate -- that if balls start going over the fence, I think he could have a .900+ OPS this year.

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7 minutes ago, Perfect Vision said:

If I had to put money on a prospect that's going to blow up this year, it would be Sheets.  The home runs haven't been there yet, but didn't he hit 3 or 4 over the last couple weeks of the season, including the playoffs?  Maybe added some launch angle to his swing?  He has such a complete offensive game other than the home runs -- good batting average, good walk rate, low strike out rate -- that if balls start going over the fence, I think he could have a .900+ OPS this year.

Problem is he’s going from an incredibly short porch in RF at W-S to a horrible park to hit at.  It’s a big reason why I want the Sox to cash in on Rutherford now if teams really like him.

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29 minutes ago, fathom said:

Problem is he’s going from an incredibly short porch in RF at W-S to a horrible park to hit at.  It’s a big reason why I want the Sox to cash in on Rutherford now if teams really like him.

Sheets has legit power... but he doesn't have it in games. im not worried about the number of hrs in birm.  if he taps into his power in games he is legit, if not he is meh

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3 hours ago, NorthSideSox72 said:

My guess is Eloy ends up there in a few years.

Collins had a hard time in AA last year, on both sides of the ball. I think the chances of him being in the majors in 2019 are extremely slim. The smart move is for him to repeat at AA, then go to AAA once he gets better dialed-in, and allow him more time to potentially still be a catcher.

 

He has definitely had his share of slumps, and seems to to looks for walk most of the time. I really think they give him a look at 1B this year at some point, I am not saying, he gets called up full time or is the 1B going forward.

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2 hours ago, NorthSideSox72 said:

I think you should almost never take MLB need into account in the draft. I'm a solidly BPA guy, at least in the first 15 rounds or so. Then for the next 20 rounds you can start filling in depth and roster holes, but that's more about gaps in the system as a whole, not the MLB club.

 

Drafting Vaughn because they can rush him upwards at a position of need seems so White Sox that I struggle to imagine them doing anything else. 

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1 minute ago, Balta1701 said:

Drafting Vaughn because they can rush him upwards at a position of need seems so White Sox that I struggle to imagine them doing anything else. 

This is really the opposite of true. What you are saying is what they would have done pre-Hostetler. Since Nick took over they've really tracked away from this. One exception is Burdi, who was 1-supp (a slot some teams like to do funky things with) and was still a solid pick at that range.

 

 

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