Written By: Michael Richards
Follow Him on Twitter: @MPRichards1981
Follow Prospects Worldwide on Twitter: @ProspectsWorldW
Throughout the brief, but exciting history of dynasty baseball, the corner infield positions have always been a factor in determining the champion of many leagues. With the introduction of advanced stats changing the way teams develop players, as well as more players having multi-position eligibility, it is now possible to find a power element at less traditional positions, and in some cases, a speed element at positions it was unheard of before.
That being said, the core reasons that make these positions valuable remain. You are looking for players with epic power, good walk rates, plus hit tools, who hit in the middle of their respective lineups and give you elite 4-category production. (OBP, R, HR, RBI). Players who don’t have a skill-set that could lead to that level of production likely won’t make the cut as a high-level keeper long-term.
Several players throughout the Minor Leagues will inevitably have to change positions once they reach the Majors. Players like Wander Franco, Marco Luciano, Oneil Cruz, Orelvis Martinez, and Ronny Mauricio, whom I covered in the Top 20 Shortstop Prospects article, all have links to being moved to third base at some point down the road. There will also be other sluggers who can’t handle their positions defensively and have to move over to play first base. The result for dynasty owners will be quality depth at both first base and third base, with a handful of cornerstone players who will separate themselves.
**These Rankings are focused for Dynasty Leagues only. And specifically leagues that focus on OBP over AVG as a statistic.**
Top 10 First Base Prospects
1. Spencer Torkelson, Tigers | Age : 20 | Level : A+
Height : 6’1” | Weight : 220 | Bats : R | Throws : R
The No.1 overall pick in 2020, Torkelson is the rare R/R first base prospect with the tools to justify selecting atop the draft. His 70-grade hit tool, combined with 70-grade power has earned him lofty comparisons to sluggers like Miguel Cabrera and Mark Teixeira. Between his three seasons at Arizona State and time in the wooden bat Cape Cod League, the phenom never slugged below .700 and had as many walks as strikeouts. Some scouts have said he is the best amateur player they have ever scouted, which is an eye-opening statement.
Given a record $8.4 million signing bonus, the Tigers have made a substantial investment in him and dynasty owners shouldn’t have to wait long before he is in the middle of their lineup for the foreseeable future. While no prospect is perfect, every indication says Torkelson is a special hitter who should be in contention with Vladimir Guerrero Jr. as the top first baseman in fantasy over the next decade.
2. Andrew Vaughn, White Sox | Age : 22 | Level : AAA
Height : 6’0” | Weight : 215 | Bats : R | Throws : R
Drafted 3rd overall in 2019 out of Cal, another rare R/R first base prospect with an offensive ceiling high enough to justify a premium pick. Expectations are that the young slugger can eventually reach 60-hit, 70-power in his prime. He has plus-plus plate discipline as evidenced by his absurd 50:102 K:BB rate in his final two seasons in college. He backed that up with a strong 38:30 K:BB rate in his pro debut, showing he will be an excellent asset in OBP Dynasty leagues.
The combination of hit-tool and elite power should make him an early-round selection for years to come. With below-average speed expect him to become a 4-category monster in the middle of an improving White Sox lineup. In a delightful twist, Vaughn has worked out this summer at third base, and several people within the organization think he has the ability to play multiple positions. He’s a great consolation prize if you aren’t able to land Torkelson and could be a cornerstone for dynasty owners as soon as next season.
3. Alex Kirilloff, Twins | Age : 22 | Level : AAA
Height : 6’1” | Weight : 195 | Bats : L | Throws : L
It’s been a roller coaster ride for the talented Kirilloff since being selected with the 15th pick in 2016. Originally signed as an athletic two-way player, his plus hit tool and plus power stand out as the most appealing aspect of his game. He combines that with solid plate discipline and a strong ability to make contact, as evidenced by his 15.9 K% over the final two months last season.
His development has been slowed by injuries throughout his career, so there will be questions about his durability, at least until he is able to put those concerns to bed. While he does possess a strong enough arm for right field, his lack of mobility will likely limit him to first base the majority of his career. While he isn’t expected to be a stolen base threat in the Major Leagues, he should be a potent 4-category contributor hitting in the middle of the lineup for the foreseeable future. If everything clicks, he could have a Justin Morneau-like influence, for Twins fans and dynasty owners alike.
4. Triston Casas, Red Sox | Age : 20 | Level : A+
Height : 6’5” | Weight : 240 | Bats : L | Throws : R
After being selected with the 26th pick in 2018 out of high school, he was originally drafted as a third baseman, but with Rafael Devers signed long-term a position switch was inevitable.
Because of his massive frame, there were many evaluators who expected Casas would have swing-and-miss concerns but he quieted those concerns while excelling during his full-season debut, as one of the youngest prospects in the league. He shows a strong ability to hit the ball in the air and sprays the ball to all fields. The lefty slugger struggled against southpaws and some think he will be relegated to platoon duties at the highest level. His 11.8 BB% indicates a strong understanding of the strike zone. A big, powerful lefty with a better hit tool than originally advertised, he makes for a solid dynasty option with the upside of a top 10 first baseman.
5. Evan White, Mariners | Age : 24 | Level : MLB
Height : 6’3” | Weight : 220 | Bats : R | Throws : L
The 17th pick in the 2017 draft, at the time, was considered an incredibly unique first base prospect. One of the best pure hitters in his class, with above-average speed, but below-average power. Some evaluators suspected he would need to move to the outfield, but the Mariners elected to keep his potential Gold Glove at first base.
After a slow start in the Texas League last season, White went on to hit .313/.352/.548 with 17 home runs in his final 66 games. He made headlines this offseason signing a 6-year, $24 million contract extension with Seattle, who decided to jump the polished hitter over Triple-A and directly into the opening day lineup. With the emergence of more power last season, combined with the proven hit tool and long-term commitment from his organization, White makes for a solid option at first base who could produce unique stat-lines from the position.
6. Michael Toglia, Rockies | Age : 22 | Level : Rookie
Height : 6’5” | Weight : 225 | Bats : S | Throws : R
Selected with the 23rd pick in 2019, Toglia is athletic for a big man and his calling card is huge raw power to all fields. The switch hitter from UCLA showed off his plus plate discipline in the Northwest League posting a 15.9 BB%. He will always have some swing and miss to his game, but his ability to get on base at a high rate, coupled with the power stroke should make him valuable in OBP Dynasty leagues.
Colorado is rapidly developing a reputation for mismanaging their top prospects by letting veterans play over players needing development, but assuming Toglia is given an opportunity he should make for a relatively under the radar slugger, capable of providing well-rounded production while playing half of his games in the hitter’s paradise known as Coors Field. Should the need arrive, Toglia has enough athleticism to move to a corner outfield spot down the line.
7. Bryce Ball, Braves | Age : 22 | Level : AAA
Height : 6’6” | Weight : 240 | Bats : L | Throws : R
An unheralded 24th round pick in 2019 out of Dallas Baptist University, Ball made quite an impression in his first professional season. Between stops at rookie-level Danville and Low-A Rome, he slugged 17 home runs and slashed .329/.395/.628 in 263 plate appearances. The mammoth slugger’s physical size is hard to ignore and his plus power was on full display for the Braves staff during Spring Training.
Although he played last season against mostly younger competition, he showed an intriguing hit tool and above-average patience, which should help him as he rises through the organization. With Freddie Freeman firmly entrenched at first base, the Braves won’t rush Ball to the Major Leagues. With a swing that has been compared to Cody Bellinger, another impressive season will have him zooming up the prospect ranks, which makes him an excellent investment for dynasty managers.
8. Mason Martin, Pirates | Age : 21 | Level : AA
Height : 6’0” | Weight : 200 | Bats : L | Throws : R
Considered the steal of the draft in 2017 as a 17th round pick, Martin has blossomed into a quality prospect in the years since. The left-handed slugger led Lo-A and High-A in home runs last season, hitting 35 in 131 games. Like a lot of three-true-outcome sluggers, he has good plate discipline which leads to strong BB%. He also consistently lingers around a 30% strikeout rate, so that aspect of the profile is true as well.
Martin is considered a first base only prospect who doesn’t have the defensive abilities to switch positions, so his margin for error is slim. His entire career as a Major Leaguer, as well as his fantasy value is tied to him keeping his strikeout rate low enough for the power to play. Martin is considered a below-average defender at first base and would benefit greatly from the National League adopting the DH rule.
9. Lewin Diaz, Marlins | Age : 23 | Level : MLB
Height : 6’4” | Weight : 220 | Bats : L | Throws : L
Originally a J2 signing from 2013 by the Twins for $1.4 million, Diaz has taken a slow and steady climb through the Minor Leagues. Last season, he was acquired by the Marlins, when they traded Sergio Romo and two other prospects to land Diaz. He combines plus raw power with good bat-to-ball skills, posting a solid 19.1 K% in Double-A last season. Diaz is the rare first base prospect that profiles to be more valuable in AVG leagues than OBP leagues, as his 8.5 BB% was the highest of his career since rookie ball.
While he is never expected to become an elite option at his position, there is room for optimism that Diaz can develop into a top 20 first baseman during his prime. Recalled on August 15th to make his Major League debut, he is an above-average defensive player who is expected to take over as the primary first baseman as soon as next season.
10. Victor Bericoto, Giants | Age : 18 | Level : Rookie
Height : 6’1” | Weight : 155 | Bats : R | Throws : R
Signed as a centerfielder during the 2018 J2 international period, Bericoto has since shifted to first base, although his athleticism should allow him to play multiple positions if necessary. While Dominican Summer League stats can often be misleading, it is difficult to ignore the .337/.458/.470 triple-slash line Bericoto was able to accomplish in his first professional season. He walked nearly as many times as he struck out (53:56 BB:K) flashing impressive patience for his age.
Bericoto also showed a speed element to his game, which would be rare if it translates to the upper levels of the Minor Leagues. While he doesn’t currently possess the prototypical size of the traditional slugger at first, he is expected to add muscle to his frame as he matures. Undoubtedly the biggest wildcard on this list, with the Giants’ recent success in the international market, there is room for optimism he will develop into a noteworthy prospect long-term.
Top 10 Third Base Prospects
1. Jordan Groshans, Blue Jays | Age : 20 | Level : A+
Height : 6’3” | Weight : 205 | Bats : R | Throws : R
Selected 12th overall in 2018 as well-rounded prep shortstop, Groshans has developed into a premium third base prospect in the two years since. He was considered a high-upside player with no glaring weakness offensively coming out of the prep ranks. Although he battled a left foot injury last season, he flashed his immense upside in the Midwest League, as one of the youngest players in the league.
Groshans combines an advanced hit tool with the potential for plus power at maturity. He has used an all-fields approach at every level and should become an excellent, well-rounded hitter in time. The righty has a patient approach at the plate with decent speed. Overall, he is an extremely intriguing dynasty asset that has the potential to be a quality keeper for years to come. His limited plate appearances last season, combined with him being out of the spotlight this year makes for a potential buy-low opportunity.
2. Nolan Jones, Indians | Age : 22 | Level : AAA
Height : 6’3” | Weight : 195 | Bats : L | Throws : R
Signed in 2016, Jones slipped to the second round (55th overall) partially due to concerns he would keep his commitment to play at Virginia. Since turning professional he has excelled at every stage while being young for his level, which is a sign of an elite prospect. The lefty uses an all-fields approach at the plate and his hit tool is considered among the best in the Minor Leagues. He hits a lot of line drives and fly balls which should help his power numbers at the highest level.
His most notable skill is his world-class patience at the plate, making him an extremely desirable asset in OBP Dynasty leagues. Jones could take over third base duties for the Indians at some point during the 2021 season and should develop into a strong 4-category contributor. His biggest weakness thus far has been an elevated strikeout rate, which is his last hurdle to becoming a premium option at the hot corner for years to come.
3. Alec Bohm, Phillies | Age : 24 | Level : MLB
Height : 6’5” | Weight : 220 | Bats : R | Throws : R
The third overall pick in 2018 out of Wichita State was selected for his offensive upside and he hasn’t disappointed thus far. Bohm hit .311/.379/.513 with 23 home runs, a 10.2 BB% and 14.8 K% in 147 games across stops in the South Atlantic, Florida State, and Arizona Fall leagues last season. Bohm has at least an above-average hit tool, which will be the key to his success in the Major Leagues.
Although he has the physical build of a slugger, there are some doubts about whether he will ever have plus-power in games. The Phillies have developed him as a third baseman and he recently made his debut at the hot corner, though it is expected by many that his defensive limitations will eventually lead to a move across the diamond to first base. His upside isn’t as high as some others on this list because he’s already 24, but he should develop into a steady, solid keeper long-term.
4. Nolan Gorman, Cardinals | Age : 20 | Level : AA
Height : 6’1” | Weight : 210 | Bats : L | Throws : R
A big-time power prospect since his prep days in Arizona, Gorman was drafted with the 19th pick in 2018 by the Cardinals. Upon signing, scouts raved about his 70-grade power but also talked about his below-average hit tool, strikeout concerns, and sub-par defense. After destroying the Appalachian League and drawing comparisons to Joey Gallo, he has since hit .240 with 21 HR, a 30.9 K%, and an 8.9 BB% in 619 PA between Low-A and High-A.
Since he just turned 20 years old this May, there is still time for him to reach his potential, but there are concerns the slugger won’t make enough contact to become more than a platoon power bat. While the upside of a superstar is becoming less likely, this is a powerful hitter, a year removed from being a Future’s Game participant, being developed in one of the best organizations.
5. Kody Hoese, Dodgers | Age : 23 | Level : AA
Height : 6’4” | Weight : 205 | Bats : R | Throws : R
The 25th pick in the 2019 draft out of Tulane, after hitting .391/.486/.779 with 23 HR in 58 games during his breakout junior season. The righty was able to carry the production over to the AZL, as one of the older hitters, but fell to above-average production once he joined the Midwest League. Hoese makes contact at an elite clip and is able to spray the ball to all fields. If his new-found power is legitimate as a professional, he has an intriguing combination of hit tool and power upside that should fit well at third base.
His lack of production during his first two seasons in college, his relatively weak competition, and his advanced age compared to his competition thus far are the most meaningful red flags. Considering the reputation the Dodgers have gained developing prospects recently, Hoese appears to be in a position to reach his potential. It is expected he will move quickly through the system.
6. Sherten Apostel, Rangers | Age : 21 | Level : AAA
Height : 6’4” | Weight : 200 | Bats : R | Throws : R
Originally signed as a J2 prospect back in 2015 out of Curacao, Apostel was acquired by the Rangers for Keone Kela in 2018 and has blossomed into an intriguing prospect in the meantime. The slugger is known for his top-end exit velocities and is considered to have plus raw power. The righty has above-average plate discipline (10.2 BB%) and strikes out a little too much (25.1 K%) but has as much power upside as anyone in the Minor Leagues.
It is expected Apostel will continue to grow and there are some concerns he will be relegated to first base or DH, which the Rangers would like to avoid since his double-plus arm would essentially go to waste. The margin of error is slim for someone with his profile, but his ceiling is comparable to mashers like Miguel Sano and Jorge Soler and would make for an interesting investment for dynasty managers short on power upside.
7. Ke’Bryan Hayes, Pirates | Age : 23 | Level : AAA
Height : 6’1” | Weight : 210 | Bats : R | Throws : R
The son of former big leaguer Charlie Hayes, he has taken the slow and steady approach up the prospect rankings. Originally drafted 32nd overall in 2015 out of high school, he is considered an elite defender at third base which should help keep him in the lineup every day, even during an initial adjustment period or during slumps. The righty flashes potential for plus bat-to-ball skills, with an outstanding 16.8 K% throughout his career.
He also has above-average speed which could lead to double-digit steal totals. The biggest concerns for Hayes are his below-average GB% and mediocre 25.5 Hard% for a corner infield prospect. A new front office focused on unlocking the missing power element of his game will determine is he’s a solid starter or much more. Even without a change in approach, he’s a guy who will chip in across the board without hurting you.
8. Alexander Mojica, Pirates | Age : 18 | Level : Rookie
Height : 6’1” | Weight : 195 | Bats : R | Throws : R
After signing for $350,000 as part of the 2018 J2 class, Mojica has begun is career off in spectacular fashion. He slashed .351/.468/.580 with a 17.0 BB% and 15.6 K% in the Dominican Summer League in OPS (1.048), as a 17-year old. He combines an advanced understanding of the strike zone for his age, with a plus hit tool and plus power, making for a compelling dynasty prospect.
There are some scouts who believe his thick frame will fill out as a matures, and the sweet-swinging lefty will shift across the diamond to first base, though his bat could profile at any position. As with the majority of corner infield prospects, Mojica does not project to have notable speed. The totality of the package is one of the most intriguing third base prospects in the lower levels, with the potential to be near the top of a list like this in a couple of years.
9. Brett Baty, Mets | Age : 20 | Level : Rookie
Height : 6’3” | Weight : 210 | Bats : L | Throws : R
Drafted 12th overall in 2019 by the Mets, Baty is a bat-first prospect who already has 70-grade power and is projected to develop an above-average hit tool. While he is capable of handling third base, some scouts believe he would profile better at first base or DH. Already 20 years old, despite being drafted a year ago out of high school, there is less room for error, as typically older prep players end up busting more than the more traditional 17 or 18-year-old.
Baty hit just .234 across three stops in his professional debut, but his 15.4 BB% shows his plus plate discipline, which led to a .368 OBP. Although the sample size isn’t large yet, Baty is looking like a three-true-outcomes slugger, who should hit plenty of home runs, strikeout at a high rate, and take more than his share of walks. The slugger’s ability to keep the strikeouts at a manageable level will determine his ultimate upside.
10. Luis Toribio, Giants | Age : 19 | Level : A
Height : 6’1” | Weight : 185 | Bats : L | Throws : R
Inked for only $300,000 during the 2017 international signing period, Toribio has exceeded expectations at every level thus far. The left-handed hitter uses an extremely patient approach at the plate which led to a league-leading 19.2 BB% in the AZL league. He combines his elite plate discipline with the potential for at least above-average power.
On the negative spectrum, he plays below-average defense at third base and does not possess any speed. Some scouts believe his pull happy approach will lead to becoming a platoon player down the road as well. Considering he was nearly 50% better than the average player in his league as an 18-year old, the possibility still exists that he will correct those perceived flaws. With an unusually patient approach for his age, the tools are present for Toribio to become a top prospect at his position once the more established players begin to graduate.
Combined 1B/3B Dynasty Ranking Breakdown
1. Spencer Torkelson, Tigers
2. Andrew Vaughn, White Sox
3. Jordan Groshans, Blue Jays
4. Alex Kirilloff, Twins
5. Nolan Jones, Indians
6. Alec Bohm, Phillies
7. Triston Casas, Red Sox
8. Nolan Gorman, Cardinals
9. Evan White, Mariners
10. Kody Hoese, Dodgers
11. Sherten Apostel, Rangers
12. Michael Toglia, Rockies
13. Ke’Bryan Hayes, Pirates
14. Alexander Mojica, Pirates
15. Brett Baty, Mets
16. Luis Toribio, Giants
17. Bryce Ball, Braves
18. Mason Martin, Pirates
19. Lewin Diaz, Marlins
20. Victor Bericoto, Giants
- Click Here to check out the Top 20 SS Prospect Ranks for Dynasty Leagues!
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- Click Here to check out the Top 50 OF Rankings for Dynasty Leagues
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