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2015 MLB Draft: First Baseman

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There is potential for impact in this group with power bats. There is also some depth in college bats that are at least good long term organizational guys like Murray and Byler.

First base is never a haven for high-end prospects. It's usually the guys lacking athletic ability or other physical attributes that make top prospects what they are. Most of them are slow, big swingers that really need to hit to be prospects and this year really isn't any different outside of Brandt Stallings.

Chris Shaw is a muscular slugger that is likely tied to first. He is slow and would have very little defensive value in LF or RF. He does have a very good arm that would help him in RF. In the end, where he plays defensively doesn't matter, it's how much he hits. He has progressed significantly since high school and has the power potential one would want from a first round pick. He does come with the caveat of having a 20%+ K rate in college. He hit well last spring and showed considerable improvement on the Cape last summer in his all around game. He could go as early as the mid-first round.

Devin Davis is a built, impressive physical presence. He is 6'2, 215 pounds and built. He punishes the ball in batting practice as well as in games when he keeps his swing short. His swing gets long some times and then things unravel. Davis has top of the draft potential. When you factor in risk and the fact that he is likely tied to 1B or DH, he will likely be a 2nd round guy or later. His ultimate ceiling is similar to Chris Carter but he has the potential to K a lot less and be a more well rounded player with similar power.

Luken Baker will probably be on the pitcher list as well as I write these guys up.  Baker is a 6'4", 240 pound moose of a man who makes balls disappear quickly. For as large as he is, his swing is compact, extending to the ball in any location and crushing it. Baker is going to make a team make a tough decision, or he may be allowed to make it but he could be an excellent power hitting first baseman or a power right-handed arm on the mound. He reminds me a bit of Stetson Allie but I prefer him on the mound and at the plate when compared to Allie. Allie had a bigger arm but less clue where it was going. Baker's swing at the plate is also more controlled. He has very high-end power potential and the swing looks like it will play in games as well.

Brandt Stallings is a tall, lean, athletic first baseman. He could be a right fielder maybe even center field in the low minors or college with his speed. As an athlete and hitter, he is not that far off of what Kris Bryant was in high school. They have different swings but Stallings hits the ball hard, gets loft and has a lot of power potential. He has long levers but stays inside the ball well. He keeps the swing short considering his arm length. He has shown the ability to put a charge into the ball but also to make contact and go up the middle or the other way. He is an excellent hitter. He is committed to Georgia Tech if he goes to college.

Josh Naylor is a thick bodied, powerful first baseman. He is around 6'1 and 220 pounds and will have to watch his weight. He has excellent power potential and hits the ball hard to all fields. He has swing and miss to him but he has good barrel awareness. He has a strong arm and with effort, he could play RF but I bet his future is at 1B. There is a chance he could become a star with his potential. Naylor is unique in that he is from Canada, so the level of talent he has faced has varied but this year has considerable talent in from the North country this year.

Tyrone Perry is a huge dude. Last summer when I saw him compared to video I have seen of him this spring is surprising. He has gotten even bigger. I would have pegged him in the 240 range, standing 6'1" or so last summer and now, he has to be 25-30 pounds heavier in the shoulders in legs, carrying similar weight in the mid-section. This isn't a bad thing. He swings more confidently now. He has huge power. He controls the bat well and hits it to all fields. He has a fast, powerful whippy swing. The body will need to be watched but he has the upside of someone along the lines of Ryan Howard.

Eric Gutierrez is a short first baseman at 5'10, 205 and physically is along the lines of someone like Anthony Rendon. Defensively he is smooth but he's short for 1B. At the plate, he's fun to watch. He's mostly a pull-oriented hitter who will occasionally hit one back up the middle but he'd do better to use the whole field. He creates average or better power from a strong swing. It doesn't have the electricity of someone who would be a star or a top of the draft player but he's a safe bet to hit. Guys like Max Ramirez make me concerned about players like Eric Gutierrez. He is also one of those odd bat right, throw left guys.

Desmond Lindsay is lower on my list than where others will have him. He isn't a tall guy, at 6', but he could have the speed to play LF. His arm isn't enough for RF. Either way the bat will have to play up and I'm not sold on the bat. His swing isn't in sync. He has above average or better bat speed so there is a good chance he straightens out the issues that I don't like but he still doesn't square the ball up as often as I'd like for a LF/1B type. Some team may have in the Late 2nd, early 3rd round but I don't see him that high.

A.J. Murray was an excellent prospect out of high school. He was athletic and had good receiving skills. I expected him to continue catching but he has only done so occasionally at Georgia Tech. I assume he will mostly be used at 1B going forward in pro ball. The bat will have to play at a high level to be a solid regular in pro ball but if the bat continues to play the way it has most of the last two years, it could happen. He has power to all fields and hits the ball from pole to pole with authority. He has plenty of swing and miss as well but he's a good pick in the 4th-7th round. If you read the catcher section, he reminds me of what Michael Hickman may become.

Austin Byler was a 9th round pick last year and hasn't changed much. He could go a littler higher and be a senior sign for a team to save cash and get a decent power bat out of the deal. He has added some additional polish and improved his production some this year. I'd be surprised if he's on the board past the 5th round.

Austin Russ is around 6'3", 200 and looks like a middle of the order bat at the plate. He has a lot of movement in his swing and is a bat only player. He isn't fast, so he is solely a 1B and doesn't have a big arm to be an asset, either but his bat shows promise. The movement in his swing could cause all kinds of problems against good pitching but I've seen him square up the ball enough to put him on this list. He has a lot to prove but he's a guy I want to follow.

Jacob Corso gets extra attention because he is the lucky glove at first base to catch likely 1-1 pick Brendan Rodgers’ throws. He has a good swing that generates above average power and he could grow into even more power. The swing looks like it will play for average and power. While big guys who are definitely first baseman aren’t hot prospects, Corso looks like he’ll have the bat to make it work. If he doesn’t sign, he will go to Central Florida where he could also be a LHP, potentially. He is a guy who, the more I think about it, is really likely to end up in college to see how well the bat plays and take him in 2018 if he develops.

Curtis Terry takes a big aggressive hack. He isn't the most athletic guy and doesn't have a great arm, so he's really gotta hit. He has very good bat speed and with his strength, the power to play at 1B or LF could be there.

Others that are interesting are Dalton Kelly, Dillon Paulson, Shane Potter, Seamus Curran, Greyson Jenista, Evans Bozeman, Jaxxon Fagg, Brandon Alamo and Kyle Hatton are all guys who could jump up and get picked as well.

There are always a handful of college first baseman that I never see that get picked as well. The one's this season that I'm aware of are Alex Close, Brett Siddall and Christian Williams.