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2015 MLB Draft Board: College first basemen to watch

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Zander Wiel
Zander Wiel
Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

2015 MLB Draft Board: College first basemen

Chris Shaw, 1B, Boston College: Junior, lefty hitter, missed much of season with broken hamate, hit .319/.411/.611 when healthy. No question about his power, but injury likely keeps him from the first round. He should still be the first college first baseman drafted. Target Territory: Compensation round.

Austin Byler, 1B, University of Nevada: Senior, lefty hitter, hit .328/.507/.652 with 14 homers, drew 54 walks but also fanned 57 times in 198 at-bats. "True outcome" hitter with huge power, patience, but potential contact issues at higher levels. Target Territory: Third round.

Kyle Martin, 1B, South Carolina: Senior, lefty hitter, batted .350/.455/.635 this year with 14 homers, 11 steals, 39 walks, 27 strikeouts in 203 at-bats. Tapped into power more often this year after limited pop earlier in his career. Despite success opinions remain somewhat mixed. Target Territory: Fourth round.

Edwin Rios, 1B-3B, Florida International: Junior, lefty hitter, batted .314/.427/.610 with 18 homers, 39 walks, 37 strikeouts in 223 at-bats. Draws praise for strength and power, hit well in Cape Cod League last year (.303/.456/.517) so track record with wood is good too. Target Territory: Fourth round.

Zander Wiel, 1B, Vanderbilt: Redshirt junior, righty hitter, .318/.410/.567 this year with 13 homers, 33 walks, 49 strikeouts in 245 at-bats. Proven against top-flight competition, easing concerns about non-conventional swing. Right/right profile is tough for a first baseman. Target Territory: Fifth round.

Andrew Lee, 1B-RHP, Tennessee:
Junior, two-way player who serves as both closer and first baseman. Hits left, throws right, batted .306/.388/.590 while posting 2.67 ERA with 32/5 K/BB in 27 innings, nine saves. Tools seem better as a hitter but he’s less refined there than he is on the mound. TT: Sixth round.

David Kerian, 1B-OF, Illinois: Senior, switch-hitter, batted .376/.467/.683 with 16 homers, 35 walks, 26 strikeouts in 202 at-bats. Runs pretty well too and could handle corner outfield, good mixture of power and polish should make him attractive selection. TT: Sixth round.

Stephen Dezzi, 1B-OF, University of Tampa
: Senior, hits left, batted .340/.476/.642 with 14 homers, 40 walks, 28 strikeouts in 162 at-bats for Division II champs. Played outfield this year but more likely a first baseman in pro ball, good senior pick for sabermetrically-oriented team looking for bargain bat. TT: Sixth round or later.

Seth Brown, 1B, Lewis-Clark State University: Junior, hits left, batted .386/.462/.785 with 23 homers to lead NAIA this year, 32 walks, 25 strikeouts in 233 at-bats. Hasn’t gotten much play as a prospect but he has power and strong numbers and should appeal to sabermetrically-oriented teams in later rounds. TT: Sixth round or later.

Collin Ferguson, 1B, St. Mary’s (CA): Senior, hits left, batted .337/.463/.577 this year, 43 walks, 47 whiffs in 208 at-bats. Set career highs in all categories after not hitting as well as expected his first three seasons. TT: Sixth round or later.

Connor Marabell, 1B, Jacksonville University: Junior, hits left, batted .326/.386/.498. Good track record with wooden bats, hasn’t fully tapped power but otherwise a polished hitter. Home run question could keep him from earlier rounds. TT: Sixth round or later.

Chris Iriart, 1B, Houston: Junior, hits right, batted .302/.415/.573 with 15 homers, 28 walks, 69 strikeouts in 232 at-bats. Very impressive power but high whiff rate stands out as a caution flag. TT: Sixth round or later.

Brendon Hayden, 1B, Virginia Tech: Senior, hits left, originally from Wisconsin, hit .307/.389/.542 this year with 28 walks, 40 strikeouts, 11 homers in 212 at-bats. Pitched earlier in his career. Another senior bat that should be of interest for bargain hunters. TT: Sixth round or later.

OTHER POTENTIAL CHOICES

Chris Chinea, 1B, LSU: Junior, hits right, solid power production but very aggressive, low walk rate and 5-11 body hurt stock a bit.

Nick Collins, 1B-C, Georgetown: Junior, hits right, solid record with high averages and moderate power, main issues are defensive limitations and weight that’s gone as high as 250.

A.J. Murray, 1B-C, Georgia Tech: Senior, big power with 15 homers this year but high strikeout rates and low averages in the .270s for his career raise contact questions.

Sikes Orvis, 1B, Mississippi: Senior, hits left, consistent power producer (30 homers in last two years) but low batting averages, contact issues push him down the list into bargain senior status.

Chris Paul, 1B, California: Senior, hits right, average tools and R/R profile tough for a college first baseman but can hit for average with moderate pop.

RJ Ybarra, 1B-C-DH, Arizona State: Junior, hits right, strong body and raw power stand out but production hasn’t quite matched perceived talent and defense is limited.