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Pirates Spring Training corner infielders: Who are these guys?

Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

The fifth part of our series covers corner infielders. As usual, we'll leave out players who made significant contributions last year, like Jung-Ho Kang. Also, some players who could conceivably play third base were already covered in Wilbur's article on middle infielders. This article, then, will be short.

Josh Bell (55): Bell, of course, is the Pirates' first baseman of the future, the potential long-term answer at the position that the Bucs haven't had since ... who? Orlando Merced? Bell is new to the position and reportedly struggled there somewhat last year, although it's worth repeating to ourselves, mantra-like, that first base isn't that hard to play and that Pedro Alvarez's inability to play the position shouldn't make us squeamish about the Pirates trying other players there. Bell hit well last season at Altoona and had a spectacular finish at Indianapolis. Other than his defense, Bell's power is the last element of his game to come along, although there are plenty of indicators (size, pedigree, an excellent approach at the plate) that suggest he can add some as he matures. The Bucs will surely wait until after the Super Two threshold to promote Bell, as they've done in the past with other top prospects.

Chance of contributing in 2016: High.

John Jaso (28): Jaso will serve as the Pirates' primary first baseman until Bell arrives. He has almost no experience at the position, but as I noted in December (and as others have pointed out), the track record of catchers making the transition to first base has generally been quite good. Jaso has an exceptionally patient approach at the plate, and he should be able to compensate for his modest power with tons of walks. He also seems to be a very cerebral player, so he should be fun to root for and read about. Jaso needs to be platooned, and it remains to be seen how the Pirates will handle him when Bell is ready, although he's played a bit of outfield and could eventually become an uncommonly useful bench player if all goes according to plan.

Chance of contributing in 2016: High.

Jason Rogers (15): Rogers will be 28 in March and has limited big-league experience, but he hit well in his first significant action there in 2015 and generally has a good minor-league track record. He's also right-handed and can play a bit of third base, and both of those traits will make him useful to the Pirates from a tactical perspective. Rogers has an option left and might not make the big-league roster out of camp, depending on who's healthy -- Mike Morse is a somewhat similar player, in that he's right-handed and mostly profiles as a first baseman. Rogers will, however, almost certainly play a role with the Pirates at some point this season. As Wilbur has pointed out, it's unlikely the Pirates would have traded an interesting lottery ticket pitcher in Trey Supak and a potentially nifty bench outfielder in Keon Broxton if they didn't have a plan for Rogers.

Chance of contributing in 2016: High.