Who's on First?

I had posted a question in a subthread about how many first basemen were drafted this last season, but it got short shrift, probably because it wasn't in the preferred BD form of "Why can't we have nice things?" ~ Some depth at first base would be a nice thing, but we sure don't got it.

The draft statheads would know if Freddie Freeman was drafted as a first baseman. All I got was that he was pitching in senior high school. This article sure makes it sound like nobody cares if their draft picks can field first base.

I was thinking of guys like McCovey and Cepeda, both of whom were at first from the get-go. With slightly less mashing, but top-notch defense, were Don Mattingly and Keith Hernandez. I credit Hernandez with one definition of a desired first-baseman skill set, while indirectly slamming Mike Piazza's play at first - "Ever see him dance?"

I guess in a sense, the end of the reserve clause changed first baseman procurement. With the reserve clause, your masher at a more demanding position eventually becomes your masher at first base, assuming they don't completely klutz out. Nowadays that transition point is where a masher becomes very expensive to retain, so cheap teams (Hello, Bob) say bye-bye, and look for internal solutions for first base. Crafty traders like the Rays find guys like Ji-Man Choi. Most fan suggestions are too close to paying retail for less-than-reliable talent, so I guess we will see what the minors shake out. I do see that a fair number of our power prospects are getting some time playing first. Defensively, it's bound to work out better than Alvarez, Bell, and Moran.

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