Mar 3, 2015; Ft. Myers, FL, USA; Minnesota Twins catcherMitch Garver
(82) poses during photo day at Hammond Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
– Daniel Palka has played the majority of his career at first but in 2015 played more in the outfield. With no other true first base prospects slotted for the AA level in 2016, Palka figures to see a lot of games at first. The lefty has a .857 OPS in his minor league career and has developed a good base running game. The Twins need another first baseman for the AA level if they want to continue developing Palka in the outfield. It would be a good idea to get another regardless.
– Alex Swim has 34 games at first under his belt. The Twins have yet to figure out clearly what direction they want him to go in. He’s seen more time at catcher and right field. First is his weakest position. Swim has a .705 OPS in his minor league career.
– Mitch Garver has played a handful of games at first but should be considered a catching prospect.
A+ (At the lower levels, coaches, and players themselves, are often still trying to figure out where they belong on the diamond. Positions are often fluid—especially first base)
– Trey Vavra has 92 minor league games under his belt and has played first for 43 of them. He committed 7 errors in that time. He has a .891 OPS in very young career.
– Chris Paul played his first pro season in 2015. He suited up for 33 games between Rookie league and single A. He played eleven games at first base and committed one error. He posted a .785 OPS.
– Lewin Diaz spent 2015 in rookie ball and played first mostly. He’s a defensive work in progress with 10 errors in 72 games. He had a .693 OPS.
– A.J Murray played most of his first professional season as a catcher in Elizabethton. He played 14 games at first and committed one error. He had a .774 OPS.
– Amaurys Minier struggled both defensively and offensively in 2015 between the GCL Twins and the Elizabethton Twins. He had just a .562 OPS and committed 4 errors at first base in 30 games. His bat was drastically better in 2014 with a .925 OPS
First base is now one of the Twins’ weaker positions from top to bottom. The should fill out the middle levels with one or two more first basemen. Second base depth article coming soon