The baseball season is near, and excitement and wonderment fills the air! Every team's fanbase (besides the Astros) is anxious to see their team exceed expectations and achieve that miracle season. So naturally, with all the excitement about, I'll begin our Brewers season preview by looking at the team's most boring position; first base.
During the positional section of our previews, I'll list all the players that are most likely to make an impact at that position, and give an approximation of what numbers I expect from them. I should preface this by saying that I don't like predicting individual numbers, as it's impossible to know how much playing time Hunter Morris will get or whether or not Corey Hart will get traded. But I'll do it anyway, to make it a little more interesting. It should be noted that the numbers I'm predicting for Alex Gonzalez and Taylor Green include what they'll put up at other positions, too. I'm not expecting 34 home runs out of the first base position. So anyway...
Like a caveman swinging a toothpick, he is
Hart is who he is at this point, which is a power-hitting 3-4 WAR first baseman who strikes out a lot, walks sometimes, and can go through ridiculous hot streaks. He's also aging, which is partially why he's at first base in the first place (attn. Dr. Seuss). Defensively, his range isn't much, but seriously how many first baseman have range anyways? His glove is pretty good there regardless. He'll miss the first month or two of the season recovering from knee surgery and he's in the last year of his deal, so the team would do well to trade him as soon as he's healthy and producing. There were extension talks during the offseason but those have appeared to die down. The numbers below reflect what he'd produce during the entire season, but I doubt it's all in Milwaukee.
.265/.340/.500, 20 HR, 3 SB
Pictured: Alex Gonzalez. Not pictured: first base
Gonzo has never played anywhere besides shortstop during his major-league career, which is frankly amazing. But he'll start the 2013 season at first base while Hart recovers and Mat Gamel mourns, which is both amusing and a little sad. He has power and some contact ability but doesn't walk. Gonzalez's bat plays fine at SS, but first base holds a much higher standard that he can't possibly meet. He was a slick fielder at his natural position, but there's no telling how his glove will play at first. After Hart returns, he'll probably continue to see occasional at-bats as a utility infielder.
.250/.290/.390, 7 HR, 2 SB
So dreamy. So Canadian.
Green will fill a utility role and will probably see some platoon time at first. For the most part, his Triple-A raking hasn't shown itself in the majors, though it's hard to take too much stock in what amounts to less than 150 career plate appearances. His glove will probably be okay, but his bat doesn't profile at first base even under the most rosy scenarios. He doesn't have a lot of power and his plate discipline needs some work.
.260/.310/.390, 4 HR, 1 SB
I vote we nickname him "Hunter-Killer Drone"
I've written about Hunter recently, and there's no doubt he's the real wild card here. He probably won't break camp with the team, but if he mashes in AAA he could force the team's hand with Corey Hart. If nothing else, he should see some September at-bats.
.235/.280/.380, 3 HR, 0 SB