A Look At The Minors: 1st Base

Top 3 Prospects

1. Matt Curry

2. Alex Dickerson

3. Matt Hague

Notables: Calvin Anderson, Aaron Baker, Justin Howard

Matt Curry

Curry was selected in the 16th round of the 2010 draft. He was a college senior so he signed quickly at was placed in short season ball where he performed quite well. During this season Curry saw his prospect status take off with a terrific showing in A ball. He has since been promoted to AA where he started off hot, cooled down but he has recently picked it back up. Curry has some power potential and is a decent defensive 1B; due to his great season Curry has become the Pirates top 1B prospect and has a chance to be in Pittsburgh as early as next season.

April: .400/.489/.733 (1.222 OPS)

May: .325/.466/.613 (1.079 OPS) *A ball stats only

June: .227/.286/.371 (.657 OPS)

July: .351/.400/.545 (.945 OPS)

Alex Dickerson

This year’s forgotten 3rd round draft pick, Alex Dickerson was actually in Baseball America’s top 50 prospects. He was an OF in college but projects as a 1B in the majors. He has already been moved there in short season ball. Dickerson has some power potential and has an upside that is probably higher than Curry’s. The downside with him is that he has a history of back problems which is what made him fall to the 3rd round. Dickerson won the Big Ten triple crown in 2010 but was slowed by his back this past season. It was good to see him sign relatively quickly and start his pro career. Dickerson should be ready for full season ball next season.

July: .269/.321/.385 (.706 OPS) *Dickerson just signed this month so he has no previous months

Matt Hague

Hague was drafted in the 9th round of the 2008 draft and has done nothing but hit since becoming a pro. His lowest batting average at any level was in A+ at .293. Hague was originally a 3B but was moved to 1st to make room for Alvarez and because his defense probably was going to force a move at some point anyway. Hague until recently has flown under the radar because he has very little power and really did nothing that jumoed out. During the month of June though he caught fire and talk of promoting him became a hot issue. Hague’s a good hitter, with limited power. His defense is below average but he has a good arm which leads some to believe his future may be in RF. Just for comparison, Hague is a player I have followed fairly closely and he has always reminded me of Eric Hinske.

April: .271/.323/.376 (.699 OPS)

May: .308/.361/.421 (.782 OPS)

June: .402/.449/.645 (1.094 OPS)

July: .250/.357/.389 (.746 OPS)

Calvin Anderson

Anderson is a big guy measuring 6′ 7″ 240 lbs and his size comes naturally as he is the son of a former Steeler defensive lineman Fred Anderson. His size leads to him having a lot of raw power but the problem is he hasn’t been able to utilize it, well until recently that is (unfortuantely though he got injured at the end of June). Anderson’s bat has recently heated up and he has started to hit for some power. During the offseason the Pirates discussed the possibility of moving Anderson to the OF but that has never happened, in fact amazingly enough Anderson has yet to play one single game in the field this season. Anderson was a 12th round selection in the 2008 draft and is eligible for this offseason’s Rule V draft. He likely won’t be selected though so the Pirates probably have a little more time to see what they have in him.

April: .221/.312/.426 (.738 OPS)

May: .194/.244/.431 (.674 OPS)

June: .373/.430/.653 (1.084 OPS)

July: Has Not Played

Aaron Baker

Baker was drafted in the 11th round of the 2009 draft. He signed quickly and went on to play short season ball. Baker made himself standout last season by hittin g 18 home runs in A ball. He definately has a lot of power potential and is a decent 1B but his problem is that he strikes out  too much. Baker is currently in A+ and is not much more than a project at this point but his numbers (including his SO) so far this season have been promising. With Curry likely moving to AAA next season Baker should move up to AA next year and is someone to keep an eye on.

April: .341/.400/.524 (.924 OPS)

May: .220/.295/.390 (.685 OPS)

June: .330/.386/.490 (.876 OPS)

July: .234/.318/.481 (.799 OPS)

Justin Howard

Howard got off to a strong start this season but went largely unnoticed because of what Curry was doing. Curry’s performance forced Howard out of 1B and made him the usual DH although he did see some time in RF as well. Since Curry’s promotion howard has taken over as the starting 1B. He is having a decent season but has definately cooled off from his strong start. Howard was a 24th round draft pick in 2010 but only went that low because of a knee injury he suffered shortly before the draft. he doesn’t hit for much power and isn’t particular good defensively meaning any progression is going to have to come from him just purely hitting.

April: .307/.365/.547 (.911 OPS)

May: .224/.303/.327 (.630 OPS)

June: .247/.381/.376 (.757 OPS)

July: .235/.371/.353 (.724 OPS)

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