Predicting Minor League Assignments – 1st Base

AAA: Matt Hague

This one appears fairly simple, Hague might be given an outside chance to win a bench role in the majors but chances are he will return to AAA. It would not be a bad idea to give him some playing time at 3B and RF to increase his versatility but chances are he will see the majority of the playing time at 1st base. I am guessing Jeff Clement will be his backup. Other players who could see time at 1st are Jake Fox, Nick Evans, Jeremy Farrell and Miles Durham (possibly even Fryer). It also would not be a bad idea to give Lambo some playing time there as well.

AA: Matt Curry

Curry was aggressively pushed to AA last year but the level proved too much for him so he will likely repeat the level this season. He will start there nearly everyday but exactly who his backup will be isn’t too clear. The obvious choice would be to have Calvin Anderson there as the regular DH and backup 1B but if Sanchez repeats AA as I expect the DH job will likely go to Ramon Cabrera. Assuming that is the case it appears the backup will either be the 3rd catcher (Charlie Cutler?) or possibly an organizational player like Miles Durham. A utility player like Josh Rodriguez could also be a possibility. It would not surprise me though to see the Pirates find some way to sneak Anderson on the roster, as there really isn’t any other spot for him.

A+: Alex Dickerson

No assignment for Dickerson has officially been released but since he is an advance college player they will probably be aggressive and push him to A+. He is the Pirates top 1B prospect so he is definitely worth keeping an eye on. Justin Howard will probably serve as the starting DH and backup 1B. Howard served the sam role in A ball last season behind Curry and isn’t much more than organizational depth.

A: Jose Osuna

The Pirates have no real answer for who to start at 1B in A ball. There is no prospect that should be placed here unless the Pirates decide to be aggressive with Osuna. Osuna had a strong season in the GCL last season and could probably handle the jump to A ball but we will need to see how aggressive the Pirates will be. As for a backup option Chris Lashmet appears to be the likely backup corner infielder. The Pirates also have a slew of catchers who could be given playing time at 1B.

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