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Phillies Minor League Organizational Rankings - 1st Base

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Will any of these guys be prepared to take the Big Piece's spot?
Will any of these guys be prepared to take the Big Piece's spot?
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The Rankings:

  1. Luis Encarnacion
  2. Rhys Hoskins
  3. Willians Astudillo
  4. Art Charles
  5. Brock Stassi
  6. Wilmer Oberto
  7. Chris Serritella

The Reasoning:

If the catching ranks are barren, then 1B is a wasteland. Though, do you really want to have a stockpile of potential division regulars as an NL team? There are probably a couple answers to that question. Without saying much, this ranking can pretty much stop after the first 3 on the list. I'd understand if most people would have them in different order as I've been flip-flopping Encarnacion and Hoskins for awhile. I like new shiny toys (Hoskins), but the projection with Encarnacion really can't be ignored. He should settle in as a 1st base prospect and given time to grow at the position. He is scarily only 17 years old, 6'2 and 190 pounds. He might grow a little more, but the raw power is already present and the hit tool should continue to develop.

Rhys Hoskins, a 2014 5th round pick out of Sacramento State, is a very interesting pick. There is plenty of raw power, but he also showed a great presence at the plate. He was able to rack up a ton of walks in college and tore up the Cape Cod League to lead that league in homers. He spent 2014 with Williamsport after being drafted and despite a slow start, slashed .289/.373/.478 with 4 home runs in August (102 plate appearances). He had fantastic numbers with runners on base and actually had reverse splits for a right-handed batter. Hoskins could be placed in Lakewood to begin the season, but being 21 could push for an aggressive placement as the season goes on.

The enigma that is Willians Astudillo blew up this season for the Lakewood Blueclaws. He played most of his games at 1B and is the reason why he is on this list as opposed to left field or catcher (where he also saw time). The 22 year old Venezuelan had an insane 20:19 strikeout to walk ratio in 465 plate appearances. He also managed to hit .333. He is a contact machine with insane bat speed and isn't something you exactly teach. 1st base might not be his final landing spot given the preconceived notions of what a 1st baseman should be. My view is if you can get power elsewhere in your lineup, having a 1B that can hit .300+ is a luxury you should take advantage of. You simply just need to find a position he can play adequately. You will likely see Astudillo all over the diamond in the Fall Instructional League and even 2015 where he could see time at catcher to see if his knees can hold up over a full season.

The rest are players without much hope or projection. Art Charles, bless his soul, led the Phillies minor league affiliates (Jake Fox not counting) in homeruns with 19. He somehow managed to strikeout in 35% of his at bats and only walk 44 times. He might actually see both his power and strikeout totals spike in Reading next year.