2022 Prospect Position Rankings: First Base

Image credit: Spencer Torkelson (Photo by Bill Mitchell)

Position Rankings are voted on by Baseball America staff members. Players are listed at their primary positions.


RATING: 2 Stars (Out of 5)

This year’s first base crop is strong at the top with Tigers slugger Spencer Torkelson and Red Sox Olympics standout Triston Casas, but the depth thins out rapidly with few players outside the top handful projecting to be everyday major leaguers.

BEST HITTER: Spencer Torkelson, Tigers

The top overall pick in the 2020 draft vaulted three levels up to Triple-A in his pro debut and hit .267/.383/.552 with 30 home runs and 91 RBIs, finishing in the top 20 in the minors in homers, RBIs and OPS. His gargantuan power to all fields, high-quality at-bats and gifted understanding of his swing make him an offensive force who should hit for both average and power for years to come.

BEST DEFENDER: Nick Pratto, Royals

Pratto’s offensive transformation drew most of the attention last season, but he also maintained his status as a plus-plus defender. He’s smooth around the bag with athletic footwork, a slick glove, above-average arm strength and uncanny instincts that allow him to position himself well. He projects to win multiple Gold Gloves in the future.

SLEEPER: Lawrence Butler, Athletics

A graceful athlete with enormous raw power, Butler re-emerged from the coronavirus shutdown with a more mature approach, swing and playing style. The result was a breakout campaign at the Class A levels in 2021 that saw him finish one home run shy of a 20-20 season and continually get better as the season progressed. He hit .234 with a 34.3% strikeout rate through his first 60 games and hit .325 with a 29.6% strikeout rate the rest of the way. With explosive tools that include plus-plus raw power and plus speed and a rapidly improving swing and two-strike approach, Butler has a chance to be a dynamic power source for the A’s in the not-too-distant future.

Rank Name, Team
1 Spencer Torkelson, Tigers
2 Triston Casas, Red Sox
3 Nick Pratto, Royals
4 Michael Toglia, Rockies
5 Dustin Harris, Rangers
6 Vinnie Pasquantino, Royals
7 Juan Yepez, Cardinals
8 Alex Binelas, Red Sox
9 Seth Beer, D-backs
10 Aaron Sabato, Twins

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