Right now, Rowdy Tellez handles first base against right-handed pitching for the Brewers, while Owen Miller has become the top option against southpaws at the MLB level. Luke Voit and Jon Singleton have both been sent packing. So, how does first base look down on the farm?
With Singleton’s departure, Keston Hiura is now manning first base, while also seeing time in left field and at second base. At various times, Noah Campbell, Abraham Toro, Mike Brousseau, and Patrick Dorrian have also played first in Music City. With a .996 OPS in Nashville, Hiura is making a case for at least a shot to make the Crew in 2024.
Wes Clarke, who also is seeing plenty of time behind the plate, is splitting time with Zavier Warren at first base in Biloxi Warren’s struggled at the plate, but has flashed versatility, seeing action at third base, second base, and shortstop this season. Clarke, though, looks like a legitimate three-true-outcome bat.
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers
Ernesto Martinez has been the primary first baseman for the T-Rats, and has recovered somewhat from injuries and a slump in April and May, posting a .907 OPS over the last 28 days as of July 2. In 2021, he showed some ability to play the outfield as well. Alex Hall and Ben Metzinger have also seen time at first for the Timber Rattlers.
The Mudcats have spit first base between Jesus Chirinos, who has been mired in a season-long slump that saw him demoted from Wisconsin, Jesus Parra, Luke Adams, Tayden Hall, and Jheremy Vargas. Quinton Low, who saw action at first in the ACL in 2022, has primarily been a designated hitter when he has not taken the mound.
Johan Barrios and Yeison Perez have primarily handled first base for the lone Arizona Complex League team. With the crowd at catcher, don’t be surprised if Edgardo Ordonez and Satchell Norman also see time there eventually, as both have potent bats that need to be in the lineup.
DSL Brewers One
Gery Holguin, Tyler Rodriguez, Yannic Walther, Jhon Bencosme, and Brayan Oroporeza have all spent time at first for the first of two Brewers affiliates in the Dominican Summer League. Most of these players have seen action at other positions, notably Holguin (third base), Bencosme (second base), Walther (catcher), and Rodriguez (left field).
DSL Brewers Two
The second of the two Brewers DSL affiliates have seen four players split time at first base: Smarlin Espinal, Roman La Torre, Estefano Lozano, and Danny Puerta. None of them have particularly broken away as the primary starter, and all have split time between first base and another position.
Unlike catcher, the Brewers have some real questions at first base. The departures of Voit and Singleton have left the Brewers without a lot of significant options at first, in the short or the long term. Martinez is finally heating up, but his history of injuries and age will raise concerns, and he needs a massive breakout. Hiura has struggled for the most part at the MLB level. Adams and Low both have flashed offensive potential, but they are years away from MLB. The Crew may end up either extending Tellez or moving Christian Yelich to first for short-to-medium-term stability. For the long term, drafting Nolan Schanuel may be the answer for the Crew.
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