Now that the season is over we will review each position in the minor league system during the 2022 season. This week we will move onto the first base position. I will focus on guys who played majority of their games at first base.
Previous Position Reviews:
Loperfido started the season pretty strong but probably had the best finish out of any Astros prospect. After hitting .270 in April, the lefty hit .325 the rest of the way. This included .339 with a .976 OPS over his final 63 games. Overall he slashed .316/.408/.492 with 25 2B, 12 HR, 69 RBI and 32 SB. He also played above average defense in the outfield and at first base. A really strong year for him as he established himself as a legitimate prospect. Hopefully he starts in Double-A in 2023.
2022 Stats: 108 G, .316 BA/.408 OBP/.492 SLG, 25 2B, 4 3B, 12 HR, 69 RBI, 32 SB
Matijevic has been in the system a bit and has proven his worth as a power hitting left handed first baseman. In 2022, he played 64 games in Triple-A slashing .285/.372/.561 with 16 HR, 54 RBI, 10 SB. He made his major league debut and had a .582 OPS in 67 at-bats. He will probably be up and down next year as well but should provide solid depth for the Astros at the 1B/LF/DH positions.
2022 Stats: 64 G, .285 BA/.372 OBP/.561 SLG, 16 2B, 2 3B, 16 HR, 54 RBI, 10 SB
THE REST OF THE PACK
Arias played the full season in Double-A and posted a .674 OPS in 92 games. He had 17 2B and 6 HR. He produces strong exit velocities but will have to hit for more power in 2023.
2022 Stats: 102 G, .265 BA/.338 OBP/.445 SLG, 18 2B, 16 HR, 60 RBI, 8 SB
Schreiber had a really good 2021 (.882 OPS in 80 games) but missed most of 2022 due to back surgery. He came back and played in 23 games and then did really well in the Arizona Fall League (.944 OPS in 14 games).
2022 Stats: 23 G, .260 BA/.372 OBP/.452 SLG, 3 2B, 3 HR, 10 RBI
McGowan was a 17th round pick in the 2022 draft. He struggled after being assigned to Single-A posting a .377 OPS in 87 at-bats. We will see how 2023 plays out for him.
2021 Stats: 26 G, .115 BA/.228 OBP/.149 SLG, 3 2B, 8 RBI
The Astros just signed Jose Abreu to a three year deal. With that said, they have some talent that could fill in at first base. Matijevic showed some in 2022 and Loperfido, while also an outfielder, could be a future plus first baseman. There are also guys like Yainer Diaz who can move over to the position if needed.