Now that 2022 is here, it is time to start looking at the top three prospects at each position as we lead up to the Astros top 30 prospect list. With these rankings, I will focus on prospects who primarily played this position. This week we are looking into the first base position.
Previous Top Three:
1. J.J. Matijevic (AAA)
Matijevic was drafted by the Astros in the 2nd round of the 2017 draft out of the University of Arizona. He was an advanced hitter in college and had been able to show off his bat in the minor leagues. In 2021, he finished second in the Astros system with 25 HR and had a 113 wRC+. While he may not hit for much average, Matijevic has above average power and the ability to do damage when he connects. First base seems like his most likely position but he is a solid athlete and has played in the outfield as well.
2021 Stats: 88 G, .254 BA/.341 OBP/.512 SLG, 23 2B, 3 3B, 25 HR, 75 RBI, 6 SB, 113 wRC+
2. Norel Gonzalez (AAA)
Gonzalez is another prospect in the Cuban pipeline who signed with the Astros back in January. Prior to this season his most recent playing time in Cuba saw him hit .341 in 84 games. Gonzalez isn’t very mobile and first base is his ceiling defensively, but has a smooth swing from the left side and the ability to hit for average and power. In 2021 he slashed .275/.352/.481 in 88 games between Double-A and Triple-AHe will be 28 this season but is maybe a guy who could fill in at first base in there was a need.
2021 Stats: 88 G, .275 BA/.352 OBP/.481 SLG, 20 2B, 15 HR, 49 RBI, 5 SB, 118 wRC+
3. Scott Schreiber (AA)
Schreiber was one of the he top performer at the first base position in 2021. He was drafted by the Astros in the 9th round pick of the 2018 draft out of the University of Nebraska. Schreiber was really good in his first full season. He started the year in High-A and slashed .319/.382/.575 with 10 HR, 29 RBI in 41 games before earning a promotion to Double-A. There he hit .264 with a .796 OPS and 7 HR in 38 games. The guy is built like a Mack truck at 6’3” and 230 lbs. Overall he had a 131 wRC+ and respectable 22.0 K%. He has the ability to play the corner outfields as well but played the majority of his games at first base in 2021.
2021 Stats: 80 G, .293 BA/.355 OBP/.527 SLG, 15 2B, 2 3B, 17 HR, 57 RBI, 8 SB, 131 wRC+