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Astros Minor League Position Review: First Base

See how the first base position played out down on the farm.

MLB: ALDS-Minnesota Twins at Houston Astros
Oct 8, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Astros first baseman Jon Singleton (28) before game two of the ALDS for the 2023 MLB playoffs against the Minnesota Twins at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Shea
Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Now that the season is over we will review each position in the minor league system during the 2023 season. This week we will look at the first base position.

Previous Positions:

Catcher

TOP PERFORMERS

J.J. Matijevic

Matijevic has been in the system since 2017. This year in Triple-A he posted a .771 OPS with 26 doubles and 16 homers in 118 games. Despite some success, he wasn’t called up this year. Matijevic elected free agency following the 2023 season so he probably won’t be back in the Astros system.

2023 Stats: 118 G, .244 BA/.329 OBP/.441 SLG, 26 2B, 6 3B, 16 HR, 76 RBI, 8 SB

Jon Singleton

Singleton was signed back into the Astros system this year after last playing in the organization back in 2017. He was great in Triple-A posting a 1.138 OPS with 12 homers in 33 games, earning him another call-up to the Astros. He received 62 at-bats in the majors this year and had some meaningful post-season at bats too.

2023 Stats: 33 G, .333 BA/.446 OBP/.692 SLG, 7 2B, 12 HR, 28 RBI (Triple-A)


THE REST OF THE PACK

Ricardo Balogh

Balogh played the majority of the season at just 20-years-old and showed some good things. For Fayetteville he posted a .673 OPS but had a good month of June posting a .877 OPS. He missed a little time due to injury but will be an intriguing watch in 2024.

2023 Stats: 89 G, .241 BA/.315 OBP/.358 SLG, 12 2B, 3 3B, 6 HR, 31 RBI, 3 SB

Luis Encarnacion

Encarnacion played the season at just 20-years-old and like Balogh, showed some good signs on offense. He finished the season hitting .243 with a .667 OPS but finished the year hitting .261 over the final 69 games. Overall he had 16 doubles and 10 homers in 98 games.

2023 Stats: 98 G, .245 BA/.302 OBP/.369 SLG, 16 2B, 10 HR, 44 RBI, 7 SB

Jordan Brewer

Brewer came into the system with a lot of potential but has struggled to stay healthy. 2023 was no different as he played in just 67 games for the Hooks. He did hit .243 with a .723 OPS but has to stay healthy for him to keep getting more looks.

2023 Stats: 67 G, .243 BA/.330 OBP/.393 SLG, 11 2B, 3B, 8 HR, 39 RBI, 12 SB

Justin Williams

Williams really struggled this year and the lack of depth in the lower minors hurt the teams like Asheville. In 73 games for the Tourists, Williams hit .153 with a .451 OPS and 17 BB/97 SO.

2023 Stats: 79 G, .171 BA/.239 OBP/.272 SLG, 13 2B, 2 HR, 29 RBI


2024 OUTLOOK/CONCLUSION

The Astros don’t have a first baseman of the future, but they have Abreu under contract for a few more years and some other guys who can step in if needed (Diaz) and another solid prospect with first base experience (Loperfido) though it isn’t his primary position. They will probably look towards free agency again if they need help after Abreu is done.