As we inch closer to the 2023 season, I am going to give top three prospects at each position. This will be based on where they currently play and also where they may end up. This will culminate with my newly updated top 30 prospects before the season starts. This week, we are looking at the first base position.
1. Yainer Diaz
Diaz was atop the list for catcher and he is at the top of the list for first base for me too. He has hit well at every stop in this minor league career and had his best season in 2021 where he hit .324 with 25 2B, 17 HR in 98 games. Diaz is a bat first catching prospect who has proven his ability with the bat where ever he has been assigned. In 2022, Diaz played in 105 games between Double-A and Triple-A hitting .306 with 25 HR, 96 RBI. This earned him minor league player of the year in the Astros system. Diaz has a good command of the strike zone and rarely strikes out. He has plus power and has shown the ability to drive the ball the other way at a high rate. In 2022, he played 36 games at first base.
2022 Stats: 105 G, .306 BA/.356 OBP/.542 SLG, 22 2B, 4 3B, 25 HR, 96 RBI
2. Joey Loperfido
Loperfido played all over the field in college including only first base in his freshman season. He would go onto play second, third and outfield before getting drafted in the 7th round by the Astros in 2021. The 2022 season was a big one for Loperfido. He started the season in Single-A and hit .304 with a .872 OPS in 82 games. He was promoted to High-A where he hit .354 with .986 OPS in 26 games. Overall he slashed .316/.408/.492 with 25 2B, 12 HR, 32 SB. Loperfido is a plus athlete that should be able to provide above average defense at first base or in the outfield.
2022 Stats: 108 G, .316 BA/.408 OBP/.492 SLG, 25 2B, 4 3B, 12 HR, 69 RBI, 32 SB
3. Luke Berryhill
Berryhill, like Diaz, is on this list again after being on the catcher list. After making some swing adjustments, Luke turned in a phenomenal 2021 season. He had a career year posting a .974 OPS with a 159 wRC+ in 73 games across three different levels. Berryhill has flashed above average raw power and the potential to work counts and draw walks. In 2022, Berryhill got on base at a high clip, .380 on-base percentage, despite battling a few injuries. In 2022 he played 32 games at first base. You can read more on him here.
2022 Stats: 99 G, .256 BA/.380 OBP/.408 SLG, 19 2B, 12 HR, 60 RBI
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