March 12, 2012 at 7:11 PM
With Adrian Gonzalez under contract to man first base at Fenway Park through 2018, there’s not a lot of room for upward mobility among the first basemen in the Red Sox system. If Gonzalez gets injured for any extended period of time, one of those players may get an opportunity, but the more likely scenario in that event would probably involve Boston calling up Will Middlebrooks to man third base and shifting Kevin Youkilis over to first base. Because the position is blocked, there really isn’t a lot of quality depth in the organization. With that in mind, here’s a look at the first-base prospects in the Boston system.
Lars Anderson (24)
How Acquired: Drafted in the 18th round in 2006 ($825,00 signing bonus)
2011 Stats: .265 AVG/.369 OBP/.422 SLG with 14 home runs for Triple-A Pawtucket
2012 Status: On the 40-man roster, 2 options remaining. Likely headed back to Pawtucket.
Scouting Report: Once considered the top prospect in the Red Sox system, Anderson’s stock has dropped considerably over the last two seasons. A tall left-handed hitter with a strong frame and a smooth swing, he has a good plate approach with nice patience and strike-zone recognition. But while he’s shown flashes of plus power, he hasn’t put enough loft on the ball to produce the extra-base power required to be a starting first baseman for a first-division team. Additionally, he needs to work on making stronger contact on breaking balls and hitting to all fields. Anderson also has below-average speed, so he’s not going to run out many grounders. An adequate defender who has made good strides in the field during his development, he projects as an adequate major league defender.
Projection: Up-and-down major-leaguer who makes occasional impact contributions
Ceiling: Starter for a small-market team
Floor: Triple-A first baseman
Check out the full column on ESPN Boston.