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2012 State of the Dodgers Minor League System - 1st Base

Scott Van Slyke playing 1st for the Dodgers
Scott Van Slyke playing 1st for the Dodgers

Part two of my "State of the Minor League System" will focus on 1st base. As a reminder, I am providing the overall preseason rank that I gave to each player (Pre Overall) and of course their current ranking within the position. You'll notice that some players have an N/A next to their preseason rank. That is because the player is new to the Dodgers or new to the position since my preseason ranking. Like my pre-season rankings, I will only include guys who are under 28 years of age and are considered prospects (less than 130 AB's).

I am including all players that are in the Dodgers minor league system except for the recent international signees who have not yet played in a professional game because there simply isn't any information about them out there. I will also be providing how each player was acquired, their age, height, weight, and current level.

As I mentioned before, I have ranked each player at is the position that I believe is best long term position for the player. It may not be the players current primary position, but it is where I believe each player will ultimately end up should they make the major leagues.

Current Name Pre Overall Draft Year, Round Age Height Weight Bats
1 Scott Van Slyke 25 2005, 14th 26.03 6' 5" 220 R
2 Angelo Songco 16 2009, 4th 23.90 6' 0" 195 L
3 Justin Chigbogu New 2012, 4th 18.07 6' 1" 240 L
4 O'Koyea Dickson 40 2011, 12th 22.48 5' 11" 215 R
5 Chris Jacobs 55 2007, 17th 23.69 6' 5" 257 R
6 Austin Gallagher 43 2007, 3rd 23.71 6' 5" 210 L
7 Tae-Hyeok Nam 104 Signed 6/7/09 21.39 6' 0" 209 R
8 Paul Hoenecke New 2012, 24th 22.07 6' 1" 180 L
9 John Sgromolo New 2012, 37th 21.98 6' 0" 210 L

See the analysis after the jump

Here is the 2011 version of this list for comparison purposes. As you can see the list is pretty short, and that's mainly because there are several players who split time between 1st base and catcher (namely guys on the Lookouts and Dominican Dodgers), and for the most part I've included them in the catcher rankings because I feel that is their better position. Also, it's obvious that the overall list isn't that impressive, although it should also be noted that Jerry Sands can play some 1st base but didn't make this ranking because he is no longer considered a "prospect." That being said I have Scott Van Slyke as the top 1st base prospect because even though he's also an outfielder, I think 1st is probably his best position. He's improved by leaps and bounds over the last few years, and even though he struggled during his cup of coffee and is 26 years old, he is still our best prospect at for 1st base.

Angelo Songco's year got off to a late start after a medal rod was inserted into his injured leg, but since returning to the field he's been quite disappointing and 2012 is turning into a lost season. He still has a lot of raw power, but his OPS so far this year between LoA and HiA is just .643. It may surprise some people that I have Justin Chigbogu #3 on the list ahead of O'Koyea Dickson, and that's simply based on a gut instinct. I've never been a big believer in Dickson despite the strong start to his career, and I think that Chigbogu has more potential. Justin may be very raw at this point, but he has a lot of power and good plate disciple.

Chris Jacobs and Austin Gallagher both seem like they have been around forever, but both are still just 23. Neither is taking full advantage of the California League as they aren't quite raking as much as I expected, but they have combined for 20 homers this year and both have an OPS above .800. At this point I don't really expect either of them to ever make it to the show.

Overall 1st base is another weak minor league position for the Dodgers, although the list does look better than last year. How Van Slyke performs at the big league level will probably make or break this group, although Chigbogu also has potential. Not to be forgotten are Songco and Dickson who have talent as well and could also make it to the big leagues some day.