2020 has been a precedent setting, unforgettable year for a number of reason you all already know. But to dog pile onto that even further, the MLB First Year Draft is here to send a first baseman as the first overall pick, a move that is right in line with the strangeness and almost unbelievable nature of this year. The last first basemen to be taken first overall was Adrian Gonzales by the Marlins in 2000. Some may say that our hindsight on this choice is now...2020.
Please stop throwing things at me.
Before I make even more horrible puns and dad jokes, here are the best first baseman available in this years draft:
Spencer Torkleson - Arizona State
Not only is he the best first basement in the draft, he’s the hotly contested choice to be the Tigers first overall pick. The slugger out of Arizona State comes with a tremendous .337/.463/.729 slash line and 54 home runs in two and change seasons with the Sun Devils.
He’s also a safe pick for the Tigers in a time of uncertainty. They desperately need a player who can produce pure offense and they find that here with Torkleson. He has a good core to build upon, and while he’s smaller than the traditional first baseman, Torkleson has a strong foundation to build upon and bat that could stand as their franchise players for years to come.
Cade Cavalli - Oklahoma
Cavalli, a recovering pitcher whose bat outweighed his mound presence, spots a solid slash line from his senior year at Oklahoma; .319/.393/.611. While his 4.35 ERA wasn’t stunning, the 6-foot-4 slugger could toss a hearty fastball and above average curveball, showing off his natural baseball ability.
While it’s significant more likely he’ll be taken as a first baseman than a pitcher, Cavalli also as a rocky health history that would make any team nervous to put him on the mound. Cavalli dealt with a stress reaction in pitching arm last spring. With that being said, if a team wanted to ditch his batting average or turn him into another #PitchersWhoRake, his raw talent and athletic ability matched with the right minor league development team would bring out a refined and promising pitcher.
Aaron Sabato - North Carolina
Sabato, on the younger side of the draft spectrum, still has an impressive college career to show for himself after just two years. Hitting .332/.459/.698 with 25 home runs in 83 games, he stands out for having raw, unfiltered power. However, that’s the only feature that makes Sabato stand out in an already concentrated draft class.
Due to all the certainty that befell college and high school players when seasons came to an abrupt end, teams may not want to risk a pick on a draft eligible sophomore. However if Sabato does punch his ticket to the show this year, he’ll join an organization as someone to develop into a solid four spot hitter and the opportunity to move from first base to a corner outfield position.