In 2022, the Giants lost longtime first baseman Brandon Belt. The bad news is that there’s no obvious in-system plan to replace him.
The Giants generally haven’t placed a lot of priority at drafting and developing first basemen under Farhan Zaidi, with only 2019’s second round pick Logan Wyatt as a notable draft pick at the spot. As a result, the names at this spot have not changed much in the last year, despite performances that were not very encouraging.
This showed in the Giants’ 2022 season at the big league level, as a lack of options caused the Giants to cycle through multiple first basemen in April and early May while Belt was on the Injured list. The position got further depleted by losses, as Richmond’s Frankie Tostado was lost in the Rule 5 draft, Jason Vosler left in free agency, and Jason Krizan retired and became a coach in the Chicago White Sox organization.
Of course, first base is still a position that might be filled by players that start at other positions. And some of the names that appear on other lists, they may be the ones could end up at first in the future.
But for now, here are the first basemen the Giants have in the system.
Luis Toribio holds down the number one spot on this list due to potential alone. Toribio hit just .209 in the Northwest League, which has usually otherwise been a good home for offense. What Toribio did show was consistently some of the best exit velocities on balls hit, and his 21 home runs in 2022 was evidence of that. At his best, Toribio would still be a low average slugger, but that power potential gives Toribio this top spot.
At 21 years old, Garrett Frechette returned to San Jose, where he played just 31 games in 2021, before working on his craft in Arizona. Frechette’s second go-around resulted in a .255/.298/.346 batting line across 97 games. Frechette’s impressive swing is doing better for in-game action, as his batting average increased, but not to a significant amount. Hopefully, that swing that made him a potential upside draft pick can continue to develop, but time is running out.
The Giants took Logan Wyatt out of Louisville in 2019 in the second round with one overwhelming tool: his batting eye. The hope was that his defense and hitting would come behind his ability to master the zone. That…has not happened. 2022 was a lost season for Wyatt, as he didn’t get into games until late in the season and only played 29, but a strong AFL season where his batting eye came back gives some hope for the future.
Other Prospects to Note
The most notable name to not mention here is David Villar, who has lost his prospect status after winning the Pacific Coast League MVP award. While Villar’s main position is third base, he might find his future at first…Carter Aldrete is known for his versatility, but first base could be his eventual home…If 2022 first round pick Reggie Crawford ever plays the field, he might end up at first base, but if he does any hitting, it’ll likely be as a DH…and that’s really it for names to mention. It’s a shallow position in the system.