TigsStats: 2008 First Basemen in Review

As spring training begins to approach, it's time to take a position-by-position look at how the Tigers' minor leaguers performed in the stat book. Next up on the slate, the first basemen and their performance at the dish.

Ryan Roberson - Age: 25

Level

Team

AB

AVG

AVGBIP

OBP

SLG

ISO

BB/AB

K/AB

SB%

AA

Erie

465

.286

.345

.332

.497

.211

.073

.273

.636


At this point in his Tigers' career, the Tigers know what they have in Roberson, and he has remained consistent with that. Roberson will hit for a solid average with plenty of power, take the occasional walk, and strike out plenty. And that's exactly what Roberson did in 2008. However, depending on where Jeff Larish ends up, Roberson could find himself in a numbers squeeze, splitting time in Erie or Toledo.


Ryan Strieby - Age: 23

Level

Team

AB

AVG

AVGBIP

OBP

SLG

ISO

BB/AB

K/AB

SB%

A+

Lakeland

421

.278

.302

.345

.563

.285

.109

.240

0


While the numbers don't show it because they show Strieby's complete 2008 season, Strieby's second half was one of the most impressive from a Tigers' prospect in many, many years. Strieby hit the absolute cover off the ball with a .285 ISO (for comparison, Miguel Cabrera's 2008 ISO was .245). His walk rate was solid, and he certainly wasn't lucky when it came to getting hits on balls in play. Strieby's power display in 2008 was simply a thing of beauty.


Jeff Larish - Age: 26

Level

Team

AB

AVG

AVGBIP

OBP

SLG

ISO

BB/AB

K/AB

SB%

AAA

Toledo

384

.250

.295

.335

.477

.227

.130

.284

0


Larish was once again remarkably consistent as compared to past years. Larish has consistently had a lower batting average on balls put in play, but that hasn't slowed him down because of his impressive power and excellent walk rate. The trick for 2009 for Larish will likely be trying to find at-bats for him, whether that be in Detroit if he makes the big league club or in Toledo.


Chris Carlson - Age: 25

Level

Team

AB

AVG

AVGBIP

OBP

SLG

ISO

BB/AB

K/AB

SB%

A

West Michigan

358

.277

.321

.326

.425

.148

.081

.198

.5


Carlson is very much in the same mold as Roberson – hits for a decent average, takes the occasional walk and hits for decent power. Roberson's power numbers weren't outstanding, but playing in pitcher-friendly Fifth Third Ballpark depressed them a bit. Carlson was still old for the level, but can fill in depending on where the Tigers have a need for him.


Pedro Cotto - Age: 26

Level

Team

AB

AVG

AVGBIP

OBP

SLG

ISO

BB/AB

K/AB

SB%

A+

Lakeland

236

.220

.236

.276

.343

.123

.081

.136

.2


While Cotto often gets work elsewhere, especially in the outfield, he is by trade a first baseman first. Cotto saw a dip in his batting average in large part due to some bad luck on balls he put in the field. Cotto is versatile around the field, but as the stats show, Cotto will never be above average at the plate.


Billy Nowlin - Age: 22

Level

Team

AB

AVG

AVGBIP

OBP

SLG

ISO

BB/AB

K/AB

SB%

A-

Oneonta

199

.241

.335

.294

.382

.141

.060

.171

.5


Another first baseman that didn't spend most of his time playing first base, Nowlin was used mostly as a designated hitter for the O-Tigers. Nowlin's average wasn't very strong (and he was likely lucky to have hit as well as he did), but he still has some power in his bat. He takes the occasional walk, and doesn't strike out too much, but will need to make strives all around in his game.


Juaner Aguasvivas - Age: 19

Level

Team

AB

AVG

AVGBIP

OBP

SLG

ISO

BB/AB

K/AB

SB%

Rookie

DSL Tigers

197

.254

.352

.318

.386

.132

.096

.335

0


Juaner held his own in rookie ball down in the Dominican, but still has some strides to make. His average while respectable, might have been a bit lucky, and his strikeout rate was still well too high. On the upside, he showed some power and patience at the plate, two key signs for future success as he gets more work in the Dominican before heading stateside.


Carlos Ramirez - Age: 23

Level

Team

AB

AVG

AVGBIP

OBP

SLG

ISO

BB/AB

K/AB

SB%

A-

Oneonta

192

.219

.271

.267

.333

.115

.068

.234

1


As noted above, Billy Nowlin spent much of his time with Oneonta in the DH role; that was because Ramirez got almost all of the playing time at first. His skill in the field is important, but he'll need to see his bat catch up. His walk rate was only average, and things got worse from there, with poor power numbers from a first baseman, a low batting average and lots of strikeouts.


Jordan Lennerton - Age: 22

Level

Team

AB

AVG

AVGBIP

OBP

SLG

ISO

BB/AB

K/AB

SB%

Rookie

GCL Tigers

171

.222

.313

.341

.333

.111

.187

.316

.667


Lennerton had one increasingly strong skill – and that was his patience at the plate, which led to an outstanding walk rate. Unfortunately, there was little else positive beyond that, as his power numbers trailed behind, and he was likely lucky to have the average that he did. Still, given his patience and pitch selection, Lennerton has the potential to expand those other skills.


Wade Lamont - Age: 24

Level

Team

AB

AVG

AVGBIP

OBP

SLG

ISO

BB/AB

K/AB

SB%

A-

Oneonta

106

.255

.386

.331

.340

.085

.113

.340

0


The final trio of the first basemen in Oneonta, Lamont was used mostly in a reserve role, just barely making it over 100 at-bats for the year. Lamont had a very good walk rate, and hit for a decent average (though it was also likely a bit of luck in there), but his strikeouts were way too high (more than one every three at-bats) and his power was very low considering his position.



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