2015 Watchlist: First Basemen

Matt Skole Matt Skole
DOB: 7/30/89
Ht. 6’3″
Wt. 225
Bats: L
Throws: R
Career Stats
Skole was given a pass for the 2013 season, but it’s hard to call
2014 anything but a disappointment. His offensive rate statistics fell
50 to 100 points apiece while the K rate still remains roughly one a
game. While he can fill in from time to time at 3B, his lack of range
is why he’s at 1B. Why is he here? Because for all these flaws he still
has plus raw power and bats lefthanded. Given the bevy of 1B/DH
free agents recently signed, it’s not a given he’ll open 2015 in AAA.
John Wooten John Wooten
DOB: 1/19/91
Ht. 6’3″
Wt. 190
Bats: R
Throws: R
Career Stats
Is Wooten a first baseman, third baseman, or an outfielder? Only
the Nationals know for sure, and they’re only telling us by his usage:
39, 35 and 9 games respectively in 2014. Wooten, who was acquired
in a trade with… wait for it… Oakland, spent most of last year at
Low-A but did well when he got the promotion in late July, showing a
nice touch of power with four HRs in five weeks after hitting eight in
the three months prior. A start at AA is possible, but A+ more likely.
James Yezzo James Yezzo
DOB: 2/27/92
Ht. 6’0″
Wt. 200
Bats: L
Throws: R
Career Stats
Yezzo graduated from the “Notables” section to here, thanks to a
decent 2014 where he hung a .270/.306/.406 line for Hagerstown.
Among left-handed batters in the organization, His 13 HRs was second
to Skole, while his good-but-not-great.406 SLG% was fifth-best. Thus,
with lefty power in short supply, the hope is that he’ll develop the other
requisite skills that one would need with limited speed and range. Best
bet for 2015: a move up to High-A Potomac.
Jose Marmolejos-Diaz Jose Marmolejos-Diaz
Born: 1/2/1993
Ht. 6’1″
Wt. 185
Bats: L
Throws: L
Career Stats
First base is a thin position in the Nationals minors, which is one
reason why “Orange” remains on the watchlist despite declining power
numbers (.490-.433-.385 in SLG from ’12-’14). Another is that he is one
of the few who’s age-appropriate to the level. “Orange” should finally
play full-season ball in 2015 in Hagerstown, where the hope is that he’ll
regain some of that power and also improve upon his OBP, which took a
dip of nearly 30 points (.373 to .341).