2017 Position Rankings: First Base

Rare are the years that see one player earn top ranking at two different positions.

If we had told you before the season began that it was Hunter Greene that would have that honor (as both RHP and SS), you may not have been surprised. However, here we are in June, and Louisville sensation Brendan McKay claims the honor not only as the top left-handed pitcher, but also as the top first baseman available in the 2017 draft class. McKay has always been an impressive talent at the plate, hitting a combined .321 his first two years, but he grew into some power this season. In just 202 at-bats, he slugged 17 home runs, but he didn’t sacrifice anything at the plate, hitting a career-best .356. Furthermore, McKay showed incredible patience, drawing 45 walks to just 35 strikeouts.

While McKay is the cream of the crop, he is followed up by some impressive prospects that will likely have long and successful pro careers. Pavin Smith also came into his junior campaign with above-average hitting ability, and like McKay, he tapped into a never-before-seen power source, slugging 13 homers and driving in 77 runs. He also earned the reputation as the toughest hitter to strike out in college baseball, whiffing just 12 times in 228 at-bats.

If we had ranked the top first basemen in January, there’s no doubt that high-schooler Nick Pratto would have headed the list. He offers an impressive package at the plate that includes above-average raw power, and despite playing for one of the best prep teams in the nation, he had an uninspiring senior season, leading to a slight drop down the rankings. He’s still a bonafide first round talent though.

While McKay, Smith, and, to some extent, Pratto are bat-first, this crop does have its fair share of defensive standouts. Kentucky’s Evan White and Wake Forest’s Gavin Sheets are two of the most athletic first basemen we’ve seen in quite some time, and both can swing the bat as well. Sheets even has above-average speed.

These rankings are current as of 6/6/17, and will be updated throughout the draft season.

# Player Pos University/School Ht Wt B-T Best Tool
1 Brendan McKay 1B/LHP University of Louisville 6-2 220 L-L Average (50/60)
2 Pavin Smith 1B University of Virginia 6-2 210 L-L Average (55/65)
3 Evan White 1B/OF University of Kentucky 6-3 205 R-R Fielding (50/60)
4 Nick Pratto 1B/LHP Huntington Beach High School (CA) 6-2 195 L-L Average (45/65)
5 Gavin Sheets 1B Wake Forest University 6-5 235 L-L Fielding (55/65)
6 Brent Rooker 1B/OF Mississippi State University 6-4 220 R-R Power (50/60)
7 J.J. Matijevic 1B University of Arizona 6-0 199 L-R Power (55/65)
8 K.J. Harrison 1B/C Oregon State University 6-0 209 R-R Fielding (50/55)
9 Terriez Fuller 1B/OF Griffin High School (GA) 6-2 240 L-R Power (45/75)
10 Dylan Busby 1B/3B Florida State University 6-3 190 R-R Power (50/60)
11 Tim Elko 1B/3B Hillsborough High School (FL) 6-4 225 R-R Fielding (45/65)
12 Alex Toral 1B/OF Archbishop McCarthy High School (FL) 6-2 220 L-L Power (50/70)
13 Nick Storz 1B/RHP Poly Prep Country Day School (NY) 6-6 255 R-R Power (50/75)
14 Jake Adams 1B University of Iowa 6-2 250 R-R Power (60/70)
15 Joe Perez 1B/3B/RHP Archbishop McCarthy High School (FL) 6-3 210 R-R Arm Strength (60/70)
16 Evan Skoug 1B/C Texas Christian University 5-11 200 L-R Power (45/55)
17 Bryson Hutchinson 1B/RHP Spruce Creek High School (FL) 6-6 255 R-R Power (50/75)
18 Nick Breuser 1B Hamilton High School (AZ) 6-3 190 R-L Fielding (45/60)
19 Sean Bouchard 1B University of California, Los Angeles 6-3 215 R-R Fielding (50/55)
20 Carl Stajduhar 1B University of New Mexico 6-1 215 R-R Power (55/60)

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