The Past, Present, and Future Of First Base

Moreland
First base is a position that has garnered a lot of attention in the past few seasons. Will Clark & Rafael Palmeiro each had the position covered from 1994-2003, and more than adequately I might add. It’s the in-between time that has led to the discussions of today. For those unfamiliar with everyone involved in said in-between time, allow me space for a quick timeline refresher.

There existed two options that could have easily turned into long term options for the position by now, Adrian Gonzalez and Mark Teixeira. I’ve always felt that letting Gonzalez go was one of two blemishes on Jon Daniels’ record as GM.; he’s developed into a steady offensive & defensive player at first. Teixeira has also had a good career with New York, but his trade to the Braves has done more for the franchise than anyone anticipated and, in the end, it seems like an acceptable loss.
After seeing Justin Smoak and Chris Davis struggle to fill in the blank, it was time for Moreland to get a shot. Between injuries, and being blocked by Young and Napoli, there hasn’t been any consistent time for him until this season. He had made it a point to get into good shape & dedicate himself to practicing against LHP in the offseason. His spring training results gave us reason to believe he had done the work. His regular season isn’t starting off well, though. He’s currently 1-17, with a monster home run but has to get going soon.

Quick note: it may or may not last, but Chris Davis is looking very confident and comfortable in this young 2013 season. I wish him well going forward.

So, what are the options elsewhere if Moreland simply can’t get it together?

One popular thought is to have Ian Kinsler learn the position at some point, sooner rather than later perhaps, in order to retain him and make room for Jurickson Profar at second. Other than that, our two biggest minor league options that could step in are Chris McGuiness and maybe Jim Aducci, who did have decent spring training numbers. Mike Olt has also been projected as an option, but many feel that his talent is wasted on the field at any other place other than third and maybe right field. My best guess is Kinsler would acquiesce and make the move if asked to again.

I’d like to see the Rangers, if possible, focus on first basemen in drafts and prospect trades. If Kinsler is the option, then the Rangers have 4-5 years to have the next guy ready to go. There is a ray of hope, based on the 2012 draft, in Ronald Guzman. He had a nice stint with the Arizona Rookie League Rangers and is set to start at first in Hickory at the A level once he returns from off-season knee surgery. He is the one to watch upon his return, so make sure to turn your eyes towards Hickory, North Carolina in mid-late May and observe the player who could be on first in Arlington in the future.

Sarah Powers is a Staff Writer for ShutDowninning.com. She can be reached at sarah.powers@shutdowninning.com or on Twitter @Power_Play86.
Sarah Powers

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