MLB Pipeline is continuing to release their list of top prospects by position, today doing the first baseman position. Coming in at the #5 spot is Seth Beer. Finishing ahead of him are Andrew Vaughn, Evan White, Triston Casas, and Ryan Mountcastle. Beer’s combination of an above-average hit and potential plus power tool makes him an intriguing middle of the order bat for the future, but his lack of mobility and athleticism pretty much limits his defensive profile to 1B/DH only.
The Diamondbacks acquired Beer at the trade deadline along with J.B. Bukauskas, Josh Rojas, and Corbin Martin in exchange for Zack Greinke + $24MM cash. Beer struggled for the final four weeks with Jackson after the trade, but bounced back with a big showing in the Southern League playoffs where he hit .438 with an OPS of 1.110. The team sent him to the Fall League to get a longer look and Beer put up a respectable .315/.375/.452 slash there. The power didn’t show up in the stat column, but was still productive enough to call the entire season a win for him.
Beer may be one of the top 1B prospects in the minors, but there is plenty of competition in the organization at the position. At the top, Christian Walker is coming off a 2.8/2.2 bWAR/fWAR season on the strength of a well-rounded value profile of hitting, baserunning, and defense. The team also has Pavin Smith, who put together a strong second half to return back to respectability and an honorable mention in the article. If Smith is able to carry over that run into 2020, then Beer has pressure from above and below to win the 1B job. In the mean time, Beer is likely to start the season with AAA Reno and put up Kevin Cron type numbers there before getting a shot with the MLB club later in the season.