While the Reds current first baseman has been arguably one of the leagues best players this season, its still good to have depth at the position for a multitude of reasons.
Yonder Alonso (pictured) certainly heads this position. The Reds 2008 first rounder broke his hamate bone this year causing him to miss about 2 months worth of playing time. What he did on the field though was quite impressive. Not counting his rehab stint in the GCL, Alonso hit for a .300/.379/.482 line while showing outstanding plate discipline (11.8% walk rate/13.9% strikeout rate). While his line looks quite good on the surface, MinorLeagueSplits.com has his luck adjusted line at .349/.423/.541.
There just isn’t much depth after Alonso at first base. Wes Bankston and Danny Dorn both saw some time at first base in Louisville along with 34 year old Kevin Barker. Wes Bankston hit .267/.313/.449 on the season, but was basically a roller coaster on the season. In April, June and August/September Bankston hit .320/.360/.553. In May and July Bankston hit .210/.254/.323. With a bit more consistency Bankston could provide solid depth at 1B at the major league level.
Danny Dorn was kind of like Bankston in the sense that he had 2 horid months and then had 3 very good ones. Dorn started off the year hitting .211/.274/.355 in April and May. He then went on an absolute tear as he hit .324/.393/.551 for the rest of the season. Dorn has always been a guy I have been a fan of, and generally he has started off slow at each level and then just exploded. Dorn is another guy who could provide solid depth at the major league level, but there is an interesting scenario thats coming up this offseason where Dorn needs to be protected from the Rule 5 draft. If he isn’t protected, and given who the Reds have and need to protect its probably a 25/75 chance that he is left unprotected that we could see a team take on Danny Dorn and put him on their 25 man roster.
Logan Parker struggled to adjust in AA this season. He posted his lowest power numbers of his career while having his highest strikeout rate of his career (albeit reasonably in line with his rates at other levels). If Parker can see his power return he could still have a chance to be backup material at the major league level.
Todd Frazier got a little bit of time at 1B this season, but I don’t think he will get time there at the major league level because he does have the ability to play other spots. Still, he theoretically could be an option down the road one day so he does provide the depth and give the position a slight extra boost overall.
Overall I would give the position a B-. Yonder Alonso is the only guy who projects to be a starter through the entire system (Todd Frazier not included) at first base. Dorn and Bankston both being at the AAA level boosts their value a little bit, but the lower levels don’t have much to be excited over at all at the position.