Background: WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA – FEBRUARY 19: Taylor Jones #79 of the Houston Astros poses for a portrait during photo days at FITTEAM Ballpark of The Palm Beaches on February 19, 2019 in West Palm Beach, Florida. | Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images
A quick review of the Astros first base position in the minors this season
Now that the season is over we will review each position in the minor league system during the 2019 season. This week we will look at the first base position.
Previous Position Reviews:
Jones was drafted by the Astros in 19th round of the 2016 draft. He had only 2 HR in his senior year of college at Gonzaga. His first couple seasons were okay but he really broke out in 2018 and followed that up with a solid 2019. This year at AAA, Jones slashed .291/.388/.501 with 28 2B and 22 HR. Overall he had a 116 wRC+ and posted a solid walk rate (12.8%) and a solid strikeout rate (21.1%). Jones played primarily first base but did get some time at third and left field. With his addition to the 40 man roster recently, it bodes well for him possibly getting a call-up next season.
2019 Stats: 125 G, .291 BA/.388 OBP/.501 SLG, 28 2B, 22 HR, 84 RBI, 116 wRC+
Matijevic had an interesting 2019 season. He started the year in Corpus Christi (.679 OPS in 19 games) but received a 50 game suspension for violating league rules pertaining to drugs. He came back and played in five games in Fayetteville (1.122 OPS) before being reassigned to the Hooks. Over the next 54 games, Matijevic posted a .759 OPS with 16 2B, 7 HR, and 28 RBI. Overall he had a .761 OPS with 22 2B, 11 HR in 78 games. His bat is what is going to carry him through the minors, so he really needs a breakout 2020 season.
2019 Stats: 78 G, .251 BA/.319 OBP/.441 SLG, 22 2B, 1 3B, 11 HR, 37 RBI, 8 SB, 112 wRC+
THE REST OF THE PACK
Adams started the season in A+ playing for the Woodpeckers. In 91 games there he hit .246 with 15 HR, 66 RBI. He was eventually promoted to Corpus Christi where he had 5 2B, 7 HR, 21 RBI in 27 games (125 wRC+). Overall he posted a .757 OPS with 22 HR, 87 RBI in 118 games and a 115 wRC+.
2019 Stats: 118 G, .248 BA/.311 OBP/.446 SLG, 17 2B, 22 HR, 87 RBI, 115 wRC+
Biermann was drafted by the Astros in the 23rd round this year. He started his pro career in Tri-City and posted a .747 with 4 2B, 3 HR in 26 games. That also included solid walk (14.8%) and strikeout (18.5%). He was promoted to Quad Cities where he struggled hitting just .194 in 19 games. Overall he finished with a 106 wRC+.
2019 Stats: 45 G, .209 BA/.314 OBP/.378 SLG, 8 2B, 5 HR, 22 RBI, 18 BB/46 SO, 106 wRC+
As you can tell from this review, the first base position isn’t very deep right now. But the Astros have the talent at the MLB level with Yuli Gurriel and possibly Yordan Alvarez. Jones was just added to the 40 man roster and Matijevic still has plenty of upside with the bat. Those are the two main guys to watch next year. Of course, there is always a couple guys who move to first base later on in their career so that is something to look forward to next season.