Friday on the Farm: Blaine Crim keeps on hitting as Rangers’ best prospect at first base
First base isn’t as simple as it appears to be, nor is being a prospect at the position.
For one, not everyone can play there. The Rangers have tried it over the years, including with 10-time Gold Glove-winning center fielder Andruw Jones. They let Kevin Mench try it in the spring of 2008, which prompted one coach to liken it to a monkey trying to mate with a football.
Of course, a left-handed thrower and batter is preferred. Throws to second and third are easier, the footwork is simpler, and he can cover more ground on more grounders between first and second.
While there are more right-handed first basemen these days who also hit right-handed, they are bogged down by the notion that they have to be more productive offensively than their lefty counterparts to provide the same value.
To that point, Albert Pujols was one of the best hitters in baseball history. Paul Goldschmidt just won the National League MVP. Jose Abreu won the American League MVP in 2020.
The Rangers don’t appear to have an MVP lurking in the minors. But they have Blaine Crim, and all he has done since being drafted is hit from the right side.
But can he hit enough in the majors and is there a spot for him?