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Red Sox first basemen

First base is one of the thinnest positions in the Red Sox system. They have a starter at every level and then rely on their DH or a catcher to back up at the position. With the exception of Petagine, who obviously isn't a prospect, they really don't have anyone at first in the minor leagues worth talking about. But after talking about the Red Sox catchers last week and following it up with a little talk about the top ten first base prospects, it wouldn't be fair to ignore them now, would it? Here's what the Red Sox have in their system.

Roberto Petagine - Petagine, for now, is still with the team, but he has the option to opt out of his contract after July 1st if he doesn't get a shot at the majors. Last time I checked it's currently July 3rd and Petagine still has no room on the major league roster. It's a shame too because the 34 year old Dominican who made a name for himself in Japan could probably really help the major league roster. Since coming off the DL Petagine has torn the cover off of the ball in AAA with a .333/.444/.691 line. Batting clean up for the Paw Sox he's hit 14 HR's, driving in 40, and has scored 36 times in 165 AB's. He's better than Kevin Millar and John Olerud and the Red Sox just need to give him a chance.

Jeff Bailey - Bailey has had some moderate sucess in the minors, but so far at the age of 26 the utility man, who can also catch, has never reached the minors. This year he has seen most of his action in Portland where he's put up a .250/.381/.462 line. He doesn't really have a spot anywhere in the Red Sox organization, but he does have an outside chance of contributing as a back up in the big leagues. He takes enough walks and hits for enough pop to be of some value, but it's likely he's going to spend his career floating around from one organization to the next helping out AAA teams.

Jeremy West - West is the only guy in the Red Sox organization that can be considered a prospect and even he isn't much. This year he's not showing much power or patience with a .282/.338/.399 line in 258 AB's. He has only 3 HR's and 19 BB's, but he has only struck out 33 times. He never has walked much, but he did hit 18 HR's in A ball last year. He doesn't seem to be overmatched by AA pitching. He's still making contact. So at only 23 he still does have a chance of developing some power on a consistant basis and he bears watching, but he's nothing to get excited about.

Ian Bladergroen - With a name like Bladergroen you'd expect this 22 year old to be something special. I mean, it is a pretty cool name and all. He came to the Sox in the trade that sent Doug Mientkiewicz to the Mets and so far the Mets have had the better of the deal. Bladergroen's biggest talent is his ability to stay on the DL, but he also shown brief flashes of power and patience. This year he has a .218/.343/.287 line for Wilmington and is in the process of coming back from an injury. He's played a few games rehabbing for the GCL Red Sox, the lowest level of the minors, lately suggesting that he is about to make his comeback.

Logan Sorenson - At 23 Sorensen is a little bit old to be playing at the low-A level. In college he showed an adequate ability to draw a walk, doubles power, and a good amount of speed, but so far as a pro he's shown that he probably shouldn't quit his day job. He has a .223/.301/.297 line in Greenville with only 9 doubles and his speed seems to have disappeared.

John Otness - Otness gets most of his work in as a DH, backing up Logan Sorensen, but he does have a decent glove and so far this year he's having the best year as a pro. He's batting .361/.429/.506, but his .232 SecAvg suggests that most of his value is tied up in AVG and his .379 BABIP suggests that that AVG is bound to come crashing down sooner or later. Is his production this year for real? Probably not. But after a .276/.327/.353 line last year, I'm sure he's not complaining.