Vogelbach on “Potential Top 100 prospects for 2014″ list

On Baseball America, seven staff members were all asked to name a prospect not on the list that could make it next year.

Enter Conor Glassey:

Conor Glassey: Cubs first baseman Dan Vogelbach is only 20 years old, but he already has a long track record of turning doubters into believers. They doubt him by discounting his hefty, 6-foot, 260-pound frame and then believe in him after seeing him launch balls into the lights. Excluding the Latin summer leagues, just 15 players last year with 200 or more plate appearances had an OPS greater than 1.000. Only three of those players were younger than Vogelbach—Addison Russell (who ranked 48 on the list), David Dahl (53) and Joey Gallo, who just missed. But Vogelbach isn’t just a slugger—he has an excellent feel for hitting and working the count and posted a .322 batting average in 2012 between the Rookie-level Arizona League and short-season Boise. He’ll need to continue to improve his defense, but Vogelbach has one of the best all-around bats in the minor leagues.

It's really, really difficult for a 1B prospect to make these lists unless they are otherworldy talents (which Vogelbach is definitively not, at this point. GW correctly warns of the troubles with falling in love at A- and lower). I think only the overrated Jonathan Singleton made the list as a 1B this year (Mike Olt is still listed at 3B/1B), and he could (theoretically) play a corner outfielder (slightly more likely than Vogelbach doing the same). Last year, Anthony Rizzo was the only pure 1B in the Top 100. Keith Law also called him a brutal athlete.

It says a lot that a BA writer could peg Vogelbach as a "watch" for 2014. I'm inclined to agree with him; Vogelbach is slimmer, and I've always been of the opinion that body is overrated for a 1B. Playing 1B at the major league level is difficult; I'm not doubting that. However, he wouldn't even be the worst 1B in baseball if he started there tomorrow. There are also 15 (maybe 30 when Vogelbach is MLB-ready) teams that would have a "position" all lined up for him. While I'm slightly worried about the loss in mass hurting him the bat, he's still plenty large; he also has a hit tool so his game isn't even one-dimensional.

It'll take another season or so before I can be legitimately hyped about Vogelbach, but at least it appears I'm not alone in that assessment.

I'm just going to leave this here:

Daniel Vogelbach, MLB projection for 2013 (Oliver): .239/.311/.440

Mark Reynolds, MLB projection for 2013 (Oliver): .212/.322/.402

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