Out of all of the different types of prospects, developing ones who can hit for power are definitely the most difficult. Sure, some guys have plenty of power (Mike Hessman), but they may not be able to make contact. Of course, the opposite is true where a player may be able to get hits, but might not ever hit a home run (Joey Gathright).
For the Boston Red Sox, luckily, they are in a position where they do not need young guys to come up and hit for power — right now. In 2016 however, Boston may need to find themselves a new first baseman granted that Mike Napoli is set to be a free agent. With this in mind, Boston may want to save some money with a cheap and effective option at first base; trading for a prospect may be their best option.
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A team that is loaded with prospects, especially those of the first base sort, is the Houston Astros. With Jonathan Singleton, A.J. Reed, Telvin Nash, and Conrad Gregor in their system, odds are they would be willing to spare a man or two. Of these men, Conrad Gregor is certainly the best option.
Gregor, 22, is one of the most disciplined players around at the plate. Hitting .311/.404/.509 between three levels this year while clubbing 16 home runs, the fourth round pick in the 2013 MLB draft made it clear he can play the game.
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Based off of his Cape Cod League numbers, it was hard to believe Gregor was not a first round pick. The reason why his stock fell was due to a lack of power his junior year. His plate discipline on the other hand, was outstanding as always.
Now though, Gregor is proving he can hit for power — against more advanced pitching. He tends to draw more walks than anything against a low-quality opponent because he is so patient at the plate. 16 home runs is nothing to scoff at in 124 games, especially since he should be able to club a few more next year.
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In 2015, it seems likely Gregor would start his year in AA, but finish it in the Majors. He shot up from low-A all the way to AA this year, which is almost unheard of. Many players make the jump from AA to MLB in a season — Mookie Betts did it this year and both Brandon Workman and Drake Britton did it the year before, although they all had a short stint in AAA before making it to the show.
Conrad Gregor could prove himself as the successor to Mike Napoli and if he does not, at least he provides depth at first base. He has also seen some time in the outfield, making him a viable option to fill a role similar to that of Mike Carp.