The Spuds have four first-baggers on the 40-man roster: popular incumbent veteran Yunosuke Terada, and a trio of prospects in José Hernández, Pepe Madrid, and Miguel Angel Perales.
LAST YEAR BY THE NUMBERS (AGE IS 2042 OPENING DAY)
|Yunosuke Terada||28||R||BBA||.241/.366/.407||18||4||93||0.5||5(5) / 5(5) / 9(9) / 9(9) / 4(4)|
|José Hernández||24||R||AA||.260/.344/.537||19||0||131||1.5||6(6) / 7(7) / 8(8) / 5(5) / 5(5)|
|Pepe Madrid||21||L||AAA||.320/.400/.544||24||3||134||5.2||6(7) / 9(9) / 5(7) / 6(6) / 5(5)|
|Miguel Angel Perales||23||R||AAA||.281/.350/.636||12||0||140||0.9||7(7) / 7(7) / 7(7) / 4(4) / 6(6)|
Terada is the second-longest tenured member of Boise behind the lone remaining original Spud, catcher José Rivera. With a Zimmer and Puckett Award to his name, along with two All-Star Game appearances, Terada has failed to build on his career since his 2038 breakout. After a career-worst 2040 (.210/.317/.420), Terada improved his approach at the plate last year, bumping his average and on-base percentage to more palatable levels. Unfortunately, despite an 8-grade home run skill, Godzilla's slugging slumped to a career-low .407. In the second-half of last year, manager Millard Davis chose to bench Terada against most right-handed pitchers, a scenario likely to repeat in 2042. Still blessed with a fanastic eye and glove, Terada's place as a starter isn't in question as the season approaches, however he'll likely continue to be a short side platoon partner at first base. Madrid, 21, earned a cup of coffee with Boise in September, hitting just .125/.300/.188 in 21 plate appearances, but his breakout season in Triple-A is what has fans and Boise coaches excited. Along with an OPS over .940, Madrid knocked in 115 runs and scored 104 himself. While scouts have never been high on Madrid's glove, he was one of the best defenders in AAA at first base last year, sporting a +12.2 Zone Rating and 1.111 Efficiency. With Terada's platoon-mate from last season gone (Drew Hair), Madrid's left-handed bat makes him a natural fit to start against right-handed pitchers. Perales joined the Boise organization last April when claimed on waivers from Yellow Springs. Perales spent most of the season as a right-handed designated hitter, although his glove is league-average if asked to play in the field. Perales, 23, has spent the last three years in Triple-A and will likely be the Alpines starter at DH but could be called upon as an injury replacement. Hernández, despite measuring in at 6'8", has yet to find his power stroke, but is still a prospect with room to grow, no pun intended. It appears he's fully baked in terms of scouting grades, so Boise hopes a breakout is on the horizon. As a right-handed hitter, Hernández's path to the majors is likely as Terada's replacement or designated hitter, but until then, he'll find plenty of at-bats in Triple-A as the starting 1B. Terada finds himself in a contract year, so both his career, as well as Hernández's, while likely be sorted out based on their respective production in 2042.
Terada's popularity, respect among his teammates, and salary defaults him as the starting first baseman against southpaw pitchers, however with the taste of the postseason still fresh in their mouths, and with Perales and Hernández eager to make the show, Boise will have Terada on a short leash. Don't be shocked if Boise makes a in-season change if he can't find his production from the past. Madrid's big 2041 has earned him a serious look as Terada's (or one of the other righty hitters') platoon mate. One thing to keep in mind is, at the time of press, there are several veteran first basemen still on the open market. Boise has just enough salary cap space to add an another bat, if so inclined, so all four highlighted first-baggers are likely not resting on their laurels quite yet.