With less than a month to go before opening day, the Milwaukee Brewers still have to choose a starting first baseman.
The battle is occurring at Spring Training in Arizona.
Here are all the potential candidates for 1B and their stats:
The left-handed batting Morris has appeared in nine games and 16 at bats. He's only logged two hits and a batting average of .125. He has a fielding percentage of 1.000. It's unlikely that Morris earns the 1B position.
Halton is a young, big and tall player who still needs to hone his skills in the minors. Like Morris, he is struggling this spring, collecting only two hits and a .125 batting average. Unlike Morris, Halton has appeared in regular season games with the Brewers. Halton's homer on September 15, 2013 against the Cincinnati Reds in the bottom of the ninth, propelled the Brewers to victory. Halton will keep looking to improve in the minors.
Reynolds is a seven year pro with a career batting average of .233. He spent four years with the Arizona Diamondbacks and in 2009-2011 he averaged 38 homers per year. This winter, the Brewers signed him to a minor-league contract. In eight games and 16 at bats this spring, Reynolds has collected four hits and three runs batted in while amassing a .250 batting average. Reynolds is expected to make the Brewers roster and could be an option for the everyday 1B.
Overbay, another winter signing, is a former Brewer (2004-2005). He's getting older (37), but in 2013 with the Yankees, he was able to hit .240 and collect 24 doubles. This spring, Overbay has appeared in seven games and batted 15 times. He has four hits and has scored three runs while hitting .267. Overbay has a good chance of making the team and could share time at 1B, but likely won't be the everyday option.
Francisco, who signed with the Brewers mid-season in 2013 is a young aggressive hitter who is prone to strikeouts. Even though the Brewers signed him as a 1B in 2013, prior to joining the team, he had only spent time at third base. In 2013 with the Brewers, Francisco had 53 hits in 240 at bats, but struck out 95 times. This spring, Francisco appeared in 7 games, but has been playing a lot at third base rather than 1B. He has the best average of the 1B candidates this spring (.375) and has hit two homers, but it looks like Reynolds is going to get the starting 1B job.
If Overbay and Reynolds both make the team, the Brewers would be smart to platoon the two with Reynolds getting the majority of the starts. If Overbay does not make the team, it will be Reynolds and Francisco.