2024 Texas Rangers Spring Training Preview: First Base

Spring training is almost two weeks away and so lets preview the first base position for the Texas Rangers as we get closer to camp.
Championship Series - Texas Rangers v Houston Astros - Game Seven
Championship Series - Texas Rangers v Houston Astros - Game Seven / Bob Levey/GettyImages
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Who else will play first base this season?

I do think coming off the workload that Lowe and other players had in 2023 manager Bruce Bochy is going to be trying hard to get guys into the DH spot maybe once a week and that includes Lowe. I would be surprised if he has another season of 161 games at the position. Texas does have some options both internally and potentially externally.

The first internal option is Sam Huff. The backup catcher and part-time first baseman is out of options this season. Texas will need to trade him or risk losing him on waivers. Texas has signed a backup catcher in Andrew Knizner. Huff's role will likely be part-time DH, part-time first baseman, and power-hitting pinch hitter. This will be one of Bochy's more difficult jobs this season is keeping Huff engaged and involved. That will likely come with some starts at first base with Lowe being the DH. It will all be on Huff to produce and earn more at-bats. Bochy proved in 2023 that he will ride the hot hand until it cools off. See what he did with Ezequiel Duran in the first half and Mitch Garver in the second half.

Texas is rumored to have interest in Brandon Belt. He is a former Giant who won World Series with Bruce Bochy in his time with the Giants. Belt is currently a free agent after spending the 2023 season with the Toronto Blue Jays. Belt had 19 home runs in 2023 and is likely looking for another short-term contract. If they do sign Belt he would be able to spell Lowe at first base or fill in if Lowe is injured.

The other options are all minor leaguers. That would include Dustin Harris who is on the 40-man roster and has played first base in the minors. It would also include Abimelec Ortiz who will likely be the first baseman for Frisco this season and is coming off a season where he was the Texas Rangers minor league player of the year and second-team MILB All-Prospect first baseman. The last option was just signed to a minor-league deal and it is Jared Walsh. He will be in camp this spring trying to earn a spot. He was a first baseman for the Angels for the last three seasons but missed most of 2023 with an injury.

There will be options in case something happens to Lowe or if he needs a day off. Heading into 2024 the best option at first base will be Nathaniel Lowe. 2024 could see Lowe take that next step combine the great defense with a productive bat and become the best first baseman in the AL. He could run out to start the All-Star game at his home field this July. It is all in front of Lowe, the question becomes can he reach it?

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