Another thought experiment for the end of the year 2010, this one a bit darker and one I hope never comes to fruition. If the Cardinals do not re-sign Albert Pujols at 1B, will they be able to replace him internally from the farm system? (Odds are that the Cardinals WILL re-sign Albert, but it does not hurt to take a look at our 1B depth just in case.)
The First basemen in the Cardinals system have been blocked by Pujols ever since he moved from 3B to LF to 1B and stayed there. Pujols has been a full-time first baseman since 2004 and any prospect that was reaching the minor leagues’ ceiling as first base needed to be moved for a player at another position. (See Wallace, Brett who will be a permanent 1B in the majors.) That being said, what do the Cardinals have left in the minors at first base? The great thing about first base is that it can be played by any slugging player that does not quite have a position and the Cardinals have a few of those as well.
Obviously, no one in the universe is going to replace Pujols’ production, so we can only look at the internal candidates to replace him at 1B and how well they will do.