For the second year in a row, MLB Pipeline picked Josh Bell as one of the top first base prospects in the minors. Last year, Bell got the nod as the best prospect at his position despite the fact he had not played a regular season game at first base yet. This year, he finished second behind A.J. Reed of the Astros. Bell ended up hitting .307/.376/.427 in 96 games with Altoona in 2015, then moved up to Indianapolis and hit .347/.441/.504 in 35 games there. On top of that, he batted .444 in eight playoff games.
Bell’s timetable to the majors will depend on how much progress he shows in the field and from the right side of the plate. His defense was rough in 2015, but his off-season workouts this year revolved around getting more agile at the position and getting better at making throws, as the switch from an outfield to an infield last year was not seamless. He was also working on a leg kick at the plate last year, which should allow him to display more in-game power. You can view videos here of his defensive work and his time in the batting cages from Pirates mini-camp last week. You can compare videos in that link to see how much better he looks from the right side this winter.