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Top position prospect Bell shifting to first base

Top position prospect Bell shifting to first base play video for Top position prospect Bell shifting to first base

PITTSBURGH -- In response to what is already being called their "dream outfield," the Pirates are moving top position prospect Josh Bell to first base.

Bell, freshly named the Florida State League's Player of the Year as an outfielder, has been working out at first base since his mid-July promotion to Double-A Altoona.

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Bell has yet to play at the new position, but he will do so in the upcoming Arizona Fall League for the Scottsdale Scorpions -- who will be managed by Jeff Banister, the Major League club's bench coach.

"It's a good situation," said Pirates general manager Neal Huntington. "Jeff will be able to keep an eye on how this goes and keep us updated."

Rated No. 3 among Pittsburgh prospects, Bell has a high ceiling, but perhaps little chance of reaching it at his original position with the Bucs. Despite Gregory Polanco's recent return to Triple-A Indianapolis, the Pirates figure to be set for years with an outfield of Starling Marte, Andrew McCutchen and Polanco.

"He'll first go to the instructional league after the season and continue working there," Huntington said of Bell, "then he'll get his first game action at the position in the AFL.

"It's an opportunity for him to get at-bats in a very competitive environment, and to give first base a go. We just want to see how he takes to it and whether that can become an option for him."

Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. Teddy Cahill is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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{"event":["prospect" ] }
{"event":["prospect" ] }