2012 Prospect Position Rankings: First Base
See also: Righthanded starters
See also: Lefthanded starters
See also: Relievers
See also: Catchers
Ranking players is one of the bedrocks of what we do here at Baseball America. With the Top 100 Prospects
list now in the books, we're not putting the offseason rankings away
just yet. Over the next couple of weeks, we're ranking prospects by
position, continuing today with first basemen.
First base is thin in the minor leagues, but that's not uncommon, with Albert Pujols, Mark Teixeira and others all migrating to the position in the majors from previous defensive homes. Several young players like Eric Hosmer, Freddie Freeman, Ike Davis, Paul Goldschmidt, Brandon Belt, Gaby Sanchez, Mark Trumbo and Justin Smoak have either established themselves as regulars in the last couple of years or have a chance to in 2012.
2012 Top Rookie:
Yonder Alonso, Padres. Alonso won't hit 30 home runs in Petco Park—even 25 may be a stretch—but he should get on base plenty with his swing, ability to use the whole field and manage the strike zone.
2012 Breakout: Dan Vogelbach, Cubs.
It would be a surprise if Vogelbach didn't go out and rake in the low minors, given his combination of plus-plus power and plate discipline.
1. Yonder Alonso, Padres:
Alonso will finally get a chance to play every day in the big leagues, and it's time to show whether he can make it as a hit-first, power-second first baseman
2. Jonathan Singleton, Astros:
Scouts are high on Singleton's hitting mechanics, and it's only a matter of time before his raw power starts showing up more in game situations.
3. Anthony Rizzo, Cubs:
Now with his third team, Rizzo will have to prove his San Diego struggles were just a blip. His smooth defense doesn't slump.
4. C.J. Cron, Angels:
Cron's plus-plus power is tantalizing, and while some scouts think he can hit, there's not much here in the way of defense.
5. Matt Adams, Cardinals:
Adams will try to follow in Allen Craig's footsteps as an under-appreciated Cardinals farmhand who just goes out and hits.
6. Neftali Soto, Reds:
Learning to use the whole field helped his power break out, but will he learn to draw a walk more than once per series?
7. Dan Vogelbach, Cubs:
Built like a softball player, Vogelbach won't be confused with Mike Trout, but he has huge power and an approach to hitting beyond his years.
8. Travis Harrison, Twins:
Harrison has rhythm and balance at the plate along with above-average power potential, though his swing path is geared more to line drives right now.
9. Ronald Guzman, Rangers:
Big-ticket 2011 international signing has a fluid lefthanded swing and great approach for a long-levered 17-year-old with no pro at-bats. He could take off if he gets stronger and hits with more power.
10. Chris Marrero, Nationals:
Best fit might be as a bench bat and an occasional starter, but he's made improvements at every level and is close to big league ready.
11. Miles Head, Athletics
12. Tyler Moore, Nationals
13. Alex Dickerson, Pirates
14. Chris Parmalee, Twins
15. Chris Carter, Athletics
16. Brett Pill, Giants
17. Alex Dickerson, Pirates
18. Edinson Rincon, Padres
19. Ryan Wheeler, Diamondbacks
20. Jose Osuna, Pirates