Mar 13, 2012; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo (44) hits a solo home run during the seventh inning against the San Francisco Giants at Scottsdale Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE
To be consistent with Jason Hunt's Catcher rankings, I have copied his introduction to explain how we are ranking prospects at each position. I will be ranking he First Base prospects for 2012.
With the amateur draft completed last week, we figured now would be a great time to revisit our positional prospect rankings. Over the next two weeks, the staff here at Fake Teams will be providing their top 20 prospects in the minors at each of the infield positions (C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS), and their top 50 outfielders and starting pitchers. Here's a bit of how our determinations were made:
- Each player ranked at a position is either currently playing there, or widely anticipated to end up there by the time they reach the major leagues. As an example, Billy Hamilton is not expected to remain at shortstop long-term based on the opinions of others within the field. As a result, he can be ranked at shortstop since he currently plays the position, and will also be ranked at second base, as he is most likely to end up at that position.
- Primarily, we are viewing prospects who remain in the minor leagues, or who have been up in the majors for less than one month at most. As a result of this, players like Bryce Harper and Mike Trout will not appear on the outfield rankings.
- Draftees are not necessarily being included within the main rankings, but each position will have a few players from the draft mentioned as players who potentially could be in the top 20/50 lists created during the upcoming offseason.
- In many cases, prospects ranked within a spot of each other could likely be switched and still be fine in my rankings. As with all rankings, they are a good look at how we see the group of players at the time of the list preparation.
Before I begin, here is a link to my preseason First Base Prospect rankings. My 2012 Midseason First Base Prospect rankings follow after the jump:
The first base position is tough to rank, and some of the guys I have included in my rankings aren't playing there yet, but could end up there before they reach the big leagues. Guys that I have included in my rankings, but have not played there in the minors are Miguel Sano, Mike Olt and Christian Yelich.
Each player will be listed with their name, their organization, and their current level in the minor leagues.
1.Anthony Rizzo, CHC, AAA - It's just a matter of time before Rizzo gets called up by the Cubs, and once he gets the call, he will play everyday and should provide power and a decent BA for fantasy owners. Jason wrote about him here in mid-May. He is tearing up AAA hitting .357-.418-.695 with 18 HRs, 41 runs, 49 RBI and 41-20 strikeout to walk ratio.
2. Miguel Sano, MIN, A - I am a sucker for power and power is Sano's middle name. Craig wrote about him back in late March here. He is currently playing third base for Beloit in the Midwest League, and could grow out of the position in the next few years and could end up at first base before he reaches the majors. He started the 2012 season tearing up the Midwest League, but has cooled off since, but is hitting .240-.350-.507 with 14 HRs, 39 runs, 45 RBI and a 74-33 strikeout to walk ratio, so there is plenty of swing and miss in his swing.
3. Jonathan Singleton, HOU, AA - Singleton is probably the better pure hitter of the top 3 first baseman in these rankings, but doesn't have as much power as Rizzo and Sano, He is currently hitting .289-.403-.525 with 11 HRs, 43 runs, 40 RBI and a solid 54-38 strikeout to walk ratio in 204 at bats.
4. Mike Olt, TEX, AA - Olt is currently playing third base in the Texas League, and more importantly is blocked by some guy name Adrian Beltre with the big league club, so I have included him here in the first base rankings, as first base is his best shot to make it to the big club. Olt is currently leading the Texas League in HRs with 19 and is hitting .306-.406-.622 with 52 RBI, 42 runs scored and a 66-36 strikeout to walk ratio in 222 AA at bats.
5. Christian Yelich, MIA, A+ - I would not have included Yelich here until I read this from Keith Law's scouting report on him in the preseason:
Yelich's problem is on defense, where his throwing motion -- which the Marlins believed they could fix, or at least tweak -- earns comparisons to Shannon Stewart and other famous noodle-armed outfielders, limiting him to left field or possibly first base.
He will have to show more power to move to first base, but he is hitting .276-.354-.519 with 7 HRs, 29 runs, 18 RBI, 11 stolen bases and a 43-19 strikeout to walk ratio in 156 at bats in 42 games in High A.
6. Chris Carter, OAK, AAA - I am not sure if Carter is more of a AAAA player or not, as he is repeating AAA for the 4th year, hitting .260-.344-.466 with 10 HRs, 37 runs, 48 RBI and a 64-29 strikeout to walk ratio in 219 at bats this season. He has plenty of power as he has hit 180 home runs in his minor league career.
7. David Cooper, TOR, AAA - Cooper is currently up with the Blue Jays hitting .333-.373-.521 with 2 HRs, 7 runs, and 6 RBI in 48 at bats. Prior to his call up, he was hitting .298-.378-.497 with 6 HRs, 23 runs, 34 RBI and an excellent 19-22 strikeout to walk ratio in 161 AAA at bats.
8. C.J. Cron, LAA, A+ - Until this offseason Cron was the future first baseman for the Angels, now he is trade bait at some point after the Angels signed Albert Pujols to a 10 year deal. He's had a solid first few months at High A Inland Empire, hitting .294-.336-.486 with 10 HRs, 31 runs and 49 RBI in 63 games. He will have to learn to take the free pass to progress as a hitter.
9. Miles Head, OAK, A+ Head is off to a hot start to the 2012 season, hitting .368-.422-.653 with 12 HRs, 49 runs, 45 RBI and a 48-21 strikeout to walk ratio in High A. He has chipped in with 20 doubles and 6 triples for a total of 38 extra base hits. He is playing more third base than first base this year after playing first base for the majority of his minor league career.
10. Neftali Soto, CIN, AAA - Soto has struggled in his first shot at seeing AAA pitching, hitting .238-.290-.379 with 8 HRs, 25 runs and 31 RBI. His 65-17 strikeout to walk ratio in 240 at bats will have to improve before he sees big league pitching, and it won't be in Cincinnati with Joey Votto blocking him for the next decade or so.
11. Dan Vogelbach, CHC, Rk
12. Chris Marrero, WAS, AAA
13. Harold Riggins, COL, A
14. Alex Dickerson, PIT, A+
15. Travis Shaw, BOS, A+J
16. Joe Terdoslavich, ATL,
17. Nick Delmonico, BAL
18. Jesus Aguilar, CLE
19. Lars Anderson, BOS, AAA
20. Ronald Guzman, TEX, A-
1. Matt Olson, OAK, 47th overall - Olson has the potential to hit for average and power
2. Keon Barnum, CHW, 48th overall - Barnum is a big guy with huge power potential, and is already 6'5" and 205 pounds.
3. Christian Walker, BAL, 132nd overall - Walker has the bat to hit for average and power, and rarely strikes out.