Prospect rankings remain a snapshot of a moment in time, as more information is gathered constantly and new reports can change any number of perceptions on a player's future value. With the end of the minor league season, now's a good time to take a look back at our preseason prospect rankings, and see how some of these perceptions might have changed.
First base prospects are always considered a bit dicey, as there are very few that are likely to have impact potential that are already at the position in the minor leagues. In most cases, players who end up at first base in the Majors started their professional journey at other positions instead, and were determined to be unfit for that position defensively.
Note: These are not new rankings. These rankings were originally released in November of 2012.
Consensus Top 20 First Base Prospects
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Miguel Sano - Sano went out and pretty much did what people were expecting from him at the plate, but the reason he's moving up has more to do with his defense. We ranked him as a first baseman last offseason in large part due to the concerns about his ability to stay at third base in the long term. Multiple reports released this season give reason to believe he can stick at third base long-term, and could continue to improve there.
Matt Adams - The Cardinals really don't have anywhere to play the Slippery Rock product long-term unless they get creative with where Allen Craig is going to play everyday, so it seems a lot more likely that he could be traded for another organizational need, and has all the makings of a 25+ home run hitter if he gets a starting job somewhere.
Alex Dickerson - Dickerson isn't a flashy prospect, but the performance at AA was solid enough to move him up these ranks this offseason. While it seems unlikely he would be a top 10 first baseman given the depth of the position, he still looks like he could provide 15-20 home runs with a good batting average in some years, which definitely has value.
C.J. Cron - The pressure was already on Cron to hit well, as reports on his defense at first base have been sketchy. While his numbers were not bad (.274, 14 HR, 8 SB), ideally you're looking for a player to really hit a ton if they're going to be relegated to first base in the best case scenario, and a DH in the worst case. It will be interesting to see what the Angels do with him for 2014, as they are still realistically locked into Pujols and Trumbo for 1B/DH long-term still.
Miles Head - Head played in just 40 games at AA Midland this year due to injuries, and while the team was still playing him at third base there, I saw him last year when he was in Stockton and I'd be completely shocked if he played there in the Majors. That shift, combined with the emergence of Max Muncy this year, will likely put pressure on him going into 2014.
Keon Barnum - The knock on Barnum at this point is how often he gets injured, as he missed a substantial portion of the season due to hand and knee injuries. He hit alright in full-season Low-A (.254, 5 HR), but appeared in just 56 games this year as a result. Barnum has the pedigree (supplemental first rounder from 2012) to potentially jump up these rankings with a solid season in 2014, but that's far from a sure thing at this point.