It's been a while since St. Louis Cardinals fans have had any particular need to look at top first base prospects, but with Albert Pujols gone I—well, I've felt myself getting back into the habit. You can't blame me, right? In MLB.com's prospect-by-position rankings, the Chicago Cubs' Anthony Rizzo finished first, with the Cardinals' Matt Adams finishing sixth and NL Central players all over the list—Jonathan Singleton of the Houston Astros is third, while Yonder Alonso, formerly of the Reds, and Neftali Soto, currently of the Reds, are at second and seventh, with Pirate Alex Dickerson and Cub Dan Vogelbach at ninth and tenth.â†µ
Rizzo and Adams are both similar players, though Rizzo's better performance at a higher level sets him apart. Both Rizzo and Adams have a ton of power and are still whispered about because of the hitter-friendly tendencies of the leagues they played in; Rizzo, just 21, hit .331/.404/.652 in the Pacific Coast Leage's Tucson (and .141/.281/.242 in an ugly MLB call-up), while back in the AA Texas League Matt Adams finished at .300/.357/.566.â†µ
The Cubs, you'll recall spitefully, acquired Rizzo in an absurd trade for dinged-up rookie pitcher Andrew Cashner. For all that, of course, Rizzo won't even be starting—the Cubs are going to do the humane thing and free 29-year-old AAAA all-star Bryan LaHair after his own .331/.405/.664 season in the PCL.