Baseball America had a short article on the first basemen in this upcoming draft. For those of you who'd like to go to the direct source, you can find it here.
Here's the information for others, since it's not subscriber material:
-Brett Wallace and Andy Dykstra are more sandwich picks than true first rounders.
-Smoak is a candidate to go #1 overall, while Yonder Alonso will most likely go in the middle of the first round.
-Eric Hosmer is the top HS first baseman, and could go ahead of Smoak.
Based solely on performance, Smoak would not have cracked the list. After collecting three doubles and three home runs during Team USA's six-game tour of the New England Collegiate League, Smoak went 20-for-102 without any more homers, finishing with paltry .223/.291/.380 numbers. The performance was atypical for Smoak, who tore up the Cape Cod League last summer and batted .315/.434/.631 as a sophomore at South Carolina. He has plus raw power from both sides of the plate and a swing that has leverage.
Changeups gave him fits this summer and he didn't adjust quickly, often lacking balance, spinning off the ball and failing to recognize pitches consistently. He's a poor runner but has good hands and playable arm strength and footwork at first base.
"I couldn't pick out anything mechanically in his swing that was an obvious concern," an American League scout said. "We expect the world from this guy because he set the bar so high. In the end, it's one summer and I think you can give that type of player a pass because he's done so much."
Alonso was the consensus choice as the Cape's top all-around hitter. He had the best approach in the league, and it was tested when the Whitecaps lost all of their other power threats to injuries and early departures. Alonso remained patient and continued to use the whole field, finishing with league highs in walks (36) and on-base percentage (.468) while hitting .338.
"He's more than a power bat," a second NL scouting director said. "He's a hitter with power, so that's all the better. He's pretty advanced."
Alonso has a loose, compact stroke and excellent balance, and most of his current power comes in the form of line drives to the gaps. He should become more of a home run threat once he turns on and lifts more pitches. He's a below-average athlete who could work harder on his conditioning and defense, and even then he probably still will be limited to first base.
The Pacific-10 Conference Triple Crown winner and a first-team All-American as a sophomore, Wallace knows how to handle the bat. He spent most of the summer batting behind Pedro Alvarez and Smoak, and made consistent contact, posting a .312 average and .345 on-base percentage. He joined the team after Arizona State was eliminated in the College World Series and homered in his first at-bat, but managed just one more homer and four doubles the rest of the summer.
He's a mature hitter who drives balls to both gaps and has mastered the backside single. He'll show above-average bat speed and average raw power in batting practice, but it didn't translate to games with wood. All his value lies in his bat, as Wallace is a below-average runner and lacks the mobility to play the outfield as a professional, so he's likely locked into a role as a first baseman or designated hitter. As a result, the development of his power will dictate his draft stock.
Dykstra also was back for his second stint on the Cape, and though his home run total dropped from seven to five, he was more impressive this time around. He improved his batting average 76 points to .308 and started hitting the ball to the opposite field with authority. He's a huge (6-foot-5, 230 pounds) lefthanded hitter with lots of raw strength and lift in his swing. His bat will have to carry him because he's limited to first base.