Top prospects: C | 1B | 2B | 3B

As lifelong Fantasy players (you were doing this in diapers, right?), we've all heard it more times we can count: First base is deep.

So deep, in fact, that it's almost a foregone conclusion you'll draft a first baseman to fill your utility spot, which basically means that if not for that utility spot, you could fill the position twice over.

You may be surprised, then, to learn that it's not so deep at the minor-league level. No organization wants to confine a prospect to first base if he has a halfway decent chance of getting by somewhere else. So every year, I struggle just to come up with 10 names for this list.

Sure, I could have gone with role players who still technically qualify as rookies like Adam Duvall, Ben Paulsen, Justin Bour and Matt Clark, and maybe one of them will surprise. But if the goal here is to unearth potential Fantasy gems, why pick a player who seems destined for a reserve role long-term?

Some of these players may be several years away, and others may have noticeable flaws. But all have the kind of upside you look for in Fantasy.

Note: This list has been adjusted for Fantasy purposes. Though long-term potential is a factor, it's arguably less important than the player's expected role in 2015. These prospects don't all profile as superstars, but they're the names most worth knowing in Fantasy right now.

1. Christian Walker, 24, Orioles
Where played in 2014: Double-A, Triple-A, majors
Minor-league stats: .288 BA, 26 HR, 96 RBI, .846 OPS, 56 BB, 132 K
Major-league stats: .167 (18 at-bats), 1 HR, 1 2B, .599 OPS, 1 BB, 9 K

Walker's glaring weakness was that his power didn't profile at first base, but he fixed that in 2014, tweaking his swing to incorporate his lower body more. The tradeoff was a few more strikeouts, but Walker is a good enough hitter to play every day should the opportunity arise this season.

2. Greg Bird, 22, Yankees
Where played in 2014: high Class A, Double-A
Minor-league stats: .271 BA (369 at-bats), 14 HR, .848 OPS, 63 BB, 97 K

A natural hitter who would probably still be catching if not for recurring back issues, Bird should still measure up at first base thanks to an incredible walk rate. His minor-league numbers are vaguely reminiscent of Nick Johnson's, a former Yankees first base prospect who would have had a much better career if not for injuries of his own.

3. Casey Gillaspie, 22, Rays
Where played in 2014: short-season Class A
Minor-league stats: .262 BA (263 at-bats), 7 HR, .774 OPS, 42 BB, 65 K

Gillaspie's exact upside remains to be seen after the Rays drafted him 20th overall in 2014, but some liken him to Lance Berkman and Mark Teixeira as a switch-hitter with patience and power. That's jumping the gun a bit, but he's clearly one of the better long-term keepers at the position.

4. A.J. Reed, 21, Astros
Where played in 2014: short-season Class A, low Class A
Minor-league stats: .289 BA (249 at-bats), 12 HR, .898 OPS, 30 BB, 54 K

As a second-round pick in 2014, Reed hasn't gotten much attention from the prospect hounds yet, but he has mammoth power and enough plate discipline to make him more than just a one-note hitter. He ranks up there with Casey Gillaspie in long-term appeal.

5. Matt Olson, 21, Athletics
Where played in 2014: high Class A
Minor-league stats: .262 BA, 37 HR, 97 RBI, .947 OPS, 117 BB, 137 K

A "Three True Outcomes" player whose walks are outdone only by his strikeouts, Olson's performance in the hitter-friendly California League was a bit like Maxwell Muncy's in 2013. And you'll notice he's not on this list anymore. If the upside for Olson is only in the Chris Carter range, the downside may be a deal-breaker in long-term keeper leagues.

6. Matt Skole, 25, Nationals
Where played in 2014: Double-A
Minor-league stats: .241 BA, 14 HR, .352 OBP, .751 OPS, 78 BB, 127 K

Skole's numbers in the lower levels are what put him on the prospect map to begin with, which makes a dip in those numbers especially concerning. Maybe he was just slow to recover from Tommy John surgery or to adapt to Double-A after basically skipping a level, but at age 25, he's running out of time to prove himself.

7. Bobby Bradley, 18, Indians
Where played in 2014: Rookie
Minor-league stats: .361 BA (155 at-bats), 8 HR, 50 RBI, 1.078 OPS, 16 BB, 36 K

Though only a third-round pick in 2014, Bradley quickly improved his stock by winning the first Arizona League triple crown since 1989. He has a long way to go, though, at age 18 and certainly wouldn't be the first prospect to flame out in full-season ball.

8. Dominic Smith, 19, Mets
Where played in 2014: low Class A
Minor-league stats: .271 BA, 1 HR, 26 2B, .683 OPS, 51 BB, 77 K

"Ugh" is the proper response to Smith's numbers, along with confusion as to why he's on this list. It begins and ends with pedigree. The Mets saw fit to draft him 11th overall in 2013 because the scouts all raved about his swing, so in a long-term keeper scenario, he gets a pass for now.

9. Daniel Vogelbach, 22, Cubs
Where played in 2014: high Class A
Minor-league stats: .268 BA, 16 HR, .357 OBP, .787 OPS, 66 BB, 91 K

Generously listed at 6 feet, 260 pounds, Vogelbach hits surprisingly well for a squatty fellow, but his numbers have slipped with every step up the ladder. Because his bat will have to carry him, that's a trend he'll need to reverse in the upper levels -- a tall task, for sure.

10. Rangel Ravelo, 22, White Sox
Where played in 2014: Double-A
Minor-league stats: .309 BA, 11 HR, 37 2B, .859 OPS, 56 BB, 77 K

If home runs weren't the expectation at first base, you would have heard of Ravelo long before now. He improved his power just enough in 2014 to make his Martin Prado-like contact rate interesting in Fantasy, especially if the White Sox consider moving him back to third base, his natural position.