The key with evaluating amateurs isn't so much gathering information as it is analyzing that information in context. Once you get past the basics on Keon Barnum (big, lefty-hitting prep first baseman with plus power) there are some concerns to address.
First, there's his position. High school first basemen start their careers behind the eight ball developmentally. The success stories (Adrian Gonzalez, Eric Hosmer and Prince Fielder) are rare and all three were drafted as elite level bats plucked with premium picks (No. 1, No. 3 and No. 7 overall). Otherwise, players limited to the wrong end of the positional spectrum as teenagers haven't fared very well.
Secondly, you have his age. Barnum will be almost 19 1/2 on draft day. He's 10 months older than 2011 first-round pick Francisco Lindor. He's the same age or older than many 2011 prep draftees. To compare apples to apples, he should be compared to them, many of whom will be playing in full-season leagues in April while Barnum is still in high school. Barnum needs to dominate this spring to keep up.
To read more of Kiley McDaniel's MLB Draft blog report on Keon Barnum and Adam Walker, become an Insider today.