h2h Corner ~ The David Wooderson All-Stars (II)

Regardless of your league’s format, knowing the hot up-and-coming prospects is super important to fantasy success. In keeper leagues, these players, often taken in the later rounds, typically form the foundation of fantasy dynasties. In single season leagues, smartly grabbing young players in the draft or shortly after their call-up is essential to success. Any way you look at it, it pays to know something about these general unknowns while they are still unknown. If you wait too long, you’ll be watching as they contribute meaningfully to your buddy’s team as he wins the league.

So, I introduce you to my newest recurring article, The David Wooderson All-Stars. This space will go further in-depth about the prospects and young stars who are currently being bandied about. As always, if there’s a budding player out there that you’re curious about, leave a comment and I’ll take a look at him – and perhaps even discuss him in a future edition.

The David Wooderson All-Stars, because “that’s what I love about these [prospects], man. I get older, they stay the same age.” Part I is available here.

Long-term plays

The Rangers are chock full of young pitching prospects (Neftali Feliz, Derek Holland). Martin Perez, though not as well known, is no exception. He has the young part down pat (he won’t be 19 until April). He also has the prospect thing down: in 176.1 minor league innings, Perez has posted a 3.16 ERA and 1.38 WHIP, struck out 172 batters and only walked 66. He also posted a microscopic 0.4 HR/9 IP ratio. His fastball is consistently clocked between 92 – 94, and touches 96. He has a sharp curveball and a changeup that is at least 10 MPHs slower than his fastball. He clearly has the talent to succeed in the majors. Because Perez doesn’t have a set spot on the Rangers roster, he isn’t worth drafting, except in extremely deep leagues. However, be aware of his call-up (maybe set a Google alert) because he could have real 2010 impact once he hits the bigs.

A big glove slap to the fine folks at Orioles prospects for some information on future phenom Zach Britton. According to Orioles prospects, Britton “works a very good slider/sinker combo. His slider is his out pitch while his superb groundball rate is the result of his sinker.” Certainly the 22-year-old has used his skills well: 3.25 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 7.3 K/9 and a 3.4 BB/9 rate in 385 minor league innings. Still, Britton has some work to do before reaching the majors. He might get a cup of coffee in late summer, but don’t expect much more. He is someone of interest for deep dynasty/keeper leagues.

This is turning into an all-Orioles edition of the David Wooderson All-Stars. Again, I turn to Orioles Prospects for some great insight – this time on Josh Bell (thank you, again, Erik Bedard). As “the best bat in the system, Bell combines above-average power with a good eye at the plate.” Only 23, Bell has had some success in the minors, posting a .289/.363/.478 AVE/OBP/SLG. While Miguel Tejada is manning the hot corner in Baltimore this year, he is merely a one-year stopgap. Look for Bell starting late summer of this year and throughout 2011.

Short-term Plays

Brian Matusz is the redhead to my Wooderson. In his brief stint in the majors last year (44.2 IPs), Matusz posted a 4.63 ERA, 1.48 WHIP and a 7.7 K/9 rate. Not bad at all for a debut. Combine these numbers with his minor league promise (1.91 ERA, 1.05 WHIP and 9.6 K/9) and his age (23) and you have a bonifide future ace. Matusz has a great fastball (it touches 94 MPHs), as well as outstanding breaking stuff (both a slider and curve). Based on his 2010 upside, Matusz should be drafted toward the end of all leagues. He’ll be a great keeper down the road.

One thing to remember in this and all previous/future Orioles analysis, I love the O-R-I-O-L-E-S.

If you want other prospects analyzed or columns, please let me know. Also, feel free to share your insights below or at my Twitter (@h2h_corner)/Facebook pages.

5 responses to this post.

  1. What’s your opinion of Alcides Escobar, SS, Milwaukee Brewers? He’s basically garaunteed a ton of time at that position with Hardy gone.
    I also love Desmond Jennings, OF, Tampa Bay Rays, his skills are there, but with the ton of prospects in that organization mixed with Crawford and Upton, his success might be a year premature.


  2. Posted by Albert Lang on February 25, 2010 at 9:31 pm

    I’ll have more on Desmond Jennings in the next week. For now, he is more of a long-term play because of the reasons you mention. he doesnt really have a clear line on playing time at the major league level. That said, Jennings has been compared to Carl Crawford, except people expect him to hit for more power. It appears to be a safe beat that he will hit 20 -25 HRs a year, with upside to 30 during his peak. Add that to his plus speed and you have a valuable fantasy commodity. In the minors last year, Jennings hit .318 with a .401 OBP and .487 SLG. While the power wasn’t there (just 11 HRs) yet, he swiped 52 bases and hit 31 doubles.


  3. Posted by Albert Lang on February 25, 2010 at 9:35 pm

    As for Alcides Escobar, he profiles a lot like Elvis Andrus circa 2009. Andrus had a .275 AVE and .343 in the minors with 125 SBs. this was over 407 games.

    Escobar had a .293 average and .333 OBP in the minors. He managed to steal 176 bases in 647 sames.

    Andrus had shown a better ability to get on base and a slightly better SB/Games rate. Still, the numbers are not that far off. So a .270 AVE, .320 OBP and 25+ steals seems possible for Escobar.

    i might prefer someone like Everth Cabrera this year because he has shown a better propensity to get on base, but Escobar has some decent upside.


  4. Posted by Evan Rosen on February 25, 2010 at 10:48 pm

    Any post that uses a pic from Dazed & Confused is a good post in my book. Another great one, Albert!

    By the way, Escobar is a decent play late in an NL only draft if you need speed. I think his batting average may be a bit rough this year, but he should get a good opportunity to show what he’s got.


  5. Posted by Albert Lang on February 26, 2010 at 8:28 am

    Trust me, you dont want to know the many titles i had to go through before coming up with Wooderson. Love his character.

    As for Alcides, a little intelligence based on some “expert” mixed league 12-team (where you start a middle infielder) mocks i have been doing is that he is going in the late teen rounds, 17 – 19. He is clearly not a sleeper in more informed circles. So if you are targeting him be aware that the Andrus comparisons are out there and people are valuing Escobar higher this year than they did Andrus last year.

    Still, like Evan said, in most leagues, Escobar will be a late flier and a good one.


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