Keeper Korner with Frank Stevens
It has happened to all of us before. We enter a fantasy baseball season planning to contend and leave the draft thinking our club is unbeatable. You draft names like Brandon Webb, Ervin Santana, Aramis Ramirez, Grady Sizemore, and Manny Ramirez only to lose them to injury and suspension.
The calendar then turns to June, and you find yourself dropping in the standings like a 12-6 curve falling off the table. You search the waiver wire and only get 50 percent of the production you lost. Lucky for you it is a keeper league, and there is always a chance to rebuild.
Each week we will examine a player that can help you do that. These are players deep in the minors and worth watching. We start this week with a Cardinals prospect that has a serious offensive upside.
Player Profile of the Week
Team: St. Louis Cardinals
Weight: 205 lbs
Drafted: First Round 2008 (13th overall)
College: Arizona State
Wallace has always been known for his offense. His eye popping college career at Arizona State (the college that produced Barry Bonds) resulted in becoming the 13th pick in the nation in June of 2008. He continues to work on the defensive game that at times has been below average.
Wallace began his pro career at Class A Quad Cities and hit the ground running immediately. Wallace spent just 153 at-bats there and hit .327 with five home runs and 25 RBI. He was quickly promoted to Class AA Springfield and the domination of minor league pitching continued. He ended the year there, terrorizing pitchers while batting .367 in just 49 at-bats that produced just seven strikeouts and eight extra-base hits (five doubles and three home runs).
In 2009, the prodigy began the year back in AA but did not stay there very long as the Cardinals promoted him quickly to AAA Memphis of the Pacific Coast League. Being just 22 years old in the upper system, Wallace has struggled a bit but has not embarrassed himself. After 108 at-bats, Wallace has hit just .241 with a pedestrian .609 OPS. In his past four games, however, Wallace has gone four for his last 11.
Estimated Time of Arrival and Stat Projections
Wallace's approach and his proven offensive track record will suggest quality numbers in the future. His estimated time of arrival in St. Louis is a late-season cup-of-coffee in 2009 and a chance to perhaps play everyday in 2010 once the defensive issues get ironed out.
Do not expect much for 2009 since on a recent ESPN telecast it was pointed out that St. Louis manager Tony LaRussa has been pining for a veteran bat and feels there could be too much inexperience already in the Cards' lineup. The Cardinals third base position has been spotty at best, and they are now attempting to convert SS Khalil Greene to third.
Overall, Wallace is a premium prospect with a great upside. Think Scott Rolen in his prime without the glove.
The Korner's Final Projection
All projections based on final upside of the player and 550 AB
.290 Batting Average
25 Home Runs
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