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Top Prospect Alert

Wes Anderson -- By Robert Sherry

In a very deep and talented Florida Marlins system that boasts some of the best young arms both in the minors and now currently at the major league level in the likes of Brad Penny, Josh Beckett, A.J. Burnett, etc., this 20-year-old righty gets a bit overshadowed by these other future stars. However, Anderson should become a fixture either at or near the top of the Marlins rotation for years to come.

Standing at 6-foot-4 and 175 pounds, Anderson was a 14th round selection in the 1997 draft largely because many were sure that he would play college baseball at the University of Arkansas. Instead, he decided to trade in the chance to wear the Razorbacks uniform in exchange for the teal of the Marlins. He signed late and made his pro debut in the Gulf Coast League in 1997.

Since debuting, all Anderson has done is shown what a mistake other teams made in not taking the risk of drafting him. In 1999, he pitched for Kane County in the Midwest league and dominated batters with a low-to-mid-90s fastball, good slider, and changeup. He ended up compiling a 9-5 record with a 3.21 ERA, two complete games, 137 innings pitched, 111 hits allowed, 51 walks, and 134 strikeouts in 23 starts. The only negative to his season was that he had a bout of shoulder tendinitis that forced him to miss a few starts during the season. However, once he came back, he showed no ill effects from it.

John Smoltz is the comparison you always seem to hear in talking about Anderson. I like that choice and think Anderson could put up very similar stats as he has the brains and all the skills to do so once he makes it to the majors and gets his feet wet.


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