My last rookies column took a look at the top prospects for 2007, but for those of you in keeper leagues, long-term prospects also generate a fair share of appeal. Here are my top 25 long-term prospects (excluding those listed in my top 2007 prospects column):
1. Brandon Wood, SS, Angels: Though his 2006 numbers -- .276-25-83 for Double-A Arkansas -- come across as disappointing, it's a little unfair to compare them to his 53 doubles, 43 homers, 370 total bases and 101 extra-base hits from the year before at Class A Rancho Cucamonga, each a minor league-leading total. Wood continues to draw comparisons to Cal Ripken Jr. for his complete package of power and defense, and even if he shifts to third base, he'll be something special for fantasy. ETA: late 2007.
2. Cameron Maybin, OF, Tigers: Speed is his greatest asset right now, but don't take that as the slightest knock on his bat, as Maybin did a fine job in his professional debut at Class A West Michigan in 2006. He'll need to cut down on the strikeouts -- one per 3.3 at-bats -- but this is a future 30/30 man, quite a valuable commodity for fantasy. Maybin, who turns 20 in April, is closer to the majors than you'd think. ETA: early 2008.