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FAAB Factor - AL: Brent Morel Isn't Sad Anymore

Kyle McKeown

Kyle McKeown

Kyle McKeown is the Managing Editor of NBA Content for RotoWire.com. He hosts the Fantasy Basketball Podcast and writes about fantasy basketball. Kyle used to run an after school program and approaches his work as an editor with teaching in mind. He genuinely cares about helping others win their fantasy basketball leagues, which seems really dorky when it's written in the third person. kyle@rotowire.com

With this final edition of the AL FAAB for the 2011 season, I looked at two types of players. Some unique opportunities have come to fruition due to weak teams taking a harder look at their prospects (Royals), and some of the contending teams have had to go to their bench for production due to injuries (Red Sox). For those of you still playing out the final three days of the season with vigor, I tried to spotlight a few players who have excelled lately and are going to play in all of the closing games. For those of you out of contention, I tried to point out some situations that you could target in building your team for next year.

Iíve listed all of the bids as MAX this week, because if you really want someone, thereís no reason not to throw all of your remaining FAAB at the player.

If you have any guys not listed here who you think will get regular action next season, comment on them below.

STARTING PITCHERS

Scott Diamond, SP, MIN - Diamond finished the season having made seven starts for the Twins, posting a 5.08 ERA, 1.74 WHIP, and 19:17 K:BB ratio in 39 innings. Thereís a chance heíll be a part of the Twins rotation to start next season. Despite his poor showing this year, he might be worth adding for $1 and stashing as a possible cheap starter in keeper leagues. Mixed: MAX; AL: MAX.

Zach McAllister, SP, CLE - McAllister will start Wednesdayís season finale against the Tigers. Heís getting the start in place of Justin Masterson, because the Indians decided to shutdown Masterson after his start Friday. If youíre chasing wins this week, McAllister could be a nice play against a Tigers lineup that will probably feature a bevy of bench players. Though he struggled in limited action with the Indians this season, McAllister posted a promising 3.32 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, and 128:31 K:BB ratio at Triple-A. The 23-year-old righty could be a part of the teamís rotation next season. If youíre looking toward building for next season, he could be a cheap arm to add ahead of the draft. Mixed: MAX; AL: MAX.

Jerome Williams, SP, LAA - Williams made his last start of the season Saturday, but he has pitched well enough since being called up to the majors this season that the Angels may consider keeping him as a part of their rotation next season. Mixed: MAX; AL: MAX.

Jacob Turner, SP, DET - Turner was given another start for the Tigers on Thursday, and the promising 20-year-old righty struggled once again. Unless the Tigers go out and get someone in free agency, Turner could break camp with the team next season. They traded away several of their pitching prospects this season, but Turner was the one arm they were unwilling to part with. Heís not expected to make another start, so any interest in adding Turner would be with the idea that he could be in the Tigersí rotation next season. Mixed: MAX; AL: MAX.


RELIEF PITCHERS

Kevin Gregg, RP, BAL - Gregg has stepped back the closer role for the Orioles and muddied the situation at the back of the bullpen again. Itís unclear what the Orioles will do next season, but Gregg should have a leg up on the job going into next year. Greggís struggles and Jim Johnsonís inclusion in the save mix in September has made the situation a bit fuzzy. With Gregg sealing game Thursday and Saturday, heís the guy to own for the coming week and going into next season. Keeper league players will want to see if he was dropped in the last week or two when Johnson was getting save chances. Mixed: MAX; AL: MAX.


CATCHERS

Jesus Montero, C, NYY - Montero is expected to get a spot on the Yankeesí playoff roster because of the way heís swung the stick since joining the big league club. Through 52 at-bats, heís hit .346 with four home runs, 12 RBI, nine runs scored, three doubles, and a 5:16 BB:K ratio. The Yankees have only let him play two games at catcher, because they donít believe his ready to play there in the majors. However, the 21-year-oldís bat has proven potent against major league pitching. The one worry that has crept up about Montero is whether the Yankeesí use of him, almost exclusively, at DH could leave him without catcher eligibility in some leagues going into next season. The silver lining with him is that he hits like an outfielder. Even if he is only playable at DH next season, as long as he has an everyday gig, Montero will be worth drafting in standard mixed leagues. Mixed: MAX; AL: MAX.

Salvador Perez, C, KC - Perez has claimed the Royalsí starting job at catcher, and he should be there everyday in 2012. Through 134 at-bats with the team this season, heís hit .336 with three home runs, 18 RBI, 18 runs scored, eight doubles, three triples, and a 7:17: BB:K ratio. Manager Ned Yost said at the beginning of September that Perez is hard to take out of the lineup and should play 140 games for the team next season. Itís hard to get a much more firm vote of confidence. Make sure you donít forget about Perez when youíre considering whom to draft at catcher next season, and it may be worth stashing him now in keeper leagues. Mixed: MAX; AL: MAX.


CORNER INFIELDERS

Brent Morel, 3B, CHW - Morel should really take a picture where heís smiling and not looking like a sad puppy at media day next season, because heís had one heck of a September at the dish. The usually anemic third baseman went from having hit just two home runs through the first five months of the season to knocking eight home runs in 70 at-bats in September. Thatís not a typo. Brent Morel has hit eight home runs in September. While Iíd like to say that his recent power surge is merely an anomaly that will likely never be duplicated, itís worth noting that Morel did show the ability to hit for a high average and some moderate pop in the minors. Heíll be 25 years old next season, so thereís a chance that heís finally growing into his power stroke. If that happens, we could see the White Sox stumbling into the second coming of Joe Crede. I donít want to get anyone thinking that Morelís binge is going to lead to him posting consistent power numbers next season, but the fact that he plays in that little league field in Chicago for half of his games, thereís a chance he could surprise a lot of people next season. If you find yourself without a third baseman late in a draft next season and digging through the scraps, it might be worth taking a flier on Morel. The White Sox are desperate for players who donít strike out a lot to step up and be a bigger part of their offense. Eight home runs. Seriously? I suppose the gods needed to give the White Sox something to be happy about after they had to suffer through Adam Dunnís dreadful season. Mixed: MAX; AL: MAX.

Mike Moustakas, 3B, KC - After struggling through his first two and a half months in the majors, Moustakas found some comfort with the Royals and started to produce at the plate in September. At the end of August, Moose had a .576 OPS, but an 11 game hit streak in September has helped him post an .877 OPS in the last month. During that stretch, he hit three of his four home runs, and it appears the seasoning heís received in the majors this year could put the promising young third baseman on the track to have a successful campaign in 2012. Moose may have been dropped during his rough rookie initiation, but donít let his road bumps this season affect your outlook on him going into next season too much. The Royals will have him in the lineup at third base everyday next season, and he should threaten to hit 20 or more home runs out of the middle of their lineup. Mixed: MAX; AL: MAX.

Brandon Allen, 1B, OAK - The potential big bopper started off his move to the Athletics on a tear, but heís fallen into a catastrophic slump that has already led to the team having to question his role in their organization. Allen has hit so poorly lately that the slap hitting Daric Barton had enough confidence to claim that heíll be ready to battle for the starting first base job next spring. I was a big supporter of Allenís all season. When the Diamondbacks were running out Russell Branyan and Juan Miranda to little success, it was frustrating not to see them give Allen a proper look at first. Now that the Athletics gave him a long look that has resulted in Allen posting a weak .632 OPS over 139 at-bats, it appears the Diamondbacks were right in not giving Allen a lionís share of the playing time at first. The power Allen has shown throughout his career in the minors still makes him an interesting prospect, but it wonít mean anything unless he starts to have success in the majors. Mixed: MAX; AL: MAX.

Mike Aviles, 3B, BOS - Aviles is filling in at third to end the season with Kevin Youkilis (hip) still trying to work his way back. If you need someone to fill in at pretty much any position, Aviles should be eligible at shortstop, third, second, and the outfield in some leagues. Since joining the Red Sox this season, heís hit .344 with two home runs, six doubles, eight RBI, and 15 runs scored in 93 at-bats. Mixed: MAX; AL: MAX.


MIDDLE INFIELDERS

Robert Andino, 2B, BAL - Andino has played anywhere the Orioles needed him to this season. In addition to playing a few games in left field, Andino played 90 games at second, 30 at shortstop, and 22 at third. He should be eligible at all three of those positions next season, but thereís no guarantee heíll have a starting job. Brian Roberts (concussion) missed the bulk of the season, opening the door for Andino to fill in at second all year, but Roberts or someone else with a better bat could get a look as the starter at second next season. At 27 years old, itís unlikely we see Andino take any great leaps in his production at the plate or on the base paths. Heís a Ramon Santiago type utility player that can easily fill in for a teamís starter in the infield, but heís not going to man a starting job on a winning team. Mixed: MAX; AL: MAX.

Trevor Plouffe, SS, MIN - Plouffe has been starting at shortstop for the Twins down the stretch. Theyíve played him in the outfield some, but most of his action has come in the middle infield this season. Questions remain about his defense, but itís believed he has the bat to start at second or shortstop for the Twins next season. Though Plouffe is currently sporting a .693 OPS for the season, he has hit 18 doubles and seven home runs through 269 at-bats. He has decent power for a middle infielder, but Plouffe will probably always struggle to hit for a good average. Through four seasons at Triple-A, he never hit higher than .258 for a season. Mixed: MAX; AL: MAX.


Outfielders/DH

Lorenzo Cain, OF, KC - Cain is expected to start for the last three days of the regular season. The Royals are holding Alex Gordon and Jeff Francoeur out of the lineup the rest of the way so they can get a good look at Cain and Jarrod Dyson. Through 487 at-bats at Triple-A this season, the 25-year-old outfielder hit .312 with 16 home runs, 28 doubles, seven triples, 81 RBI, 84 runs scored, and 16 steals. His home runs and steals arenít mind blowing, but his .877 OPS and ability to use his athleticism to stretch out hits for extra bases makes an intriguing prospect. The Royals appear to have their outfield set for the future with Gordon, Melky Cabrera, and Francoeur all in their prime, so Cain or one of the other guys might need to get traded for Cain to earn enough playing time to be a factor in most fantasy leagues. Mixed: MAX; AL: MAX.

Jarrod Dyson, OF, KC - Dyson is going to play the final three games alongside Cain with Francoeur and Gordon sitting out the final games. Manager Ned Yost told the media that he wants to see what he has in Dyson and Cain for next season, but thereís probably some showcasing being done there too. With Gordon, Cabrera, and Francoeur seemingly locked into the starting outfield gigs, it would make sense for the Royals to try and secure their bid for future success by moving some of their promising young prospects for help in their pitching corps. Dyson is a speed demon. If you need help with steals over the final three days, he could swipe a handful in those games. As a word of caution, it should be noted that some of his steals came from him pinch-running. Heís struggled to get on base and hit consistently in the majors. If he canít get on base, there wonít be an opportunity for him to steal. Mixed: MAX; AL: MAX.

Brennan Boesch, OF, DET - If someone dropped Boesch in a keeper league, after he was ruled out for the rest of the season, itíd be worth adding him with an eye toward next season. Mixed: MAX; AL: MAX.

Nolan Reimold, OF, BAL - Reimold started the year in Triple-A with the team committed to playing Luke Scott in left field at the beginning of the year, and he struggled for the first few months after returning to the majors. However, he finally found his power stroke in September and has surprised everyone by being active on the base paths over the last month. Reimold will probably fighting for a starting spot again next spring, but heís ending the season on a high note. Through 20 games in September, heís hit five home runs and stolen six bases. Though he stole eight bags in his rookie season in 2009, Reimold hadnít been showing much activity on base paths the last two seasons. He should battle Matt Angle for the starting left field gig n spring training. Mixed: MAX; AL: MAX.

Ben Revere, OF, MIN - Revere has stolen nine bags in September to raise his season total to 34. He doesnít hit for any power, but his ability to collect steals consistently will make him an asset in fantasy leagues next season. Even with Denard Span healthy and playing everyday in center next season, Revere should be given the everyday job in left. Mixed: MAX; AL: MAX.