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FAAB Factor - NL: Vote For Pedro

Jan Levine

Jan Levine

Levine covers baseball, basketball and hockey for RotoWire. In addition to his column writing, he's the master of the MLB and NHL cheatsheets. In his spare time, he roots for the Mets.


National League - FAAB - 9/30/12
 
This is the final column of the year. Thanks to all who read the article as well as to those who provided comments or suggestions. Please feel free to provide any comments or suggestions for next year either on the site or via email to jan.levine@gmail.com or support@rotowire.com.
 
Starting Pitching:

Jeurys Familia - Familia, who threw two scoreless innings Wednesday, will start in place of Colin McHugh on Monday in Miami. The original plan was to have Familia work in late-inning situations the final few weeks of the season, but that changed, as the Mets now want Familia to start focusing on developing his secondary pitches. There is still question as to Familia's future role with the Mets- starter or reliever - but he should a chance to break camp with the team next spring. Familia finished 9-9 with a 4.73 ERA in 28 starts for Triple-A Buffalo. When he is on, Familia mixes a late moving, mid-90s fastball with a developing slider and changeup. Mixed: $1; NL: $4.

Jenrry Mejia - Mejia, who has switched between starting and relieving since his promotion to the majors, similar to his minor-league campaign, had a solid outing Monday against the Pirates. Mejia, who returned from Tommy John surgery this season and failed in his conversion to relieving at Triple-A Buffalo, uses a low-to-mid 90s cutting/sinking fastball, plus-changeup and work-in-progress curveball. Like Jeurys Familia, there are questions as to Mejia's future role with the Mets and he too should get a chance to break camp with the Mets. The high GB/FB ratio along with velocity and improving control make Mejia a solid sleeper for next season. Mixed: $2; NL: $7.

Wily Peralta - After a rough start to the year, Peralta finished the season at Triple-A Nashville on a high note, going 2-3 with a 3.97 ERA with 64 strikeouts in 56.2 innings. He was promoted in early-September to take Mark Rogers' spot in the rotation and hit the ground running. Peralta is 2-1 with a 2.48 ERA, 1.207 WHIP and 23:11 K:BB ratio in 24 innings for Milwaukee. He left Thursday's start with biceps tendinitis, which will cost him his final start of the year, but it's been an excellent 2012 season for Peralta. Like Mejia, if Peralta he can find a way to limit the walks, his solid velocity and high GB/FB ratio bode well for future success. Mixed: $3; NL: $9 (more of a defined role for next season).

B.J. Rosenberg - Rosenberg is a candidate to make a spot start Tuesday. Tyler Cloyd has been shut down for the rest of the season due to a tired arm. Rosenberg has been stretched out a bit in a long relief role and could give the Phillies four or five innings. Mixed: No; NL: $0.

Tyler Thornburg - Thornburg will start Tuesday for Milwaukee. Thornburg has made two relief appearances since the Brewers recalled him earlier in the month, but the team might as well get him a start before the season ends now that the team's postseason chances are virtually null. Thornburg struggled in two MLB starts earlier in the year, but he may fare better against the Padres at home Tuesday. Despite pitching as a starter in the minors, long-term, he projects to be a reliever in the majors. Mixed: No; NL: $0.

Relief Pitchers:

Wilton Lopez - Lopez has been very solid since taking over as the Astros' closer in August and has been outstanding here in September. He's allowed just two runs over 13 innings (12 appearances) while notching seven saves with 11 strikeouts to just two walks. Lopez has a 2.20 ERA, 1.041 WHIP and 54:7 K:BB ratio in 65.1 innings. With such a solid overall performance, especially here at the end of the year, Lopez should be considered the favorite to close for the American League's newest team in 2013.

Bobby Parnell - Parnell was profiled last week when it looked like either he or Jon Rauch would close with Frank Francisco sidelined with right elbow tendinitis. Francisco has now for all intents and purposes been shut down for the year and Parnell will handle closing duties the balance of the season. Parnell has failed in his prior attempts at closing, but he has pitched well lately, both setting up and closing and should have a prominent role again in the Mets' bullpen next season. Mixed: $4; NL: $11

Drew Storen - Storen, who was out until mid-July due to elbow surgery, returned in a set-up role, similar to when he was first called up in 2010. The big question was if manager Davey Johnson would restore Storen to closing and move Tyler Clippard back to the set-up role? Clippard pitched so well that there was no reason to change, but that came to a halting stop in September. Despite solid peripherals, Clippard left too many balls up in the zone, resulting in a ridiculously high LD% rate and nine-plus ERA, all but forcing Johnson to make a switch. Look for Storen, who saved 43 games a year ago, to close through the playoffs and next year for Washington despite his blown save Saturday. Just an FYI as should be owned in all formats but he gets a major value spike.

Catchers:

Jason Castro - Castro is hitting .289 with five homers and 20 RBI in 163 at-bats since May 21. Castro's season line is a much less impressive .261/.340/.398, but he is drawing a lot of walks and showing a little more consistency at the plate. He may never be the superstar he was once projected to be, after being a first-round pick, but it looks like he will end up as a solid major league regular. Mixed: $8; NL: already owned

Jonathan Lucroy - The only thing that slowed Lucroy down this year was a broken right hand that cost him two months. Despite that, he has hit .328/.378/.518 with 11 HR and 56 RBI in 299 at-bats. He has shown no signs of slowing down, going 13-for-32 with two homers in his last eight games. Lucroy has improved his plate disciplne and that may help the likely drop in BABIP next year from this season's .355, so that his production should remain fairly consistent. If someone just looks at his overall numbers and forgets the two months he missed, you would get a steal next year.

First Basemen:

Brandon Belt - I have written about Belt so many times the past two years, it feels like he has been a regular in this column. Belt hit a brief slump in mid-September but has been raking lately and is up over .300 again this month. This comes on the heels of a torrid August in which he put up a .349/.411/.477 slash line. The Giants' are relying on Belt to be a consistent offensive weapon in the playoffs and the 24-year-old looks like he'll be ready to answer the bell given his late-season surge. That surge along with the confidence the team should now have him makes Belt the likely starter at first base for SF in 2013 and beyond. Mixed: $15; NL: already owned.

Darin Ruf - Ruf, who hit 38 home runs, drove in 104 runs and posted a 1.028 OPS at Double-A Reading this year, rode the pine when he was first called up as Philly was trying a make a late-season playoff push. That push is now likely over, which allowed manager Charlie Manuel to play Ruf in left field Tuesday. Manuel was reluctant to play Ruf, who had played just 39 career games in the outfield, in left field due to his inexperience while the team was chasing a Wild Card spot. Ruf had a home run and four RBI his first three starts and could get a look in left field next season, depending on what the Phillies do this offseason. Mixed: $5; NL: $14 (go higher if think he definitely starts next year)
 
Second Base:

Scott Moore - Moore, a free agent after the season, has had a hot September, going 16-for-37 through Friday. He will be a free agent after the season, but has resurrected his career in Houston. Moore has plated both corner infield and outfield positions along with second base this season while batting .261/.336/.463 with nine homers and 25 RBI in 188 at-bats. With Houston moving to the AL, they could elect to try and re-sign Moore and give him at-bats at the aforementioned positions as well as at DH. Mixed: $1; NL: $4.
 
Shortstops:

Pete Kozma - Kozma homered for consecutive days earlier this week and has done a solid job since Rafael Furcal went down for the season, batting.306 in 62 at-bats with 10 extra-base hits in 22 games. Furcal is just finishing the first year or a two-year deal he signed last offseason, so he likely will be back in St. Louis for 2013, though he may need surgery to repair his torn UCL, which could sideline him a good chunk of next year. If that does happen, Kozma, a first round pick in 2007, could end up as the starting shortstop and, at worse, be a utility infielder. Mixed: $2; NL: $7.

Jean Segura - Segura continued his hot September by going 3-for-4 with a double, a run scored, an RBI and a stolen base against the Astros on Friday. Segura had a tough run during the second half of August but has picked up his play at the plate recently, hitting safely in 10 of his last 12 games. He's batting .284 on the year and has 19 runs scored, 14 RBI and seven stolen bases over 134 at-bats. He's not known for his power but can hit for a decent average, steal bases and his glove will certainly keep him in the lineup regularly. Mixed: $5; NL: $14.

Third Basemen:

Pedro Alvarez - Alvarez joined the 30 home run club on Tuesday. As a prospect, Alvarez always profiled as a middle of the order bat with plus power but an underwhelming ability to get on base. He has certainly lived up to that billing in his first full season in the majors, securing a 30 home run/85 RBI campaign on Tuesday, while sporting a .319 OBP. The key for him to get to the next level will be to cut down on his strikeouts and increase his walks, which also should improve his BB/K ratio. (just an FYI as should be owned in all formats but he still has substantial upside)

Ryan Wheeler - Chris Johnson is still the everyday starter, but Wheeler sees more playing time than what you'd expect from a backup infielder who really only plays one position. Wheeler hit .351/.388/.572 with 15 home runs and 90 RBI in 362 at-bats at Triple-A Reno to earn the promotion this year. He could very well be the Diamondbacks' third basemen of the future, and it wouldn't be shocking if he's the starter by April 2013 despite a modest start to his big league career. Mixed: $2; NL: $7.

Outfielders:

Andrew Brown - Brown's line at Triple-A Colorado Springs (24 homers, 98 RBI and a .308 average) demonstrated he had a good bat, and as of late, he's been getting the opportunity to show as much. With Dexter Fowler and Carlos Gonzalez currently injured and both possibly sidelined for the year, Brown has a good chance of seeing regular playing time through the end of the regular season. Mixed: $2; NL: $7.

Adam Eaton - Eaton returned to the lineup Friday and went 3-for-4 with a double, a run scored and an RBI against the Cubs and then added two more hits Saturday. Eaton had fallen into a 1-for-17 slump over his four previous games before getting the night off Thursday. The move appeared to work as Eaton recorded his first multi-hit performance over his last seven games. Eaton hit .381/.456/.539 with just seven home runs but 38 steals for Triple-A Reno this year. There is some speculation that Chris Young could be dealt, opening up center field for Eaton in 2013. There are still questions about Eaton's upside but he may have shown enough to get a chance at a full-time job next year. However, he will be sidelined the last few games of 2012 after breaking his hand on a hit-by-pitch Saturday night. Mixed: $4; NL: $11.

Adam Greenberg - Greenberg, who was hit in the head during his first and only MLB plate appearance as a member of the Cubs in 2005, signed a one-day contract with the Marlins on Thursday and will get an at-bat Tuesday against the Mets. He doesn't have much future value but this is a nice story and good to see Greenberg get another plate appearance.

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