Fernando Abad 
|Debut: 2010 | BirthDate: 12/17/1985 | Position: RP|
Profile: For lack of a better pun, Fernando has been pretty Abad thus far in his major league career. In 88 games (six starts) for the Astros, Abad has thrown 84.2 innings with a 1-11 record, a 5.09 ERA and a 1.559 WHIP. Abad now finds himself with an invite to Spring Training with the Nationals. At the end of last season, Abad had a few starts with the Astros and unsurprisingly he didn’t pitch all that well, but most of the damage occurred in the fifth inning (six earned runs in two innings) when Abad’s stamina was likely an issue after pitching out of the bullpen for the entire season. While Abad might be better suited for a fantasy razzball team, he is a lefty and there is a reason fathers joke about forcing their sons to only use their left hand. Abad’s handedness should give him another chance at the major league level, and it might occur this season for the Nationals. But of course, the chances aren’t too high that he will be any Agood. (Ben Pasinkoff )
Quick Opinion: Whether it’s starting or relieving, lefty Fernando Abad has a chance to make the the Washington Nationals’ opening day roster.
Alfredo Aceves 
|Debut: 2008 | BirthDate: 12/8/1981 | Team: Red Sox | Position: RP|
Profile: Aceves’ strikeout rate, while improved in 2012, is still average and his below-average walk rate hurts owners concerned with WHIP. With a career xFIP just a shade below 4.50 he lacks talent and, now destined to open the season as a long-relief option after bombing as a closer last year, Aceves also lacks opportunity. And he’s crazy . Do not touch. (Colin Zarzycki )
Mike Adams 
|Debut: 2004 | BirthDate: 7/29/1978 | Team: Phillies | Position: RP|
Profile: From 2008-2011 pitching for the Padres and Rangers (mostly with the Padres), Mike Adams threw 242.2 innings with a 1.71 ERA and .902 WHIP. Pretty darn good. Last year on the Rangers those numbers inflated to a 3.27 ERA and 1.395 WHIP. Not so great. Back in the National League on the Phillies, Adams should have better results but his declining strikeout rate is also pretty worrisome. From 2008-2009 Adams’ averaged a 10.5 strikeouts per nine, from 2010-2011 it was 9.4, and in 2012 Adams’ only struck out 7.7 batters per nine. That’s obviously not a good trend. Additionally, batters are not only swinging at less pitches outside of thestrikezone against Mike Adams, but they are making contact at a higher rate on those swings than ever before. Again, that’s obviously not a good sign. Bottom line, Mike Adams is still a solid reliever and $12 million for two-years isn’t a regrettable deal for the Phillies, but for fantasy purposes, Adams’ relief ace reputation likely precedes him. (Ben Pasinkoff )
Quick Opinion: Coming off of his worst season of his career and surgery in October for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, Adams is looking to rebound in 2013 on the Phillies.
Jeremy Affeldt 
|Debut: 2002 | BirthDate: 6/6/1979 | Team: Giants | Position: RP|
Profile: After the Giants re-signed Affeldt for 3 years and $18million, my colleague Dave Cameron had this to say about the big lefty, which pretty well sums up his value: “Fifty-five percent of the batters he faced last year were right-handed, and his .283 wOBA vs versus lefties and .290 wOBA vs righties shows that he was equally effective against hitters from both sides of the plate. While he got a reputation as a lefty specialist due to his dominating performance against LHBs in 2011, it was never really deserved, as his career platoon split is essentially non-existent.” Affeldt is the kind of left-handed reliever who can pitch full innings regardless of who is coming to the plate, and as he showed in the postseason, non-specialist lefties can be quite valuable, as they can be used to get the platoon advantage against several good left-handed hitters even when they’re not stacked together. Additionally, Affeldt’s strikeout and groundball tendencies make him the perfect option for bailing a starter out of a situation where there are runners in scoring position and less than two outs, since very few of his plate appearances end with a fly ball to the outfield. Whether you need a strikeout against a lefty or a double play from a righty, Affeldt is capable of delivering either. (Wendy Thurm/@hangingsliders )
Quick Opinion: Affeldt just re-upped with the Giants from three more years. Expect manager Bruce Bochy to continue to use the left-handed reliever against both right-handed and left-handed batters, as he has proven himself to be more than just a LOOGY. In 2012, Affeldt posted the highest K% and lowest BB% since his 2008 season with the Reds.
Al Alburquerque 
|Debut: 2011 | BirthDate: 6/10/1986 | Team: Tigers | Position: RP|
Profile: As with every single Tiger reliever, the big question with Alburquerque, at least for fantasy purposes, is where he fits in the closer pecking order. Ostensibly Bruce Rondon is first in line, but he’s a rookie and has had control issues coming up. Phil Coke is best against lefties. Alburquerque is a strikeout machine, with a career strikeout rate of 36.2% in 56.2 innings (would have been tied or sixth among relievers with 20+ IP in 2012). Of course his 15.1% walk rate would have ranked tenth worst, so there are some control issues, and he DIDN’T get to 20 IP last year, finishing with only 13.1. In 2013, I’d expect a lot of strikeouts, a lot of walks, not too many home runs (58.3% career ground-ball rate), a solid ERA and a manageable WHIP. He could be a sneaky player to roster to help your rates, build up some Ks, and — if you are lucky — vulture some saves should Rondon struggle. the problem is, he may be third (or fourth, or fifth) in line for saves in Detroit. (Chad Young )
Quick Opinion: If you need saves, Alburquerque may not be all that useful. But if not, he’ll provide strikeouts in bunches without hurting you anywhere else.
Henderson Alvarez 
|Debut: 2011 | BirthDate: 4/18/1990 | Team: Marlins | Position: SP|
Profile: Traded to Miami as part of the mega-deal between the Blue Jays and Marlins, Henderson Alvarez’s quest for a strikeout pitch will continue in Florida. His 3.80 strikeout rate in 2012 was the lowest among all American League starting pitchers, and it wasn’t even close. Making matters worse, Alvarez’s 18.1% home run per fly ball ratio trailed only Ervin Santana’s for highest in the AL among qualified starting pitchers. Alvarez’s walk rate also doubled compared to 2011, but at 6.7%, it’s nothing to worry about. Hell, it should be celebrated. Alvarez has an intriguing arm: he throws in the low-to-mid 90s, but he can’t strike anyone out. Frankly, I find it perplexing. But he’ll turn only 23 in April, and will have every opportunity to pitch in Miami. There’s little fantasy value here right now, and while I’ve certainly tempered by expectations for Alvarez, leaving the AL East can only help him. He’s someone I’m going to keep my eye on, in the hope that strikeouts will miraculously appear. I can’t help myself. (Navin Vaswani)
Quick Opinion: Henderson Alvarez, traded to Miami from Toronto, can’t have been upset about leaving the American League East. Hopefully a change of scenery helps the young pitcher. His inability to strike batters out and his ability to allow the home run left him with all but no fantasy value last season.
Brett Anderson 
|Debut: 2009 | BirthDate: 2/1/1988 | Team: Athletics | Position: SP|
Profile: Brett Anderson’s contributions in 2013 are likely entirely dependent upon his elbow. It was in April of 2010 when he strained his flexor tendon of the elbow, limiting him to 19 starts and then in June of 2011, it was the ubiquitous Tommy John surgery. Anderson returned in 2012 a man possessed, winning four of his six starts and posting a 2.57 ERA (2.72 FIP), helping push his Athletics into the playoffs with a late-season surge. Anderson will be just 25 in February, and while he’s probably not going to provide more than 150 strikeouts, his ground-ball-inducing ways and terrific control should keep you happy in the ERA and WHIP department. If he can stay off the trainer’s table, Anderson could be a nice value pick for your rotation in 2013. He won’t carry your staff, but he would be a nice little number three to compliment a couple higher strikeout arms. Expect double digit wins, an ERA in the mid threes and about 150 K’s if he can give you 32 starts. ( Michael Barr )
Quick Opinion: If Brett Anderson can manage to stay on the field, he should be a pretty useful middle-of-the-rotation kind of fantasy starter. He was incredibly effective in his return from Tommy John surgery over six starts in 2012, and if he’s full-steam-ahead for 2013, expect a competitive ERA and a decent source of wins, but definitely have other arms around to provide the strikeouts.
Chris Archer 
|Debut: 2012 | BirthDate: 9/26/1988 | Team: Rays | Position: SP/RP|
Profile: Profile: The book on Archer has remained consistent since being draft in 5th round of the 2006 Rule 4 Draft from Clayton High School in North Carolina. The quality of Archer’s fastball and slider is undeniably top shelf, but his command of his arsenal is often sub-par. Due to his swing and miss stuff, Archer will be a mainstay in the major leagues, the question is whether he’ll be a starter or high leverage reliever. If his command allows, he could settle in a #2 starter occupying the Ray’s fourth spot. If not, he is an intriguing fantasy option as a potential closer. Bet on the latter as Archer’s inconsistent change-up could pose platoon problems in the starter’s role. (JD Sussman )
Quick Opinion: The James Shields trade opened the door to a potential place in the Rays’ rotation for Archer. He owns an electric fastball slider combination but he’ll need to continue to improve his control and develop a change-up if he’s going to leap frog Niemann and Cobb. (JD Sussman )
Jose Arredondo 
|Debut: 2008 | BirthDate: 3/12/1984 | Team: Reds | Position: RP|
Profile: Jose Arredondo had a solid season in the bullpen last year, but at some point his high walk rate has to catch up with him. Acting as one of the Reds’ set up men this season, Arredondo will likely be a decent source of holds and could vulture wins as he did last year when he won six games. If he performs well, there is a chance that Arredondo could be the next in line for saves if anything were to happen to Jonathan Broxton, but he has posted consecutive seasons with more than five walks per nine. (Ben Duronio)
Jake Arrieta 
|Debut: 2010 | BirthDate: 3/6/1986 | Team: Orioles | Position: SP/RP|
Profile: In Arrieta’s first two seasons in the majors, he produced a 4.88 ERA, 1.49 WHIP, 1.2 home runs, 5.9 strikeouts and 4.4 walks per nine. Those numbers were truly uninspiring. In 2012, the 27-year-old right-handed pitcher increased his strikeouts to 8.6 K/9. His walk rate dropped to 2.8 BB/9. The WHIP dropped to 1.37. Finally, his home run rate increased a tad to 1.3 HR/9. Those numbers point to what should have been a huge improvement. Instead, he had a career-high ERA of 6.20. His main problem was that his strand rate stood at 57% instead of the league average (70%). Almost all of his stats got worse with men on base, actually. More walks, hits, and home runs. It is tough to know for sure if his struggles are because of the mechanics of pitching from the stretch or if he was really unlucky. His strikeout, walk and home run numbers compared favorably to those of Chris Sale (9.0 K/9, 2.4 BB/9, 3.05 ERA) and David Price (8.7 K/9, 2.5 BB/9, 2.56 ERA). Don’t put Arrieta into the same class as those two, but he is a definite sleeper candidate for 2013. (Jeff Zimmerman)
Quick Opinion: Jake Arrieta got shelled last season despite more strikeouts and fewer walks. Could this be the year he finally puts it together?
Bronson Arroyo 
|Debut: 2000 | BirthDate: 2/24/1977 | Team: Reds | Position: SP|
Profile: While Bronson Arroyo does not have much upside, the fact that he posted a career-high strikeout-to-walk ratio last season — backed by a career-low walk rate of 4.2% which was second in the bigs behind Cliff Lee — gives a prospective fantasy owner a bit more confidence in drafting the veteran right-hander. He plays in a bad park but has a solid defense behind him, and three of his past four years have seen him post between 12 and 17 wins with an ERA between 3.74 and 3.88. That’ll do. (Ben Duronio)
Quick Opinion: He is not flashy, but he can help in a few categories and is on a team that should allow him to win double-digit victories. Arroyo is consistently healthy, pounds the strike zone, and has a good defense behind him. Solid.
Jairo Asencio 
|Debut: 2009 | BirthDate: 5/5/1984 | Position: RP|
Profile: Jairo Asencio isn’t going to strike batters out, his ERA won’t be good, and he won’t be trusted late in games. Stay away. (Zach Sanders)
Scott Atchison 
|Debut: 2004 | BirthDate: 3/29/1976 | Position: RP|
Profile: For years, Atchison toiled in obscurity on the waiver wire, never finding steady work in the majors. From the time of his major league debut in 2004 through the end of 2009, he tossed just 68 innings. Heading into 2010, he found a home with the Red Sox, and in the past three seasons tossed 141.2 innings with a 3.18 ERA. In each of the past two seasons, he posted FIPs of 2.70 and 2.72. Unfortunately for fantasy owners, he has done so in low-leverage situations. His career pLI is just 0.76, and that is a number that has actually decreased in the past two seasons. After being spread almost evenly across high, medium and low-leverage situations in 2010, Atchison has entered in just seven high-leverage situations over the past two seasons, compared with 16 medium-leverage games and 34 low-leverage ones. As a result, Atchison only tallied five holds and zero saves last season. And since he tore his UCL in his right elbow towards the end of the season, the Red Sox cut him in November. He may be back on a minor league deal, but with the team adding Joel Hanrahan and Koji Uehara, it’s now even less likely that Atchison nets you saves or holds in 2013, if he even pitches at all. (Paul Swydan)
Quick Opinion: While a good pitcher, Atchison has rarely been used in situations that would benefit your fantasy team, and thanks to an elbow injury at the end of 2012 that is unlikely to change any time soon.
Phillippe Aumont 
|Debut: 2012 | BirthDate: 1/7/1989 | Team: Phillies | Position: RP|
Profile: Standing at 6’7’’ tall, Aumont is clearly a very large pitcher — and he throws very hard from the left side. Traded to the Phillies from Seattle in the Cliff Lee deal, Aumont also comes with a strong pedigree having been ranked by Baseball America as a top-100 prospect on three different occasions. He has yet to harness it all in, continuing to struggle to throw strikes. In 18 appearances last year, Aumont had everything he offers on display showcasing his excellent velocity (95.7 mph), swing and miss stuff (12.9 swinging striek rate) and his lack of control (5.52 walks per nine). The good thing is that even with poor control, Aumont’s shown success in the minors and in a few appearances with the Phillies last year. The bad news is that even at Triple-A in 2012 and Double-A in 2011, Aumont’s walk rate was 5.50 and up. He clearly has the capability to be a premier late-inning reliever for the Phillies, and a relief ace for fantasy squads, but his walk rate will need to go down. There is no guarantee that Aumont starts the season at the major league level, but if he illustrates an ability to throw strikes consistently, watch out as Aumont could produce some very nice results. ( Ben Pasinkoff )
Quick Opinion: After a cup of coffee in September of last year, Phillippe Aumont is looking to cement himself in the Phillies bullpen in 2013.
Dylan Axelrod 
|Debut: 2011 | BirthDate: 7/30/1985 | Team: White Sox | Position: SP/RP|
Profile: Axelrod will turn 28 around mid-season, and has not shown any ability to consistently retire major league hitters. The White Sox don’t plan to have him in their rotation and you shouldn’t plan to have him in yours. (Chad Young )
John Axford 
|Debut: 2009 | BirthDate: 4/1/1983 | Team: Brewers | Position: RP|
Profile: After a tremendous first two seasons with the Brewers, Axford saw the wheels fall off midway through the 2012 season thanks to a huge increase in his home run rate — 0.49 HR/9 to 1.30 HR/9 — and a low strand rate. The good news is that the Brewers’ bullpen as a whole underperformed, which has led to vast turnover in relief arms in Milwaukee. None of those new acquisitions projects to threaten Axford for the closer’s role to start 2013. The right-hander still owned the tenth-best strikeout rate amongst qualified relievers last year and saw his fastball velocity jump to a career-high average of 96.2 mph. If he can work ahead in the count more often (his F-Strike% dropped to a career-low 54.2%), he should be able to bring his home run and walk rates back down to earth. Even understanding reliever performance is highly volatile, there’s too much track record of success to believe Axford completely lost it on the mound. He won’t be one of the first closers selected on draft day, so the 29-year-old could bring real value in terms of saves and strikeouts. (JP Breen)
Quick Opinion: Despite a 4.67 ERA in 2012, Axford has full control of the closer’s role in Milwaukee going into the season and will still rack up a ton of strikeouts. The key will be shaking the home run bug.
Burke Badenhop 
|Debut: 2008 | BirthDate: 2/8/1983 | Team: Brewers | Position: RP|
Profile: Badenhop is the type of pitcher every MLB team needs but no fantasy player should roster. He’s a ground-ball specialist who is capable of throwing more than one inning of relief. That’s a valuable skill if you need a double play or if your starter failed to go five innings, but he adds little else in terms of value. He had the lowest ERA (3.03) of his career in 2012 and will continue his worm-burning skills in Milwaukee this season. (Erik Hahmann)
Homer Bailey 
|Debut: 2007 | BirthDate: 5/3/1986 | Team: Reds | Position: SP|
Profile: Homer Bailey finally showed us what he was worth last season. Homer Bailey was still supposed to be better than this. With his fastball velocity closer to 92 than 94 these days, and a few more split fingers than he used to throw, Bailey’s resurgence/surge may have actually come from his control. He’s settled in with 2.25 walks per nine in two straight seasons, and that’ll make the rest of his line sing. Because he gives up homers — looks like he always will — and, despite an above-average swinging strike rate (9+% the last two years), he doesn’t rack up strikeouts (7.07 per nine career, 7.2+ last two years). Overall, you get a decent fantasy pitcher, but since it’s taken him so long to get here, it feels like there might not be much ceiling left. And if 2012 was his ceiling, that means you’re probably paying for his peak value if you buy him for 2013. (Eno Sarris)
Quick Opinion: It took almost five full years, but in his sixth pro season, Homer Bailey finally showed us what we were waiting around for. It still wasn’t that exciting.
Andrew Bailey 
|Debut: 2009 | BirthDate: 5/31/1984 | Team: Red Sox | Position: RP|
Profile: It’s not uncommon for a relief pitcher to have three outings in any given season in which nothing is working and they give up two or more runs. But usually those outings are spread out over a six-month season. For Bailey, his three all came during September, at a time when he was trying to show that he was not only healthy but also worthy of the team’s closer role in 2013. It was a tiny sample — just 15 1/3 innings worth — but between the drop in strikeout rate, the rise in walk rate and the continued degradation of his ground-ball rate, Bailey showed very little that would lead the Sox to that conclusion. As such, they went out and acquired Joel Hanrahan in an offseason trade. No matter which one ends up being the closer, it’s safe to say that Bailey isn’t in line for a full season of saves. Then again, he rarely is anyway, considering the fact that he hasn’t hit 50 innings pitched in any of the past three campaigns. (Paul Swydan)
Quick Opinion: Injured during spring training, Red Sox fans spent most of 2012 eagerly awaiting Bailey’s Boston debut. That is, until he finally made said debut. The team’s winter acquisition of Joel Hanrahan certainly cannot be viewed as an encouraging development for Bailey’s fantasy value.
Scott Baker 
|Debut: 2005 | BirthDate: 9/19/1981 | Team: Cubs | Position: P|
Profile: By now you’ve probably already long since drawn your conclusions about Scott Baker: either he was the end-of-draft low-cost value pick that made you feel proud of yourself, or he was the guy who always got hurt the week you decided to start him. Baker had his best season in 2011 despite the usual elbow woes, then lost all of 2012 to Tommy John surgery; this year he’ll be sporting the blue pinstripes, and will go back to being the moderate-ceiling, late round flier you know and/or love. Remember that TJ sufferers suffer from control problems their first year back, but Baker always had above-average control. The benefits from the move to the NL will be offset somewhat by Wrigley’s creeping ivy, as Baker was always a little homer-prone. But all in all, there’s a lot to like with Baker, especially for larger leagues that reward consistent starting pitching. Keep an eye on his rehab in spring and plan accordingly. (Patrick Dubuque)
Quick Opinion: Scott Baker is a great mild upside play for the later rounds; he’s consistent and consistently underrated. Make sure to monitor his progress from Tommy John in Spring, because when he’s healthy, he can offer excellent value.
Grant Balfour 
|Debut: 2001 | BirthDate: 12/30/1977 | Team: Athletics | Position: RP|
Profile: What an odd year for Grant Balfour. He entered as the Athletics’ closer, lost the gig, shared the gig, reclaimed the gig, and then was just downright lethal. He appeared in 23 games after reclaiming his closer role and he held opponents to a .125/.200/.167 line, striking out 27 in 21.1 innings pitched. He saved fully 17 games from August 11 to the end of the season and now that he’s back in Oakland for 2013, he enters as the clear closer for the reigning American League West Champs. Not only will he be a healthy source of saves, but he’s also going to add a good deal of strikeouts. Balfour enters the 2013 season at the age of 35, so keep your eye on injury indicators, but Balfour isn’t showing any signs of slowing down, and you should feel pretty confident in him as a second-tier closer. (Michael Barr )
Quick Opinion: Balfour enters 2013 with the closer role for a good team in a big ballpark. He should be set for an ERA in the low two’s, a WHIP hovering around one, and about a strikeout per inning pitched. If he can stay healthy and keep the gig year long, he could be a sneaky pick for elite closer results.
Daniel Bard 
|Debut: 2009 | BirthDate: 6/25/1985 | Team: Red Sox | Position: SP/RP|
Profile: After moving to the rotation to kick off 2012, Bard’s year (and career) took two steps back when control issues and a loss of velocity reared their heads. Bard has too much talent to be totally dismissed by the Sox, but with Joel Hanrahan and Andrew Bailey in town and his starter experiment a bust, his path to 2013 fantasy relevance outside of leagues which count holds is long. (Colin Zarzycki )
Anthony Bass 
|Debut: 2011 | BirthDate: 11/1/1987 | Team: Padres | Position: SP/RP|
Profile: Bass got off to a rocky start in 2012, posting a 2-7 record with a 4.70 ERA and just a 2.05 strikeout to walk ratio over 84.1 innings before landing on the disabled list with shoulder inflammation. If his supporters were looking for a reason as to why his numbers were so askew from what he had done during his recent years in the minors, the shoulder injury is certainly a major factor as the injury kept him out until early September. And even then, Bass may have come back a bit too soon as he posted just a 4.97 ERA through just 12.2 more innings. The injury did not require surgery but it is certainly something to keep in mind when looking at pitchers for the upcoming season. He’ll get the opportunity to compete for a rotation spot and Padres’ pitchers always create a certain amount of temptation given the dimensions of Petco, but Bass might be better left to your waiver wire unless he puts up a very impressive spring. He’ll be in a scrum of pitchers trying to make that rotation. (Howard Bender)
Quick Opinion: After dealing with shoulder issues for a substantial part of 2012, Bass should be afforded the opportunity to compete for a rotation spot this spring. He’s got modest strikeout potential, but the fact that he’ll start roughly half his games at Petco is certainly enough to keep him on your radar. If he earns the rotation spot, he could be worth a late round flier, but keep the possibility of a recurring shoulder problem in the back of your mind.
Antonio Bastardo 
|Debut: 2009 | BirthDate: 9/21/1985 | Team: Phillies | Position: RP|
Profile: Antonio Bastardo doesn’t have particularly good command (4.50 walks per nine) and gives up a ton of fly balls (over 50% for his career) but he also strikes out over 30% of the batters he faces while also inducing ~18% infield flies. This might be a silly exercise but if you add up strikeout and infield fly rates, only Aroldis Chapman, Kenley Jansen and Jesse Crain have a higher number than Bastardo — that’s some pretty good company. Pitching from the left side, Bastardo is successful against left or right-handed hitters, for his career, righties have a .293 wOBA against him while lefties have a .279 wOBA. Last season Bastardo even had a higher strikeout rate against righties. Bastardo’s 4.33 ERA in 2012 might seem unattractive, but the underlying numbers (3.34 FIP/3.18 xFIP) are just as good and if not better than in 2011 when he had a 2.64 ERA. With an ability to strikeout anyone in a big spot, Bastardo will be a great source for holds and strikeouts for fantasy owners and should provide positive value in ERA as well. (Ben Pasinkoff )
Quick Opinion: With Papelbon in town, Bastardo will continue to setup again this year — but he’ll still give your team plenty of holds and strikeouts. Love the strikeouts!
Miguel Batista 
|Debut: 1992 | BirthDate: 2/19/1971 | Position: RP|
Profile: Miguel Batista might be a poet, or maybe the next Dominican Dan Brown, but his pitching inspires prose more appropriate to Charles Bukowski these days. Maybe a team will give him some low-leverage mop-up innings next season, but with a strikeout-to-walk ratio settling in around one, even that’s no lock. (Eno Sarris )
Trevor Bauer 
|Debut: 2012 | BirthDate: 1/17/1991 | Team: Indians | Position: SP|
Profile: Profile:Bauer, a mechanical engineering and mathematics major at UCLA, is as talented as he is smart. During his tenure in Arizona, Bauer’s insistence that we would not alter his training methods was perceived as stubbornness. Whether he was right or not, Arizona’s search for “gritty” team players begot Bauer’s departure. In Cleveland, Bauer will start fresh and should compete for a place in the Indians’ rotation. On stuff alone – Bauer features a to mid 90s fastball and a nasty curveball – winning a job shouldn’t be an issue.(JD Sussman )
Quick Opinion: The Diamondbacks sold low of the former Golden Spikes winner after he fell out of favor with organization. If Cleveland allows Bauer to continue his epic training regimen he has the talent to lay waste to the AL Central. (JD Sussman )
Brandon Beachy 
|Debut: 2010 | BirthDate: 9/3/1986 | Team: Braves | Position: SP|
Profile: Brandon Beachy made just 13 starts last season before suffering an elbow ligament injury which led to Tommy John surgery. Thus, Beachy is out until roughly the All-Star break, so depending on the roster settings of your league he is not a great target on draft day. It is worth noting that while Beachy’s ERA was extremely low at 2.00, his strikeout rate was down and his walk rate was up compared to the previous season. However, he did improve his ground-ball rate and while he is still predominantly a fly ball pitcher, the Braves boasted one of the best outfield defenses in memory which helped keep his batting average on balls in play down — though that ERA mark he posted in essentially a third of a season is obviously due to a small sample size. Beachy’s SIERA jumped from a sparkling 2.94 in 2011 to a less than spectacular 4.05 last year, so there is at least some caution to be had in projecting his performance when he returns from injury. But if you have an available disabled list spot, there are worse ways to spend a late-round pick. (Ben Duronio)
Quick Opinion: If you have the room on your roster to stash Beachy away, it could certainly be worth drafting him late. He could be a very valuable asset down the stretch run this season, but there is no certainty that he returns right to form when he comes back from his injury. In dynasty formats, Beachy is a quality player to target.
Blake Beavan 
|Debut: 2011 | BirthDate: 1/17/1989 | Team: Mariners | Position: SP|
Profile: Blake Beavan had a pretty nice curve ball and managed to win 11 games in 2012. That’s about the end of the good news. Beavan possesses above-average control, but he also had the worst strikeout rate in the American League last year at 10.5%. You could say he pitches to contact if only because he’s not fooling anyone. The one thing Beavan had going for him was a big home park, and now they’re moving the fences in at Safeco Field. He’s a fringe starter in deep leagues at best, and while his ERA might flirt with respectability, his win totals and black-hole strikeout totals won’t make him worth the investment. (Michael Barr )
Quick Opinion: Beavan should be considered only in deeper leagues for spot starts against inferior opponents (should they exist). He’s a control expert who gives up piles of hits and lacks the swing-and-miss stuff to make him interesting.
Josh Beckett 
|Debut: 2001 | BirthDate: 5/15/1980 | Team: Dodgers | Position: SP|
Profile: The decline of Beckett from power pitcher status has been rapid, and the 94+ mph fastball he touted from 2004-2009 seems like nothing more than a distant memory. The Red Sox were so disenchanted with Beckett’s on-field (and off-field) performance that they essentially gave him to the Dodgers in last summer’s infamous salary dump (better known for sending world-class bunter Nick Punto cross-country). While the velocity didn’t perk up in SoCal, the level of competition helped Beckett’s post-trade strikeout rate to bounce to 20.8% and his xFIP to drop to 3.74. While his year-over-year decline hasn’t been arrested yet, he does start his first full season in the third-easiest park (Dodger Stadium) after pitching in the fourth-hardest for the last half decade (Fenway), which should help Beckett provide some value as a back-of-the-rotation starter for most fantasy teams, even if he lacks his ace upside from a few years ago. (Colin Zarzycki )
Quick Opinion: Proving fried chicken and beer isn’t correlated with arm strength, Beckett’s velocity continues to decline. His fastball bottomed out at 91.4 mph last season, the lowest of his career. His late-season move to Los Angeles provided a strikeout boost, however, so even with the warts, expect the National League to sit better with Beckett than the AL East.
Erik Bedard 
|Debut: 2002 | BirthDate: 3/5/1979 | Position: SP|
Profile: The Pirates did not quite get what they paid for in Erik Bedard in 2012. At the price of $4 million, Bedard dropped a 5.01 ERA and 4.07 FIP into the middle of their rotation. And now, because of injuries and struggles, he has not pitched more than 24 starts or 130 innings since 2007. But despite his obvious struggles with the Pirates, Bedard had a 21.2% strikeout rate and 10.1% walk rate. Both those number rank beneath his career norms, but not far enough to merit a 5.01 ERA. At the time of press, Bedard is still unemployed, but it is more than reasonable to expect teams will give Bedard another go in 2012, especially considering the difference between his FIP and ERA — and considering his relative success over the preceding years. But fantasy owners should put a ceiling on their expectations. Anything better than 130 innings of 3.80 ERA has to be considered a major win, and expecting even less makes more sense. (Bradley Woodrum )
Quick Opinion: Bedard has just enough talent to keep afloat in a league thirsty for pitchers. Expect him to get a shot to prove his 4.07 FIP, and not his 5.01 ERA, was a better indication of his worth in 2012.
Ronald Belisario 
|Debut: 2009 | BirthDate: 12/31/1982 | Team: Dodgers | Position: RP|
Profile: Snark about Belisario’s recurring off-field issues aside, he was one of the more reliable Dodger relievers after starting his season 25 games late thanks to a suspension left over from 2011. It could have been even better if not for a brutal July in which he allowed 11 of the 20 earned runs he’d give up all season; as it was, he was one of only 32 relievers to pitch at least 70 innings, and his FIP was ninth among that group. With Brandon League & Kenley Jansen ahead of him in the Los Angeles bullpen, Belisario is unlikely to see many save opportunities, but as long as he can keep his head on straight he should remain a solid option in the seventh & eighth innings. (Mike Petriello )
Quick Opinion: Ronald Belisario managed to make it through an entire season without getting arrested, deported, or kidnapped, and for that alone his 2012 has to be considered a massive success. The fact that he was actually an effective reliever didn’t hurt, either.
Matt Belisle 
|Debut: 2003 | BirthDate: 6/6/1980 | Team: Rockies | Position: RP|
Profile: Belisle will team up with newcomer Wilton Lopez to serve as the primary setup men for Rafael Betancourt. He holds a career strikeout rate that hovers around seven per nine — which isn’t exactly “roto sexy” for a middle reliever — but a career 2.1 walk rate and an opportunity to earn some holds could make Belisle a late-round option for those in leagues that reward holds. (Alan Harrison)
Heath Bell 
|Debut: 2004 | BirthDate: 9/29/1977 | Team: Diamondbacks | Position: RP|
Profile: You could say Bell’s 2012 season was forgettable but it was so bad, frustrating and up and down for fantasy owners that it was anything than forgettable. After seemingly losing and gaining the closing gig 15 separate times, Bell finished the season with a 5.09 ERA in 63.2 innings pitched. Horrible. Or was it? As bad as that sounds Bell still had 8.34 strikeouts per nine, a 3.72 FIP and a 4.02 xFIP. If we dig a little bit further we still see Bell’s meager 7.3 swinging strike rate, well below the league average (9.1%). Bell’s 2012 may have been bad luck/poor sequencing moreso than any significant decline in skill, but Bell still isn’t a particularly great reliever. The days of a mid-twos ERA and a K/9 in the tens is long gone and what remains is a pitcher with middling control and an increasing deficiency in missing bats. With all of that said, Diamondbacks closer J.J. Putz isn’t exactly model of health and although David Hernandez might be next in line for saves, Heath Bell has the ever so valuable Experienced Closer tag attached to him and a connection with GM Kevin Towers. Bell doesn’t have the skillset of a relief ace to hoard on your team to help your ratios, but given his experience and salary he’s someone to keep an eye on. (Ben Pasinkoff )
Quick Opinion: Having seen Heath Bell at his finest while working the front office in San Diego, Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers is hoping being reunited with Heath in Arizona will bear some fruit.
Duane Below 
|Debut: 2011 | BirthDate: 11/15/1985 | Team: Tigers | Position: RP|
Profile: Things you want from fantasy relievers: strikeouts, Saves, good rates. Below provides none of the above (pun intended). (Chad Young )
Joaquin Benoit 
|Debut: 2001 | BirthDate: 7/26/1977 | Team: Tigers | Position: RP|
Profile: A 35-year-old with three straight years of increasing ERA should raise red flags, but I am bullish on Benoit. His K/9 actually increased last year, without much of a jump in his BB/9. He really suffered due to a crazy 18.2% HR/FB, and while some of that may be a decline in his stuff, that number almost has to come down. Benoit sounds like he will start the year behind Bruce Rondon on the closer depth chart, but you have to imagine he will be close behind if needed. –Chad Young 
Quick Opinion: It sounds like the Tigers will ask rookie Bruce Rondon to close, but you have to imagine Benoit is not far behind. Expect a better ERA than last year, and maybe a handful of saves, to boot. –Chad Young 
Rafael Betancourt 
|Debut: 2003 | BirthDate: 4/29/1975 | Team: Rockies | Position: RP|
Profile: Betancourt saw both his strikeout and walk percentages move in the wrong direction, but over the past three seasons he has been more than a solid bet. The differential between his K% and BB% over the past three years is a robust 26.5%, which is a top-10 mark among those who closed out games last year. And while Betancourt’s swinging strike percentage was down, he still got batters to swing and miss — both inside and outside the strike zone — at clips better than league average. If the Rockies collapse again, the team may finally be motivated to move Betancourt and slot in the cheaper Rex Brothers as the team’s closer, but that shouldn’t affect how you value Betancourt heading into the draft. He may not be a top-10 closer, but if he isn’t, he is certainly the 11th- or 12th-best option out there. In other words, if Betancourt is your number-two closer, you’re going to be in great shape. (Paul Swydan)
Quick Opinion: While he wasn’t as dominant as he was in 2011, Betancourt was still very good. Since he was slotted into the closer role, he has proved to be a very valuable fantasy asset.
Chad Billingsley 
|Debut: 2006 | BirthDate: 7/29/1984 | Team: Dodgers | Position: SP|
Profile: Billingsley is nothing if not eternally frustrating. His 3.34 FIP was the second best of his career and would have been top ten in the National League had he been qualified, largely due to a career-low 2.71 walk rate. But despite the success, nothing comes easy for him; after a solid April, he was dreadful in May and roughed up in June before putting together a fantastic run in July & August. Unfortunately for Billingsley, he didn’t pitch after August 22 due to pain in his right elbow, which cost him two trips to the disabled list. The team is cautiously optimistic after he was able to get it up to 94 mph in offseason workouts, but the history of pitchers trying to make it through elbow trouble without surgery isn’t good. (Mike Petriello )
Quick Opinion: After an inconsistent first half, Chad Billingsley had seemed to finally put it all together to deliver one of the most dominating stretches of his career before being sidelined by elbow trouble. He chose to avoid Tommy John surgery this winter and he’ll need to beat the odds in 2013 to become one of the few pitchers to successfully pitch through a partially torn UCL.
Nick Blackburn 
|Debut: 2007 | BirthDate: 2/24/1982 | Position: SP|
Profile: The wheels came completely off for Nick Blackburn in 2012, as he and Jonathan Sanchez battled valiantly for the title of worst starter in the junior circuit. And yet somehow Blackburn was permitted to make 19 starts with an ERA just a few runs shy of 8.00. It was truly an indictment on the Twins starting staff this season, which saw names like Samuel Deduno, P.J. Walters, and Esmerling Vasquez come through the door in an attempt to stop the bleeding. Blackburn was outrighted off the 40-man roster, which to many was unthinkable given the Twins still owe him $5.5 million in 2013, but it’s indicative of where the organization stands on Blackburn. His largest crimes include a 2.1 HR/9, .340/.374/.584 triple-slash allowed (.439 LHH wOBA, .379 RHH), and meager 9.2% K rate. Blackburn might not even make the Twins in 2013; don’t even think about him on your fantasy team. (Brandon Warne)
Quick Opinion: Nick Blackburn is not even on the Twins 40-man roster. And they need starting pitching!
Travis Blackley 
|Debut: 2004 | BirthDate: 11/4/1982 | Team: Athletics | Position: SP/RP|
Profile: If there were any justice in this world, Travis Blackley would have had a chance to put in some service in the early aughts, reach free agency, and have a two-year contact with the Twins by now. But there isn’t, and so instead Blackley finds himself as the sort of extra arm that good teams like the Athletics stockpile and that fail to bring comfort or financial security to the arms themselves. Baseball America once ranked Blackley as the third-best prospect in the Mariners’ organization back in 2004, but that was several shoulders ago. Despite decent numbers, and four non-terrible pitches, his only paths back to a starting role are a trade or dead man’s boots, so he’s waiver wire material only. Still, feel free to root for the guy; he’s paid his dues. (Patrick Dubuque)
Quick Opinion: Blackley probably isn’t worth drafting – between the shoulder, his competition in the rotation, and his underwhelming stuff, there are just too many question marks – but if he finds his way into a role with the A’s or elsewhere midseason, he could repeat 2012.
Joe Blanton 
|Debut: 2004 | BirthDate: 12/11/1980 | Team: Angels | Position: SP|
Profile: Moving from back to the American League, Joe Blanton brings his never-described-as-scintillating abilities to Anaheim. Blanton, 32, has a career 4.37 ERA and 1.34 WHIP with a 16% strikeout rate. His time in Philly saw an uptick in the strikeout rate, but also a significant problem with home runs, which contributed to the big gap between his actual ERA and his xFIP. Blanton thrives on great control and relying on his defense, and with HR’s in mind, he might really enjoy a bigger park and arguably the best defense in the American League. Don’t tell Ervin Santana that Angel Stadium suppresses home runs, but statistically it should be far friendlier than Citizens Bank Park. The move to the AL will likely take a bite out of his strikeout rate, which may settle in a little closer to his career level of around 16%. Don’t expect anything better than a 4.40 ERA and 1.35 WHIP. If you’re drafting Blanton, plan to use him favorable match-ups in bigger parks. Those 19 games against Seattle are a good start. (Michael Barr )
Quick Opinion: In almost any format, if you’re looking to win your league, you shouldn’t have to start Joe Blanton. Year in and year out, Blanton peppers in a few gems amidst general mediocrity and a handful of blowups. He’ll be playing for a team with a solid offense and outstanding defense, so it stands to reason he could threaten 12 wins, but his ERA, WHIP, and strikeout figures aren’t worth risk.
Mitchell Boggs 
|Debut: 2008 | BirthDate: 2/15/1984 | Team: Cardinals | Position: RP|
Profile: Mitchell Boggs finally found success in the Cardinals’ bullpen last season, lowering his walk rate to 2.58 walks per nine thanks to an improved ability to throw first-pitch strikes. His 64.2% F-Strike% was by far the highest of his career and was the largest reason his WHIP (1.05) and ERA (2.21) were stellar. Of course, the .245 batting average on balls in play and 82.4% strand rate also helped — though considering the Cardinals do not project to have anything more than a middling defense (+13 DRS and -20.4 UZR last season), expect his WHIP and ERA to adjust accordingly. In addition, his value doesn’t project to impact standard roto leagues because Jason Motte has a stranglehold on the closer’s role. No other Cardinals pitcher recorded a single save in 2012. He does have value in holds leagues, though that could even be lessened if Lance Lynn transitions to the bullpen once more. (JP Breen)
Quick Opinion: Boggs is a hard-throwing reliever who doesn’t strikeout as many as one would expect and should not see many save opportunities, if at all. Is that valuable in your fantasy league?
Michael Bowden 
|Debut: 2008 | BirthDate: 9/9/1986 | Team: Cubs | Position: RP|
Profile: Once a top prospect as a starter, Michael Bowden has seemingly found his niche as a reliever at the big league level. Bowden isn’t going to finish games, and his ERA won’t be good enough to justify the small number of holds he’ll rack up. (Zach Sanders)
Brad Boxberger 
|Debut: 2012 | BirthDate: 5/27/1988 | Team: Padres | Position: RP|
Profile: Boxberger was one of the four players acquired for Mat Latos, and his debut season with San Diego was a mixed bag. Though he went back and forth between Triple-A and the bigs multiple times, Boxberger spent most of the second half of the team with the big team and impressed by striking out 33 in 24.2 innings. That continued a minor-league record of positive strikeout numbers (career 12 per nine on the farm), fueled by his fastball/change/curve arsenal, but walking nearly six per nine isn’t going to endear you to the coaches. If Boxberger can harness his command somewhat, he’s potentially a future closer; either way, he’s young, talented, and cost-controlled, so expect to see a lot of him in San Diego in 2013. (Mike Petriello )
Quick Opinion: Brad Boxberger showed an impressive ability to miss bats in major league debut, yet will have to limit the walks if he wants to have a career.
Dallas Braden 
|Debut: 2007 | BirthDate: 8/13/1983 | Position: P|
Profile: Dallas Braden hasn’t started a major league game in almost two years and celebrated the holidays without a job, but that doesn’t mean he won’t be useful in 2013. Once considered a promising young pitcher, Braden backed up a solid 2009 by having an even better full season in 2010, posting a 3.50 ERA (3.80 FIP) highlighted by excellent control and a particularly excellent change-up. But his 2011 and 2012 were derailed by ongoing shoulder issues and he’s looking for a team to take a chance on him. When he was at his best, Braden, 29, was still never much for missing bats with just a 14.7% strikeout rate and a career 7.8% swinging strike rate. His game is control and keeping the batter guessing with his four-pitch repertoire. He’s demonstrated usefulness in the past, but it’s hard to know what lingers in that stitched up left shoulder and whether he’ll regain his form. Depending on where he lands, he might be worth a flyer to see if he can stick in a rotation. ( Michael Barr )
Quick Opinion: Dallas Braden will need to find a major league team willing to gamble on his surgically repaired shoulder in order to have any value in 2013. He was an intriguing fantasy starter while with Oakland as recently as 2010, but given the amount of time off without facing batters and his injury history, it’s probably best to avoid him.
Zach Britton 
|Debut: 2011 | BirthDate: 12/22/1987 | Team: Orioles | Position: SP|
Profile: It wasn’t long ago Zach Britton was considered one of the jewels of the Baltimore farm system, being ranked as high as their second-best prospect by John Sickels in 2011 . The blue-chipper bounced back and forth between the minors and big leagues in 2012. He put up an uninspiring 5.07 ERA with the O’s, although his xFIP was somewhat better, checking in over a full run lower at 4.05. Not bad for a 24-year-old, right? Well, the southpaw’s problem from a fantasy perspective, is not the overall stats, but how he operates. He’s never been a big strikeout pitcher, registering a 16.0 K% in limited MLB action and only cracking the 20% mark during a couple brief stints in the minors. Widely regarded as a young up-and-coming sinkerballer, his career 54.9% GB% reflects that. However, his control remains iffy (10% career BB%, 11.9% in 2012), so his WHIP (usually a strong suit for pitchers who lean heavily on sinkers) isn’t going to help 5×5 owners, either. Britton might be one of those pitchers who has the potential to be more valuable in real-life than fantasy — he’s young and has lots of room for improvement at the big league level. That said, the lack of K’s, high WHIP, and spot in the uber-competitive AL East mean he’s unlikely to provide significant dividends for fantasy owners who reach for him on draft day. (Colin Zarzycki )
Quick Opinion: Once a top prospect in the Orioles’ organization, Britton’s star has faded over the last few years. He will be fighting for a spot at the back end of the Baltimore rotation this spring; and as a sinkerball pitcher who walks more than 3.5 per nine, he won’t help much in strikeouts or WHIP, even if he wins a spot. You can do better.
Rex Brothers 
|Debut: 2011 | BirthDate: 12/18/1987 | Team: Rockies | Position: RP|
Profile: Betancourt wasn’t moved at the deadline, and in fact, the Rockies added more bullpen depth in the offseason when they traded for Wilton Lopez. Although the addition of Lopez may squeeze Brothers out of some holds, he still may earn some save opportunities against lefties. If your team can withstand the career WHIP-busting 4.74 walk rate, he may not be a bad one-dollar target late in your auctions for his 11.8 strikeout rate, 3.29 FIP and the potential for holds or saves. (Alan Harrison)
Quick Opinion: Brothers’ name was mentioned  as a potential replacement for closer Rafael Betancourt last season when the latter’s name surfaced as a potential trade target.
Jonathan Broxton 
|Debut: 2005 | BirthDate: 6/16/1984 | Team: Reds | Position: RP|
Profile: With Aroldis Chapman headed to the rotation, Jonathan Broxton will enter the season as the Red’s closer. The team does have a quality bullpen, however, so Broxton does not quite have the choke-hold lock on the closer position as many would like out of a drafted closer. Even so, Broxton bounced back nicely last year in his short stint as the Royals’ closer before being traded to Cincinnati, saving 23 games in 27 opportunities and posting a 2.27 ERA. Even though his ERA rose a few notches when he was traded to the Reds, his peripherals were more impressive as his strikeout rate and walk rate both improved. We have seen Broxton perform very well and very poorly over the course of his career, and relievers are known as some of the more volatile players in the sport, so there is definitely a decent amount of risk in drafting Broxton. Saves are saves though, and he is in line to be the closer on one of the best teams in the National League, which should lead to many opportunities and some solid fantasy value. (Ben Duronio)
Quick Opinion: Is Broxton an elite closer like many felt he would be in Los Angeles? No, but his track record does hide a good deal of success even with the struggles he faced in 2010 and 2011.
Clay Buchholz 
|Debut: 2007 | BirthDate: 8/14/1984 | Team: Red Sox | Position: SP|
Profile: Buchholz flummoxed owners who tried and snag him late coming off an injury prone 2011 by putting up a 7.19 ERA over the first two months of the season, causing most owners to quickly sell on an asset they probably weren’t terribly invested in to begin with. He quietly rebounded over the next four months, however (even while the Red Sox were imploding). His rest-of-season 3.45 ERA coincided with the addition of a splitter to Buchholz’s repertoire  which lined up nicely with a bump in offspeed swinging strike rate. His walk rate also dropped from 10.6% in April/May to 6.6% from June on; notable because his career average is 9.2%. Buchholz won’t be flirting with triple-digits on his fastball anymore, but if he can maintain the low late-season walk rate and further develop the splitter, he should be a solid option for the back of any rotation and, unlike some other members of his tier, he has the upside to pitch like a #2 for most fantasy squads. (Colin Zarzycki )
Quick Opinion: The husband of Deal or No Deal’s Case #26 struggled mightily in April and May of 2012 before putting up a 3.45 ERA over the last four months. His swinging strike rate trended up in the latter half of the year, and his overall numbers (4.56 ERA, 1.33 WHIP) should keep his average draft position suppressed enough that he can be a nice find for the back of a fantasy rotation.
Mark Buehrle 
|Debut: 2000 | BirthDate: 3/23/1979 | Team: Blue Jays | Position: SP|
Profile: Buehrle may be the least exciting pitcher among the Cy Young contenders and former top prospects now inhabiting Toronto’s revamped rotation. He remains an unexciting fantasy option as well — his arsenal has always made him somewhat better suited for actual baseball than for the fantasy owner, particularly in standard leagues. He hasn’t posted an ERA below 3.50 nor garnered more than six strikeouts per nine in the last decade, and there’s no reason to believe he will now. But, he can be a late-round rotation rock, providing decent rates and likely some wins with the Offseason Champion Blue Jays. (Jack Moore)
Quick Opinion: Mark Buehrle isn’t an exciting pitcher and his lack of big strikeout numbers make him significantly less valuable in fantasy baseball than real baseball. He could rack up some wins, but that’s the extent of his upside.
Madison Bumgarner 
|Debut: 2009 | BirthDate: 8/1/1989 | Team: Giants | Position: SP|
Profile: Appropriately for a pitcher, there are forces pulling Madison Bumgarner in different directions. There’s evidence that his arm slot leads to more injury, but in terms of his stature, Bumgarner seems to have more in common with the healthy Randy Johnson than the frail Chris Sale. Throwing a ton of sliders has been shown to be detrimental to your health, but Bumgarner also has excellent control, which research has found can mean good things for remaining healthy. So far so good on his health, if you don’t count his up and down velocity as any sort of arm issue. He’s better against lefties (2.57 FIP) than righties (3.42 FIP), but both numbers are good. So, for short-term leagues, focus on the fact that the dude is 23, has above-average swinging strike rates, strong strikeout rates, elite control, good ground-ball rates, and calls San Francisco home. That makes him an elite starting pitcher with an optional health-related asterisk when it comes to long-term leagues. (Eno Sarris )
Quick Opinion: For now, Madison Bumgarner is a hoss enjoying the prime of his career. Keeper league owners might want to think about their long-term plan for the pitcher, but re-drafters can enjoy his work for the defending World Champions next season without any more acid reflux than most pitchers should give you.
Dylan Bundy 
|Debut: 2012 | BirthDate: 11/15/1992 | Team: Orioles | Position: RP|
Profile: The top pitching prospect in baseball, Bundy is hands down the best I’ve seen in four-plus years at the park. With a fastball up to 98 mph, cutter, curveball and developing changeup, Bundy has the potential for four above-average to plus pitches. He’ll eventually surface as an ace-quality pitcher, but it won’t be early in 2013 as Bundy should return to Double-A for additional seasoning — especially since Baltimore signed reclamation project Jair Jurrjens to fill out the current rotation. Look for Bundy to arrive for good in late 2013 or spring 2014. In dynasty leagues, there’s no better pitcher to invest in as Bundy combines elite stuff, clean mechanics and a durable frame. With a little refinement, nobody currently on that staff will block him. (Mike Newman )
Quick Opinion: The best pitching prospect in baseball, Dylan Bundy’s only question mark is ETA.
Sean Burnett 
|Debut: 2004 | BirthDate: 9/17/1982 | Team: Angels | Position: RP|
Profile: The Angels traded reliever Jordan Walden for Tommy Hansen this offseason but otherwise revamped their bullpen by signing Ryan Madson and Sean Burnett. With Madson (and his Closing Experience) in the fold along with Ernesto Frieri, Burnett isn’t in line to receive many saves but he’s still a very useful and quite good reliever. Burnett doesn’t throw hard but his 90 mph sinker from the left side gets the ground balls (57.4% ground ball rate last year) and he compliments the sinker with a slider and change-up, enabling him to miss quite a few bats (9.05 strikeouts per nine; 10.8 swinging strike rate) for someone who is often considered simply a lefty specialist. That’s not to say that Burnett doesn’t have any obvious platoon issues (.237 wOBA vs. lefties; .327 vs. righties) but as the primary left-hander in the bullpen, Burnett should see a few save chances against a tough left-handed hitter, even though he won’t receive them in bunches. (Ben Pasinkoff )
Quick Opinion: Forget Josh Hamilton, Sean Burnett was the biggest acquisition for the Angels this offseason! Well, that might be a bit of an overstatement but Burnett is left-handed, throws strikes and kills worms — he’s pretty good!
A.J. Burnett 
|Debut: 1999 | BirthDate: 1/3/1977 | Team: Pirates | Position: SP|
Profile: In A.J. Burnett’s third start of the 2012 season, the 35-year-old righty allowed 12 earned runs in just 2.2 innings. Yet somehow, he finished the season with a 3.51 ERA and 3.52 FIP. Over the final three months of 2012, Burnett averaged a 21.9% strikeout rate and a scant 6.5% walk rate. He has now started 30+ games in every season starting with his age-31 campaign, and despite two forgettable, if not unforgettably bad, seasons in New York, Burnett is looking more like his old self. Even at age 36, and given his loud collapse and quiet comeback, Burnett can make for some cheap roster depth on a team looking for pitching. (Bradley Woodrum )
Quick Opinion: His best years are behind him, but given his famous failure in New York and quiet comeback Pittsburgh, a healthy, steady Burnett can be a real boon to a team looking for cheap pitching depth.
Jared Burton 
|Debut: 2007 | BirthDate: 6/2/1981 | Team: Twins | Position: RP|
Profile: Burton’s 2012 season worked out about as well as any NRI relievers’ season can. He was formerly a very good reliever for the Reds before arm woes cost him nearly all of 2010 and ’11, but it’s still possible to argue that this past season was actually the best of his six-year big league career. Burton came back throwing harder than ever (92.9 mph) while displaying what he called a ‘splangeup’ — splitter/changeup — which was downright nasty (.201 wOBA, .459 OPS against on that offering). Relievers with any history of arm woes are probably never really out of the woods, but the Twins signed Burton to a deal through 2014 with a team-friendly $3.6 million team option for 2015. If he can remain healthy, he’s likely to be the second arm out of the chute in save situations, with Glen Perkins acting as closer. In holds leagues, Burton has a chance to be a nice asset. Similarly, if Perkins should get injured, Burton would step in as the de facto closer. He’s a stealth watch/add depending on your league. (Brandon Warne)
Quick Opinion: Jared Burton was forgotten by baseball for two years. His 2012 season, however, assures that most fantasy owners in leagues of any depth should remember his name. At worst, a healthy Burton is the backup for closer Glen Perkins.
Edwar Cabrera 
|Debut: 2012 | BirthDate: 10/20/1987 | Team: Rockies | Position: SP|
Profile: Cabrera garnered some attention after leading the minors with 217 strikeouts (ahead of even Matt Moore) in 2011, but he’s not quite the prospect that one would think based on that factoid. Cabrera is already 25, so the six-foot lefty doesn’t have much more in the way of projection, and his best pitch is a plus changeup, which helps explain how he dominated lower-level hitters to win the whiff title. He was given a cameo in Colorado in 2012 — primarily because the Rockies didn’t have anyone else to turn to — and he bombed out, giving up nine hits, seven walks and three homers in just 5.2 innings over two starts. And while his numbers across Double- and Triple-A last season look great (3.05 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 8.4 K/9), it’s no fluke that Cabrera also surrendered a whopping 21 homers in fewer than 130 innings — and we all know how homer-prone pitchers do at Coors. Steer clear, even in NL-only play, until Cabrera proves he won’t go nuclear on your ERA and WHIP. (Jason Catania )
Quick Opinion: Don’t get too excited about Cabrera’s minor league numbers. The mitigating factors take most of the shine off this prospect.
Trevor Cahill 
|Debut: 2009 | BirthDate: 3/1/1988 | Team: Diamondbacks | Position: SP|
Profile: Things are trending in the right direction for Trevor Cahill as he enters his fifth season. His strikeout rate increased for the fourth straight season, his FIP and home run rate decreased for the fourth straight season, and he set career highs in strikeouts per nine and ground ball rate. The kicker: he doesn’t turn 25 until spring training. Cahill knocked his ERA down to 3.78 to go with the improved strikeout totals. He should supply 200 innings of solid pitching with upside — a mid-tier starter worth betting on. (Jack Moore)
Quick Opinion: Cahill has youth and recent growth on his side as he heads into 2013. He’s a ground-ball machine with improved strikeout ability, and a good bet in the mid-to-late rounds at just 25 years old.
Matt Cain 
|Debut: 2005 | BirthDate: 10/1/1984 | Team: Giants | Position: SP|
Profile: At the All Star break, Cain was 9-3 with a 2.62 ERA and both his walk and strikeout rates were the best of his career. As my colleague Howard Bender wrote at RotoGraphs, Cain “was continuing to increase the use of his slider which ran as one of the better out-pitches in the National League,” and “his velocity was maintained on the rest of his arsenal.” In July, Cain’s line-drive rate “began to spike, he was leaving more pitches up in the zone and his home runs allowed began to climb again. There was plenty of talk of him tiring after such a ferocious first half and some pointed to the increased slider usage and the elbow problems he experienced during the spring before the 2011 season. But Cain held tough and come August, he was back on top.” Cain had his sixth straight season of 200 or more innings, posted 16 wins with a career-best 2.79 ERA, a 7.92 strikeouts per nine (his best since 2006), and a career-low 2.09 walks per nine. (Wendy Thurm/@hangingsliders )
Quick Opinion: Cain signed a six-year, $127.5 million contract extension just before the 2012 season started and pitched every bit like the ace the Giants will pay him to be. Cain pitched more than 200 innings for the six consecutive season, earning his nickname “The Horse.” He posted a career low 2.09% walk rate, together with a 7.92% strikeout rate, his highest since 2006. Expect him to dominate the National League again in 2013. 
Shawn Camp 
|Debut: 2004 | BirthDate: 11/18/1975 | Team: Cubs | Position: RP|
Profile: Shawn Camp set a career high with four blown saves in 2012, but that belies an otherwise steady season from the middle reliever. The top-heavy state of the Cubs bullpen could mean Camp waltzes into a few more saves in 2013, and if it does not, he should still offer a solid-to-average ERA out of the ‘pen. (Bradley Woodrum )
Carter Capps 
|Debut: 2012 | BirthDate: 8/7/1990 | Team: Mariners | Position: RP|
Profile: Carter Capps terrorized opposing minor league batters for just shy of 70 innings before being called up to the Seattle Mariners. Over 69.1 minor league innings pitched, Capps struck out 96 batters, posting a 2.47 ERA and 1.17 WHIP. He didn’t miss a step at the big league level, striking out 28 hitters over 25 innings pitched, while walking 11. Capps joins fellow behemoths Stephen Pryor and Tom Wilhelmsen in the Mariner bullpen, but Capps throws the hardest out of them all with an average 98 mph fastball and routinely touches triple digits. It remains to be seen who will be setting up Wilhelmsen in 2013 but Capps is likely to get a good amount of holds, and certainly should pay dividends in strikeouts. If you’re vulturing for saves, Capps is a good stash. And frankly, it’s so much fun watching him pitch you might want him on your team just to root for him. ( Michael Barr )
Quick Opinion: The ball seems to detonate out of Carter Capps’ hand. He has a delivery that’s anything but smooth, yet watching him touch 100 mph looks pretty effortless. Capps doesn’t have a defined role other than late-inning reliever, but take a chance on him in holds leagues in case he settles into the eighth inning guy. If he does, watch the strikeouts and holds pile up while you wait for his closing opportunity to arrive.
Matt Capps 
|Debut: 2005 | BirthDate: 9/3/1983 | Position: RP|
Profile: The Twins foolishly re-signed Capps in lieu of potential free agency compensation, and were rewarded thusly with 29.1 innings of zero-sum relief pitching and a ton of downtime. Capps went down with an injury in mid-July and only resurfaced to make a single ninth-inning appearance in the final home series of the season. Whatever strikeouts Capps ever garnered stayed in the National League when he migrated over in 2010, perhaps due in large part to his three-year tumble in fastball velocity. After last season, Capps may have to settle for a low salary deal with incentives, the exact kind of deal the Twins should be willing to offer right now with the only guarantee being the fight of his life to make the bullpen. But alas, that ship has sailed, with Capps netting some $13-14 million in salary while providing the Twins with pretty much nothing but heartache over a Wilson Ramos lost. (Brandon Warne)
Quick Opinion: Once a cheap, fungible closer, Matt Capps now looks like a cheap, fungible fringe bullpen arm at best. He’s firmly behind two or three incumbents in that Twins bullpen, at least.
Chris Capuano 
|Debut: 2003 | BirthDate: 8/19/1978 | Team: Dodgers | Position: SP|
Profile: Capuano has managed to stay healthy enough to make at least 25 starts five times, and in each of those season he’s lost exactly 12 games. That’s more of a statistical oddity than anything, but then again, the mere fact that Capuano has managed to work his way back to effectiveness after more than two full seasons lost to arm surgery is something of an oddity too. Through the first 20 starts of 2012, Capuano was rolling right along with a 2.70 ERA and three times as many strikeouts as walks in his first season as a Dodger, but he fell apart down the stretch, striking out just 50 in 73.1 innings (to go with a 5.28 ERA) over his final 12 outings. Overall, that still left him with career-best marks in ERA & FIP, and he should be an effective back-end option in 2013. (Mike Petriello )
Quick Opinion: Capuano managed to stay healthy and even generated some All-Star buzz with a great start to 2012, yet tailed off badly in the second half.
Chris Carpenter 
|Debut: 1997 | BirthDate: 4/27/1975 | Team: Cardinals | Position: SP|
Profile: More important than Carpenter’s performance in his late-season return to the 2012 Cardinals — a 3.71 ERA in 17 regular season innings and a 2.63 ERA in 13.2 playoff innings; FIPs slightly above 4.00 in both — was simply his presence on the mound. What was supposed to be a bulging disc in his back turned out to be much worse, and Carpenter required surgery for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, a surgery that threatened to shut him down for the full season. It would have been much tougher to bet on Carpenter returning strong for his age-38 season without some exhibition of his health in 2012. Now, though, Carpenter’s arm hurts again and he’s unlikely to pitch this season, says his General Manager. Stay away, but monitor — the big guy has come back many times before. (Jack Moore)
Quick Opinion: Seeing Carpenter pitch — and relatively well — in the later parts of 2012 might have assuaged some injury concerns. Now there’s news that Carp might not pitch in 2013 at all. Stay away on draft day.
David Carpenter 
|Debut: 2011 | BirthDate: 7/15/1985 | Team: Braves | Position: RP|
Profile: David Carpenter may have been a great reliever in the minors, but he’s struggled in the majors, and now he’s buried in the Braves’ depth chart. Stay away. (Zach Sanders)
David Carpenter 
|Debut: 2012 | BirthDate: 9/1/1987 | Team: Angels | Position: RP|
Profile: David Carpenter relies on a below-average fastball, and that makes him a replacement level MLB reliever. A leaguemate would have to pay you to take Carpenter for it to be worth it. (Zach Sanders)
Carlos Carrasco 
|Debut: 2009 | BirthDate: 3/21/1987 | Team: Indians | Position: P|
Profile: Carrasco, assuming he is ready to start the season in the Indians rotation, will have gone 19 months between major league appearances, with his last start coming in August of 2011. Early that season, Carrasco appeared to be ready to make good on his long-ago prospect status, posting 3.37 and 3.26 FIPs in April and June (the 4.32 in May wasn’t bad either). After a rough July, he hit the disabled list and ended up with Tommy John surgery. After missing all of 2012, he appears ready to rejoin the Indians rotation and will have a huge impact on their ability to compete in 2012. As a fantasy option, he is probably more of a “wait-and-see” than a “draft-and-hold” type — while he’s been able to garner ground balls (50.4% career) and avoid walks (7.8% career), his average swinging strike rate (8.3% career) has not produced a great strikeout rate (16% career). If he shows the talent he showed early in 2011, he is a decent back-of-the-fantasy-rotation type. (Chad Young )
Quick Opinion: Carrasco’s return from Tommy John surgery is great news for the Indians, but fantasy owners should be cautious. He has shown flashes in the past, but there is plenty of reason to believe he won’t produce.
Andrew Cashner 
|Debut: 2010 | BirthDate: 9/11/1986 | Team: Padres | Position: RP|
Profile: Certain players just always tease us with their potential, and Cashner is definitely a charter member of that group. After a tantalizing 2010 debut, he missed most of 2011, and after an even more tantalizing 2012 campaign, he is yet again injured, and frustratingly so, as the injury came during an offseason hunting trip. As such, Cashner is unlikely to be available for opening day. When he is ready, he should slot into the starting rotation, and there is a hint of a reason to be excited. In 19 1/3 innings as a starter last year, Cashner posted a 28.8% strikeout rate and a 3.8% walk rate. But seriously, it was 19 1/3 innings, and six of them came against the Astros, so at this point, Cashner is more a choose-your-own-adventure book than he is The Great Gatsby. Should he actually be able to go more than two weeks without hurting himself, Cashner’s combination of high heat, oodles of ground balls and run-dampening home ballpark could form a tremendous fantasy starter, but drafting him over more proven commodities in anything but the deepest dynasty-style leagues requires a healthy heaping of hope and faith. (Paul Swydan)
Quick Opinion: Cashner is becoming quite boy-cried-wolfish, and his latest injury will put a dent in his draft status to start 2013. Instead of being a great sleeper for the middle rounds, he is probably just someone you should look to pick up on the waiver wire.
Santiago Casilla 
|Debut: 2004 | BirthDate: 7/25/1980 | Team: Giants | Position: RP|
Profile: After a solid 2011 campaign, the Giants turned to Casilla early in 2012 when incumbent closer Brian Wilson headed to the disabled list. He thrived early on, posting 14 saves and a 1.17 ERA over the first two months of the season. His 65.4-percent ground-ball rate was insane and he maintained a strikeout rate right on par with his 2011 totals. However, Casilla tired out fairly quickly after a few back-to-back-to-backs and the tables turned on him when the calendar flipped to June. While he saw a spike in his strikeout rate, he also saw a drop in ground balls with a significant rise in both his walk rate and his home runs per fly ball. When he failed to correct the issues, he was replaced as the team’s closer and resumed his job as a set-up man. While most of the problems were corrected in the late season, he never did regain his early season form and struggled to produce a strikeout rate over 4.5 per nine the rest of the way. Casilla signed a three-year deal with the Giants in the offseason, so you can expect him to resume his set-up responsibilities in 2013, giving him a bit of value in leagues that count holds. (Howard Bender)
Quick Opinion: Despite a small step back last season in the ERA department, Casilla has proven to be one of the more reliable relievers in baseball. He has been an effective ground-ball specialist who should, as long as he limits the long balls he serves up, be a solid fantasy addition in leagues that count holds and can be a nice plug-and-play option if you need to stabilize your ratios in leagues that don’t. Given the volatility of the closer’s job in MLB, his ability to close out games is also a plus.
Brett Cecil 
|Debut: 2009 | BirthDate: 7/2/1986 | Team: Blue Jays | Position: SP/RP|
Profile: For Brett Cecil, 2010 must seem like a lifetime ago. He won 15 games that year as a starter, and posted a 4.22 ERA and 4.03 FIP. Life was good. Well, it got worse in 2011, and even worse in 2012, when he struggled both as a starter and reliever. Unless Cecil can turn back time, he has little to no fantasy value, even in AL-only leagues, even though he might be more relied upon by the Blue Jays out of the bullpen if Darren Oliver retires or is traded. (Navin Vaswani)
Jhoulys Chacin 
|Debut: 2009 | BirthDate: 1/7/1988 | Team: Rockies | Position: SP|
Profile: At one point, Chacin was an exciting prospect that induced a ton of ground balls while displaying respectable control and strikeout ability. Unfortunately, that minor league control has not translated to the majors, as he has struggled to throw first-pitch strikes. His elite ground-ball rate of 2011 declined precipitously last season, and fly balls in Coors Field are harmful to a pitcher’s health. He did not even improve in September after he returned from his injury, as he posted a weak 18/15 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 33.1 innings. It’s tough to tell if the injury continued to affect his performance, but given how much he has to fix, he remains a big risk in fantasy leagues. (Mike Podhorzer )
Quick Opinion: Having missing about 3 1/2 months with a pectoral muscle injury, Chacin was limited to just 69 innings and his strikeout rate plummeted. Already possessing poor control, he has a ways to go before again being a consideration as a cheap gamble in fantasy leagues.
Joba Chamberlain 
|Debut: 2007 | BirthDate: 9/23/1985 | Team: Yankees | Position: RP|
Profile: Things just haven’t worked out the way they were supposed to for Chamberlain. After his first 13 games started in the minors, he had struck out 108 batters in just 75 1/3 innings, and seemed destined to be a future star. But along the way, the Joba Rules, a swarm of midges and various ailments have reared their ugly head. Through it all, Chamberlain has posted solid numbers, a 3.73 ERA, a 3.64 FIP and an 83 FIP-, but it’s rarely — if ever — been enough for the fans who expected stardom. Chamberlain returned in time to pitch down the stretch, and picked up some innings during the postseason as well. Unfortunately, they don’t provide much of a guide. Sometimes he was used in high-leverage situations, and sometimes he wasn’t. During his final three postseason appearances, the Yankees trailed, but only in one of the games was their deficit large. Chamberlain will probably be good for ten-plus holds this season if healthy, but on the Yankees’ depth chart, he will still probably fall under Mariano Rivera, David Robertson and possibly Boone Logan as well. (Paul Swydan)
Quick Opinion: Things have been worse for Chamberlain, who returned last season after a 14-month absence. However, Mariano Rivera is still in his way of being an elite fantasy contributor, and now David Robertson is in his way too.
Aroldis Chapman 
|Debut: 2010 | BirthDate: 2/28/1988 | Team: Reds | Position: RP|
Profile: There are some high-risk, high-reward players out there, but there may be no bigger name in that regard than Aroldis Chapman. The fireballing left-hander really stepped his game up over 71.2 relief innings last year, putting together what was likely the second-best relief season behind only Craig Kimbrel. Now the Reds are moving Chapman to the rotation, where we have yet to see him in action. With how dominant he was in multiple-innings at the start of last year combined with his absurd velocity, if it works we could be talking about a potential Cy Young candidate. However, if it doesn’t work out, we could be talking about a move back to the bullpen which would hurt his value compared to where he is being drafted. Projecting Chapman is especially difficult given the fact that his game is so reliant upon velocity and starters usually see their average fastball velocity dip compared to their fastball out of the bullpen. Additionally, Chapman has only really thrown two pitches out of the bullpen, with the occasionally low-to-mid 90’s changeup. In advancing through lineups and relying on just two pitches, there is potential for him to struggle unless the changeup becomes a very reliable pitch. (Ben Duronio)
Quick Opinion: Draft Chapman with the understanding that you are taking a big risk for a potentially very big reward. If you are confident that you have undervalued targets later in the draft that will get to you, then taking the risk and drafting Chapman has the potential to win you your league. Just keep in mind that him successfully transitioning to starter is far from a guarantee.
Tyler Chatwood 
|Debut: 2011 | BirthDate: 12/16/1989 | Team: Rockies | Position: SP/RP|
Profile: Young Tyler Chatwood’s debut season with the Rockies was a forgettable one. Both out of the bullpen to start the season and as a starter late in the season, he struggled to miss bats (5.4 swinging strikes, 14% strikeouts) and surrendered too many free passes (11.2% walks) to have any success. At the season’s conclusion, Chatwood was sent to the Arizona Fall League to continue his development, but less than stellar results have Chatwood on the outside looking in on the Rockies’ rotation to begin the 2013 season. It’s unlikely Chatwood will have any fantasy relevance in 2013, unless he can find a way to crack the rotation, perhaps by taking better advantage of his gas (~94 mph) by refining his secondary pitches. So far all he’s been able to do is keep the ball on the ground (56.3% ground balls in 2012) — and that’s not enough. (Alan Harrison)
Quick Opinion: Chatwood got grounders and did nothing else right for his new team. He’ll have to do much better to beat out the other five hundred mediocre starters that will enter camp with the Rockies in 2013.
Bruce Chen 
|Debut: 1998 | BirthDate: 6/19/1977 | Team: Royals | Position: SP|
Profile: While Chen saw improvements in his strikeout and walk rates, his ERA jumped from a 3.77 in 2011 to a 5.07 in 2012, most likely due to an increase in WHIP and home runs allowed. It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise though, as Chen has never had dominant stuff and it was just a matter of time before his ERA began to catch up with his FIP. But what works against him the most is his increase in home runs per fly ball to nearly 12% this past season. Not only did he appear to tire as the season progressed — he served up more taters in the second half — but Kauffman Stadium is supposed to play favorably for extreme fly-ball pitchers like Chen. It obviously did not, as he gave up more than half of the home runs he allowed at home. He’s back-end rotation material at best in the real world and likely nothing more than a late-round flier in fantasy leagues. Perhaps a move to the fifth starter’s spot will help keep the pressure off, but he’s still too much of a risk for you to trust. (Howard Bender)
Quick Opinion: Cast in the role of number one starter for the Royals in 2012, Chen will no longer be considered for that part as a revamped Kansas City rotation moves him into a position much more suitable for him this season. While he’ll be expected to compete with younger arms this spring for the fifth starter’s job, the expectation is that he will, at least, begin the season in the rotation. Whether or not he can stay there, or even help your fantasy team, is yet to be determined.
Wei-Yin Chen 
|Debut: 2012 | BirthDate: 7/21/1985 | Team: Orioles | Position: SP|
Profile: Chen was the only Oriole starter with the team for the entire season. It is tough to project a player with one season’s stats — last year was Chen’s first after coming over from Japan — but some items can be noted. First, his ERA (4.02) was a bit lower than his FIP (4.42), xFIP (4.34) and SIERA (4.14). His strikeout (7.2) and walks (2.7) per nine were comparable to those put up by Jon Lester (7.3, 3.0) and Derek Holland (7.4, 2.7). With those numbers, he should be taken in all but the shallowest of leagues. He was also able to maintain his fastball velocity over the course of the entire season. For 2013, all a person can expect is for Chen to keep on, keeping on. Nothing points to crash or a jump in production for the 27-year-old lefty. (Jeff Zimmerman)
Quick Opinion: Wei-Yin Chen performed brilliantly in 2012 and nothing should change in 2013.
Randy Choate 
|Debut: 2000 | BirthDate: 9/5/1975 | Team: Cardinals | Position: RP|
Profile: Randy Choate is an effective lefty specialist, but he doesn’t put in enough innings to be worthy of a roster spot, even if he does pick up a good deal of holds. (Zach Sanders)
Tony Cingrani 
|Debut: 2012 | BirthDate: 7/5/1989 | Team: Reds | Position: RP|
Profile: A third-round pick out of Rice in 2011, the left-handed Cingrani has been among the minor leagues’ most dominant starters over the last two seasons, recording 252 strikeouts in his first 197.1 professional innings (a rate of 11.5 strikeouts per nine or 33.1% of all batters faced), most of them at High- and Double-A. That performance earned him a September promotion, during which Cingrani more or less duplicated his performances from the lower levels over three major-league relief appearances, striking out nine of 22 batters faced (40.9%). Cingrani’s approach is peculiarly fastball-heavy: he threw his slider and change less than 10% of the time combined in his brief major-league stint. There are few, if any, starters who rely so heavily on one pitch — or have success in so doing. Given Cincinnati’s pitching depth, Cingrani will likely start 2013 in the minors. If he continues to excel, however, it will be difficult for the Reds to deny him a spot somewhere on the 25-man roster. (Carson Cistulli )
Quick Opinion: Cingrani was excellent at every level in 2012, getting swings and misses with his fastball predominantly. Given Cincinnati’s pitching depth, however, he’ll likely start 2013 in the minors.
Steve Cishek 
|Debut: 2010 | BirthDate: 6/18/1986 | Team: Marlins | Position: RP|
Profile: Steve Cishek is an excellent reliever… against right-handed batters. He struggles quite a bit against lefties with his sidewinding motion, posting a .340 wOBA facing righties in 2012. Nonetheless, Cishek was a cool 14-for-15 in save opportunities in 2012 while finishing with a 3.22 FIP/3.81 xFIP. Additionally, Cishek’s shown an ability to keep the ball on the ground with a ground-ball rate over 50% but unfortunately, that number drops to 40.3% against lefties. Regardless of his platoon splits, Cishek is the undisputed closer for the Marlins and will bring fantasy teams saves and strikeouts — he has a solid 9.24 strikeouts per nine for his career. Lefty Mike Dunn might get a shot against a particularly strong left-handed hitter but Cishek is the closer and should be useful on the Marlins and teams that draft him to their squad. (Ben Pasinkoff )
Quick Opinion: With Heath Bell now in Arizona, Steve Cishek will be closing games in Miami without having to constantly look over his shoulder.
Maikel Cleto 
|Debut: 2011 | BirthDate: 5/1/1989 | Team: Cardinals | Position: RP|
Profile: Much is made of the hard-throwing Cleto’s lack of control, despite the fact that he walked only about 8% of batters faced in 2011 over ca. 60 innings between High-A and Double-A, and then continued to find the strike zone — posting a 9.5% walk rate — in 53.2 Triple-A innings in 2012. Moreover, he walked just two of the 41 batters he faced during a pair of mid-season stints at the major-league level last season. He certainly has posted high-ish walk rates in the past, but, considering his ages (he turns 24 in May) and levels, hasn’t really given cause for alarm in that regard. If he finds his role limited in 2013, it will hopefully be due only to the Cardinals’ tremendous bullpen depth. Otherwise, he appears ready for high-leverage major-league innings. (Carson Cistulli )
Quick Opinion: The hard-throwing Cleto’s control problems have been overstated. All indications suggest that he’s prepared to throw high-leverage innings in the majors — and that only the Cardinals bullpen depth would prevent that from occurring.
Tyler Clippard 
|Debut: 2007 | BirthDate: 2/14/1985 | Team: Nationals | Position: RP|
Profile: Over the last four seasons, Clippard has been one of the better set-up men in all of baseball and last year he finally got a crack in the closer’s role. However, with free agent acquisition Rafael Soriano in town and Drew Storen also back in the fold, Clippard will be back to the seventh and eighth innings in the Beltway. While Clippard was an acceptable closer, he’s likely more valuable to the Nationals getting more than just three outs per appearance. All relievers are failed starters, but Clippard is more than just a one or two-pitch reliever out of the pen and has appeared in the fourth-most games out of the bullpen in all of baseball since 2010. Clippard doesn’t exhibit exceptional control (3.59 walks per nine in 2012) or get many ground ball outs (29.7% ground-ball rate) but he can strike out his fair share of batters (10.40 strikeouts per nine) and since he pitches so many innings, he can really pile on the strikeout totals — he has the second most in baseball behind Carlos Marmol since 2010. All in all, Clippard won’t be as valuable as he was in 2012 due to not getting any saves, but he is still rosterable. (Ben Pasinkoff )
Quick Opinion: After saving 32 games for the Nationals in 2012, Clippard will go back to his familiar set-up role in Washington.
Tyler Cloyd 
|Debut: 2012 | BirthDate: 5/16/1987 | Team: Phillies | Position: SP|
Profile: There are five pitchers ahead of Cloyd in the Phillies’ rotation, but if and when one of them needs to miss a start, it’s Cloyd’s number that might get the call. Cloyd pitched well in Triple-A last season, going 12-1 in 22 starts and 142 innings with a 2.35 ERA. In six starts for the Phillies, Cloyd had a 4.91 ERA. Cloyd managed a 8.18 strikeout rate and a meager 1.91 wlalk rate, but batters were making good contact off of him, hitting eight home runs in only 33 innings pitched. Cloyd’s strikeout rate looks to be above-average but considering he only had a 5.89 K/9 at Triple-A and a 8.3 swinging strike rate in the majors, don’t expect him to rack up too many strikeouts. Although he only throws in the upper 80s, Cloyd mixes and matches his fastball, cutter, curve and change with excellent control. He’s produced solid results throughout his minor league career and if he continues to throw strikes Cloyd should get another opportunity to give his stuff a whirl at the major league level. Bill James’ 3.68 ERA projection for Cloyd is a bit optimistic, but pitchers with Cloyd’s level of command and control have had success. Let’s see if he follows suite. (Ben Pasinkoff )
Quick Opinion: Tyler Cloyd’s excellent control got him to the major leagues for six starts in 2012, and an injury to the starting rotation in 2013 might get him there again.
Alex Cobb 
|Debut: 2011 | BirthDate: 10/7/1987 | Team: Rays | Position: SP|
Profile: Cobb is the type of pitcher every rotation needs. Armed with one of the game’s best changeups, he’s not flashy but provides valuable innings while minimizing damage. He had the third-highest ground ball rate (58.2%, minimum 120 innings pitched) in baseball and will have an even better infield defense behind him with the additions of Yunel Escobar and James Loney. His 177 combined innings last season were a career high and he’ll have a larger role in the rotation with the trade of James Shields. He won’t get you big strikeout numbers, but provides enough production in various other areas to be a solid middle of the pack starting pitcher. Even in fantasy, where the replacement level is higher. (Erik Hahmann)
Quick Opinion: Cobb enters 2013 as the Rays fourth starter, capable of a sub-four ERA and double-digit wins, albeit with a low strikeout rate.
Phil Coke 
|Debut: 2008 | BirthDate: 7/19/1982 | Team: Tigers | Position: RP|
Profile: According to PITCHf/x, prior to 2012, Coke used his four-seam fastball more than 50% of the time, rarely (if ever) used a two-seamer, and used a slider or curve most of the rest of the time. But in 2012, he made a shift, from about 25% breaking balls to 37% breaking balls, and split his remaining time between a four-seamer and a two-seamer. He also saw his swinging strike rate, which had dropped to 8.3%, rebound to 12%. Batters really struggled to make contact when he got them to chase. How much causation is there is hard to say, but the results were solid — his best strikeout rate, walk rate, and xFIP since a 14.2-inning stint in 2008. The problem for fantasy owners is that Coke does not appear to be in line to get saves any time soon, even with Jose Valverde gone. Despite his high-profile saves in the postseason, Coke still owns a lifetime .349 wOBA against from right-handed batters, and that platoon split has not evened out in recent years. His ERA is fine, his WHIP has been pretty bad, and his strikeouts are good but not great. Without saves, that is a hard player to roster. (Chad Young )
Quick Opinion: Coke pitched as well last year as he ever has, and yet without saves, he did not provide much fantasy value. If your league uses holds, he could be a nice piece — otherwise, probably best to stay away despite the postseason saves.
Louis Coleman 
|Debut: 2011 | BirthDate: 4/4/1986 | Team: Royals | Position: RP|
Profile: Coleman is not a hard thrower (~90 mph fastball), but has averaged over 10 strikeouts per nine in his two major league seasons. The 27-year-old’s 2012 numbers (11.5 K/9, 4.6 walks per nine) are similar to the Royals’ current closer, Greg Holland (12.2 K/9, 4.6 BB/9), even if his stuff isn’t. Coleman’s problem is that his numbers were mainly against righties. Against right-handed batters, he as a career 3.0 strikeout-to-walk ratio and 1.4 home runs per nine. Against lefties, those numbers are 1.6 K/BB and 1.9 HR/9. The other problem with Coleman is finding a spot to pitch. The Royals have Holland, Kelvim Herrera, Tim Collins and Aaron Crow all ahead in the bullpen. Coleman has little value unless his situation changes. (Jeff Zimmerman)
Quick Opinion: Coleman is a decent ROOGY, but may not pitch much because of that stacked Royals’ bullpen.
Josh Collmenter 
|Debut: 2011 | BirthDate: 2/7/1986 | Team: Diamondbacks | Position: SP/RP|
Profile: Often viewed as a gimmick pitcher thanks to his unorthodox delivery, Collmenter has been effective in his two seasons in the majors, as he posted a FIP- of 93 and 95 in 2011 and 2012, respectively. Even with just a fastball and changeup, he was able to strike out batters at a greater clip than he did in his rookie season. Both his swinging strike percentage and his strikeout percentage rose in 2012. At the same time, he was able to cut his walk percentage. The numbers may not be conclusive because they were across a small sample — just 90 1/3 innings — but they were encouraging nonetheless. At least, for his real-life career. As a low-leverage reliever, he won’t offer much in the way of fantasy production, and even with his increased K% he won’t strike out enough hitters to be effective in fantasy formats if he isn’t racking up saves or holds. Since he is unlikely to rack up either, don’t look to snatch up Collmenter on draft day. (Paul Swydan)
Quick Opinion: Collmenter flamed out in his second attempt as a starting pitcher, but found new life as a reliever. But even with his new life, he is unlikely to be a fantasy asset, as he will likely pitch in middle and long relief.
Bartolo Colon 
|Debut: 1997 | BirthDate: 5/24/1973 | Position: SP|
Profile: Was it the drugs? The platelet rich plasma? The last vestiges of dormant talent working their way out of a healthy arm? Whatever it was, the forty year-old Bartolo Colon has now completed 1.75 consecutive successful seasons, and the Athletics trusted him enough to give him a two year, $10M contract. Even if he doesn’t succumb to age or injury, the new Bartolo Colon isn’t as interesting as the old one; he doesn’t strike anyone out anymore (5.38 strikeouts per nine), and is increasingly reliant on increasingly irreproducible control (1.36 walks per nine in 2012, a career low). In a 5×5, he could net you decent wins and ERA, and a strong WHIP, if you can sacrifice the Ks. Or he could run out of platelets and disappear again. (Patrick Dubuque)
Quick Opinion: The 38 Strikes  are pretty symbolic of Bartolo Colon; as is the fact that only one was swinging. He has his uses, but there’s plenty of risk here for a guy with little upside.
Ryan Cook 
|Debut: 2011 | BirthDate: 6/30/1987 | Team: Athletics | Position: RP|
Profile: Ryan Cook was featured in the closer carousel that was the Oakland Athletics bullpen and although he was ultimately lifted for Grant Balfour, Cook still had a very impressive 2012. His 28% strikeout rate was up there with the likes of Rex Brothers and Boone Logan and he held opponents to just a .163 batting average while posting a 2.09 ERA (2.89 FIP). Cook’s repertoire is almost entirely a 95 mph fastball and a plus slider and while he’s more effective against righties, he’s no slouch against left-handed batters either — they hit only .167/.269/.299 against him — so he’s the kind of guy that doesn’t give way to the LOOGY in every platoon situation. Cook’s role will likely be to set up Balfour, and that ought to provide a big heaping of holds for those of you who concern yourselves with such things. ( Michael Barr )
Quick Opinion: Ryan Cook is likely second in line to close behind Grant Balfour, but ought to provide a great source of holds should Balfour hang on to the role for the duration. Cook has a big fastball, a good slider, and is a nice source for strikeouts as a reliever. You can likely count on an ERA south of three, but control stats are to be determined.
Aaron Cook 
|Debut: 2002 | BirthDate: 2/8/1979 | Position: SP|
Profile: Owner of the league’s worst strikeout rate (1.91 per nine) of pitchers with more than 20 innings in 2012, Cook is unlikely to be more than a desperation option in virtually any league. That’s if he can convince a big league team he’s still above replacement level. (Colin Zarzycki )
Patrick Corbin 
|Debut: 2012 | BirthDate: 7/19/1989 | Team: Diamondbacks | Position: SP|
Profile: Corbin was certainly the least-hyped of the prospect trio including himself, Trevor Bauer and Tyler Skaggs waiting in the wings for the Diamondbacks last season, but judging by 2012, he may have the best immediate returns. Corbin posted just a 4.54 ERA but a sharp 4.00 FIP despite serving up 1.18 home runs per nine innings. He can get grounders (45.7%) and he exhibited both sharp control and decent strikeout stuff. With a fastball that can touch the mid-90s and a changeup to neutralize lefties, Corbin will be a solid sleeper if he can win a job in the Diamondbacks’ rotation this season. (Jack Moore)
Quick Opinion: Corbin will have to beat Tyler Skaggs to win the fifth starter spot in Arizona. If he does, he’ll be a solid sleeper for the 2013 season.
Francisco Cordero 
|Debut: 1999 | BirthDate: 5/11/1975 | Position: RP|
Profile: CoCo Cordero struggled mightily last season, and thanks to an overall decline in ability, the right-hander is no longer worth a roster spot in any league. (Zach Sanders)
Manuel Corpas 
|Debut: 2006 | BirthDate: 12/3/1982 | Position: RP|
Profile: Manuel Corpas caught on with the Cubs in 2012 looking to prove he had recovered from the Tommy John Surgery that cost him his 2011 season. His numbers were unimpressive, but clubs are increasingly willing to gamble on these types, so he will likely have a chance again to show the stuff that made him a big name in Colorado. He could make for a keen waiver wire acquisition in deeper leagues if he can bounce back in 2013. (Bradley Woodrum )
Kevin Correia 
|Debut: 2004 | BirthDate: 8/24/1980 | Team: Twins | Position: SP|
Profile: Kevin Correia’s lackluster showing in Pittsburgh and declining swinging strike rate  should consign him to a swingman role sooner rather than later. There are almost definitely safer bets in a game of Russian roulette. (Bradley Woodrum )
Jesse Crain 
|Debut: 2004 | BirthDate: 7/5/1981 | Team: White Sox | Position: RP|
Profile: Jesse Crain is a solid set-up man who offers up a few too many walks and home runs to be of particular value in fantasy leagues, unless you really need his strikeouts or the White Sox let him close. (Chad Young )
Aaron Crow 
|Debut: 2011 | BirthDate: 11/11/1986 | Team: Royals | Position: RP|
Profile: Aaron Crow was always a starter in his career until he 2011 when injuries forced him into the Royals’ bullpen. The move was mainly facilitated by Crow’s inability to get out left-handed batters. He has a career 4.47 FIP against lefties and and a career 2.92 FIP against righties. The 4.47 value would only get worse as a starter. Also with this split, he is basically the sixth/seventh inning ROOGY of the loaded Royals’ bullpen. It is not that Crow is horrible, it is just that the rest of the bullpen is amazing. The chances of him becoming the closer would require a rash of injuries in the Royals bullpen with Greg Holland, Kelvim Herrera and even Tim Collins hitting the disabled list at the same time. (Jeff Zimmerman)
Quick Opinion: Aaron Crow has been a disappointment since he was drafted and that trend won’t end in 2013.
Rhiner Cruz 
|Debut: 2012 | BirthDate: 11/1/1986 | Team: Astros | Position: RP|
Profile: In 341.2 innings spanning seven different levels in the minors over eight seasons, Rhiner Cruz has shown an ability to strike batters out (8.5 per nine). However, that comes with an inability to throw consistent strikes as evidenced by his 5.5 walks per nine over the same time frame. Drafted from the Mets with the first pick in Rule 5 draft last season, Cruz got his first look in the majors in 2012. The good news is that Cruz pitched better than his standard numbers would suggest. The bad news is Cruz still pitched to a 4.79 xFIP and 6.00 ERA over 55 innings. It should be noted though that Cruz has excellent velocity (95.1 average mph on his fastball) and likely wasn’t the first pick in the Rule 5 draft for no good reason. Cruz is able to pitch in the minors this year, and there is no guarantee he makes the ball club out of spring training. The Astros current closer at the moment is Jose Veras and the players behind him aren’t much more intriguing, though. Stranger things have happened in baseball and if Cruz can improve his control, he’ll surely be pitching in the majors and might just pitch in the later innings. (Ben Pasinkoff )
Quick Opinion: The Astros likely won’t be very good in 2013. They will need pitchers to pitch innings. Rhiner Cruz might be one of those pitchers.
Johnny Cueto 
|Debut: 2008 | BirthDate: 2/15/1986 | Team: Reds | Position: SP|
Profile: What is Johnny Cueto’s ERA his past 57 starts? 2.58. The Reds ace has turned into a legitimate Cy Young candidate by doing an incredible job of keeping the ball in the ballpark in one of the more hitter-friendly stadiums in the league. Cueto will look to pick up right where he left off last year, as he posted a career-best strikeout rate, walk rate, and innings pitched. Cueto’s great numbers are not backed by gaudy strikeout totals, which hurts him in fantasy rankings compared to many of his peers, but he seems to be a continually undervalued asset in fantasy formats. Waiting on pitching and drafting Cueto as your top starter is certainly a strategy worth considering, as he pitches for a team that could lead the National League in wins and has one of the game’s top defenses behind him, despite the new outfield alignment. As a pitcher who pitches to contact more than most Cy Young candidates, having top-tier defenders scattered across the field is a luxury. His changeup has added a new dimension to his arsenal as he increased the usage to a career high rate, so the increased strikeouts could be here to stay if he relies on his changeup as heavily as he did last year. (Ben Duronio)
Quick Opinion: Johnny Cueto has elevated his game to a whole new level over the past two seasons, and in his first season with 200+ innings pitched he showed what he is truly capable of. With his changeup pumping up the strikeouts, Cueto should be one of the top pitchers off the board and could be a 20-game winner this season.
John Danks 
|Debut: 2007 | BirthDate: 4/15/1985 | Team: White Sox | Position: SP|
Profile: Danks went from highly-regarded prospect to solid major league starter, but 2012 was not kind to the White Sox lefty. He made only nine starts and they were not pleasant starts, featuring career worst strikeout and walk rates. Danks appears to be on-track for Spring Training, but coming off arthroscopic shoulder surgery, the Sox are likely to be cautious with him, as he is going to be a key cog in their rotation. I’d expect that by the second half, Danks will be the pitcher he was before — decent, not great, low strikeout numbers, but not too many runs coming across. How quickly he returns to that form is the bigger question. I wouldn’t be surprised by a slow start, potentially making him a good buy-low candidate early in the year. (Chad Young )
Quick Opinion: Danks is coming off a shoulder injury, but has otherwise been a consistent work horse for the Sox. I’d expect more of the same, even if it takes him a while to work back into shape.
Yu Darvish 
|Debut: 2012 | BirthDate: 8/16/1986 | Team: Rangers | Position: SP|
Profile: Was Yu getting squeezed? It certainly seemed like it in the early going, and there was evidence that he wasn’t getting calls on borderline strikes. And then maybe he did start getting those calls. Or he started throwing the ball in the zone more, as Jeff Zimmerman pointed out. Whatever it was, Darvish figured something out late in the season, cutting his walk rate to 5.2% in September and October. The best news about his debut was that Yu showed that he has the stuff to strike major league batters out, though. His swinging strike rate was sixth-best among qualified pitchers, his velocity was close to 93 mph, and all of his pitches save the fastball and changeup rated positively by pitch type values. That’s impressive because he threw six distinct pitches — seven if you count his slider twice, which has different breaks depending on how he throws it. His ground-ball rate was also above average, which is once again believable based on his repertoire. Another year of adjustment to the major league strike zone, plus a better understanding of what gets major league hitters out, should be good for Yu. On the other hand, he doesn’t have great control, throws a ton of breaking balls, and gobbled up innings in Japan — he may not be a great bet for long-term health. (Eno Sarris )
Quick Opinion: For now, it’s all gravy for the 26-year-old Ranger ace. He showed that he has the pitches to get major leaguers out, and with a few more adjustments, he could step into fantasy ace-dom this year. Draft him in the second tier of aces, knowing that he has Cy-worthy stuff.
Wade Davis 
|Debut: 2009 | BirthDate: 9/7/1985 | Team: Royals | Position: RP|
Profile: A league-average starter with a low strikeout rate in his first two full seasons in the majors, Davis excelled after moving to the bullpen in 2012. His velocity spiked two mph and along with it his strikeouts per nine increased from 5.14 to 11.13. Now traded to the Royals, he’s back in the starting rotation which will be interesting as he’s on record as saying he didn’t throw as hard as a starter to conserve energy. If he can be a slightly lesser version of what he was in the bullpen last season, he’s an above average starter. If not he’ll struggle once again and look like the starter he once was. (Erik Hahmann)
Quick Opinion: Davis has the capability of pumping a 96 mph fastball by hitters when needed, the only question is whether he can carry over his 2012 bullpen success back to the rotation.
Rubby de la Rosa 
|Debut: 2011 | BirthDate: 3/4/1989 | Team: Red Sox | Position: RP|
Profile: In 10 starts for the Dodgers as a rookie in 2011, de la Rosa showed outstanding velocity and improving (though rough) control while striking out almost a batter per inning. But after blowing out his elbow in July, he missed the rest of the year and nearly all of 2012, save for a brief cameo days before the big trade to Boston. Due to the missed time and his relative inexperience — less than 300 innings as a pro — de la Rosa likely needs additional seasoning, but his velocity had returned in his rehab stints and he should challenge for a spot in the Red Sox rotation at some point in 2013. (Mike Petriello )
Quick Opinion: Rubby de la Rosa pitched only 3.2 pro innings in his rehab from Tommy John surgery before being dealt to Boston in the Adrian Gonzalez trade. Assuming he’s healthy, he brings front-of-the-rotation talent and is the key to the deal as a starter who averaged more than 95 miles per hour on his fastball in 2011.
Samuel Deduno 
|Debut: 2010 | BirthDate: 7/2/1983 | Position: SP|
Profile: Deduno was the unlikeliest of ‘stalwarts’ — and I use this as loosely as one can — in the Twins rotation in 2012. Deduno’s per-nine-inning walk and whiff rates were both in the sixes, with only amazing groundball rates and extreme luck on batted ball and strand rates keeping him from completely falling off the wagon. Deduno’s stuff is extremely good; it is also extremely raw. He has no idea where it ‘s going, and in fact that seems to be a big part of the reason why he whiffs anyone at all. He was taken off the 40-man in the offseason but the organization retained his rights. If the Twins go with any NRI for the fifth spot in the rotation, Deduno’s chances seem as good as anyone’s, with the possible exception of Rich Harden. Fantasy-wise, Deduno is a non-entity mostly. But make sure to tune in when at least once if gets to start, because he does some crazy things with the baseball. (Brandon Warne)
Quick Opinion: If ‘crazy movement’ was a fantasy category, Deduno would register in more fantasy leagues. As is, he’s off the Twins 40-man and a long shot for any fantasy roster.
Steve Delabar 
|Debut: 2011 | BirthDate: 7/17/1983 | Team: Blue Jays | Position: RP|
Profile: Delabar wields a 95 mph fastball and a deadly splitter, which combine to give him a career 12.21 strikeout rate. The pitch that’s been holding him back is his slider, which he can’t control and causes him to rely too much on his fastball against righties. This leaves him with a severe opposite platoon split and prevents him from being a strong closer candidate despite an opportunity in Toronto. Keep an eye on Delabar in the early months; if he can fix his slider and get his home run rate down, it’s easy to envision him as a upper-level closer. (Patrick Dubuque)
Quick Opinion: Steve Delabar has the stuff to close, and he also has the stuff to give up walk-off home runs.
Randall Delgado 
|Debut: 2011 | BirthDate: 2/9/1990 | Team: Diamondbacks | Position: SP|
Profile: In being traded to Arizona, Randall Delgado’s fantasy value for this season has likely not been altered much, but his fantasy value for his career may have been knocked down a peg or two. Atlanta was a relatively neutral home ballpark, and Delgado will now move to one of the game’s worst ballparks for pitchers. With his 50% ground-ball rate, the thin air in Arizona may hurt his numbers less than other starters, but they will still likely be hurt at least a bit. This is all dependent on him earning a rotation spot. He will compete with Tyler Skaggs and Patrick Corbin for the rotation spot, which is not entirely dissimilar to what his situation was expected to be in Atlanta. At some point in the season, Delgado should make some starts, but he is simply not guaranteed enough starts to be a worthwhile target in standard formats this season. With a solid fastball and changeup combination, Delgado could use some work in the minors to refine his breaking ball before becoming a full-time rotation member in the majors. His first 24 starts spanning two seasons in Atlanta were neither terribly impressive nor very worrisome. He looks to be more of a player with a high floor and a low ceiling, which is not too attractive in fantasy formats. (Ben Duronio)
Quick Opinion: At this point, despite making 24 major league starts, Delgado should be viewed as more of a dynasty league stash than a standard league rotation member. His development and potential depend on how his breaking ball develops, and until he is named a rotation member he is not worth holding a roster spot for whenever he does get the call in most leagues.
Ryan Dempster 
|Debut: 1998 | BirthDate: 5/3/1977 | Team: Red Sox | Position: SP|
Profile: Ryan Dempster started the 2012 season with a strong 2.25 ERA through 16 starts. Then, after being traded to the Texas Rangers, he had a regression-heavy 5.09 ERA through his final 12 starts. Despite a swing that would startle even the most fallacious of gamblers, Dempster still finished the season with a strong 3.38 ERA and 3.69 FIP. He fits in the middle or even near the top of all but the most stacked real-world rotations, and probably cannot find a team worse for wins than the 2012 Cubs. He could yet continue to produce solid ERAs and 10+ win totals, if win totals are your thing. (Bradley Woodrum )
Quick Opinion: Dempster, unshackled by a weak supporting cast in the Chicago Cubs, could potentially eke out more wins in 2013, as well as continue his solid ERA/FIP production.
Ross Detwiler 
|Debut: 2007 | BirthDate: 3/6/1986 | Team: Nationals | Position: SP|
Profile: Detwiler surprised many last year by posting a 3.40 ERA and ranking as the 62nd-best fantasy starter in the league (higher than Roy Halladay and Dan Haren), but questions abound regarding his ability to repeat that performance. He struggles to miss bats and his SIERA was almost a run higher than his ERA (4.35 to 3.40). While it was nice to see his velocity increase hold in the starting rotation, his swinging-strike rate remains below average at 7.2%. He benefited from a .263 BABIP last season, too. The Nationals’ outfield defense should aid in run prevention for their rotation, but Detwiler’s uptick in his ground-ball rate negates that somewhat. He’s an interesting late-round selection. It would be unwise to blindly expect his current level of run prevention to continue, though, especially if his line drive rate bounced back from a career-best 16.4% to his career average of 20.2%. (JP Breen)
Quick Opinion: As a guy who will not provide any strikeouts, your ultimate opinion on Detwiler should hinge on how confident you are that he will continue to outpitch his FIP and SIERA.
Joey Devine 
|Debut: 2005 | BirthDate: 9/19/1983 | Position: P|
Profile: It seems like Joey Devine has been the closer in waiting for a number of seasons now, and going into 2013, Devine is simply a pitcher waiting for a chance. The former Athletics reliever who once posted a truly gross ERA of 0.59 over 45.2 innings (pitched with a 29% strikeout rate) is recovering from his second Tommy John surgery and hasn’t pitched since July of 2011. Reports have him waiting out the winter and trying out for teams in the Spring — in the wet noodle model, he’ll just have to see what sticks. It seems extremely unlikely that he’ll land in any kind of bullpen role that will be useful in fantasy formats, but if you’re the glacially patient type, it’s not a horrific strategy to throw him on your very deep bench just in case opportunity presents itself during the season. You can probably do much better in the short term, but Devine is always a guy to keep an eye on due to his solid major league performance, even if it is fewer than 100 innings. ( Michael Barr )
Quick Opinion: You’re probably not going to need Joey Devine in 2013. He’s coming off his second Tommy John surgery, he has no major league contract, and you just never know if he’s even going to make it back at all. But Devine has had such tremendous results in the majors in the past that he’s a guy to keep an eye on in case opportunity presents itself.
Cole DeVries 
|Debut: 2012 | BirthDate: 2/12/1985 | Team: Twins | Position: SP|
Profile: De Vries’ story is a cool one: he’s an un-drafted local boy from the division one college closest to Target Field and he just made his big league debut after six so-so seasons in the minor leagues. The sophomore will be 28 on opening day 2013, was never drafted, and only started because of the carnage that was the 2012 Twins starting rotation. But he really didn’t pitch all that poorly. His home run rate was downright ghastly — 1.6/9 — but he fanned nearly six per nine, had a 4.11 ERA, and generally looked as if he belonged, if nothing else. Better pitchers have thrown worse 85-inning stretches, and De Vries at least merits a look as a swingman in the Twins 2013 plans. On the fantasy side, De Vries need not apply. (Brandon Warne)
Quick Opinion: You can root for him. Just don’t draft him.
Scott Diamond 
|Debut: 2011 | BirthDate: 7/30/1986 | Team: Twins | Position: SP|
Profile: Diamond was an ace in the worst sense of the word: he was the best pitcher on pretty much the worst staff in all of baseball last season. None of this should take away from the pitcher, however, as he made great strides in his second season with the Twins to become what probably amounts to a very nice back-end starter. Diamond induced a ton of grounders (53.4%), kept the ball in the yard (0.9 HR/9), and averaged over 6 innings per start (173 IP overall) for a team which only had two other 100-plus innings tossers (Samuel Duensing and Francisco Liriano). Diamond’s fantasy prospects are murky due to another potential bad Twins club, as well as the potential for someone with his skillset to see some regression. He more or less pitched within his peripherals, but he still only has 212 career IP. It’s awfully tough to consider Diamond a lead-pipe lock to repeat in 2013. (Brandon Warne)
Quick Opinion: When your best starter is only a fringe fantasy pitcher, that’s not a good sign for the franchise. Don’t let that cloud your opinion of the starter too heavily, however: Diamond has some skills, as muted as they might seem.
R.A. Dickey 
|Debut: 2001 | BirthDate: 10/29/1974 | Team: Blue Jays | Position: SP|
Profile: R.A. Dickey calls one of his bats Orcrist the Goblin Cleaver, but he won’t have much use for it any more in Toronto. That’s all fine and good — he’s useful for a trick of a different sort — but it seems meaningful nonetheless. Any pitcher coming off a Cy Young season is a candidate for regression, so it would be folly to expect exactly the same from Dickey again, even if you ignore his new homer-friendly home in the tougher league. Dickey’s swinging strike rate also lurched forward from about league-average into elite territory (12.2%) last season, so it’s hard to tell if he’ll keep that gain next year. It’s tempting to look at the change in his pitching mix — he threw more harder and faster knuckleballs than he ever had before  — and call it a change for the good. And maybe his new approach will lead to another year with more than the ~15% strikeout rate he used to show when he was more good than great in 2010 and 2011, and maybe it won’t. The good news is that the floor looks mighty high. Knuckleballers always benefit from a lower batting average on balls in play than the general population, and the Dickey of the last three years adds extraordinary control to that package. The combo should lead to a strong ERA even in less friendly confines. Draft him for innings and ERA, and if you didn’t pay for a strikeout per inning, you’ll be plenty pleased if he can repeat the feat. (Eno Sarris )
Quick Opinion: The 2012 National League Cy Young winner will now ply his trade in a much more difficult park in a more difficult league and in one of the most difficult divisions. It’s okay, he’s overcome so much to get here that he can do this, too. His high floor makes him, at the very least, good middle-of-the-rotation pickup in any league.
Rafael Dolis 
|Debut: 2011 | BirthDate: 1/10/1988 | Team: Cubs | Position: RP|
Profile: Dolis snuck into the closer’s role in Chicago for a short time last season, but the control issues that eventually forced him out will likely keep him in low-leverage situations (or the minors) for the foreseeable future. (Jack Moore)
Sean Doolittle 
|Debut: 2012 | BirthDate: 9/26/1986 | Team: Athletics | Position: RP|
Profile: Among 2012 rookies, plenty of players had more impressive seasons and possess more promise for the future, but Sean Doolittle had perhaps the most unbelievable campaign for a player who debuted last year. At age 25, five years removed from being drafted 41st overall as a first baseman, Doolittle reached Oakland in June… as a dynamite lefty reliever. With his career on the verge of ending before it ever even began, thanks to missing almost all of 2009, 2010 and 2011 while enduring injuries and surgeries, Doolittle successfully made the conversion to pitching full-time in 2012 — then proceeded the race through three minor league levels before making it to the majors, whereupon he posted a 3.04 ERA, a 1.08 WHIP and a remarkable 11.4 strikeout rate in 47.1 innings. His mid-90s heat and wicked breaking stuff are incredibly advanced for a guy who basically hadn’t pitched since college (he was a two-way player at Virginia), and he actually fared better against right-handed hitters than lefties, so it’s not like he’s some specialist. Doolittle likely won’t enter 2013 with the closer’s job — Grant Balfour and Ryan Cook are ahead of him in the pecking order — but he’ll still be a huge weapon in all formats, as his high-strikeout, low-ERA potential make Doolittle one of the best non-closer relievers in fantasy. (Jason Catania )
Quick Opinion: Sean Doolittle is not a closer. He can do more for your fantasy team than you might think, and his back story is almost worth owning him alone.
Octavio Dotel 
|Debut: 1999 | BirthDate: 11/25/1973 | Team: Tigers | Position: RP|
Profile: Dotel turned 84 this off-season (ok, actually 39, but it feels like 84, doesn’t it?) and saw a slight decrease in his strikeout rate last year. But he also posted a career best 1.86 walks per nine and put up an overall great season. Besides, when that K/9 decrease leaves you at over 9.5, it’s hard for a fantasy owner to complain. I wouldn’t want to count on Dotel if I need saves, but in a holds league, a league that rewards either saves or holds, or a league where you can afford a save-less reliever, he could be a nice add at a low price. (Chad Young )
Quick Opinion: Need saves from your relievers? Don’t waste your time here. But a strike out per inning with good rates can go a long way.
Felix Doubront 
|Debut: 2010 | BirthDate: 10/23/1987 | Team: Red Sox | Position: SP|
Profile: Doubront made an impressive jump from middle-inning reliever to member of the Red Sox starting rotation in 2012, spending the year in that role while posting a 4.86 ERA. His 23.6% strikeout rate was actually the best of Red Sox starters; outpacing names like Jon Lester, Josh Beckett, and Clay Buchholz. However, Doubront appeared to fade down the stretch after a hot start, putting up a 5.56 ERA and an .831 OPS against from June 8th on. It is possible that he fatigued — his inning totals from the previous two seasons were only 105 and 87.2 — although his fastball velocity didn’t tail off  as the season wore on. While his success primarily hinges on his ability to replicate his April/May production for an entire year, the signing of Ryan Dempster and return of John Lackey also could prove problematic for his fantasy value if he struggles this spring. The strikeout appeal gives Doubront upside, especially in deeper leagues — owners searching for late-round or $1 dice rolls should be ready to pounce if he keeps the walk rate under control in March and locks down Boston’s fifth starter job. (Colin Zarzycki )
Quick Opinion: Doubront’s 23.6% strikeout rate was surprisingly the best of Boston starters in 2012. However, after the signing of Ryan Dempster and the return of John Lackey, it’s conceivable Doubront might not crack Boston’s rotation when the team heads north. If he’s guaranteed a spot every fifth day, his strikeout rate makes him an intriguing late-round upside candidate.
Scott Downs 
|Debut: 2000 | BirthDate: 3/17/1976 | Team: Angels | Position: RP|
Profile: Scott Downs’ ERA may have hit its highest point since 2006, but the Angels’ left-hander still had a good 2012 season. Downs served as the Angels’ closer for part of the 2012 season, saving nine games while blowing three opportunities. With the acquisition of Ryan Madson and Sean Burnett, the Angels have effectively pushed Downs out of the ninth-inning equation. Downs may not post gaudy strikeout totals, but he has proven himself to be a reliable option in holds leagues. If your league does indeed count holds, grab Downs late in the draft and enjoy the fruits of his labor. (Zach Sanders)
Quick Opinion: Scott Downs saved nine games for the Angels last year, but the acquisitions of Ryan Madson and Sean Burnett have pushed Downs out of the ninth-inning equation. If your league counts holds, grab Downs late in the draft and enjoy the fruits of his labor.
Kyle Drabek 
|Debut: 2010 | BirthDate: 12/8/1987 | Team: Blue Jays | Position: SP|
Profile: Kyle Drabek’s 2012 season was even more disastrous than his 2011 season. He pitched just as poorly, actually, which is rather remarkable, when you think about it, because it can’t be easy to walk almost six batters per nine innings two years in a row as a starting pitcher. But this past summer, Drabek underwent the second Tommy John surgery of his career, and that’s unlikely to help his control in the short term. If he returns in 2013, it’ll be late in the summer, and, provided the Blue Jays are healthy, Drabek will be far down on the depth chart. A once-promising arm, I’d say Drabek is now a work in progress; in 167 Major League innings, he’s had very little success. He’s got no fantasy value for the time being. (Navin Vaswani)
Quick Opinion: Kyle Drabek underwent the second Tommy John surgery of his career in 2012, which means he’s unlikely to contribute until late summer in 2013. His walk rate is, frankly, insulting, and until he sorts it out, along with the matter of keeping fly balls in the ballpark, he can’t help your fantasy team. He can only hurt it. And I mean really hurt it.
Brian Duensing 
|Debut: 2009 | BirthDate: 2/22/1983 | Team: Twins | Position: RP|
Profile: At this point, Duensing is a LOOGY on a team that flat-out refuses to use him as such. Thus, for the fourth year of Duensing’s four-year career, he was inexplicably permitted to face more righties than lefties. And again, the results were predictable, as Duensing was tagged for a .347 wOBA versus righties and a .295 mark versus lefties. In fact, each of those numbers might be a a one-year, small-sample blip, as Duensing’s career marks versus the two respectively check in at .360 and .251. If Duensing stops getting lefties out, he’ll quickly reach the Randy Flores stage of his career. The real question is, will the Twins be proactive and use him accordingly, or will the club still use him as a spot starter and inning-by-inning mop-up type reliever? (Brandon Warne)
Quick Opinion: A LOOGY dressed up in swing-man clothes. And neither of those things is really all that useful in fantasy leagues.
Danny Duffy 
|Debut: 2011 | BirthDate: 12/21/1988 | Team: Royals | Position: SP|
Profile: Duffy torn his UCL in May and needed Tommy John surgery after only six starts. Before going on the disabled list, the 25-year-old lefty was pitching like he always does — a high number of strikeouts (9.1 per nine) and walks (5.9 per nine). The injury could have led to the inconsistency and when he returns, which should be in June, his walk rate may drop, judging from his minor league numbers. A K/9 near eight and BB/9 near three would be similar to the rates that Anibal Sanchez and Matt Garza regularly show. Or he could never be usable pitcher ever again if his control gets worse after surgery. He should be picked up late in a draft or for $1 in a auction and stashed on the disabled list. Follow his rehab to see if any fastball speeds are mentioned in order to see determine how much he has healed. (Jeff Zimmerman)
Quick Opinion: Danny Duffy could be stashed on a fantasy team’s disabled list spot to start the season and provide some pitching help once he returns.
Scott Elbert 
|Debut: 2008 | BirthDate: 8/13/1985 | Team: Dodgers | Position: RP|
Profile: Of the 49 lefty relievers who have thrown at least 60 innings over the last two seasons, Elbert ranks fifth in ERA at 2.32. Yes, ERA isn’t the best way to judge a reliever and Elbert’s FIP doesn’t quite back it up, but after years of trying to stick in the bigs — including a bizarre and never fully explained incident in 2010 where he completely walked away from the sport — it shows that he’s finally found his niche in the Dodger bullpen. He’s not a LOOGY in the traditional sense, and he’ll need to overcome late season elbow surgery, but he should occupy an important spot for the team once again in 2013. (Mike Petriello )
Quick Opinion: Scott Elbert may not have reached the heights envisioned for him when the Dodgers made him a first-round pick in 2004, but he’s quietly become a very reliable lefty out of the pen over the last two seasons.
Nathan Eovaldi 
|Debut: 2011 | BirthDate: 2/13/1990 | Team: Marlins | Position: SP|
Profile: Not even 23 until February, Eovaldi has pitched roughly the equivalent of a full season in the bigs over the last two seasons, and he’s acquitted himself well with a 4.15 ERA/4.18 FIP. If he progresses no further, his quality mid-90s fastball and usable slider may already make him a roughly league-average starter. At his age, that’s impressive, so there’s obviously room for improvement as he gains experience, but his future may be in the bullpen if he can’t develop a quality third offering. His upside is well short of “ace”, but there’s still a lot of value to be had here, especially with a wide-open Miami rotation offering him time to grow. (Mike Petriello )
Quick Opinion: Eovaldi was adequate in 10 starts for the Dodgers before being dealt to Miami in the Hanley Ramirez trade, and the Marlins now have a young, cost-controlled starter with some considerable upside.
Marco Estrada 
|Debut: 2008 | BirthDate: 7/5/1983 | Team: Brewers | Position: SP|
Profile: Of starting pitchers who threw at least 100 innings last season, Estrada owned the eighth-highest strikeout rate in the league (9.30 K/9). It appears sustainable, as he has posted a swinging-strike rate above 10.0% over the last three years in Milwaukee. The 29-year-old also limits the free passes, which lowers his WHIP. His 1.14 WHIP was the same as the ones sported by CC Sabathia and Chris Sale — not to mention his strikeout rate was higher — yet he will be available several rounds later. The only question marks surrounding Estrada are his home runs (1.17 HR/9) and the fact that he’s never thrown more than 138.1 innings in a single major-league season. The Brewers’ rotation projects to be filled with young, unpredictable starters, and Estrada should receive the opportunity to start for the entire year. That should result in sneaky value for fantasy owners. (JP Breen)
Quick Opinion: Estrada is an underrated fantasy starter who is a good bet to provide above-average production in strikeouts and WHIP in the middle rounds of your next fantasy draft.
Dana Eveland 
|Debut: 2005 | BirthDate: 10/29/1983 | Position: RP|
Profile: In 2012, Eveland put up a major league xFIP over 5.00 for the fourth time in his last six seasons. Seemingly headed for another year bouncing around in Triple-A rotations, he’ll instead head overseas in 2013, inking a deal with the Hanwha Eagles. Japanese fantasy players draft accordingly! (Colin Zarzycki )
Jeurys Familia 
|Debut: 2012 | BirthDate: 10/10/1989 | Team: Mets | Position: RP|
Profile: Familia, 23, is listed at 6’4” and 230 pounds, and he’s got a right arm to match his frame. Although he’s had flashes as a starter in the minors, he debuted with the Mets in 2012 as a reliever, which looks to be his short- and long-term role in the bigs. His walk rate (3.9 BB/9 career) has always been problematic, and it was only worse in his first shot at Triple-A (4.8/9), so unless he figures things out quick, Familia’s fantasy value as a middle reliever, one with a strong K rate but also a middling WHIP, will be minimal. (Jason Catania )
Quick Opinion: A big pitcher with big flaws, Familia may be destined for the bullpen.
Kyle Farnsworth 
|Debut: 1999 | BirthDate: 4/14/1976 | Team: Rays | Position: RP|
Profile: Kyle Farnsworth has maintained a steady sub-3.50 FIP since his 2008 season. His 4.00 ERA in 2012 looks a bit ugly, but is mostly a production of his small-innings (27 IP) strand rate fluctuations (67.4% LOB-rate). He lost his closer job while on the disabled list to ERA-record-breaking Fernando Rodney, but Farnsworth has proven he can excel high-leverage outings and save situations. And the Rays sport a new closer every year. (Bradley Woodrum )
Quick Opinion: Farnsworth has been a steady source of low-ERA relief when healthy, which he was by the end of 2012.
Scott Feldman 
|Debut: 2005 | BirthDate: 2/7/1983 | Team: Cubs | Position: SP/RP|
Profile: A move from Texas to Chicago should be a fortuitous one for Feldman’s fantasy prospects, but under the surface it’s a bit more ambiguous than it originally seems. For one, Feldman has never particularly suffered from Texas’s home run-inducing ways — he’s only allowed two more home runs outside of Arlington (only 13 more innings out of 727 total) and his batting average on balls in play allowed is 11 points higher on the road as well. At least the league change is a clear help. If Feldman makes the rotation, his solid control is his best asset, but he’s tougher to bet on in shallow leagues due to middling strikeout numbers (5.4 strikeouts per nine career, topping out at 7.0 K/9 in 2012). The new league should gift him a few strikeouts and make him a passable mixed leaguer. (Jack Moore)
Quick Opinion: It isn’t clear an exodus from Texas helps Feldman as much as it would other pitchers. Still, going to the National League will help if he can earn a rotation spot.
Neftali Feliz 
|Debut: 2009 | BirthDate: 5/2/1988 | Team: Rangers | Position: SP|
Profile: In eight games (seven starts) last season for the Rangers, Feliz had a 3.16 ERA but posted underwhelming peripheral numbers. Feliz’ control abandoned him in the rotation (4.85 walks per nine), leading to a less than stellar 4.64 FIP and 4.98 xFIP, and disappointment for Feliz owners everywhere. After averaging 96.3 mph with his fastball in both 2011 and 2012 out of the bullpen, Feliz’ velocity dropped to 94.7 mph in 2012. While a 95 mph is nothing to sneeze at, some pitchers are made to pitch out of the bullpen, and Feliz might be one of those pitchers. Nobody should be shocked to see the Rangers prepare Neftali to start during his rehab but after losing Mike Adams and Koji Uehara in free agency the Rangers have a role to fill in the pen. Jason Frasor, Josh Lindlom, Tanner Scheppers and fellow Tommy John recoveree, Joakim Soria, should do an adequate job replacing them in the bullpen but if the situation is still unsettled in September and Neftali is nearing a return, he might end up pitching in short stints again. Current closer Joe Nathan and former top closer Joakim Soria are roadblocks in the way of Feliz seeing any saves, but with proven success out of the pen and potential upside in the rotation, Feliz is someone to keep an eye on later this year as he recovers from Tommy John, and in the future for keeper leagues. (Ben Pasinkoff )
Quick Opinion: Recovering from Tommy John surgery in August of 2012, Neftali Feliz is looking to return to the Rangers in the middle of 2013. Will he start or relieve?
Mike Fiers 
|Debut: 2011 | BirthDate: 6/15/1985 | Team: Brewers | Position: SP|
Profile: Fiers blasted through the Brewers minor league system in 2011 and was rewarded with 22 major league starts in 2012. The 27-year-old did as well as anybody could have expected, finishing the season with a 3.74 ERA and 3.09 FIP. Although Fiers is a soft-tosser (88.5 mph average), his secondary stuff has sharp and pronounced movement. Fiers is able to get to pitchers’ counts and miss bats — he recorded 9.5 strikeouts per nine behind an 8.3% swinging strike rate. However, much of Fiers’s success has been chalked up to deception and there are concerns the home runs could start flying thanks to his soft stuff and inability to get ground balls (32.7% in 2012). Still, he’s an intriguing option if he wins a start in the Brewers’ bullpen thanks to his control (2.5 walk rate) and strikeout stuff. (Jack Moore)
Quick Opinion: Was Fiers’s success in 2012 due to deception? This is the question many have after Fiers posted a 94 ERA- and 79 FIP- in his rookie season despite a mediocre fastball. His strikeout ability makes him an interesting lottery ticket if he gets a rotation spot in 2013.
Stephen Fife 
|Debut: 2012 | BirthDate: 10/4/1986 | Team: Dodgers | Position: SP|
Profile: Nearly all of Fife’s starts in 2012 were because the Dodgers simply needed a warm body to make an unexpected start, thanks to injuries to Chad Billingsley & Clayton Kershaw and the trade of Nathan Eovaldi to Miami. Fife is blessed neither with great velocity (his fastball rarely tops 90) nor impeccable control (3.1 walks per nine between Double- and Triple-A) but manages to keep the ball on the ground enough to generally avoid his share of long balls. He might be the type who can outpitch a mediocre FIP somewhat, though if he has a big-league career, his ceiling is likely as a fifth starter. After all the moves the Dodgers have made headed into 2013, if he’s seen starting for them again, something has gone terribly wrong. (Mike Petriello )
Quick Opinion: Stephen Fife held his own in five fill-in starts for various injured Dodgers in 2012, but peripherals that in no way supported a shiny ERA and a crowded Dodger rotation mean that he might want to start looking to buy in Albuquerque, not rent.
Doug Fister 
|Debut: 2009 | BirthDate: 2/4/1984 | Team: Tigers | Position: SP|
Profile: Doug Fister’s first three major league seasons showed him to be a control artist who stayed in the zone, avoided walks, and pitched to contact. A solid ground-ball rate helped to keep his ERA down. Last year, though, Fister appeared to turn a corner, missing bats at a much higher rate and increasing his strikeouts by more than 1.5 per nine. At the same time, he bumped up his GB%, and yet the end results were not all that different. The primary reason seems to be a boost in his home runs per fly ball. If Fister can keep the strikeout rate up and bring down the HR/FB a bit, 2013 could be an improvement on 2012. A return to the lower K% is probably the better bet, but he will still be good for a mid-3.00’s ERA and, thanks to the Tigers lineup, a good chunk of wins, which helps to make up for the modest strikeout numbers. (Chad Young )
Quick Opinion: If the increase in missed bats and strikeouts can stick, Fister could be in line for his best fantasy season yet. And if not, he is still a useful pitcher, with solid rates.
Gavin Floyd 
|Debut: 2004 | BirthDate: 1/27/1983 | Team: White Sox | Position: SP|
Profile: Floyd’s issues were not so much with where he was pitching as to whom he was pitching; lefties managed an .871 OPS against him and hit 16 of the 22 home runs he allowed. That continues a trend that has stayed steady over his whole career — lefties have hit for a .341 wOBA, while righties haven’t done as well (.309 wOBA). If there was a silver lining to Floyd’s rough 2012, it is that his strikeout rate was his highest since 2009, but even that was marred by his highest walk rate since becoming a full-time starter. In fantasy terms, there’s just not enough upside to brave the considerable WHIP downside that Floyd embodies. He’d have to be very cheap and you’d have to be in a deep league. Or maybe you can spot start him against a team devoid of lefty sluggers. (Dan Wade)
Quick Opinion: It would be tempting to blame Floyd’s bloated home run rate on his home park, the notoriously hitter-friendly US Cellular Field, but he allowed just two more home runs at home than he did on the road. And that was over the course of nearly 100 more plate appearances in The Cell.
Jeff Francis 
|Debut: 2004 | BirthDate: 1/8/1981 | Team: Rockies | Position: SP|
Profile: After a one-year sojourn with the Royals and a brief 2012 run in the Reds’ minor-league system, Jeff Francis is back where he started: Colorado. The Rockies seem to be in the middle of one of their “are we rebuilding? Maybe! Maybe not!” phases, so I guess it makes sense. Jokes aside, Francis is not a bad play for the Rockies given his 2012 performance and the fact that they aren’t paying him much. He has retained the excellent control he displayed upon returning from injury in 2010, and in 2012 with the Rockies, he had his highest strikeout rate in years. However, his fastball velocity keeps dropping, and the Rockies’ home park does him no favors — it certainly does not help his ERA in relation to his peripherals. Whatever surplus value he offers in real baseball does not translate to most fantasy leagues. At this point, he is an endgame innings-eater for those teams and leagues in which that sort of thing matters. (Matt Klaassen)
Quick Opinion: Jeff Francis is a nice value signing by the Rockies at this point in his career, but he does not make much sense in fantasy unless you need to meet playing time minimums in a very deep league.
Frank Francisco 
|Debut: 2004 | BirthDate: 9/11/1979 | Team: Mets | Position: RP|
Profile: Last year was both typical and atypical for Frank Francisco. The problems he’s had, he had before, and his one saving grace, it was still there. Francisco has had home run issues sporadically over his career. He’s had a home run rate that was worse than average in three of the last four years at least. That sort of thing can happen when you are an extreme fly ball pitcher in the American League. Frankie Frank also walked entirely too many people last season, and 2012 represented the third time in his seven-(full-)year career that his walk rate wandered into double digits. The Mets closer was hurt for much of the year, putting up 42.1 innings — he’s only crossed the 60-inning threshold once, so that’s his thing too. But the portly closer also threw 94 mph heat and got double-digit swinging strike rates with his splitfinger and fastball combination. And that’s actually fairly uplifting — if he can bring the walk rate back down to his career number, avoid a home run or two in the early going next season, he can return to being a fifty-inning closer for the Mets. He’s under contract, anyway, and the team hasn’t rushed to make Bobby Parnell the closer even with opportunity after opportunity to do so. (Eno Sarris )
Quick Opinion: Frankie Frank was fried for much of 2012 — frankly, the extra frankfurters have filled his front to the point of frequent physical flare-ups — but even his fricasseed physique probably represents the first option for saves in New York this year, and he’ll be, for the most part, free. Don’t shy away from him if the price is low — saves are saves.
Jason Frasor 
|Debut: 2004 | BirthDate: 8/9/1977 | Team: Rangers | Position: RP|
Profile: Jason Frasor struck out a career-high 27.8% of batters he faced in 43.2 innings of relief for the Blue Jays in 2012. However, along with his elevated strikeout rate, Frasor’s walk rate went up, too, to 4.53, his highest since 2007. If you’re looking for strikeouts, Frasor could help, and he’s found a home with the Texas Rangers, signing a one-year deal. His ability to strike batters out gives him some fantasy potential, but likely only in deeper leagues. (Navin Vaswani)
Quick Opinion: Jason Frasor has something to offer: strikeouts. Now a Texas Ranger, you’re probably not going to be drafting him, but he could provide some value in your deeper leagues.
Christian Friedrich 
|Debut: 2012 | BirthDate: 7/8/1987 | Team: Rockies | Position: SP|
Profile: Christian Friedrich was drafted by the Rockies in the first round of the 2008 draft, and was supposed to be a polished college lefty. However, he struggled in Double-A in 2010 and 2011. In 2012,however, after losing a lot of weight, he actually seemed to have made good on being “in the best shape of his life,” starting strong at Triple-A and his first couple of starts in the majors. Things fell apart after that, however, and he ended the season with an ERA over six. He actually had a decent strikeout rate, and his walk rate, while not good, was not horrible. As with so many other Rockies before him, his batting average on balls in play (.342) did him in, although his FIP (4.63) was not even average, even after adjusting for his home park. Friedrich has some potential, and his repertoire seems to work equally well against both right- and left-handed hitters. At the moment, he does not look in line for a rotation spot going into 2013, and even if he did, he is not worth a draft pick in most leagues, even if your league makes park adjustments. Even in long-term keeper leagues, he is a long shot at best. (Matt Klaassen)
Quick Opinion: Christian Friedrich finally showed some flashes in 2012 after being a generally disappointing 2008 first-round pick, but things came apart pretty quickly. Even if he gets a rotation spot for the Rockies to start 2013, he does not warrant attention outside of the deepest of NL-only leagues on Draft Day.
Ernesto Frieri 
|Debut: 2009 | BirthDate: 7/19/1985 | Team: Angels | Position: RP|
Profile: What’s not to like about Frieri. He struck out every third batter (37% strikeout percentage, 13.3 strikeouts per nine) he faced in 2013. The 27-year-old’s ERA has been one point lower than his FIP over his career (3.32 vs. 2.32). The reason for this difference is that he pitches lights-out with men on base. Bases empty: 4.02 FIP, .264 batting average on balls in play; Men on base: 3.13 FIP, .132 BABIP; Runners in Scoring position: 1.57 FIP, .071 BABIP. Also, his fastball increased around four mph over the course of the season in 2012. The only issue with Frieri is his miniscule ground-ball rate (25% for his career). If he is not able to continue to strike out batters at such a high rate, the fly balls may begin leaving the yard more often. Ryan Madson may not be ready to begin the season, and if he stumbles in his return from surgery, Frieri will be there to close once again. (Jeff Zimmerman)
Quick Opinion: Ernesto Frieri should be a top-five relief pitcher 2013, but his team just signed Ryan Madson to close, ostensibly.
Brian Fuentes 
|Debut: 2001 | BirthDate: 8/9/1975 | Position: RP|
Profile: Brian Fuentes retired after the 2012 season to spend more time with his family. If he should come back, he could make for an interesting late-season waiver pickup in leagues that count holds. (Zach Sanders)
Charlie Furbush 
|Debut: 2011 | BirthDate: 4/11/1986 | Team: Mariners | Position: RP|
Profile: Charlie Furbush never had the opportunity to start a game for the Seattle Mariners in 2012, but his results may have made a case to do so in 2013. In 48 relief appearances, Furbush struck out over 29% of batters, giving up just 28 hits in 46.1 innings pitched. He did most of his damage against left handed batters, but he wasn’t just a LOOGY — he also held righties to a .195/.289/.349 line over 23.2 innings, while striking out 24. Furbush relies mostly on a two seam fastball and what’s probably best characterized as a slurve — and it’s easily his best pitch. But he doesn’t appear to have a well developed third pitch which might work to his disadvantage when it comes to rotation candidacy. But with Jason Vargas out of the picture, there’s an obvious opening in the Mariner starting corps, and should Furbush hold off the farmhands, he could be interesting enough to roster and see if he can come close to replicating his success as a reliever. (Michael Barr )
Quick Opinion: Charlie Furbush put up some awfully attractive statistics in a relief role for the Seattle Mariners with a 29% strikeout rate and a 2.81 ERA over 46 innings pitched. But if he can’t shed the long relief role, he’s not worth your attention. Should he nail down a spot in the starting five, however — he’s definitely a stash to see what develops.