Author Archive

2014 Batter Profiles: I – L

Chris Iannetta

Debut: 2006 |  BirthDate: 4/8/1983 | Team: Angels | Position: C
’12 253 53 9 1 26 27 .240 .332 .398 .323 -0.2 3.4 1.2
’13 399 73 11 0 39 40 .225 .358 .372 .330 2.7 3.4 2.1
’14 288 53 8 2 30 34 .220 .339 .374 .320 0.8 4.1 1.6

Profile: The upcoming playing time battle between Chris Iannetta and Hank Conger has no clear favorite, but defense, youth, and offensive potential seem to favor Conger. Iannetta will likely play a little less than half of the time, but can still provide respectable home run production in his starts. While his great eye creates good on-base percentages, his batting average is going to be a liability, fantasy-wise. That shouldn’t change — his strikeout rate is bad and is only going to get worse as he ages. With a bit of an uppercut swing, no speed, and few balls in play, there’s always the risk of a disastrous average on balls in play, too. If the Angels are bad in 2014, the 31-year-old is probably not going to be considered a part of the franchise’s long-term plan, either. Look for him to finish around 40th in standard fantasy catcher rankings (or low 30s if OBP is used instead of AVG) with more downside than upside. (Steve Staude)

Quick Opinion: Hank Conger will likely usurp playing time from Iannetta this season, diminishing the latter’s fantasy value to the point where it won’t make sense to draft him in most leagues.

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2014 Batter Profiles: M – O

Manny Machado

Debut: 2012 |  BirthDate: 7/6/1992 | Team: Orioles | Position: 3B
’12 202 50 7 2 26 24 .262 .294 .445 .317 -0.2 6.1 1.3
’13 710 189 14 6 71 88 .283 .314 .432 .325 0.5 33.6 6.2
’14 471 116 12 7 52 59 .268 .313 .426 .323 -0.1 11.6 2.9

Profile: There’s a better than zero chance that Manny Machado stole either your heart, your breath, or both at some point in 2013. The sophomore exploded in his first full season, posting a six-win year thanks in large part to his otherworldly defense. However, for fantasy purposes he was less impressive, slashing .283/.314/.432 with 14 home runs and six stolen bases. That was still good enough for 10th among third basemen, and his 51 doubles and decent batted ball distances are encouraging for his power potential. The big question looming over Machado is when his season will start – he ruptured his left medial patellar femoral ligament in September and had surgery in mid-October. The current expectation is that he’ll be ready for the mid-April, if not the start of the season. It seems far more likely the recovery will impact his defense than his offense, placing him as a low-end starter at the hot corner in standard formats. (Blake Murphy)

Quick Opinion: Manny Machado was one of the most popular players of 2013, but the sophomore’s excellence was primarily in the field. Recovery from knee surgery isn’t particularly concerning, but don’t overpay for the potential, as his fantasy value hasn’t caught up to his reputation quite yet.

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2014 Batter Profiles: P – R

Jordan Pacheco

Debut: 2011 |  BirthDate: 1/30/1986 | Team: Rockies | Position: C/1B
’12 505 147 5 7 54 51 .309 .341 .421 .330 -5.9 -13.9 -0.4
’13 262 59 1 0 22 23 .239 .276 .312 .262 -15.2 -5.4 -1.4
’14 170 43 2 2 17 18 .274 .320 .386 .311 -3.8 -4.7 -0.4

Profile: When Pacheco made his major league debut in 2005, he hit an empty .286 in limited playing time. The next season, when he was 26, he hit for a similarly empty .309 average. He struck out a little more, but he was essentially a contact hitter. When he made hard contact, the ball tended to find a hole. When he didn’t, he had no chance, thanks to his hack-tastic approach at the plate. Still, even with the .309 average, he was worth -0.4 WAR. With no patience and very little power, there wasn’t a whole lot there to like, or even to project upon for the future. And that was before the bottom fell out. Which it did in 2013. Of the 316 players to rack up at least 250 plate appearances last season, only eight had a worse WAR than did Pacheco. Only four of the 316 had a worse wRC+ — Jeff Francoeur, Jeff Mathis, Brendan Ryan and Elliot Johnson. And that was in his age-27 season. Pacheco is simply one of the worst players in baseball. Of the 2,470 position players to garner at least 800 PAs since 1947, only 92 have a lower career WAR than Pacheco’s -2.1 mark. You’d think this would be enough to get him designated for assignment, but the Rockies are holding onto the thin thread that Pacheco can capably catch in the majors (he can’t), so we may get to see him sink even closer to the bottom. Just don’t let him do so on your fantast team.

Quick Opinion: Jordan Pacheco has been one of the worst players in baseball the past few years, but that hasn’t stopped the Rockies from playing him. You don’t have to make that mistake.

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2014 Batter Profiles: S – T

Jarrod Saltalamacchia

Debut: 2007 |  BirthDate: 5/2/1985 | Team: Marlins | Position: C
’12 448 90 25 0 59 55 .222 .288 .454 .319 -2.2 5.5 1.9
’13 470 116 14 4 65 68 .273 .338 .466 .349 10.1 7.3 3.6
’14 425 86 14 3 47 42 .226 .297 .399 .305 -4.4 5.1 1.5

Profile: Just when fans in Boston (and snarky Rotographs writers) were figuring how to spell his name, Jarrod Saltalamacchia bolted the world champion Red Sox for the perennial powerhouse known as the Miami Marlins. While he gets the key benefits of $21 million and the chance to watch the world’s greatest home run sculpture in action, he’s probably on the road to regression (not one of AC/DC’s more well-known hits) in 2014. Aside from the less favorable park factors, he is unlikely to reproduce a .372 BABIP, so expect his batting average to look more like his career .246 mark. He has positive three year running trends in BB% (up) and K% (down), so he should remain a fantasy-average catcher, just be aware that you’ll have to endure some frustrating up-and-down stretches, thanks to both the strikeout-friendly Salty and the rest of the lineup that surrounds him. (Colin Zarzycki)

Quick Opinion: Jarrod Saltalamacchia posted career best offensive marks in 2013, although a lot of his rates were buoyed by an impressive (but unsustainable) .372 BABIP. Now in Miami, he figures to get dinged a bit for league, park, and surrounding lineup, so he’s not an ideal value play in drafts.

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2014 Batter Profiles: U – Z

Dan Uggla

Debut: 2006 |  BirthDate: 3/11/1980 | Team: Braves | Position: 2B
’12 630 115 19 4 78 86 .220 .348 .384 .325 5.5 6.5 3.4
’13 537 80 22 2 55 60 .179 .309 .362 .303 -7.7 -4.0 0.5
’14 473 85 17 2 53 51 .212 .320 .386 .314 -1.0 -0.8 1.3

Profile: Uggla was dreadful last season and he may need to rebound quickly in 2014 if he wants to retain a starting job. With Braves prospect Tommy La Stella waiting in the wings, Uggla is working with a short leash. That should keep his cost to fantasy owners low, making him a high risk, high reward candidate. Uggla’s ugly .179/.309/.362 batting line was held down by a low .225 batting average on balls in play and career worst 31.8% strikeout rate. The low BABIP is partially supported by a career worst 13.2% line drive rate, which was also the worst among all qualified hitters by a whopping 2.9%. It’s unclear if there’s an explanation for that low rate. His strikeout rate is also supported by peripherals — a 1.5 percent increase in his whiff rate. Despite the doom and gloom, Uggla managed to come up only nine percent short of the league’s average weighted offense last season. That’s right about average for a major league second baseman. If he featured better defense and base running last season, he would have still been a respectable player. Going forward, there is still much uncertainty in Uggla’s profile. (Brad Johnson)

Quick Opinion: Uggla is coming off the worst year of his career and is now entering his age-34 season. He’s not a bad guy to take a flier on, especially if you’re stuck with a mid-tier second baseman like Neil Walker, but he’s probably more likely to stay the same or get worse than he is to substantially improve.

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2014 Pitcher Profiles: A – B

David Aardsma

Debut: 2004 |  BirthDate: 12/27/1981 | Position: RP
’12 0 0 0 1 9.0 9.0 9.0 9.00 2.00 17.09 -0.0 -0.1
’13 2 2 0 39 8.2 4.3 1.6 4.31 1.46 5.27 -0.3 -0.7
’14 1 0 0 10 7.4 4.5 1.1 4.40 1.47 4.66 -0.0 -0.1

Profile: Following a successful 2009 and 2010, David Aardsma missed most of 2011 and 2012 due to injuries, derailing an unexpected story of somewhat late-found success. Now 32 and a free agent, someone will surely roll the dice that Aardsma can be better than his 4.31 ERA and 5.27 FIP from 2013 with the Mets. Considering those two years off, the biggest concern is a drop in strikeout rate, which simply has to stay high for Aardsma to avoid punishment for his heavy walk rate. He was throwing almost three miles an hour slower than he had before his two Tommy John surgeries, and there just isn’t enough evidence on players having two of those surgeries to reliably suggest his velocity could rebound. Wherever he signs, it’s unlikely Aardsma finds his way to a closer’s chair. (Blake Murphy)

Quick Opinion: David Aardsma emerged as a decent closer in 2009 and 2010 but two Tommy John surgeries later, his velocity is gone and his effectiveness waned. He’ll find a home, but likely as a middle-inning guy.

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2014 Pitcher Profiles: C – E

Trevor Cahill

Debut: 2009 |  BirthDate: 3/1/1988 | Team: Diamondbacks | Position: SP
’12 13 12 0 200 7.0 3.3 0.7 3.78 1.29 3.85 3.0 2.9
’13 8 10 0 146 6.3 4.0 0.8 3.99 1.42 4.26 1.7 0.9
’14 12 11 0 182 6.6 3.6 0.6 4.11 1.40 3.79 1.5 2.1

Profile: Cahill improved in a lot of ways in 2012, but was unable to improve further or even maintain those gains in 2013. In 2012, he posted the highest strikeout rate of his career by getting more swings on pitches outside of the zone and, relatedly, more swings and misses. And he also went from having an elite ground ball rate to having the best ground ball rate in the league (61.2%) by three percentage points. A big reason for the improvements in 2012 was the addition of a cutter to his pitch mix. That pitch generated ground balls and got swings and misses at rates better than most of his other pitches. When you consider that Cahill used the cutter even more in 2013, his regression is a bit surprising. But the cutter simply wasn’t as effective. His swing and miss and ground-ball rates declined noticeably on his cutter last year. There’s always a chance the cutter regains its effectiveness or that Cahill makes another adjustment, but absent the absurd luck on balls in play he got in 2010, his upside is nothing more than something like a 3.80 ERA with a 1.30 WHIP, 12-13 wins and an average strikeout rate. That’s the best case scenario. That projection looks a lot like the line Dillon Gee from last year, and he was a borderline top 60 fantasy starters. So best case scenario, Cahill is one of the last guys on your staff. But more likely he’s just a spot starter. (Brett Talley)

Quick Opinion: All the progress made by Cahill in 2012 disappeared in 2013. The cutter that fueled his 2012 improvements was less effective, and his skills regressed. But even if his cutter regains effectiveness or he makes some other adjustment, Cahill’s upside is limited to that of a borderline top 60 fantasy starter.

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2014 Pitcher Profiles: F – J

Jeurys Familia

Debut: 2012 |  BirthDate: 10/10/1989 | Team: Mets | Position: RP
’12 0 0 0 12 7.3 6.6 0.0 5.84 1.54 3.66 0.1 0.0
’13 0 0 1 10 6.8 7.6 1.7 4.22 1.97 6.52 -0.0 -0.3
’14 4 3 3 65 8.8 4.2 0.8 3.65 1.35 3.76 -0.0 -0.2

Profile: Familia recorded minimal innings in 2013, on account of a mid-season procedure to remove bone chips and maybe other sorts of things from his elbow. Returning, though, to make appearances in both the Arizona Fall and also Dominican Winter Leagues, he sat in the mid- to high-90s, notably crossing the 100-mph threshold at times in the Caribbean. Reports generally also praised the movement on his fastball. That pitch, in combination with a serviceable slider, provide some reason to believe that the large right-hander has promise as a major-league reliever. That will likely be his role with the Mets in 2014 — if not at the very beginning of the season, then at least soon afterwards. (Carson Cistulli)

Quick Opinion: Based on the quality of his fastball alone, is likely to find way into Mets bullpen in 2014. Quality of slider and overall command will dictate extent of success.

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2014 Pitcher Profiles: K – O

Nate Karns

Debut: 2013 |  BirthDate: 11/25/1987 | Team: Rays | Position: SP
’13 0 1 0 12 8.2 4.5 3.8 7.50 1.92 8.38 -0.4 -0.4
’14 2 2 0 38 8.1 4.4 1.0 4.32 1.40 4.27 0.2 0.3

Profile: Nate Karns has continued to rise in the Nationals organization over the last couple years. He’s a bulldog type who attacks the strike zone with a power sinker. He came up and missed bats in his major league debut but also showed his flaws. Command — especially of his secondaries — and finding an offspeed offering that works for him will determine how far Karns can go. He tore the labrum in his pitching shoulder in 2009, so durability will always be a concern, too. With the addition of Doug Fister, the Nats rotation ranks among the strongest in baseball and it’s not clear what opportunities for starters will be available, if any. So it’s easy to see the Nats using Karns out of the pen in the short term, but he could also stay in Triple-A as rotation depth. In that case, he likely spends a few years as an up and down back end starter before settling in to the bullpen. (Al Skorupa)

Quick Opinion: Karns has the potential to be a useful starter as a back end ground-ball pitcher who misses some bats. Given the addition of Doug Fister to an already strong rotation, and the emergence of Taylor Jordan, it’s going to take injuries for Karns to get that chance. Long term, Karns likely fits best in the seventh or eighth inning.

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2014 Pitcher Profiles: P – T

Jonathan Papelbon

Debut: 2005 |  BirthDate: 11/23/1980 | Team: Phillies | Position: RP
’12 5 6 38 70 11.8 2.3 1.0 2.44 1.06 2.89 1.8 1.4
’13 5 1 29 61 8.3 1.6 0.9 2.92 1.14 3.05 0.9 1.0
’14 4 2 33 65 8.9 2.4 1.0 3.08 1.16 3.44 0.7 0.4

Profile: For a guy that had an ERA under three, a good WHIP and 29 saves last season, Papelbon sure had a lot of things go really wrong. His strikeout rate fell precipitously — his rate of 8.3 strikeouts per nine was more than a strikeout worse than his previous worst, and more than three strikeouts worse than his 2012 number. In percentages, his strikeout rate fell ten percent! His swinging strike rate dropped from 12.2% to 10.6%. That was among the worst 30 drops in baseball. A lot of that had to do with his flagging velocity. He used to be 95+ with the Red Sox, that dropped under 94 in his first year with the Phillies, and then all the way to 92 last season. That last drop was tenth in lost velocity among with pitchers with at least 50 innings pitched in both 2012 and 2013. Adding to the concern was that though Papelbon threw his slider the most he’d ever thrown it, the pitch slowed down to curveball-type velocity — and still features slider break. With the splitfinger and the fastball and elite control, Papelbon could be fine, though, there are role models in Boston that he can follow. What would be more worrisome about these numbers is if they are hiding an injury. You can’t treat him like an elite guy anymore, but if your saber-savvy league is too far down on him, remember that Papelbon still has more velocity than Koji Uehara, who throws today’s favorite splitter. (Eno Sarris)

Quick Opinion: With dropping velocity and swinging strikes, post-peak 33-year-old Jonathan Papelbon won’t be the same dominant reliever he once was. We knew that. What we don’t know is if the numbers are hiding an injury, or if his team will decide to ship him out because of them. Don’t treat Papelbon like an elite closer any more.

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2014 Pitcher Profiles: U – Z

Koji Uehara

Debut: 2009 |  BirthDate: 4/3/1975 | Team: Red Sox | Position: RP
’12 0 0 1 36 10.8 0.8 1.0 1.75 0.64 2.40 1.2 0.8
’13 4 1 21 74 12.2 1.1 0.6 1.09 0.57 1.61 3.8 3.3
’14 5 2 30 65 10.6 2.0 0.9 2.18 1.01 2.76 1.7 1.4

Profile: In what may have been one of the steals of last offseason, the Red Sox quietly signed setup man Koji Uehara to a $4.25 million contract. Pushed into the closer role through the injury ineffectiveness of Joel Hanrahan, Andrew Bailey, and Junichi Tazawa, Uehara lit the relief world on fire, posting an insane 1.09 ERA, 0.57 WHIP, and 101 whiffs in just over 74 innings. While some guys post those numbers thanks to some “lucky” peripherals, Uehara wasn’t one of them. His 3% walk rate continued to be among the league’s best and he even bumped his strikeout rate a bit (38% versus a 34% average in 2011-2012). His 1.36 SIERA bested all qualified major league relievers. Not too shabby. Some may pause at his below-average 88-90 mph fastball, but he posted 16-18% swinging strike rates in relief and a huge part of that was 25+% swSTR% on his splitter. He may not light up the gun, but apparently his opponents agree he’s tough to beat. Uehara’s age might be the only reason he sits a half tier behind Craig Kimbrel, Aroldis Chapman, Kenley Jansen, but if you are one of those people that like to lock up relievers earlier, Uehara is as good of a choice as any to be elite again this season. (Colin Zarzycki)

Quick Opinion: Uehara is another year older but showed no signs of slowing down in 2014. Even at 39, it’s not unreasonable to put him among the top six closers.

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2014 Prospect Profiles

Sean Manaea

Profile: Sean Manaea had positioned himself to be a top-five pick and perhaps even go first overall entering last spring. Sadly, his college season didn’t go as planned. Manaea had some performance issues and dealt with various injuries this year. He fell all the way in the draft to the second round, where the Royals happily stopped his freefall. Manaea ended up needing surgery for a tear in his hip labrum, but the prognosis for recovery is good. When healthy, Manaea works in the low 90’s and touches higher with a sneaky fastball from a deceptive delivery. His slider flashes well when he stays on top of the pitch but he often gets around the side of it from his low three-quarters delivery and the pitch flattens out into a slurve. His best offering is a diving split change that mystifies batters. Manaea is a big, strong kid with great makeup, strong stuff and the ability to miss bats. He has the potential to develop into a number two starter and his floor is probably a mid-rotation type with his present stuff. He would also fit quite well in the pen and could feature as a late inning option if injuries persist and his command falters. (Al Skorupa)

Quick Opinion: Regarded as one of the top talents in the draft entering the Spring, Manaea fell due to inconsistent performance and injuries. When healthy, Manaea has the stuff to be a mid to front of the rotation starter. If he shows up healthy in 2014 he’ll quickly return to top prospect status.

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2013 Batter Profiles: A – C

Bobby Abreu

Debut: 1996 |  BirthDate: 3/11/1974 | Position: OF
’11 585 127 8 21 60 54 .253 .353 .365 .322
’12 257 53 3 6 24 29 .242 .350 .342 .310

Profile: Abreu, 39 this spring, remains useful because he still draws a ton of walks (14.4% in 2012), but otherwise his game has evaporated. His power is gone (.100 isolated slugging percentage), he’s stopped stealing bases (just six in 2012), and his average has sat in the .250-range the last three years. Abreu remains unsigned as of this writing and has worked out for a few teams at first base, but even gaining some extra position eligibility won’t increase his fantasy value. He’s an end-of-the roster guy who won’t kill you in on-base percentage leagues, nothing more. (Mike Axisa)

Quick Opinion: Abreu, soon to be 39, fits best as an end-of-the-roster guy in on-base percentage leagues. He doesn’t hit for power or many bases anymore, plus his average has been middling for years. There’s not much left in the tank for a former elite fantasy player.

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2013 Batter Profiles: D – G

Chase d’Arnaud

Debut: 2011 |  BirthDate: 1/21/1987 | Team: Pirates | Position: 2B/SS
’11 151 31 0 12 6 17 .217 .242 .287 .234
’12 6 0 0 1 1 2 .000 .000 .000 .000

Profile: Chase d’Arnaud has shown the Pirates his speed in the minors, but that’s about it. The Buccos have better young options at shortstop, so d’Arnaud isn’t exactly a lock to take playing time from Clint Barmes should Pittsburgh fall out of the playoff race early. His career trajectory likely labels him as a pinch-runner and defensive replacement from here on out, so he’ll have no real value to fantasy owners. Dare I say it, but d’Arnaud shouldn’t even be bought for a dollar in ottoneu leagues. (Zach Sanders)

Quick Opinion: Chase d’Arnaud has speed on the basepaths, but he can’t get on base nearly enough to stay in the lineup. He’s not even worth stashing for a dollar in ottoneu leagues.

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2013 Batter Profiles: H – L

Travis Hafner

Debut: 2002 |  BirthDate: 6/3/1977 | Team: Yankees | Position: DH
’11 368 91 13 0 57 41 .280 .361 .449 .354
’12 263 50 12 0 34 23 .228 .346 .438 .342

Profile: For the last few years, Hafner has had a guaranteed starting job — when healthy — by virtue of an eight-figure-per-year contract to be the Indians everyday designated hitter. With the end of that ill-fated deal, Hafner is looking for a new home, and the options may be limited. There are only 15 AL teams, and only so many of them are going to be interested in an injury-prone full-time DH on the wrong side of 30 with a heavy platoon split. Fantasy players will have the same issue — do you really have a roster spot for a Util-only player who you should only use against righties? Even if he ends up on the Yankees as is rumored as of the time of this writing? If so, Hafner will mash for you about half the time, but if your roster isn’t deep enough to platoon him (and weather his inevitable trips to the disabled list), don’t waste the spot. (Chad Young)

Quick Opinion: What fantasy team couldn’t benefit from a part-time, injury-prone utility-only player with a heavy platoon split? Oh…right…well, if you can afford the roster spot, Hafner will crush righties for you.

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2013 Batter Profiles: M – R

Manny Machado

Debut: 2012 |  BirthDate: 7/6/1992 | Team: Orioles | Position: 3B
’12 202 50 7 2 26 24 .262 .294 .445 .317

Profile: Manny Machado went through the usual rookie struggles last season. He was far too much of a free-swinger, walking in just 4.5% of his plate appearances. He did show solid power, hitting seven home runs in 202 plate appearances, and he has a track record of adding value on the basepaths. He’s a good bet to be in a full-time role next season, but it will probably come at third, where Machado would have much less value. His value would increase substantially if he moved over to short, where he could be a fringe starter in most leagues. He’ll be just 20-years-old this year, so he may need more time to adjust to the majors. He might not become a star next season, but he’s still on the path to be a very promising player in the future. His positional eligibility will play a big role on whether he’s worth a mid-round pick, and J.J. Hardy is still under contract until the end of 2014. (Chris Cwik)

Quick Opinion: Machado is far more valuable as a shortstop, but is slated to play third next season. At just 20 years old, he can’t be expected to perform like a star immediately, but his potential makes him an intriguing late round pick.

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2013 Batter Profiles: S – Z

Jarrod Saltalamacchia

Debut: 2007 |  BirthDate: 5/2/1985 | Team: Red Sox | Position: C
’11 386 84 16 1 56 52 .235 .288 .450 .319
’12 448 90 25 0 59 55 .222 .288 .454 .319

Profile: Of the 193 players to post at least 400 plate appearances last year, only seven had a higher Three True Outcomes percentage (walks + strikeouts + homers divided by PA) than Saltalamacchia’s 45.09%. Looking strictly in the catching realm, only Mike Napoli had a higher TTO% than did Saltalamacchia. Staying among the catchers, we find that of the 18 that posted at least 400 PA, only two hit more homers than did Salty, which points to him being a potentially valuable commodity. But unfortunately for him, there are generally at least four other categories, and in those he fared poorly — 11th in runs scored, 13th in RBI, 17th in batting average and tied for dead last in stolen bases. This makes him a generally poor play in linear weights leagues like ottoneu, and a potentially odious play in standard 5×5 leagues. Also clouding Salty’s outlook is his playing time in the coming year. He may be squeezed by Ryan Lavarnway and David Ross, and potentially Mike Napoli as well. Salty could also eventually be traded, but even if he manages to equal his 2012 playing time, he’s unlikely to help your team all that much. (Paul Swydan)

Quick Opinion: A Three True Outcomes beast, Saltalamacchia doesn’t have enough success when he does put the ball in play to be a great fantasy option. If all you need from your catcher is home runs, he’s a decent play, but if all you need from your catcher is home runs then your league is weird.

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2013 Pitcher Profiles: A – F

Fernando Abad

Debut: 2010 |  BirthDate: 12/17/1985 | Position: RP
’11 1 4 0 19 6.9 4.1 2.3 7.32 1.88 6.33
’12 0 6 0 46 7.4 3.7 1.2 5.09 1.65 4.57

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.

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2013 Pitcher Profiles: G – N

Armando Galarraga

Debut: 2007 |  BirthDate: 1/15/1982 | Position: SP
’11 3 4 0 42 5.9 4.6 2.7 5.91 1.62 7.29
’12 0 4 0 24 6.4 6.8 2.2 6.75 1.92 7.43

Profile: After walking more batters than he struck out in an inauspicious stint with the Astros’ big league club last summer, he was outrighted to Triple-A and currently has no value even in the deepest of leagues. (JP Breen)

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2013 Pitcher Profiles: O – Z

Darren O’Day

Debut: 2008 |  BirthDate: 10/22/1982 | Team: Orioles | Position: RP
’11 0 1 0 16 9.7 2.7 3.8 5.40 1.32 7.59
’12 7 1 0 67 9.3 1.9 0.8 2.28 0.94 2.96

Profile: Darren O’Day is a great under the radar relief pitcher for 2013. First, he is good. Taking out his 2011 season when he spent time on the disabled list for his shoulder and hip, the 30-year-old righty has had an ERA under 2.30 in every of the last four seasons. To go with the low ERA, his career WHIP stands at 1.06 and he also owns a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 3.4. The K/BB stood at 4.9 last season. The Orioles used O’Day exclusively as the eighth inning set up man over the last month of the season with him getting a hold in each of the last five games in which he appeared. Nothing points to Johnson losing the closer role before the start of the season, but pitchers get hurt or blow up. O’Day looks primed to be a closer and he can generate some great counting stats in the mean time. (Jeff Zimmerman)

Quick Opinion: Darren O’Day is lights-out as Baltimore’s setup man and could step in if Jim Johnson falters as the closer.

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