Michael Morse - Michael Morse cracked a grand slam in the first inning against the Cardinals on Saturday and finished 1-for-4 with 4 RBI. Morse hasn't been as good as he was during his breakout season in 2011 but he's still a productive fantasy outfielder/first baseman. He's only played in 99 games due to injury, and his ISO has dropped from .247 in 2011 to .173 this season. His batting average has remained about the same but his OBP has fallen by around 40 points thanks to a 3% walk rate (compared to 6% in 2011). Part of me wonders whether Morse's lat injury sapped some of his power this season. He should be a decent No. 3 OF in 12-team leagues next season with an upside as a No. 2 OF.
Aramis Ramirez - Aramis Ramirez smashed a HR and finished 3-for-4 on Saturday versus the Astros. Ramirez has once again put together an excellent season, posting a .543 SLG% and .244 ISO to go along with 92 runs, 103 RBI and 27 HRs. He's now hit at least 25 HRs in 10 of the past 12 seasons and has recorded an ISO over .200 in 3 straight years. He's also owned a batting average above .289 in 6 of the last 7 seasons. All told, Ramirez continues to be a consistent force at third base for fantasy owners and there's little reason (aside from, maybe, his age) to think that he can't replicate his 2012 production in 2013.
Marco Estrada - Marco Estrada pitched an absolute gem on Saturday against the Astros, allowing 0 ER over 8 innings to go along with 11 strikeouts and 1 walk. Estrada has been a nice surprise for fantasy owners in 2012, tallying a 9.30 whiff rate in 138 innings. He's got a more than respectable 3.64 ERA and his performance seems sustainable based on his 3.49 xFIP. Estrada's balls in play distribution isn't ideal as he relies on fly balls and has given up a 20% LD rate this season. However as long as he can continue to get a large chunk of outs via the strikeout, he should be able to maintain a decent ERA next season. I always value high potential strikeout guys so I'd be willing to take a chance on Estrada in mid-to-late rounds depending on the draft format. In auction leagues, he's worth somewhere around $5-$10 for next season.
Roy Halladay - Roy Halladay pitched 5 innings and gave up 4 ER with 7 strikeouts against the Marlins on Saturday. Halladay has simply not been as sharp in 2012 as he has been in the past. Entering Saturday's start, his 3.60 xFIP was nearly a run above his 2011 mark of 2.71. His FIP jumped from 2.20 in 2011 to 3.67 this year and his ERA is 2 runs higher than a season ago. He's also missing fewer bats, walking more batters and has allowed 1.04 HRs per game, compared to a 0.39 mark in 2011. Considering his age (35), be careful not to overpay for the brand name in 2013. Halladay can't be great forever and 2012 points toward the potential beginning of a decline for the right hander.
Aaron Hill - Aaron Hill went 3-for-4 on Saturday against the Cubs and now owns a .303/.362/.519 slash line with 24 HRs and 81 RBI. He's also got a .215 ISO. Hill is truly a high risk, high reward player as he posted a .246/.299/.356 slash line in 2011 to go along with just 8 HRs and a .110 ISO. So, what should we expect from Hill next year? It's reasonable to think Hill will post another 20+ HRs as he's now reached that feat in 3 of his past 4 seasons. He also should provide decent to solid production in runs and RBI thanks to being in the Arizona lineup and playing his home games at Chase Field. It's probably not realistic to believe he can hit around .300 again because he's a .272 career hitter. Second base is a thin position, so I'd feel comfortable having Hill as your starter in pretty much all league formats next year.
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