Matt Wieters (C-BAL)- Wieters went 0-for-3 with a RBI in the Orioles loss to the Yankees last night. The switch-hitting catcher continues to be one of the more disappointing fantasy players once again, as he is hitting .231/.286/.417 with 21 home runs in 519 plate appearances. Wieters power numbers have remained stable over the last three seasons, but his OBP and batting average have decline in 2013. His .238 BABIP indicates that he has been unlucky with balls in play, but Wieters also has seen his batted ball profile become less favorable. His 17.8 percent line drive rate is below average, and while his fly ball rate has increased to 43.2 percent, it has come mostly in the way of infield fly balls. Wieters should continue to produce similar numbers in 2014 with his HR/FB staying consistent over the past three seasons, but his OBP problems will keep him from cracking the top seven fantasy catchers.
Greg Holland (RP-KC)- Holland recorded his 41st save of the year in Tuesday night's win over the Indians. The right-hander threw a perfect inning in which recorded a strikeout and lowered his ERA to 1.37. Holland has been the most effective reliever in baseball this season posting a 1.37 FIP and 1.55 xFIP in 59 innings, as he has improved his strikeout rate to 13.73 and cut his walk rate down from 4.57 to 2.14 BB/9. While closers are always volatile, Holland should be the second ranked closer heading into drafts next year. His 16.9 percent swinging strike rate ranks second among qualified relievers, and he has made some strides in terms of his control. Holland has been somewhat lucky with his BABIP (.287) considering his 28.7 percent line drive rate, but those have mostly come at the expense of more fly balls. Holland will have a hard to replicating these numbers in 2014, but he is an elite pitcher at the position.
Mark Buehrle (SP-TOR)- Buehrle, who had been pitching extremely well of late, endured one of his rougher outing of the year on Tuesday night against the Angels. He allowed eight runs on twelve hits, three home runs and one walk while striking out two in four innings of work. The left-hander now has a 4.18 ERA, 4.15 FIP and 4.11 xFIP in 189.1 innings this season. Coming into this outing, I was quite impressed with Buehrle's numbers in his return to the American League. He has posted the second best strikeout rate of his career (6.13 K/9) while improving his ground ball rate (45.1 percent). An increased walk rate (2.28 BB/9) is somewhat responsible for the higher ERA, but this is what potential owners can expect next season. Considering his swinging strike rate has actually decreased since last year, his strikeout rate is expected to regress.
David Price (SP-TB)- Despite seeing his record fall to 8-8 for the year, Price turned in another strong outing on Tuesday night. He allowed two runs on three hits while striking out nine and not issuing a walk. The left-hander lowered his ERA to 3.45 in the process, but his 3.09 FIP and 3.28 xFIP indicate that he has pitched better than his numbers would suggest at first glance. Price has lost almost two mph on his average fastball compared to last season, but his overall control has greatly improved. His 67.8 percent first pitch strike percentage is third best among qualified starters. The impeccable control compensates for the drop in velocity, and I think his strikeout rate might improve next year considering his swinging strike rate (8.4 percent) has improved slightly from last year (8.3 percent). It is not a coincidence that Price has upped the usage of his other three pitches, and I would not be surprised to see his cutter, curveball and change used even more in 2014.
Oswaldo Arcia (RF-MIN)- Arcia went 2-for-4 with a strikeout and a home run to help lead the Twins to a victory over the A's on Tuesday night. The rookie now has eleven home runs for the year, and he managed to improve his slash line to .255/.314/.430. One cannot help but to be impressed with his power numbers considering his lack of experience at higher levels, but Arcia's strikeout rate will be a sticking point for potential owners. While producing fly balls at a 50 percent, Arcia's overall average might continue to suffer. He has struck out at a 29.8 percent mark this year, and his 14.5 percent swinging strike rate would place him among the top ten in terms of swinging strike rate. Arcia displayed above average plate discipline during his time in the minors, but he still has some work to do at the major league level. His 35.1 percent chase rate is below average, and so is his 6.7 percent walk rate.
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