Gerardo Parra (RF-ARI)- Parra was 0-for-4 with a strikeout in the Diamondbacks' extra innings loss to the Padres on Thursday night. The right fielder is currently hitting .268/.325/.406 with ten home runs this season to go along with his ten stolen bases. 2013 represented Parra's first season with more than 500 plate appearances, and the final results have been a little disappointing to owners this season. After two straight seasons of 15 stolen bases, Parra's 10 is his lowest total in three seasons. It has not been for a lack of trying, as Parra has also been caught stealing a ten times this year (a career high). In terms of home runs, Parra is right where many projected him to be. His 8.3 percent HR/FB ratio is slightly down from last season, and his fly ball rate is almost identical to last season. Parra's batted ball profile has remained steady over the last few seasons, and he has been very consistent over the last three seasons. His defensive abilities in the corner outfield spots will almost certainly give him the starting job once again, and fantasy owners can expect another .270/.330/.400 and 10 HR season in 2014.
Jason Heyward (RF-ATL)- Heyward had one of his biggest nights of the year in Thursday's win over the Phillies going 5-for-5 with three doubles, a home run and two runs scored. He now has 14 home runs for the year and is hitting .258/.349/.435 in 426 plate appearances. While Heyward started the season off slow, 2013 would have been one of his more productive seasons if he did not miss time because of his broken jaw. While his stolen base numbers plummeted this year, Heyward would have been on pace for another 20 home run season even though his overall power was somewhat down (.176) in relation to last season (.210). However, Heyward cut his strikeout rate to a career low 16.7 percent. His overall line was hurt by a .286 BABIP, but his career best 22 percent line drive rate indicates he was somewhat unlucky. In addition, Heyward was able to improve his walk rate from 8.9 to 10.3 percent. It might not have been the complete season owners were hoping for, but I like his chances of putting up 25 or more home runs next year.
Jim Henderson (RP-MIL)- Henderson recorded his twenty-seventh save of the season on Thursday night against the Mets. He allowed one run on a home run, but also recorded three strikeouts in his inning of work. In his first season as a closer, Henderson was one of the more reliable options this season posting a 2.75 ERA (3.62 FIP and 3.30 xFIP) and a strikeout rate of 11.02 K/9. Henderson's fly ball rate (42.6 percent) makes him prone to allowing home runs, but his strikeouts and his success in the role should allow him to hold onto the job in 2014. However, Henderson was able to skate by this season with a .265 BABIP despite allowing a line drive rate of 29.2 percent. With his below average walk rate (3.66 BB/9) and his propensity for home runs, Henderson might be on the riskier side as owners head into next season. However, owners should expect the same type of strikeout rate again with his 95 mph fastball and his 13.6 percent swinging strike rate.
Dillion Gee (SP-NYM)- Gee quietly turned in a very productive season for the Mets even though he was charged with a loss in his final start of the 2013 season on Thursday night. He allowed four runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out two in six innings of work. Gee finishes the year with a career best 3.54 ERA, but his 4.00 FIP and 4.07 xFIP are somewhat higher than his numbers from last season. Gee's average fastball velocity was down from 90.2 in 2012 to 89.3 mph this season, and it was reflected in his strikeout rate. His swinging strike rate dropped from 10.5 to 9.6 percent this season, as his strikeout rate dropped to 6.42 K/9. Gee did see his ground ball rate fall from 50.8 to 42.6 percent, which led to more home runs this year. Gee might see some drop off in 2014, but he remains a solid back end starter for owners in deep leagues.
Tim Lincecum (SP-SF)- Lincecum turned in a solid effort in the Giants 3-2 win over the Dodgers last night. He allowed two runs on eight hits and two walks while striking out six over seven innings of work. The right-hander will finish the year with a 10-14 record and a 4.37 ERA. For the second straight season Lincecum underperformed with regards to his DIPS (3.55 xFIP and 3.73 FIP), but it was not the nightmare season he had in 2012. His average fastball velocity saw a little decline this season (90.2 mph), but he was able to maintain a 23 percent strikeout rate (8.79 K/9) by incorporating more sliders and change-ups this season. Lincecum's problems from the stretch hurt him again in 2013 (69.6 percent strand rate) as well as his 12.1 percent HR/FB ratio. His velocity will never return to his Cy Young days, which will continue to hurt his HR/FB ratio. However, I do think he has continued to have been unlucky in terms of his strand rate. I still believe he could have an ERA between 3.70 and 3.90 in the right situation next year. His strikeout rates are still strong, and he was able to get his walk rate under control (3.46 BB/9).
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