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121. Miguel Montero, C, ARI: One of the top run-producing catchers in the game, Montero has averaged 16 homers and 87 runs batted in over the past two seasons. With Justin Upton gone, he’ll be expected to pick up some of the slack in the middle of the lineup.
122. Anthony Rizzo, 1B, CHC: After struggling as a rookie with the Padres in 2011, Rizzo was ready when the Cubs called him up last June (.285 BA, 15 HR, 48 RBI in 87 games). He’ll continue to hit in the No. 3 spot in the lineup, with David DeJesus and Starlin Castro likely hitting ahead of him.
123. Hiroki Kuroda, SP, NYY: Still going strong at age 38, Kuroda set career highs in starts, innings pitched, wins and strikeouts in his first season with the Yankees in 2012. He was very effective at Yankee Stadium with a 2.72 ERA in 19 starts.
124. Andre Ethier, OF, LAD: His walks dropped and strikeouts increased in 2012, but he’s still a terrific hitter against right-handed pitching (.325 BA, 16 HR, 60 RBI, 26 2B). Against lefties? Not so much (.222 BA, 4 HR, 63 K in 221 at-bats).
125. Hunter Pence, OF, SF: His numbers were already down when he was traded to San Francisco, where his production took a further nosedive (.219 BA, 7 HR, 60 K in 59 games). Pence might not hit 25 homers again, as he did in each of the 2008-10 seasons with Houston, but he’s definitely capable of doing a lot more than he did last season.
126. Joe Nathan, RP, TEX: Back to his pre-Tommy John surgery form in his age-37 season, Nathan proved that he was still one of the best closers in baseball with 37 saves in 40 chances.
127. Homer Bailey, SP, CIN: He always seems to be on the verge of a breakout season, but he was never closer than his last eight starts of 2012 (1.79 ERA, 55.2 IP, 28 H, 10 BB, 58 K, no-hitter). Unlike Cueto and Latos, though, Bailey usually struggles at Great American Ball Park (5.16 ERA in 17 starts).
128. Fernando Rodney, RP, TB: How does a 34-year-old reliever, who has been inconsistent and unreliable throughout his career, turn into one of the best closers in baseball? I have no idea! He made a few adjustments, but this kind of turnaround was ridiculous. His first three spring outings (3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 4 K) suggest he’s not about to revert to his old form.
129. Chase Utley, 2B, PHI: The knee didn’t appear to be a problem once he finally returned to the lineup in late June, hitting .256 with 11 homers, 45 runs batted in and 11 stolen bases in 83 games. If you trust that his 34-year-old knees will hold up all season, take a chance and pick up a guy who could be one of the top second-base performers if he stays on the field for 135-plus games.
130. Rafael Soriano, RP, WAS: After saving 42 games in 46 chances for a Yankees team that won 95 games in 2012, Soriano should get at least than many for a Nationals team that is the favorite in the NL East and maybe the entire National League.