Frieri is the kind of closer who is going to make things interesting due to his poor control, and it’s clear that he needs an off-speed pitch to keep hitters honest. These things being said, his fastball should be cloned and distributed across the land.
Peralta has a live arm and a good fastball-slider combination, and he gets credit for keeping his hard stuff around the bottom of the zone. However, his command isn't particularly good, and he doesn't miss as many bats as he should.
Gallardo’s stuff is fading fast, as he’s gone from sitting 93-94 with his hard stuff to barely getting by at 91-92, and his breaking stuff has lost some effectiveness, too. The good news is that his command and ability to miss bats have been a lot better since he returned from the disabled list in mid-August.
It's not a question of talent with Moustakas; it's a question of his making adjustments. He's shown some hope in that regard since the All-Star break, but his bat still has a ways to go before it's consistent, and there's also a question mark that concerns his power potential.
Chalk 2013 up as yet another injury-shortened season for Howard, and it wasn't going so well when he was healthy. He still has some legit pop, but his bat has gotten to be wildly inconsistent.
Stults is basically Mark Buehrle with a little extra velocity. But he does have good command of his stuff, and his efficiency comes in handy in terms of helping him eat innings.
De la Rosa is admittedly having a much better season in 2013 than this ranking indicates. The reasons he isn't higher are as follows: He has good-but-not-great stuff, his command is just OK, he doesn’t overpower hitters, and he can't be counted on for six innings or 100 pitches when he takes the ball.
Locke doesn’t have overpowering velocity, but his four-seam fastball has some serious tailing action on it, and he also has a quality changeup and curveball. That's the good. Now here's the bad: Locke doesn’t throw strikes, he doesn’t miss bats, and he’s not even averaging six innings per start.
This was a lost season for Harrison due to a series of back injuries that he hasn’t been able to overcome, eventually culminating in his being shut down for good in mid-August. When healthy in 2012, however, Harrison earned himself a nice new contract by being a good command artist who could keep the ball on the ground and rack up innings.
At worst, Hamilton profiles as a high-level fourth outfielder and a pinch runner. If he develops as hoped, however, Hamilton has the potential be one of baseball’s premier top-of-the-order players up the middle.
Hernandez’s sinker isn't what it used to be, but it's still a quality pitch that he commands well, and it keeps the ball on the ground more often than not. It's too bad he can't keep the ball in the yard.
Tuiasosopo surely isn’t as good a hitter as his numbers say he is, but he’s definitely made improvements that have helped him become a capable hitter. He can get on base and also boasts solid power.
It’s hard to get excited about guys like Valbuena, but his ability to get on base and his ability to play solid D at the hot corner must be appreciated.
Hedges' elite, game-changing chops behind the plate will make him one of the best defensive catchers in the major leagues upon his arrival. If the bat continues to develop ahead of schedule, Hedges has the potential to reach his enormous ceiling as one of the game’s premier catchers.
Eovaldi is still a pup as a starter, and his arm and shoulder have already had it pretty rough over the years. But goodness knows he has a live arm with a nasty fastball-slider combination, and his command this season hasn’t been as mediocre as his walk rate indicates.
Gee helps make up for having mediocre stuff by having a lot of it, as he has five pitches that he features regularly and varies up his fastball duty between a four-seamer and sinker. He also makes it harder than it should be to square his stuff up, which is all thanks to his easily above-average command. It's too bad he has a scary injury history.
Milone’s stuff is about as “meh” as it gets, with the only pitch capable of raising your eyebrows being his changeup. But he has very good command of his arsenal, and that allows him to eat a solid number of innings.
Morneau is far from the player he used to be, and his health should be trusted only as far as it can be thrown. However, his bat isn't dead just yet, and his power has experienced a welcome revival in the second half of the season.
He hasn't been an ace in high-leverage situations in 2013, but Smyly has shown that he has the stuff, the command and the ability to miss bats to be a capable lefty reliever.
He’s far from a household name, and he doesn't boast overpowering stuff, but Rodriguez is a surprisingly hard guy for batters to square up and has proven to be an effective setup man in 2013.
Collmenter’s not the kind of guy who’s going to come out of the bullpen and blow hitters away, but he has the right mix to get hitters out, and his ability to go multiple innings at a time makes him all the more valuable.
Exactly how Gennett fits into Milwaukee's plans with Rickie Weeks still under contract through 2014 is a dilemma, but he's made it clear in his short time in the majors that his bat has some potential and that he can play passable D.
There’s a lot of potential in Dominguez’s glove, but the key for him is becoming more consistent at the plate. If he's able to handle that, he's going to be a power-hitting, slick-fielding third baseman.
Jones can light up the radar gun with the best of them, and he's getting better at missing bats and keeping the ball on the ground. The catches are that his command needs some work and that he's also struggling to prove himself as an effective setup man.
It’s basically all sinkers when Alvarez is on the mound, but he has made more use of his four-seamer this year and has been rewarded in the form of the two things he desperately needed last year: more whiffs and more strikeouts. It's a shame that he hasn't been healthy for all of 2013 and that he's not much of a workhorse.
Rodney’s stuff is still outstanding, and he's been better ever since his early-season struggles. However, his command is a serious shortcoming, and he doesn't miss as many bats as he should.
Kazmir has turned the clock back on his stuff in 2013, and he’s displayed a much better idea of where it’s going than he did when he was last in the majors, in 2011. His ability to eat innings is still very much limited, however, and the DL stint he needed earlier in the season served as a reminder that his health can't be counted on.
Aoki is the best in the league at putting the bat on the ball, and he has a terrific arm that fits well in right field. It's too bad that he doesn't have the power for the position and that he's also a mediocre baserunner.
He doesn’t always make the game look pretty, but Dirks is the kind of dirt-dog player every team should have. He's a decent hitter who can make things happen out in the field.
Doubront is a decent source of strikeouts and ground balls, but his command is still hit or miss, and this season has seen him feature flatter stuff than what he had in 2012. He's not bad for a lefty starter, but he's probably closer to a back-end guy than a mid-rotation guy.
The only good pitch Griffin has at his disposal is a big, loopy curveball that occasionally jellies a few legs, but his game is more about hitting spots and changing speeds. He’s able to maintain about an average strikeout rate that makes life a little easier, but he’s also a home run magnet.
Hughes' arsenal needs more than just his fastball and breaking ball, and he can still be touched up for home runs easily enough. But in his defense, Yankee Stadium does him no favors. His fly-ball style would play well just about anywhere else.
Morrow’s injury track record is now even more distressing than it already was, and it’s all a damn shame. His fastball-slider-splitter combination is deadly when he has it working, and he’s showed much-improved command of his stuff when he's been able to pitch the last two years.
Cingrani’s fastball is terrific enough to rack up swings and misses all on its own, and as such it has proven to be an effective weapon for him as a starter. But he could stand to expand his repertoire and harness some command, and the back problems he's experienced are a red flag.
Beachy's elbow didn't respond well to his return to action, but he continued to show off the kind of control he had in 2012 and at times flashed some of his old electric stuff. He's a candidate for a rebound season in 2014.
More power would be nice, and it’s a good idea to avert your eyes when Martinez is running the bases. But after a very slow start to his season, he’s done nothing but make it clear that he can still hit with the best of 'em.
With potential plus tools to his name, it’s obvious why Buxton is regarded as baseball’s consensus No. 1 prospect. Beyond his eye-popping natural ability, the outfielder possesses secondary skills that are uncommon in a player his age.
Hart hasn't played in 2013 as he's recovered from various injuries, so he naturally didn't make out so well in the health portion of this project. But fully healthy, he offers a solid approach at the plate and some power to go with it.
There are better relievers in high-leverage situations than Marshall, and there are certainly relievers who come with fewer health concerns. But any lefty with two nasty breaking balls, good command and an ability to miss bats is a lefty who'd be a welcome addition to any bullpen.
Grandal’s career has had nothing but bad things happen to it since the end of his promising rookie season, as he was first busted by the PED police and then busted in a major way by the injury bug. But he has a better bat than most catchers and is a good receiver behind the dish.
Pennington can't hit much, but he's one of the best defenders in the business at shortstop. Because it's a premium defensive position, that's worth something.
Cahill is one of the game’s preeminent sinkerballers, throwing his sinker over half the time and using it to consistently rack up high ground-ball rates. He’s prone to inconsistency, however, and that's been the case this season.
The depth of Maholm’s repertoire is good enough to make up for the relative mediocrity of his pitches, and he has the control to make these mediocre pitches effective. But he can be hit hard when the smoke and mirrors aren’t working, and he’s the kind of innings eater who’s really only good for six innings.
Vogelsong’s repertoire runs deep, as he’s featured a four-seamer, two-seamer, cutter, curveball and changeup all at least 10 percent of the time in 2013. But while his command can be impeccable when he’s on, he’s generally not much for pounding the zone, is only about average at limiting walks and isn't particularly good at missing bats.
Mercer isn't the best defensive shortstop you're going to come across, but he has a good bat for the position, which qualifies him as an above-average regular.
Barney can’t hit, but anybody looking for a sure thing on defense at second base is required to at least glance in his direction.
You never know what you’re going to get when Stubbs is at the plate, but his bat has recovered a bit from his disastrous 2012 season. He also offers speed and solid defense in right field.
Hanigan’s lousy season at the plate can’t be ignored, but he’s still earning his keep with his work behind the plate. He's one of the best in the business on defense at a position where defense is more important than it is anywhere else.
Avila’s career has taken a downturn since his All-Star season in 2011, and there have been times throughout 2013 when he’s been hard to watch. But he’s a quality hitter for a catcher and has been busy proving as much in the second half when he's been able to get in the lineup.
The move away from Fenway Park wasn't the best move for Ross’ power. However, his bat is decent, and he has a good glove that's versatile to boot. His low standing in these rankings has a lot to do with his hip injury.