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Nando Di Fino's 2013 Rankings Snapshot

Senior Fantasy Writer
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Editor's Note: We will be providing owners three unique points of view by position this offseason. Our Scott White, Al Melchior and Nando Di Fino will each be sharing their initial views on the 2013 Fantasy Baseball season by position. Teams listed are either a player's current team or the team they ended 2012 on.

Catcher

All I keep seeing are 28 home runs in 396 at-bats for Wilin Rosario. He started just 24 games over the first two months. He's 23 years old, so I can't see him not being the starter for the Rockies. Plus, he snuck in three appearances at third and one at first last year, so there's a possibility he gets a few more at-bats in the field, as well ... Jarrod Saltalamacchia is a wild card here -- you can't argue with 25 home runs and his growth at a peak time, but with the Sox pursuing Mike Napoli and bringing in a new coaching staff, his role is a little uncertain ... Jesus Montero gets the fences moved in and a year under his belt. We could see big things from him in 2013.

Editor's note: Victor Martinez's eligibility in CBSSports.com Fantasy Baseball leagues in 2013 will be as a designated hitter and will not include catcher. However, if you're using our rankings to prepare for drafts where Martinez might be eligible at catcher, he would be the No. 7 catcher in my rankings.

Nando's 2013 Catcher Rankings
2012 Roto
Rank
2012 H2H
Rank
2012 Roto
Rank
2012 H2H
Rank
1. Buster Posey, Giants 1 1 11. Yadier Molina, Cardinals 2 3
2. Carlos Santana, Indians 9 4 12. Ryan Doumit, Twins 10 9
3. Wilin Rosario, Rockies 5 10 13. Alex Avila, Tigers 21 20
4. Joe Mauer, Twins 3 2 14. Miguel Montero, Diamondbacks 7 6
5. Mike Napoli, Red Sox 12 17 15. Jonathan Lucroy, Brewers 11 16
6. Jesus Montero, Mariners 15 15 16. A.J. Ellis, Dodgers 18 14
7. Salvador Perez, Royals 20 21 17. J.P. Arencibia, Blue Jays 19 21
8. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Red Sox 13 19 18. Russell Martin, Pirates 16 13
9. Matt Wieters, Orioles 8 5 19. Carlos Ruiz, Phillies 6 8
10. Brian McCann, Braves 14 12 20. A.J. Pierzynski, Rangers 4 7

First Base

I see Albert Pujols doing what Adam Dunn did last year -- second year in the AL, adjusting to the new league -- and killing the ball... Allen Craig doesn't need to do much else to prove himself. I think 2013 is all about owners catching up to what he's been doing... I believe in Mark Trumbo -- lots of power and the ability to hit for average. Plus, he'll hopefully have a solid role heading into the season ... I want to put Freddie Freeman higher. He can take a major step forward this year with the injuries and weird eye ailment now behind him, but every time I put him up a notch, I end up sliding him back down, as I just like everyone above him a little more, for various reasons.

Nando's 2013 First Base Rankings
2012 Roto
Rank
2012 H2H
Rank
2012 Roto
Rank
2012 H2H
Rank
1. Albert Pujols, Angels 4 4 11. Freddie Freeman, Braves 15 12
2. Prince Fielder, Tigers 3 3 12. Paul Goldschmidt, Diamondbacks 7 11
3. Joey Votto, Reds 21 19 13. Ryan Howard, Phillies 52 68
4. Edwin Encarnacion, Blue Jays 2 2 14. Billy Butler, Royals 6 5
5. Adrian Gonzalez, Dodgers 10 7 15. Carlos Santana, Indians 26 17
6. Mark Trumbo, Angels 13 18 16. Adam Dunn, White Sox 16 13
7. Buster Posey, Giants 5 6 17. Paul Konerko, White Sox 18 15
8. Allen Craig, Cardinals 11 16 18. Eric Hosmer, Royals 31 27
9. Mark Teixeira, Yankees 21 20 19. Chris Davis, Orioles 14 23
10. Joe Mauer, Twins 12 8 20. Ike Davis, Mets 22 21

Second Base

Jason Kipnis and Rickie Weeks, to me, are solid in the middle, offering steals, pop and the hope of some kind of average help. I see both of them improving on their 2012 numbers and I'm not scared off by Kipnis' second-half dip, especially with a shallow crop of second basemen this year... Jose Altuve's speed/power combo is underrated by Fantasy owners. He could make a nice leap in 2013 ... Ben Zobrist is better in points leagues, so bring him up a little in that format. In Roto, he just doesn't offer enough upside. He's solid, but relatively unexciting ... Dan Uggla has the ability to hit 30-35 home runs, I just hope that he figures out what dragged him down for most of the 2012 season. He seemed to show signs of life later in the season ... Dustin Ackley could put up some nice numbers as the fences move in and Seattle improves the lineup in the offseason, but not enough to elevate him into the top 10.

Nando's 2013 Second Base Rankings
2012 Roto
Rank
2012 H2H
Rank
2012 Roto
Rank
2012 H2H
Rank
1. Robinson Cano, Yankees 1 1 11. Dan Uggla, Braves 16 13
2. Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox 6 7 12. Danny Espinosa, Nationals 10 14
3. Ian Kinsler, Rangers 3 3 13. Dustin Ackley, Mariners 17 18
4. Rickie Weeks, Brewers 11 11 14. Neil Walker, Pirates 14 20
5. Jason Kipnis, Indians 4 6 15. Omar Infante, Tigers 12 15
6. Aaron Hill, Diamondbacks 2 2 16. Gordon Beckham, White Sox 19 22
7. Brandon Phillips, Reds 5 9 17. Marco Scutaro, Giants 8 8
8. Chase Utley, Phillies 22 27 18. Logan Forsythe, Padres 27 36
9. Jose Altuve, Astros 9 12 19. Howard Kendrick, Angels 13 19
10. Ben Zobrist, Rays 7 4 20. Daniel Murphy, Mets 15 17

Third Base

Third base is looking surprisingly deep right now for 2013. You can fill up your 3B and CI spots pretty late and still have the promise of some gaudy numbers. I don't think there are going to be a ton of fists slamming on the table during drafts when third basemen go off the board, just because the depth allows owners to shrug off a Brett Lawrie being picked, as players like Will Middlebrooks, Pablo Sandoval and Todd Frazier will still be available ... Pedro Alvarez at third and Mike Moustakas at corner could yield a total of 60 home runs, seven steals and a .260 average, which would be a solid pull from two mid-to-late round picks ... Freese is as steady as a player can be with average (between .293 and .297 the last three seasons) and is increasing his power numbers. He's 30 this year, which is a little older than most owners may realize, but there's no need to downgrade him for age just yet ... Sad fact on Alex Rodriguez: he hasn't played 140 games since 2007.

Nando's 2013 Third Base Rankings
2012 Roto
Rank
2012 H2H
Rank
2012 Roto
Rank
2012 H2H
Rank
1. Miguel Cabrera, Tigers 1 1 11. Will Middlebrooks, Red Sox 29 41
2. Adrian Beltre, Rangers 4 4 12. Pedro Alvarez, Pirates 13 19
3. Evan Longoria, Rays 26 38 13. Pablo Sandoval, Giants 22 30
4. Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals 7 8 14. Manny Machado, Orioles 50 78
5. David Wright, Mets 6 6 15. Aramis Ramirez, Brewers 5 5
6. Hanley Ramirez, Dodgers 8 9 16. Martin Prado, Braves 9 7
7. David Freese, Cardinals 10 13 17. Kevin Youkilis, Yankees 24 25
8. Mike Moustakas, Royals 16 18 18. Todd Frazier, Reds 18 26
9. Brett Lawrie, Blue Jays 14 22 19. Mark Reynolds, Indians 23 30
10. Chase Headley, Padres 3 3 20. Michael Young, Phillies 8 10

Shortstop

Ian Desmond had a season that deserves a little more attention: 25 home runs, 21 steals and a .292 average. I'd be happy with 28/20/.280 for 2013 -- anything above that is just frosting ... Stephen Drew has dropped to the bottom of the list, but a healthy Drew could be a decent sleeper pick, as he still has skill -- he just can't stay on the field long enough to display it. If he avoids injury, he has a chance to redeem himself, especially playing on a one-year contract, which should offer some extra motivation. ... J.J. Hardy had 30 doubles and 20 home runs for the third time in his career. He's done that every season in which he's played more than 145 games.

Nando's 2013 Shortstop Rankings
2012 Roto
Rank
2012 H2H
Rank
2012 Roto
Rank
2012 H2H
Rank
1. Jose Reyes, Blue Jays 1 1 11. Josh Rutledge, Rockies 27 31
2. Elvis Andrus, Rangers 10 9 12. Ben Zobrist, Rays 7 3
3. Starlin Castro, Cubs 5 7 13. Alcides Escobar, Royals 8 11
4. Ian Desmond, Nationals 3 10 14. Derek Jeter, Yankees 6 5
5. Hanley Ramirez, Dodgers 4 6 15. Zack Cozart, Reds 20 20
6. Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies 37 51 16. Danny Espinosa, Nationals 11 14
7. Asdrubal Cabrera, Indians 12 13 17. Stephen Drew, Red Sox 46 41
8. Jimmy Rollins, Phillies 2 2 18. Alexei Ramirez, White Sox 13 15
9. J.J. Hardy, Orioles 15 12 19. Marco Scutaro, Giants 9 8
10. Jed Lowrie, Astros 25 24 20. Yunel Escobar, Rays 22 21

Outfield

Three players are primed to make a big leap in 2013: Giancarlo Stanton, who hit 37 home runs in 449 at-bats with a .290 batting average; Yoenis Cespedes, who hit 23 home runs, stole 16 bases and hit .292 in 487 at-bats in his first season of professional baseball while battling injuries and Bryce Harper, who will follow the footsteps of Ken Griffey, Jr., Mickey Mantle, Mike Trout and Alex Rodriguez and take off into the stratosphere in his 20- year-old season after his 19-year-old debut ... I'm struggling with Carlos Gomez. I love his potential in power and speed categories, but not 100 percent certain he can keep it up over a full season without seeing a dip in average ... Martin Prado is an interesting player to rank because he's a nice source of doubles in points leagues, but is somewhat pedestrian with his homers and steals for Roto formats. Move him up in points, move him down in Roto.

Nando's 2013 Outfield Rankings
2012 Roto
Rank
2012 H2H
Rank
2012 Roto
Rank
2012 H2H
Rank
1. Ryan Braun, Brewers 2 1 21. Alex Rios, White Sox 5 6
2. Mike Trout, Angels 1 2 22. Jason Heyward, Braves 10 15
3. Matt Kemp, Dodgers 38 51 23. Shin-Soo Choo, Reds 24 29
4. Andrew McCutchen, Pirates 3 3 24. Desmond Jennings, Rays 48 48
5. Giancarlo Stanton, Marlins 15 35 25. B.J. Upton, Braves 13 31
6. Curtis Granderson, Yankees 8 8 26. Carlos Gomez, Brewers 27 51
7. Matt Holliday, Cardinals 9 7 27. Carlos Beltran, Cardinals 11 18
8. Yoenis Cespedes, Athletics 20 34 28. Josh Willingham, Twins 14 10
9. Josh Hamilton, Angels 4 4 29. Hunter Pence, Giants 33 22
10. Jacoby Ellsbury, Red Sox 95 111 30. Andre Ethier, Dodgers 41 36
11. Jose Bautista, Blue Jays 57 62 31. Alex Gordon, Royals 30 12
12. Justin Upton, Diamondbacks 17 23 32. Martin Prado, Braves 31 13
13. Bryce Harper, Nationals 26 29 33. Ben Zobrist, Rays 34 9
14. Adam Jones, Orioles 6 5 34. Jayson Werth, Nationals 92 91
15. Mark Trumbo, Angels 32 40 35. Nick Markakis, Orioles 70 68
16. Allen Craig, Cardinals 28 39 36. David Murphy, Rangers 50 45
17. Jay Bruce, Reds 16 11 37. Chris Davis, Orioles 36 52
18. Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies 7 16 38. Austin Jackson, Tigers 19 26
19. Michael Bourn, Braves 12 20 39. Tyler Colvin, Rockies 52 63
20. Carl Crawford, Dodgers 131 146 40. Shane Victorino, Red Sox 40 25

Starting Pitcher

Justin Verlander and David Price are close enough to justify a flip if you really want to do that in your own drafts ... Stephen Strasburg, even at 190 innings, is just too good to drop out of the top five. He has another year of distance from Tommy John surgery and could really cut loose in 2013 with a dangerous combination of knowing he won't be shut down and feeling like he has something to prove after his 2012 season was cut short by the front office ... Jon Lester gets his old pitching coach back (as the manager) and the Bobby Valentine cloud is lifted from Boston's clubhouse. I sunk on the Lester ship last year -- I think 2013 will be a return to what we got accustomed to in the four previous seasons: a lower ERA and WHIP, a higher K rate and fewer home runs ... after Max Scherzer made some adjustments with his hand placement in early May, he put up a 3.14 ERA and struck out 204 batters in 163 1/3 innings. At one point, he went through a stretch of games where he struck out eight or more batters in 10 consecutive starts ... Lance Lynn is kind of hidden in the middle of the rankings here, but he has the skill -- and a full season of innings now behind him -- to establish himself as a top 30 starter.

Nando's 2013 Starting Pitcher Rankings
2012 Roto
Rank
2012 H2H
Rank
2012 Roto
Rank
2012 H2H
Rank
1. Justin Verlander, Tigers 2 2 21. CC Sabathia, Yankees 18 16
2. David Price, Rays 3 3 22. Matt Moore, Rays 71 63
3. Stephen Strasburg, Nationals 19 27 23. Johnny Cueto, Reds 9 9
4. Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers 4 4 24. Roy Halladay, Phillies 95 71
5. Felix Hernandez, Mariners 14 10 25. Adam Wainwright, Cardinals 40 35
6. Max Scherzer, Tigers 20 21 26. Jordan Zimmermann, Nationals 34 26
7. Jered Weaver, Angels 8 11 27. Ian Kennedy, Diamondbacks 43 33
8. Mat Latos, Reds 26 14 28. Kris Medlen, Braves 23 39
9. R.A. Dickey, Blue Jays 1 1 29. Lance Lynn, Cardinals 32 34
10. Matt Cain, Giants 6 5 30. C.J. Wilson, Angels 60 36
11. Jon Lester, Red Sox 147 68 31. Jeff Samardzija, Cubs 59 58
12. Zack Greinke, Dodgers 21 13 32. Jake Peavy, White Sox 24 19
13. Yu Darvish, Rangers 27 28 33. Dan Haren, Nationals 88 66
14. Cliff Lee, Phillies 36 23 34. Matt Garza, Cubs 153 119
15. Chris Sale, White Sox 12 15 35. Josh Beckett, Dodgers 173 97
16. Gio Gonzalez, Nationals 5 7 36. Tim Lincecum, Giants 144 89
17. Cole Hamels, Phillies 7 6 37. Doug Fister, Tigers 61 64
18. Yovani Gallardo, Brewers 30 20 38. Josh Johnson, Blue Jays 84 56
19. Madison Bumgarner, Giants 15 17 39. Kyle Lohse, Cardinals 17 8
20. James Shields, Royals 16 12 40. Ryan Dempster, Red Sox 43 42

Relief Pitcher

This is a motley crew. With so many jobs in flux, and pitchers like Ryan Madson and Mariano Rivera getting back into the mix, it's tough to pinpoint who will even close, much less who will do it effectively. Huston Street is someone I particularly like going into 2013, with a long-term contract and an offense that will get him into a lot of close games. He missed some time last year and should work his way into 40 saves, at the very least ... Addison Reed had a quietly effective season in 2012 and there's no reason to think he can't replicate his success in 2013 ... two sleepers who didn't make the list but could turn out to be stellar RP picks aren't relievers at all -- Andrew Cashner has an electric arm for the Padres and Hector Santiago, the failed closer project in Chicago, turned out to be a really good starter at the end of the year, putting up a 1.86 ERA and striking out 26 batters in 19 1/3 innings over four starts ... Why is Fernando Rodney so low? In the five seasons prior to his 2012 revitalization, Rodney amassed a 4.42 ERA and 1.50 WHIP. He had five seasons with an ERA of 4.24 or above. In fact, 2012 marked just the second time in 10 seasons in which Rodney, 35, posted an ERA below 3.50.

Nando's 2013 Relief Pitcher Rankings
2012 Roto
Rank
2012 H2H
Rank
2012 Roto
Rank
2012 H2H
Rank
1. Aroldis Chapman, Reds 11 5 11. Greg Holland, Royals 79 20
2. Kris Medlen, Braves 23 10 12. Joe Nathan, Rangers 41 7
3. Craig Kimbrel, Braves 10 3 13. Drew Storen, Nationals 232 N/A
4. Jonathan Papelbon, Phillies 28 9 14. John Axford, Brewers 60 15
5. Huston Street, Padres 90 37 15. Jonathan Broxton, Reds 81 32
6. Jason Motte, Cardinals 25 6 16. Joel Hanrahan, Red Sox 50 12
7. Chris Perez, Indians 76 26 17. Fernando Rodney, Rays 13 1
8. Mariano Rivera, Yankees N/A N/A 18. Steve Cishek, Marlins 94 39
9. Addison Reed, White Sox 99 24 19. Alexi Ogando, Rangers 99 24
10. Hisashi Iwakuma, Mariners 89 31 20. Wade Davis, Royals 141 73

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us on Twitter @CBSFantasyBB or Nando Di Fino at @nandoCBS . You can also e- mail us at fantasybaseball@cbsinteractive.com .

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Player News
Gibbons: P Felix Doubront coming up, could fill spot in rotation
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The 27-year-old Doubront has yet to pitch in the majors this season. But he was performing well at Triple-A Buffalo with a 2.44 ERA and just 36 hits allowed in 48 innings.


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Hernandez pushed his hitting streak to seven games Thursday, but he has been on a nice roll offensively for a few weeks. Since June 10, he is batting .371 with a .471 slugging percentage and .900 OPS in his last 18 games. He has one triple, five doubles, eight RBI, 14 runs, six walks, 14 strikeouts and eight stolen bases in that span.


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(11:54 am ET) Tigers shortstop Jose Iglesias totaled two hits, including his seventh double, in three at-bats Thursday against the Pirates. He had one run, one walk and one strikeout in the 8-4 loss.

Iglesias has totaled 17 multihit games in 67 appearances. He is batting .325 with two doubles, four RBI, six walks, five runs, 10 strikeouts and two stolen bases in his last 22 games.


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(11:54 am ET) Twins outfielder Shane Robinson has been placed on the family emergency list, per MLB.com.

Robinson has played sparingly, particularly in recent weeks. He has started just three of the team's last 15 games and owns a slash line of .250/.303/.315 on the year.


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Hicks, who has been sidelined for three weeks with a forearm strain, returns with a mediocre slash line of .247/.293/.301.


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(11:37 am ET) Although Chris Taylor started at shortstop Thursday immediately following his recall from the minors, Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said Brad Miller will remain the starting shortstop, per MLB.com.

"Brad is in a pretty good groove right now," McClendon said. "There's still a lot of room for improvement, but he is improving every day. He has his moments [defensively], but most of the time it's just a mechanical thing where he doesn't move through the ball or he stands straight up. I would say the last 12-15 days, he's been a lot better at that."

Taylor will serve as a backup middle infielder and could get some playing time at other positions as well.

"It's still a progression, but I'm feeling a lot more comfortable and a lot better [at the plate]," Taylor said. "It was good to go down there and take some of the pressure off. I was able to stop pressing and just worry about going out there and having some fun again. I'm feeling a lot better now and I'm ready to go."


Cubs SS Starlin Castro catching break Friday against Marlins
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(11:34 am ET) Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro has had successive multi-hit games for the first time in two weeks, but a third one is quite unlikely. He is on the bench for the Friday afternoon game against visiting Miami.

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Travis had three singles, one RBI and one run Thursday. He continues to do well since coming off the DL on June 26, as he has hit safely in five of his first six games since returning. He is batting .381 (8 for 21) with two doubles, two RBI, four runs and two strikeouts in that span.


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Panik has racked up six multihit games in his last 11 starts. He is batting .378 (17 for 45) with four RBI, five doubles, six runs, five walks, five strikeouts and one stolen base in that span.

Panik has 25 multihit games and 21 doubles through 77 appearances this season.


D-Backs' Yasmany Tomas contributes two RBI Thursday
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(11:23 am ET) Diamondbacks outfielder/third baseman Yasmany Tomas extended the lead to 5-1 on Thursday against the Rockies with a two-RBI double off Scott Oberg in the bottom of the seventh inning. It was his only hit in four at-bats. He also scored a run.

Tomas has two multi-RBI and four multihit games in his last nine starts. He is batting .333 with one home run, three doubles, six RBI, six runs, three walks and four strikeouts in that span.


 
 
 
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