- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
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DEVIN MESORACO, REDS
The 23-year-old catcher is an offensive mystery—he's a career .269 hitter in the minors—but the rookie's value will be measured by how well he handles a Cincinnati pitching staff that was assembled this off-season to win the pennant.
STAR ON THE RISE
ANDREW MCCUTCHEN, PIRATES
The 25-year-old centerfielder, an All-Star for the first time in 2011, had a career-high 23 home runs and the best walk rate of his three-year career. The Pirates think better days are ahead: They gave McCutchen a six-year, $51.5 million extension this month.
STAR IN DECLINE
ALFONSO SORIANO, CUBS
His 30-30 days are long gone: The 35-year-old hit .244 with 26 homers, a career-low .289 OBP and had just two steals. He still has some pop, but Soriano—who has three seasons and $54 million remaining on his contract—isn't close to the elite player he once was.