- Eric Karabell, ESPN.com Senior Writer
• On a memorable final night of the regular season Wednesday, abound with wild-card implications, Washington Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg quietly gave everyone another harbinger of his bright future, fanning 10 Florida Marlins over six shutout innings. He allowed only one hit. Strasburg made five September starts after recovering from Tommy John surgery, allowing 15 hits and two walks in 24 innings (1.50 ERA). Enjoy this top-20 starting pitcher next year.
• New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter went hitless in three at-bats Wednesday, dropping his final batting average to .297. Still, the future Hall of Famer finished the season a top-10 shortstop on the ESPN Player Rater, with 84 runs scored and 16 steals, hitting .326 after the All-Star break. He remains a top-100 fantasy option next year.
• Colorado Rockies right-hander Rafael Betancourt saved Wednesday's win for rookie lefty Drew Pomeranz, lowering his ERA to 2.89 and his WHIP to 0.87. A recent Denver Post story noted Betancourt is likely to enter 2012 as Colorado's closer, over Huston Street. Closers generally make for poor fantasy keepers, but in an NL-only format, take note.
• San Diego Padres outfielder Cameron Maybin had two hits, two runs and an RBI on Wednesday, while also stealing his 40th base of the season. Only three players stole more bases than Maybin. While Maybin's plate discipline could use some work, remember he's only 24 and has power potential. Consider him a top-30 outfielder next season.
• But ultimately, fantasy's top player for the 2011 season was Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp. He smacked his 39th home run Wednesday, finishing the season hitting .324 with an MLB-leading 124 RBIs and 40 stolen bases. It was a fantastic season that should result in him winning the NL MVP. The 25th player chosen in ESPN average live drafts, Kemp might be top-5 in 2012.
Hope you enjoyed Box Score Bits as much as I did this season! Enjoy the playoffs!
Eric Karabell recaps an eventful final day of the regular season, including Stephen Strasburg finishing with a dominant outing.