Roto Roundup: Gerrit Cole, Desmond Jennings, Albert Pujols and Others

USA TODAY Sports

Ray Guilfoyle highlights some of the top fantasy performers from Tuesday's roto action including Gerrit Cole's major league debut, a change in the closer role in Los Angeles and others.

Have any trade offers you need a second opinion on? Any add/drop or streaming pitcher choices you want to bounce off of us? Stop by our Fantasy Baseball Questions thread and ask away.

Fake Teams Podcast; Episode 8: Tall, Dark and Handsome

Make sure you check out Episode 8 of the Fake Teams podcast hosted by Andrew Ball and Zack Smith. This week their guess was Daniel Schwartz from Fake Teams and Roto Banter, and they discuss Will Myers, Kyle Blanks and others.

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Gerrit Cole: What does he do for an encore?

Pirates top prospect, Gerrit Cole, made his major league debut last night, and I have to say, I am a little surprised at how well he pitched. I did make him one of my streaming pitcher choices for last night's game, but I didn't think he would pitch this well. Cole limited the Giants to 2 runs on 7 hits, no walks, and just 2 strikeouts in 6.1 innings last night. He needed just 81 pitches to get through 6.1 innings, and at one point he retired 13 straight Giants.

Cole's next start will also be at home, but this time he will be facing Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw. Makes for an intriguing match up on Father's Day.

For more about Cole's debut, make sure you check out Buc's Dugout, SB Nation's Pirates fan site.

Desmond Jennings flashing some power in 2013

It's pretty safe to say that Desmond Jennings is a valuable fantasy outfielder, but one that will hurt owners in the batting average category. Last night, Jennings went 3-5 with 2 HRs, 3 runs and 2 RBI in the Rays 8-3 win over Jon Lester and the Red Sox. Jennings big night raised his triple slash line to .254-.314-.441 with 8 HRs, 14 doubles, 3 triples, 40 runs, 26 RBI and 8 stolen bases in 14 attempts. Jennings value lies in his legs and the stolen base, but his stolen base success rate is not where fantasy owners would like to see it. With the two home runs, he is now on pace to hit 20 home runs and steal 20 bases. A 20-20 season is pretty good, but owners were looking for him to steal more than 20 bases. I for one thought he could put up a 15 home run, 30+ stolen base season in 2013, but a 20-20 season isn't bad at all.

For more on Jennings and the Rays, make sure you check out DRays Bay, SB Nation's Rays site.

Albert Pujols: No better than Mark Reynolds?

I was reading David Shoenfield's chat transcript yesterday and came across this statement regarding Albert Pujols:
Kevin (San Diego) this is a fun stat. Albert Pujols has the most intentional walks in the majors, with 7. If you factor those out, he has a .294 OBP.
David Schoenfield
(2:40 PM)

Eight more years!

Wow. .294 OBP. How the mighty have fallen. This lead me to check out FanGraphs to see who is keeping Pujols company in the .311 OBP range ( includes intentional walks). I saw Mark Reynolds with his .317 OBP, to go along with his 13 HRs, 31 runs and 41 RBI. Pujols owns a .311 OBP with 10 HRs, 33 runs and 37 RBI heading into Tuesday night's game. So, is Reynolds now an equivalent comparison for Pujols going forward? I think Pujols name value will carry him in drafts, but this might be what we will see from Pujols going forward. It is obvious that his foot injury, plantar fascitis, is affecting him at the plate this season.

So is Pujols still a first round pick? I don't think he is even a second round pick anymore. It will be interesting to see where he falls in drafts in 2014.

For more on Pujols and the Angels, make sure you check out Halo's Heaven, SB Nation's Angels site.

Round'em Up

It would not surprise me to see Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton be labeled as injury prone going forward, as he continues to deal with leg injuries over the last two seasons. Last night, Stanton hit a go ahead two run home run in the eight inning off of Brewers closer Jim Henderson in the Marlins come from behind 5-4 win. Stanton will fall short of my expectations this season due to missing so much time, but I could still see him hitting 25 home runs over the next 3.5 months.

Cardinals pitching prospect Michael Wacha struggled in the first inning of last night's start, giving up 2 runs, but settled down afterward, to win his first major league game last night. He limited the Mets to those two first inning runs, on 5 hits, 3 walks and 4 strikeouts.

Indians starter Corey Kluber limited the Rangers lineup to just one run on 6 hits, 3 walks and 3 strikeouts last night in the Indians 5-2 win. Kluber is now 4-4 with a 4.08 ERA, 1.22 WHIP and a 57-12 strikeout to walk rate in 57.1 innings thus far. He has given up three runs or less in seven of his nine starts this season, and is owned in just 1% of ESPN leagues, so go out and grab him now.

Tigers starter Max Scherzer might be the favorite for the American League Cy Young award at this point, as he won his ninth game of the season last night. Scherzer held the Royals to 2 runs on 3 hits, 2 walks and 6 strikeouts in the Tigers 3-2 win. Scherzer is now 9-0 with a 3.19 ERA, 0.87 WHIP and an excellent 106-22 strikeout to walk rate in 90.1 innings. He has given up three runs or less in 9 of his 13 starts this season.

So it appears that Joey Votto has regained his power stroke this season, huh? I was down on Votto a bit in our preseason rankings due to the drop in power over the last few seasons, but Votto has made me look bad for that thus far. Votto went 2-4 with a HR, 2 runs and 2 RBI in the Reds 12-2 win over the Cubs. Votto is now hitting .328-.446-.520 with 11 HRs, 52 runs, and 31 RBI, and is on pace for 27 HRs, 130 runs and 77 RBI. I see him meeting both of those projections and should drive in 90+ runs.

Recently called up outfielder Tyler Colvin showed the Rockies front office why he should not have been sent down to AAA to start the season last night. Colvin went 2-4 with 2 HRs, 2 runs and 4 RBI in the Rockies 8-3 win over the struggling Nationals. It will be interesting to see how Colvin is used going forward, but he could see time in the outfield and at first base.

Closer Roundup

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly had seen enough of Brandon League blowing saves after Monday night's blowup, as he announced before Tuesday night's game that Kenley Jansen will be his closer going forward. My reaction to that announcement is "it's about time". I was against signing League to a 3 year deal, and against him closing for the Dodgers, as Jansen is the better reliever of the two, the more dominant of the two as well.

Jansen was handed the ball in the ninth inning of last night's Dodgers-Dbacks game, a game marred by a huge brawl that will result in suspensions, and pitched a clean inning, striking out two, for his third save of the season.

2013 MLB Draft Reviews: Minor League Ball


If you love prospects, make sure you check out John's pieces every day over at Minor League Ball.

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