Roto Roundup: Brad Miller, Will Myers, Brandon Barnes, and Others

Scott Halleran

Baseball is back!!! The All Star break seemed to take longer than four days for me. Here I highlight some of the top fantasy performers from Friday's roto action

Midseason Fantasy Position Rankings

In case you missed our Midseason Fantasy Position Rankings, here are links to each of our rankings published thus far:

Fake Teams Podcast, Episode 19: Sticking to our guns

I had the pleasure of joining Zack and Andrew on Thursday night's podcast to discuss our Midseason First Base Rankings, where we discussed Chris Davis and his pursuit of 60 home runs, Albert Pujols, Michael Cuddyer and Yonder Alonso, among others. You can listen to our thoughts as follows:

MP3

ITunes

Brad Miller homers twice

The Mariners are showing their fans the fruits of their farm system over the last month, as they have promoted several prospects including Mike Zunino, Nick Franklin, and Brad Miller, among others. Miller led off the game, and it appears he likes to lead off, as he went 3-4 with 2 HRs, a walk, 2 runs and 5 RBI. The home runs were his first two of his career, raising his triple slash line to .277-.356-.508 in 65 at bats.

Miller was tearing up AAA pitching in the PCL before his call up, but he isn't a big power hitter and doesn't steal many bags, but what he does do well is get on base and limit his strikeouts, so he should see plenty of at bats at shortstop for the Mariners.

Brandon Barnes hits for the cycle

The Astros aren't a very good team, and they have little talent on the major league roster that fantasy owners should be concerned about. One Astro prospect, one of many actually, is AAA outfielder George Springer, who is tearing up AAA pitching after laying waste to AA pitching. Springer is on pace to put up a 30 home run, 30 stolen base season in 2013, with an outside shot at a 40-40 season. He is probably the Astros 2014 center fielder out of spring training, but until then, Brandon Barnes will keep center field warm for him.

Last night, Barnes had the game of his life, going 5-5 and hitting for the cycle. Barnes is probably sitting on your mixed league waiver wire, and for good reason, as he is hitting just 250 with 5 HRs and 9 stolen bases in 76 games this season. He is rosterable in AL only leagues and really deep mixed leagues.

Round'em Up

I have to say that the four day break was one day too long for me, but we had a full slate of games on Friday night, along with speculation on a few trades involving Matt Garza and Alex Rios. Stay tuned as we will address the fantasy impact of any trades that go down between now and the end of the month.

Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig has been getting all the press during the Dodgers recent surge in the NL West standings, but Hanley Ramirez has also been hitting well during the streak. Actually, Hanley is hitting cleanup for a team that includes Matt Kemp and Adiran Gonzalez. Last night, Hanley took Nationals ace Stephen Strasburg deep on a fastball on the outside part of the plate. Ramirez is now hitting .382-.438-.702 with 9 HRs, 27 runs, 27 RBI and 4 stolen bases in 40 games thus far. In 40 games this season, he already has 22 extra base hits.

Rays top hitting prospect Wil Myers has been as good as advertised since his promotion. Last night, Myers went 3-5 with a HR, double, 2 runs and an RBI, raising his triple slash line to .303-.333-.459 with 4 HRs, 17 runs, 16 RBI and 3 stolen bases in 109 at bats. There is more power in his bat, and he should challenge 30 home runs in a full season in the next few years.

It appears the Phillies have found the Domonic Brown that was untouchable in trade talks a few years ago. Last night, Brown went 3-5 with a HR, 2 runs and 2 RBI, and is now hitting .278-.324-.544 with 24 HRs, 51 runs, 69 RBI and 8 stolen bases, and is now 2nd in the NL in homers and 4th in the NL in RBI and slugging percentage. He will certainly be in the running for my top 15 outfielders in next week's rankings. He has made some adjustments at the plate over the offseason and during this season, and has removed the loop in his swing.

Saturday morning updates:

Nationals ace Stephen Strasburg pitched well enough to win but came away without one as he got no run support once again. Strasburg gave up 2 runs on 7 hits, a walk and struck out 6, and is now 5-7 with a 2.97 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and a 115-38 strikeout to walk rate in 115.1 innings. He struggled in his last two starts leading into the All Star break, but is back on track with this solid performance on Friday night.

Are the Phillies better off with young first baseman Darin Ruf instead of Ryan Howard? Ruf went 2-5 with 2 runs scored last night, and is now hitting .333-.436-.636 with 2 HRs, 8 runs, 3 RBI and a 14-5 strikeout to walk rate in 10 games since his call up. He has hit in 8 of the 10 games with six extra base hits among his 11 base hits to date.

The Orioles got an excellent performance from start Wei-Yin Chen last night, as he limited the Rangers to one run on 8 hits, 2 walks and 3 strikeouts over 6.1 innings in their 3-1 win. Chen moved his record to 5-3 with a 2.67 ERA and 1.20 WHIP in 10 starts this season.

Royals starter Ervin Santana dominated the Tigers lineup last night, shutting them out on two hits over 7.1 innings, striking out 6 and walking one. Santana was not hurt by his 6-11 ground ball/fly ball ratio in the game, and is now 6-6 on the season with a 3.18 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and a 104-28 strikeout to walk rate in 130.1 innings. Who saw this coming from Santana at the beginning of the season? Royals GM Dayton Moore made a bold move in trading for Santana and it has worked out for him.

The Cardinals recently called up top pitching prospect Carlos Martinez from AAA, and some thought he could be slotted into the St. Louis rotation, including me. Well, he was used out of the bullpen last night and proceeded to give up 3 runs on 3 hits and a walk while getting just one out in the ninth inning last night. I assume he will be used in long relief role going forward.

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