Roto Roundup: Oscar Taveras, Alfonso Soriano, Miguel Cabrera and Others

Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

Ray Guilfoyle highlights some of the top fantasy performers from Wednesday's roto action, including Alfonso Soriano, Joe Mauer, Miguel Cabrera and others.

Minor League Ball: Organization Top 20 Prospects in Review

Minor League Ball's John Sickels is in the middle of reviewing all of his preseason Top 20 Prospects and you can find all of them in the link below:

Organization Top 20 Prospects for 2013

John also hosted an All Questions Answered thread on Monday morning, so go check out the Q & A.

Fake Teams Podcast, Episode 25: Fantasy Decathlon

Andrew and the slacker (ha), Zack, got together on Sunday night to discuss all things fantasy baseball, including Josh Reddick's power-filled weekend, the Buccos calling up Andrew Lambo, and some players with surprisingly similar stats this season.

You can listen to the podcast in two ways:

MP3

ITunes

Miguel Cabrera: 2013 American League MVP Winner?
I asked the following question on Twitter last night:

Besides our own Andrew Ball, everyone else responded Miggy, and I think I agree with them. Don't get me wrong. Mike Trout is probably the best all around player in baseball, but Miguel Cabrera might be one of the greatest hitters who ever played the game.

Yesterday, Cabrera went 1-5 with a HR and 3 RBI in the Tigers win over the White Sox. Cabrera is now hitting .360-.453-.685 with 38 HRs, 87 runs and 114 RBI on the season, and is on pace to hit 52 HRs and drive in 155 runs.

Getting back to how great a hitter he is, here are his Similarity Batters through age 29 (Miggy is 30 now), courtesy of Baseball-Reference:

  1. Frank Robinson (916) *
  2. Hank Aaron (913) *
  3. Ken Griffey (882)
  4. Albert Pujols (870)
  5. Mel Ott (864) *
  6. Juan Gonzalez (848)
  7. Al Kaline (839) *
  8. Andruw Jones (837)
  9. Duke Snider (836) *
  10. Mickey Mantle (836) *
  11. * - Signifies Hall of Famer


He is certainly in good company, eh? Six current Hall of Famers and two guys who will eventually get there on their first tries in Griffey Jr. and Pujols. He also has the required Black Ink, Gray Ink, Hall of Fame Monitor and Hall of Fame Standard requirements met. And he is only 30 years old. Yes, you are watching history. Watch him as much as you can, as you could be watching the future home run king in major league baseball. He currently has 358 home runs, and would need to average 39 home runs per season over the next 10 years to break the record held by Barry Bonds. This is assuming he finishes the season with 50 home runs.

Joe Mauer: He's a great hitter too

Joe Mauer is not known for his power, but what he is known for is being one of the best hitters in the game. Mauer went 5-7 with a HR, 2 runs and 4 RBI yesterday afternoon, raising his triple slash line to .321-.402-.467 with 10 HRs, 59 runs, and 44 RBI in 424 at bats.

Amongst his fantasy brethren at the catcher position, Mauer ranks first in runs scored and OBP, second in batting average, sixth in slugging percentage, tied for ninth in home runs and tied for 10th in RBI. He is on pace for 14 HRs, 81 runs and 60 RBI on a bad Twins team. If he can reach that projection, it would be his best home run total since 2009 when he hit 28 bombs in the old Metropolitan Stadium.

Oscar Taveras to have season ending surgery

Well, this season certainly didn't turn out the way every one expected for one of the top prospects in the game. Cardinals outfielder Oscar Taveras had been battling ankle injuries for much of the last few months, and the team finally decided that he needs surgery to repair the bad ankle. He should be 100% healthy for the start of the 2014 season, but I imagine the Cardinals will start him in AAA to start the season to show that he is healthy and can handle playing everyday.

Coming into the season, many, including me, felt that we would finally get to see Taveras in the show, but the ankle injuries got the best of him. In addition, I thought it would be slam dunk that he would be the Cardinals starting right fielder in 2014, but we may have to wait for that to happen as well.

Francisco Liriano: National League Cy Young candidate?

You have to give kudos to Pirates GM Neil Huntington for shoring up his starting rotation over the last two years. He traded for A.J. Burnett, traded for Jeff Locke and signed Francisco Liriano last offseason. Last night, Liriano made probably his most important start of the season, facing the Cardinals in St Louis. The Pirates came into last night's game on a four game losing streak and have seen their NL Central lead fall to just two games, but Liriano limited the Cardinals lineup to just one run on four hits, a walk and six strikeouts.

Liriano is now 13-5 with a 2.68 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and a 113-45 strikeout to walk rate in 114 innings. Liriano bounced back in a big way last night as he was coming off his worst outing of the season, where he gave up 10 runs on 12 hits over 2.1 innings vs the Rockies last week.

Could Liriano be a legitimate candidate in the National League Cy Young award race?

Round'em Up

Well, apparently Yankees GM Brian Cashman was not in favor of giving up a minor league pitcher for Alfonso Soriano, but Soriano's performance over the last two games may be changing his mind. On Tuesday night, Soriano went 3-6 with 2 HRs, 3 runs and 6 RBI. Soriano was even better on Wednesday night, going 3-3 with 2 HRs, 3 runs and 7 RBI in the Yankees 11-3 drubbing of Jered Weaver and the Angels.

Indians outfielder Michael Bourn has been a big disappointment this season, as his stolen base and run totals have been below expectations. Yesterday, Bourn went 1-6 with 3 strikeouts and a caught stealing. Bourn is hitting "just" .270-.319-.352 with 4 HRs, 52 runs, 37 RBI and just 17 stolen bases in 26 attempts. Yeah, he's been caught in 35% of his stolen base attempts this season, and his stolen base total is the worst of his career. Speed guys don't age gracefully, and we may have seen the best from Bourn already.

Brandon Beachy hasn't taken long to return to his old form, has he. Most starters coming off Tommy John surgery struggle with their command and don't pitch very well. Not Beachy. Beachy limited the Phillies to two runs, a Domonic Brown two run home run, on 5 hits, no walks and 4 strikeouts last night. After giving up 10 runs in his first two starts, covering ten innings, Beachy has limited opponents to just two runs over his last two starts, covering 14 innings. He will enter his next start with a 19-4 K-BB rate in 24 innings thus far.

I recently asked my Twitter followers who they would rather have in 2014: Yasiel Puig or Bryce Harper? I plan to write a full article on this, but one follower responded that he preferred Puig over Harper, and Mike Trout as well. But, he liked one other player over Harper and Trout as well: Manny Machado, which I found interesting. Machado went 3-6 with a HR and 2 RBI in the Orioles loss to the Diamondbacks. Machado raised his triple slash line to .295-.323-.452 with 11 HRs, 72 runs, 56 RBI and 6 stolen bases. Considering he just turned 21 in early July, he is having a pretty good season. He is on pace to hit 15 HRs (meeting my preseason projection), score 97 runs and drive in 76. I see growth in the power in 2014.

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