Roto Roundup: Michael Wacha, James Paxton, Daniel Murphy and others

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Ray highlights some of the top fantasy performers from Tuesday's roto action, including Michael Wacha's near perfection, Manny Machado, Daniel Murphy and others.

A Look Back at our Preseason Prospect Rankings

Prospect writer Jason Hunt is in the middle of analyzing our consensus preseason prospect rankings, and here are some links to the positions he has covered to date:

Catcher

First Base

Second Base

Shortstop

Third Base

Outfield

Starting Pitchers - Part 1

Michael Wacha throws a near no-no

Cardinals starter Michael Wacha is having himself a very good rookie season in the majors and last night he came within one out of pitching a no-hitter va the Nationals. He gave up just a blooping single to Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman with two out in the ninth, blowing the no hit bid. Wacha walked two and struck out nine to win his fourth game of the season.

Wacha is now 4-1 with a 2.78 ERA, 1.10 WHIP and a 65-19 strikeout to walk rate in 64.2 innings this season. He has given up just six runs in his last six starts, and will be a sleeper in 2014 fantasy drafts. He is strking out a batter per inning, and is stingy with the free pass.

For more on Wacha, make sure you check out Viva El Birdos, SB Nation's Cardinals fan site.

James Paxton dominates the Royals

Paxton is another rookie pitcher who has pitched very well in his first taste of the big leagues this season. Last night, Paxton dominated the Royals, shutting them out on four hits, walking none and striking out ten over seven innings in the Mariners 4-0 win. Paxton needed just 97 pitches to complete seven innings, and in addition to the ten strikeouts, he induced nine ground ball outs.

Paxton is now 3-0 with a 1.50 ERA, a 0.92 WHIP, and a 21-7 strikeout to walk rate in 24 innings pitched in his four starts this season. It is a small sample size of four starts, but Paxton is striking out nearly eight batters per nine, walking around 2.50 batters per nine, and keeping the ball on the ground at a 59% clip. That's dominance.

Heading into 2014 drafts, Paxton will be a sleeper, who could gain some helium this offseason, but he pitches in a nice pitchers park, in a division with several other pitchers parks, so he will certainly have some value on draft day.

For more on Paxton and the Mariners, check out Lookout Landing, SB Nation's Mariners fan site.

Daniel Murphy: Top 10 Fantasy Second Baseman?

Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy is quietly having himself a very productive 2013 season. Last night he went 2-4 with a HR and 3 RBI in the Mets 4-2 win over the Reds. Murphy is now hitting .285-.318-.415 with 13 HRs, 92 runs, 76 RBI and 20 stolen bases. 20 stolen bases!! Who saw that coming back in March?

Amongst all other fantasy second baseman, Murphy ranks 7th with a 3.0 WAR, ranks 6th in batting average, 9th in home runs, second in runs scored, 6th in RBI and 3rd in stolen bases. He's certainly a top 10 fantasy second baseman, and one can argue he should rank in the top 5 as well.

For more on Murphy and the Mets, check out Amazin Avenue, SB Nation's Mets fan site.

Round'em Up

In case you hand't heard, news came out yesterday that the knee injury Manny Machado suffered on Monday was not as serious as it looked. Don't get me wrong, it is a knee injury, but he escaped surgery, and will be away from baseball activities for 6-8 weeks before starting his rehab. He should be fine for spring training, and retains the same fantasy value as if he did not have the injury, in my opinion.

He finishes the season hitting .283-.314-.432 with 14 HRs, 88 runs, 71 RBI and 6 stolen bases as a 21 year old. Pretty impressive.

I wrote about Rockies outfielder Charlie Blackmon a few days ago, and he is definitely making the Rockies give him a long look next spring with his September performance. Last night, he went 2-4 with a HR, 2 runs, RBI and a stolen base and is now hitting .314-.340-.485 with 6 HRs, 33 runs, 21 RBI and 7 stolen bases in 7 attempts. He could be the Rockies starting right fielder next season, with Michael Cuddyer taking over at first base for the retiring Todd Helton.

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