Roto Roundup: Will Middlebrooks, Adrian Beltre, Trevor Rosenthal and others

Ronald Martinez

Ray highlights the top fantasy performers from Wednesday's roto action, including Trevor Rosenthal, Adrian Beltre, Will Middlebrooks, Jordan Zimmermann 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

Starting Pitchers - Part 2

Fake Teams Podcast, Episode 33: Staying Hip

I joined Andrew and Zack on Tuesday night for episode 33 of the Fake Teams podcast, where we discussed my preseason bold predictions. You can listen to the podcast in three ways:

MP3

ITunes

Non-Itunes feed link

Trevor Rosenthal: Cardinals Closer

Since the beginning of September, Cardinals closer Edward Mujica has pitched 6.2 innings, giving up 7 runs on  15 hits, 2 walks, while striking out 3. As one would expect, he lost the closer job, and the closer job was handed to the guy fantasy owners wanted to close, Trevor Rosenthal.

Since being handed the closer job late last week, Rosenthal has converted three straight save chances. For the season, he is 2-4 with 3 saves, and an elite 106-20 strikeout to walk rate in 74.1 innings. Now that he has been handed the closer job in St. Louis, I am of the belief that the National League is home to four of the most dominant closers in baseball: Craig Kimbrel, Aroldis Chapman, Kenley Jansen and Rosenthal.

I hope me writing that last sentence doesn't curse Jansen as he heads into the playoffs.

For more on Rosenthal and the Cardinals, check out Viva El Birdos, SB Nation's Cardinals fan site.

Adrian Beltre: Top 10 pick in 2014?

I read one fantasy baseball writer list his top 10 picks for 2014 and included Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre. I initially felt that Beltre was too high at #10, but then I reviewed my Early Look at the Top 25 Hitters for 2014, and there he was at #11.

Beltre is once again having an excellent season at the plate, hitting .317-.374-.510 with 29 HRs, 85 runs and 90 RBI in 155 games this season. if he hits one more home run, he will have hit 30 or more home runs in three straight seasons, has driven in 90+ runs in each of the last four seasons, and has hit .295 or higher in four straight seasons. That is Mr. Consistency if you ask me, and you want to eliminate all risks when drafting in the first round of your fantasy drafts.

For more on Beltre and the Rangers pursuit of a wild card berth, make sure you check out Lone Star Ball, SB Nation's Rangers fan site.

Round'em Up

Cardinals starter Shelby Miller will probably finish third in the National League Rookie of the Year voting this season, but in any other year, he would probably be the favorite. Yesterday, Miller limited the Nationals to one run on 4 hits, 3 walks and 3 strikeouts in their 4-1 win. Miller is now 15-9 with a 3.06 ERA, 3.67 FIP, 3.67 xFIP, a 1.21 WHIP, and a 169-57 strikeout to walk rate in 173.1 innings. He has given up one run or less in three of his last four starts, and four of his last seven starts. He will be a top 30 starter in 2014.

Nationals starter Jordan Zimmermann lost in his chance to earn his 20th win of the season yesterday afternoon, as he gave up 4 runs on 6 hits, no walks and 2 strikeouts vs the Cardinals. The loss moves his record to 19-9 with a 3.25 ERA, 3.35 FIP, 3.48 xFIP, a1.09 WHIP and a 161-40 strikeout to walk rate in 213.1 innings. I read on Twitter yesterday that a few Nationals players were quoted saying that Zimmermann is the best pitcher on the team. Hello Stephen Strasburg.

Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks seems to have an affinity to the big game. Earlier this season, or was it last season, he hit 3 home runs in a game, and last night he nearly duplicated that feat. Middlebrooks went 2-5 with 2 home runs and 7 RBI in the Red Sox 15-5 win over the Rockies. Middlebrooks is now hitting .234-.279-.440 with 17 HRs, 41 runs and 49 RBI in 234 at bats. He certainly doesn't walk much, so hopefully he can improve his plate discipline heading into 2014.

White Sox outfielder Avisail Garcia was the main piece in the three team deal that sent him from the Tigers to the White Sox earlier this season. With the White Sox, he is now playing every day and is showing that he could be a nice sleeper in 2014 drafts. Last night, he went 2-4 with a HR and an RBI and is now hitting .293-.320-.441 with 7 HRs, 31 runs and 31 RBI in 229 at bats. He has 20 HR power with potential for a .280ish batting average in 2014.

Rays third baseman Evan Longoria loves to hit against the Yankees. He went 3-5 with 2 HRs, 3 runs and 4 RBI in the Rays 8-3 win last night. In 2013, Longoria has hit 9 of his 31 home runs vs the Yankees this season. He is hitting .266-.342-.495 with 31 HRs, 87 runs and 81 RBI in 594 at bats this season. His batting average has dropped a bit this season, thanks to a .194 BA in July and a .245 BA in August. He is still one of the top 3-4 fantasy third baseman heading into 2014.

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