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Roto Roundup: Andrew McCutchen, Aaron Hill, Desmond Jennings, and Others


Diamondbacks second baseman Aaron Hill wasn't in many top 10 fantasy second base lists before the season started, but he is one of the better performing second baseman thus far in 2012. Last night, he hit for the cycle for the second time this season, going 4-4 with 2 runs scored, 3 RBI and a stolen base. For the season, he is hitting .303-.364-.522 with 11 HRs, 35 runs, 38 RBI and 7 stolen bases. He is on pace for 23 HRs, 75 runs, 81 RBI and 15 stolen bases.

Rays outfielder Desmond Jennings went 2-4 with 2 solo HRs last night to help the Rays beat Justin Verlander and the Tigers. Jennings, who missed some time earlier this season, is hitting .241-.305-.374 with 5 HRs, 27 runs, 21 RBI, 12 stolen bases and a 47-18 strikeout to walk ratio in 203 at bats thus far. He strikes out a bit much for a leadoff hitter, and needs to work on walking more.

Indians third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall suffered a fractured bone in his right forearm after getting hit by a pitch last night, and will mis 4-6 weeks. I wonder if they will be in the market for a third baseman now. Chisenhall was hitting .278-.297-.458 with 3 HRs, 10 runs and 9 RBI in 72 at bats since his call up.

Phillies starter Cliff Lee hasn't won a game all year, and has been getting hit around in his last 4 starts. He gave up 6 runs on 10 hits, 2 walks and just 3 strikeouts last night, and is now 0-5 with a 4.13 ERA, 3.02 FIP, 3.05 xFIP and 1.21 WHIP. In his last 4 starts, covering 24.2 innings, he has given up 35 hits, walked 8, struck out 23 and given up 20 runs. Looking at his overall K/9, BB/9, and ground ball rates, they are all in line with his 2011 performance, so he may just be going through a bad streak, and he has pitched better than his stats indicate.

More Roto Roundup after the jump:

I don't know about you, but I can't get enough of Jason Kipnis, and wish I owned him in my one AL-only keeper league. Kipnis went 3-5 with 2 RBI last night, and is now hitting .279-.335-.432 with 11 HRs, 47 runs, 45 RBI and 18 stolen bases. I am surprised he has been this productive in his first full season in the big leagues, but what is more surprising is the 18 stolen bases, on pace for 38 steals. He is on pace to hit 23 HRs, score 100 runs and drive in 93. He would be my All Star second baseman in the AL. Remember the people arguing that Dustin Ackley would be the better fantasy second baseman? Yeah, me too.

White Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham has disappointed fantasy owners for the last few seasons, but is showing signs of putting things together this season. After going 3-5 with 2 doubles, 2 runs and 2 RBI last night, he is hitting .246-.298-.388 with 9 HRs, 38 runs, 34 RBI and 3 stolen bases. If you knew he would hit 19 HRs and drive in 72 this season, he probably would have been drafted a few rounds higher this season, and probably will be in 2013.

Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen is one of my favorite players in baseball, yet I traded him in one of my NL only keeper leagues this offseason. And I am regretting it big time. McCutchen went 4-5 with a double, HR, 4 runs and 3 RBI last night as the Pirates scored 12 runs in the last 5 innings to beat the Cardinals. He is hitting .344-.399-.594 with 15 HRs, 46 runs, 51 RBI and 14 stolen bases this season, putting him on pace to hit 32 HRs, score 98, drive in 109 and steal 30 bases. He will be in the MVP conversation if the Pirates can stay in the wild card race into late August.

Padres outfielder Cameron Maybin has a solid 2011 season, hitting .264-.323-.393 with 82 runs scored and 40 stolen bases. He hit better on the road than he did at home, so some expected him to build on his 2011 season. Well, that hasn't worked out too well this season, and there is talk that he might need a stint in AAA. This season, he is hitting better at home - .229 -than on the road -.161. He went 2-4 last night to raise his triple slash line to just .203-.282-.293 with 3 HRs, 36 runs, 22 RBI and 16 stolen bases. He's walking more and striking out less this season, but has been unlucky as his BABIP is just .250 vs .331 last season. Baseball is a game of making adjustments and now it is Maybin's turn to make the adjustment at the plate.

Rockies outfielder Dexter Fowler is building on his solid performance in the second half of 2011, and I was surprised to see a tweet from Troy Renck, the Rockies beat writer from the Denver Post, a few nights ago that suggested the Rockies trade Fowler. After going 0-3 last night, he is hitting .288-.384-.543 with 10 HRs, 43 runs, 35 RBI and 7 stolen bases. The 26 year old is on pace to hit 21 HRs, score 92 runs, drive in 75 and steal 15 bases this season. I was arguing with another owner yesterday that maybe they should deal him as his value really hasn't been higher, and one could argue that he won't keep this up all year. The Rockies need starting pitchers, and with Tyler Colvin hitting well thus far, Fowler could bring back a decent young starting pitcher. Could the Nationals be interested in him?

Mets starter R.A. Dickey flirted with his third one hitter last night, but finished the game tossing another 8 shutout innings, giving up 3 hits, walking one and striking out 10. Considering he was facing a AAA lineup, you almost expected this from Dickey. Dickey is now 12-1, with a 2.15 ERA, 0.88 WHIP and a 116-25 strikeout to walk ratio in 113 innings pitched. He is definitely the story of the year in MLB this season.