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Roto Roundup: Michael Wacha, Jose Bautista, Jose Abreu and others

Ray highlights some of the top fantasy performers from Thursday's MLB action including Michael Wacha, Jose Bautista, Jose Abreu and others.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Hopefully we don't see any more closers blow up in our face like they did on Wednesday, but here is a look at a few players who starred in Wednesday's MLB action.

Today's Roto Roundup is a few hours late, so my apologies for that. The 2014 season is just underway, so we really can't come to any conclusions on players after 2-3 games of action, so keep in mind that we should not overreact to less than a week of at bats or innings pitched.

Michael Wacha flashing ace potential

Cardinals young starter Michael Wacha was the recipient of plenty of offseason love after how he dominated hitters in the playoffs, but I was not as high on him as others. My stance is I wanted to see more than nine major league starts from him, but maybe nine starts was enough.

On Wednesday, Wacha hooked up with Reds young starter Tony Cingrani and both looked like they were in midseason form. Wacha dominated the Reds hitters all day, giving up just four base runners and striking out seven in 6.2 innings. In addition to the seven strikeouts, Wacha induced eight ground ball outs and 15 swinging strikes of the 69 strikes he threw.  Maybe I should have been a little warmer toward him in my rankings this offseason.

Jose Bautista: Back to mashing

Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista missed 44 games last season due to a bone bruise in his left hip, but still managed to hit 28 home runs, score 82 runs, drive in 73 runs and steal 7 bases. He is healthy again this season, and he showed us all how healthy he was on Wednesday, hitting two home runs and getting on base in four of his five plate appearances.

I am beginning to learn how valuable Bautista is, as I have been down on him in the past. He has more value in leagues that use on base percentage (OBP), but less so in leagues that use batting average. He is still one of the best power hitters in the game, and he is one hitter who could crack the 40 home run level should he stay healthy this season. Only two hitters hit 40 home runs last season, so the 40 home run barrier is not as easy as in prior years.

Jose Abreu: Top 10 fantasy first baseman?

I drafted White Sox new first baseman Jose Abreu in the Tout Wars mixed league auction for $20, as I was impressed with some of the scouting reports I read on him before and during spring training. Lots of glowing praise for the rookie first baseman. Plus, fantasy writer Steve Gardner from the USA Today was drafting him on all of his teams, so I felt I was in good company when drafting him.

Yesterday, Abreu went 2-4 with a double, triple, run scored and 4 RBI in the White Sox 10-9 loss to the Twins. Abreu is off to a hot start to the season. with three of his five hits going for extra bases, and five RBI. I think he can approach 30 home runs this season, and could drive in 90 -100 in the improved White Sox lineup.

Xander Bogaerts: The real deal

I predicted that Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts could be a top 5 fantasy shortstop in 2014, and I wouldn't be surprised if he is by the end of the season, or by the All Star break, for that matter. Bogaerts is already showing us that he is ready for big league pitching, as he now has walked three times while striking out just once in his twelve plate appearances thus far.

He went 3-4 with two runs scored in the Red Sox 4-3 win over the Orioles last night, raising his three game average to .556. I see him hitting 15-18 home runs this season with 70 runs scored and 65-70 RBI hitting in the lower third of the Red Sox lineup.

I have to cut the Roundup short as I have to get ready to catch a train to NYC early this afternoon. I have an NL only keeper league auction draft this evening, and am looking to jump back into the money after rebuilding last season.

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