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Roto Roundup: Corey Seager, Alex Rodriguez, Bryce Harper, and others

Ray offers his thoughts on some of the top fantasy perfomers from Thursday's MLB action, including Alex Rodriguez, Bryce Harper, Chris Sale, Brian Dozier and others.

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Dodgers promote Corey Seager to AAA

Bill Plunkett from the Orange County Register reported late last night that the Dodgers have promoted SS prospect Corey Seager to AAA, and he is now one step closer to the big leagues. Here is more from Plunkett:

Corey Seager got a belated 21st birthday gift - a ticket to Oklahoma City.

The Dodgers' blue chip shortstop prospect has been promoted to Triple-A after tearing up Double-A pitching for the first three weeks of the season. Seager, who turned 21 on Monday, will report to the Oklahoma City Dodgers on Friday.

Seager was removed in the 4th inning of last night's game after hitting a home run, according to Ken Gurnick at Seager was indeed tearing up AA pitching to the tune of .375-.407-.675 with 5 home runs, 7 doubles, 17 runs scored and 15 RBI in just 20 games. Prospects don't get promoted to AAA this early too often, and I think it is just a matter of time before we see Seager in the big leagues. He was not being testing against AA pitching, so the Dodgers will see if he struggles vs AAA pitching. Most young hitters do, but time will tell. Part of the maturing process for a hitter is to see how they respond to their first slump, and we have yet to see that from Seager thus far in AA.

I recommend stashing him in all leagues, as he has a very good chance at impacting fantasy rosters this season. I could be wrong, but I doubt the Dodgers promoted him to let him hit against AAA pitching all season.

For more on the Seager promotion, make sure you check out True Blue LA, SB Nation's Dodgers fan site.

Off topic: Alex Rodriguez Top 5 of all time?

I was reading Keith Law's baseball chat during my late lunch on Thursday afternoon, and usually around this time of year, he gets a lot of questions about guys who could be drafted in the June 2015 MLB Draft. So, guys I have never heard of. But, he also answers general baseball questions, and yesterday, he received this one on Yankees DH Alex Rodriguez:

Michael (New York)

Would you vote for A-Rod for the hall of fame and, in your opinion, where does he rank for greatest players of all time?

Klaw  (1:57 PM)

Yes, and top five.

I'll be honest. I was a fan of ARod's until he lied about taking PEDs. Then I was really mad when he got caught up in the Biogenesis case. But, after reading that very long ESPN article sometime last year, I started showing some sympathy toward him.

I wasn't surprised with KLaw's response, as this isn't the first time he has written that he would vote for ARod if he had a vote. And, probably not a popular opinion either, but I agree with him. PEDs or no PEDs, he is one of the top five players of all time. For me, my top five players are:

Barry Bonds

Hank Aaron

Willie Mays

Babe Ruth

Alex Rodriguez

If Ken Griffey, Jr. wasn't hurt so much at the end of his career, he would be in my top 5, pushing ARod out. This list above, coincidentally, are the top five home run hitters of all time.

As far as including PED users in the Baseball Hall of Fame, I am of the opinion that major league baseball, it's owners, their front offices, everyone in the game, looked the other way when most of the league was using during the height of the PED era. ESPN's Buster Olney has said that literally thousands of players used during the PED era, so if everyone was using, you really can't exclude players from that era from the Hall of Fame. Plus, players from other eras were known to take "greenies" or amphetamine, before games. There are stories that players would take them like they were vitamins. The baseball season is a long season.....162 games in six months. Not easy. So players did what they could to get an edge, any edge that they could get. Amphetamines turned to more advanced drugs that helped you get stronger, return from injuries quicker, and stay on the field. The game benefitted as a result. Owners benefitted. MLB earned bigger television contracts, and players were making more money than players in any other sport. Greed for the multi-million contracts.....contracts in the hundreds of milllions....took over the game, and players wanted that edge. Steroids, HGH, PEDs......that was their edge.

This may not be a popular topic, but that is how I feel about the PED era, and excluding Bonds or ARod from the top 5 players of all time doesn't make sense for me.


Roto Roundup

The MLB slate was limited to eight games yesterday, and here is what I saw:

Nationals manager Matt Williams seems to have smartened up with the lineup card this season, as he is batting his best player, Bryce Harper in the cleanup spot, and Harper is now playing at a very high level. Last night, Harper went 2-4 with a double, walk and 3 RBI in the Nat's 8-2 win over the Mets, raising his season stats to .286-.440-.545 with 5 home runs, 18 runs scored, 15 RBI and no stolen bases. He leads all big leaguers in walks with 21, and is on pace to hit 35 home runs and drive in over 100 runs. The zero stolen bases are a concern for some owners, but not running keeps him in the lineup every day.

Mets starter Jacob deGrom was a very popular preseason starting pitcher in many preseason drafts, ranking in the top 30 starting pitchers in some rankings. After giving up just two runs in his first two starts, covering 19.1 innings, deGrom has been a little easier to hit of late. Last night, he gave up 5 runs for the second straight start, 3 of the runs were earned on 5 hits, 2 walks and 4 strikeouts in 5.1 innings. He got hit around in his last start vs the Yankees as well, giving up 6 runs on 8 his in 5 innings. He should be fine going forward, but a few more outings like this will be reason to be concerned. Pitching in the NL East should help ease those concerns though.

White Sox ace Chris Sale got knocked around by a bad Twins team on Thursday night, lasting only 3 innings, giving up 9 runs, 8 of which were earned, on 9 hits, 2 walks and 4 strikeouts in the White Sox 12-2 loss. The loss moves his record to 2-1 with a 5.32 ERA, 1.45 WHIP and a 20-5 strikeout to walk rate in 22 innings. Sale isn't the only ace starter to blow up on his owners in April, so owners shouldn't worry too much, as the disaster start increased his ERA from 2.37 to 5.32.

One hitter who got to Sale was Twins second baseman Brian Dozier. Dozier is coming off a 20-20 season with 112 runs scored, so his slow start has some owners panicking, but last night's performance should help ease the panic, at least for a day. Dozier went 2-5 with a home run, 2 runs scored and 5 RBI. The big night moved his slash line to .220-.305-.366 with 2 home runs, 17 runs scored, 10 RBI and just one stolen base. Last April, he hit just .216, but hit 7 home runs and scored 25 runs, so the power is down a bit, but there is plenty of time for him to get hot. I doubt he gets back to the 20 home run, 20 stolen base level, but ZiPS projects him to go 77-14-57-13 for the rest of the season, so April is no time to panic on Dozier.

Is this the year that all of those excellent Royals prospects from 3-4 years ago put everything together and run away with the AL Central? The way they are playing, they just might. One of the players having a hot start to the 2015 season is third baseman Mike Moustakas, who I have written about a few times already. Another is first baseman Eric Hosmer. Last night, he went 1-4 with a home run and 2 RBI and is now hitting .310-.404-.488 with 3 home runs, 12 runs scored, 15 RBI, 2 stolen bases and an excellent 17-13 strikeout to walk rate thus far. I knew Hosmer was in for a big year when his contract ran out on me in my AL only keeper league after the 2014 season. That's how it works, right? Right?

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