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Roto Roundup: Maikel Franco, Byron Buxton, Yoenis Cespedes and others

Ray offers his thoughts on some of the top fantasy performers from Monday's roto action, including Maikel Franco, Yoenis Cespedes, Freddie Freeman and others.

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Maikel Franco has a huge night

Phillies rookie third baseman Maikel Franco wasn't one of the top 25 prospects in most offseason expert rankings, and may not have been even a top 50 prospect in some, but he is proving that he can hit major league pitching in his first go round the league since his call up, and is performing just as well or better than some of the higher ranked prospects.

Last night, Franco enjoyed his best game of his short career as he went 4-5 with 2 home runs, 3 runs scored and 5 RBI in the Phillies win over the Yankees in Yankee Stadium. His first home run came off of Yankees starter Michael Pineda and the second came off of Chris Capuano. The big night moved his slash line to .312-.353-.574 with 9 home runs, 21 runs scored and 24 RBI in just 149 plate appearances. He is on pace for 20 home runs and 54 RBI according to ESPN projections, but with more than three months left in the season, he has a very good chance at eclipsing that projection. His mid-game wRC+ of 154 would rank in the top 15 in the game.

Franco is owned in just over 50% of leagues right now, but that should change, as he is hitting over .300 and is hitting for power, so he can help most fantasy teams, even if you can fill him into your utility/DH spot.

For more on Franco and the Phillies, make sure you check out The Good Phight, SB Nation's Phillies fan site.

Roto Roundup

Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman is having an excellent season at the plate, hitting for a high average and increased power this season, but a wrist injury has him sidelined at the moment and there is a real possibility that he will land on the disabled list, according to Mark Bowman, the Braves beat reporter for MLB.com:

Freeman is currently hitting .299-.367-.520 with 12 home runs, 43 runs scored and 41 RBI in 283 plate appearances. He was on pace for his best power season of his career before the injury. Kelly Johnson and Joey Terdoslavich will handle first base in his absence.

Tigers outfielder Yoenis Cespedes is enjoying his time in Detroit after being traded twice in less than a year. Last night, Cespedes went 2-2 with a home run, sacrifice fly, and 3 RBI in the Tigers win over the Indians. He is hitting few fly balls, and more ground balls, this season, but more of his fly balls are landing in the seats thus far. Almost 90% of his batted balls are hit with medium or hard contact right now, so that helps explain why he is hitting over .300 at the moment. Cespedes is now hitting .306-.338-.506 with 10 home runs, 40 runs scored and 39 RBI in 284 plate appearances this season.

The Twins called up top prospect, outfielder Byron Buxton, a few weeks ago, and at the time, I felt that they were rushing him, and that he needed some time in AAA before a promotion. Through his two weeks in the big leagues, Buxton is struggling at the plate, which is not a surprise. But, last night, he batted leadoff, going 3-5 with a double. and 3 runs scored in the Twins big 13-2 win over the White Sox. The two hits moved his slash line to .200-.250-.300 with 5 runs scored, a stolen base and a 10-2 strikeout to walk rate in 32 plate appearances.  Hopefully the move to the leadoff spot will get him started at the plate, but he will have to make more contact in the coming weeks to remain with the big league club.

Franco wasn't the only hitter to have a huge night at the plate last night, as Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner also had a big night at the plate, going 4-4 with a home run, 2 runs scored and 3 RBI. He is now hitting .290-.361-.472 with 8 home runs, 51 runs scored, 36 RBI and 15 stolen bases, and is on pace to hit 19 home runs, score 118 runs, drive in 83 and steal 35 bags. Wow. I didn't realize what a great season he was having.

is Gardner a top 15 outfielder right now?

Are looking for a middle infielder with some pop and speed available in almost 50% of leagues right now? Look no further than Rays second baseman, and former Padre, Logan Forsythe. Forsythe is having his own breakout season playing every day in Tampa. Last night, he went 2-3 with a home run, RBI, 2 walks and 2 stolen bases in the Rays 8-5 loss to the Blue Jays. On the season, Forsythe is hitting .293-.371-.455 with 8 home runs, 28 runs scored, 32 RBI and 7 stolen bases. He has a solid eye at the plate as well, as he owns a 43-35 strikeout to walk rate in 271 plate appearances. He is benefitting from an above average batting average of balls in play, but is on pace for 18 home runs and 16 stolen bases which is very valuable in the middle infield.

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