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Roto Roundup: Aaron Blair, Colby Rasmus, Drew Smyly and others

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Ray offers his thoughts on some of the top fantasy performers from Sunday's roto action, including Braves pitching prospect Aaron Blair, Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt and others.

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if you are trying to decide whether to pick up some of the prospects called up this weekend, here are player profiles from our prospect team over the weekend:

Moving on Up: Aaron Blair

Moving on Up: Blake Snell

Moving on Up: Cesar Vargas

Paul Goldschmidt struggling.....well, he was struggling

I started to write this section of the Roundup on Sunday morning, before Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, who was one of several first round picks who have been slow out of the gates to start the 2016 season, had a big day at the plate in that wild game vs the Pirates yesterday.

Prior to Sunday's game, Goldschmidt was hitting .246 with 3 home runs, 8 runs scored, 12 RBI and just one stolen bases his 18 games this season. The Diamondbacks lineup had a significant blow when center fielder A.J. Pollock injured his elbow and is out for the year. Here is more from Buster Olney's Sunday blog:

Diamondbacks All-Star Paul Goldschmidt's track record eases any concern about his slow start. But I've heard this from rival evaluators: With A.J. Pollockout, there is much less reason to pitch to Goldschmidt, who has six extra-base hits and 15 walks in 18 games.

I ranked Goldy as my #1 overall pick in drafts this season, so his slow start was a concern for me. Then yesterday happened. Goldy went 2-4 with 3 walks, 2 home runs, 3 runs scored and 3 RBI in the Diamondbacks crazy 12-10 loss to the Pirates. The game lasted 13 innings, after Pirates closer Mark Melancon blew a 4 run lead in the ninth inning. After his performance yesterday, Goldschmidt is hitting .261-.422-.536 with 5 home runs, 11 runs scored, 15 RBI and a stolen bases. More palatable than his slash line and power numbers prior to Sunday's action.

Roto Roundup

Goldschmidt's teammate, catcher Welington Castillo, is enjoying a solid start to his 2016 season, a season after he hit 19 home runs in his first taste of regular playing time. Yesterday, he went 3-5 with a home run, 2 walks, 2 runs scored, 3 RBI and a stolen base in the Diamondbacks loss to the Buccos. On the season, Castillo is now hitting .263-.338-.596 with 6 home runs, 8 runs scored, 10 RBI and a stolen base. He is hitting more fly balls and making more hard contact this season, so a 20+ home run season is in the cards, assuming he can stay healthy. He has homered in five of his last seven games, so he is hot right now, and is available in about 68% of leagues right now.

The Braves called up top pitching prospect Aaron Blair on Sunday, adding him to their rotation after sending Williams Perez to the minors. Blair owns three average to plus pitches, as downright dominant in Triple A to start the season. In his three starts in AAA, Blair went 3-0 with a 1.42 ERA, A 0.79 WHIP and was striking out 10 batters every nine innings. Yesterday, he gave up 3 runs on 6 hits, 2 walks and a lone strikeout in his 5.1 innings of work, taking the loss in his big league debut. I expected a few more strikeouts, as the Mets rank 9th in MLB in striking out. Things don't get easier for Blair, as he will face the Cubs at Wrigley Field next Friday. I bought him in my NL only keeper league for $6 ($100 FAAB) and in the Tout Wars NL only league for $130 ($1,000 FAAB) last night. I am rebuilding in the NL keeper league, so I can keep Blair for $6 for three years if he can pitch to expectations.

Rays young starter Drew Smyly continues to be one of the better starters in the early going this season. Yesterday, he limited the Yankees to just one run on 6 hits, a walk and 6 strikeouts in 7 innings to earn his first win of the season. Smyly is now 1-2 with a 2.52 ERA, a 0.73 WHIP and an excellent 33-5 strikeout to walk rate in 28.2 innings. After giving up 5 runs in his first start of the season vs the Blue Jays, Smyly has given up just three runs over his last three starts, covering 22 innings pitched. Along with striking out more than a batter per inning, Smyly is limiting the walks to under two per nine right now. He could be a top 30 starter, or better, if he keeps this up.

Indians starter Carlos Carrasco left his start vs the Tigers after just 2.2 innings yesterday with what was described as a mild hamstring strain, but he is headed back to Cleveland for an MRI to determine the severity. The Indians placed him on the 15 day disabled list. It appears Trevor Bauer will take his spot in the Indians rotation. Bauer replaced Carrasco yesterday, giving up 2 runs on 4 hits, a walk and 4 strikeouts in 3.1 innings of work.

I recommended targeting Tigers third baseman Nick Castellanos during third base week in the offseason, and it appears Castellanos might be in the beginning stages of a breakout season. Yesterday, Castellanos went 1-3 with a walk and 2 RBI in the Tigers 6-3 loss to the Indians, and is now hitting .328-.344-.483 with 2 home runs, 7 runs scored and 10 RBI. He is striking out more than you'd like and will probably never walk much, but he has a solid hit tool and emerging power. If you are looking for a corner infielder or utility hitter, Castellanos is a decent pick up hitting in the middle of a very good Tigers lineup.

Astros outfielder Colby Rasmus was once a Top 100 prospect, but failed to meet expectations in his six seasons in the big leagues. He is off to a fast start to the 2016 season, and last night he hit a huge home run off of Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel with two out in the bottom of the ninth inning to tie the score, but the Astros went on to lose in extra innings 7-5. Rasmus did not get much love from the fantasy industry in the offseason, but he is getting plenty of love now, as he has started the season hitting .293-.440-.707 with 7 home runs, 11 runs scored, 18 RBI and an excellent 17-16 strikeout to walk rate. He is squaring up balls than he did last season, resulting in the increased power production thus far. He is still available in about 25% of leagues right now and is a must add.

Michael Schwarz profiled Raums last Friday and you can find his piece in the link below:

Sitting Cheese: Is Colby Rasmus for real?

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