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Roto Roundup: Jason Heyward, Junior Guerra, Ian Kinsler and others

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

My personal Twitter account

I have been meaning to add a personal Twitter account for awhile and last night I finally decided to create one. You can find my personal Twitter account at @RotoRay_LAD. I will be free to tweet about many subjects, but the focus will be on fantasy baseball, and the teams I cheer for. In addition, I may tweet about current events, the stock market, politics, beer among other subjects.

One other update: I will be on vacation beginning today for a week, but should be able to write during the week. Hopefully.

Jason Heyward: Biggest disappointment in 2016?

Prior to the Cubs signing outfielder Jason Hayward last offseason, some in the industry were predicting that he would get a $200 million contract, mainly due to his defensive skills in right field, but also because he was a pretty good hitter at the plate, he could get on base and had some power, just not the power we saw from him 3-4 years ago. A shoulder injury seems to have sapped his power, but no one saw him hitting this bad.

Lucky for the Cubs they signed him to ONLY $184 million, but, oh my, he has been very bad this season at the plate, so much so that he had been moved down to the seventh spot in the Cubs lineup. On Friday, he batted sixth and went 1-4 with a 3 run home run, and is now hitting just .229-.316-.323 with 5 home runs, 43 runs scored, 31 RBI and 8 stolen bases. He still hits a lot of balls on the ground, and his hard hit rate is a pretty horrific 25%. For a big guy like Hayward, one would think he would make plenty of hard contact.

After two 5+ fWAR seasons, Heyward’s fWAR right now is just 1.4, mainly due to his defensive skills. That’s part of the reason why the Cubs signed him to such a huge contract, but they have to be disappointed in his production at the plate this season.

And his fantasy owners have to be livid.

Roto Roundup

I believe the first move that Brewers new GM David Stearn made was to sign Junior Guerra, a 31 year old starter, who prior to last season had not pitched in professional ball since 2012. Stearn has made a lot of good moves, but the Guerra move has to be one of his best, as Guerra has been the Brewers best starting pitcher this season. Last night, Guerra limited the Pirates to a run on 4 hits, one walk and 5 strikeouts in 8.2 innings of work in the Brewers 3-1 win. The win moved his record to 7-2 with a 2.70 ERA, 3.67 FIP, a 1.05 WHIP and a 85-34 strikeout to walk rate in 103.1 innings. He has given up three runs or less in 13 of his 16 starts this season, and is available in 40% of leagues right now. Grab him.

I play in an ottoneu keeper league with 11 other industry writers, and one of the owners has been asking me to deal him Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler. I am in a rebuild and got Kinsler pretty cheap ($14) in the auction draft this season. I need to build my pitching staff and have asked for a starting pitcher in return for the cheap Kinsler. He has offered Astros starter, and 2015 AL Cy Young award winner, Dallas Keuchel for Kinsler. I quickly rejected the offer saying I need a better starter, which he is reluctant to offer. After going 2-4 with 2 runs scored in the Tigers 14-6 win over the Astros last night, Kinsler is hitting .291-.344-.495 with 20 home runs, 83 runs scored, 57 RBI and 10 stolen bases. He leads all second baseman in runs scored, and ranks in the top five in home runs, runs scored, RBI and stolen bases and ranks eighth in batting average. So, yeah, he’s having a great season.

Earlier in the offseason, I opined that Astros second baseman Jose Altuve should be in the conversation as the top fantasy player in 2017, and should be drafted ahead of Angels outfielder Mike Trout. Last night, Altuve went 1-4 with a home run and 2 RBI, and is now hitting .356-.421-.570 with 18 home runs, 26 doubles, 73 runs scored, 62 RBI and 25 stolen bases. He is now on pace to hit 29 home runs, score 121 runs, drive in 98 runs and steal 40 bases. Those are stats of the #1 overall pick next year in my eyes.

The Red Sox doled out around $80 million for Rick Porcello a few seasons ago, and until this year, that decision looked pretty bad. Last night, Porcello threw a complete game, limiting the Angels to 2 runs on 5 hits, no walks and 3 strikeouts in the Red Sox 6-2 win. Porcello is having the best year of his career in 2016, and is now 14-2 with a 3.47 ERA, 1.11 WHIP and a solid 111-24 strikeout to walk rate in 135 innings. He has limited opponents to three runs or fewer in 15 of his 21 starts thus far. He is not a dominant pitcher by any means, but he limits the free pass, induces plenty of ground balls, and has been stingy in giving up the long ball this season. I don’t think he is a top 40 starter right now, but a bump in the strikeout rate could change that.

Jurickson Profar is being mentioned in trade rumors right now, as the Rangers are taking a long, hard look at acquiring Phillies young arm Vincent Velasquez. I am not sure what it would take to get Velasquez, but here is what I tweeted earlier this morning:

I am sure Phillies GM Matt Klentak will start at the top and work his way down. Should Profar be the center piece of the package coming back to Philadelphia, it wouldn't be a bad thing. Last night. playing left field, Profar had a solid night at the plate, going 2-3 with a home run, double, walk and 3 runs scored in the Rangers 8-3 win over the Royals. The performance raised his slash line to .301-.356-.440 with 5 home runs, 28 runs scored and 15 RBI in 179 plate appearances. Proffer was all but forgotten back on draft day, but is showing that he hasn't lost his bat skills after nearly two years of injuries. The former #1 prospect would be a solid get for the Phillies in any Velasquez trade package.

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