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Roto Roundup: Yoan Moncada, Reynaldo Lopez, Aaron Judge and others

Ray offers his thoughts on some of the top fantasy performers from Saturday's roto action, including Yoan Moncada, Aaron Judge, Trea Turner and others.

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My personal Twitter account

I have been meaning to add a personal Twitter account for awhile and I finally decided to create one recently. 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.

Yoan Moncada: Red Sox third baseman

We have all wondered where Red Sox prospect Yoan Moncada would play when he eventually got the call to the big leagues. He has played second base for a good part of his minor league career, and now that he is in Double A Portland, that decision is becoming even more important since Dustin Pedroia isn't going anywhere. Moncada could get a September call up, and we could see him playing in Fenway Park quite a bit next season. He is that close.

Well, last night, there appeared to be some finality to this discussion as Red Sox manager John Farrell announced that Moncada will play third base in the Arizona Fall League and started there on Friday night for Double A Portland. Here is more from Scott Lauber:

He is hitting well in Double A, hitting .287-.366-.559 with 9 home runs, 29 runs scored, 23 RBI and 8 stolen bases in 161 plate appearances. Overall, he has hit 13 home runs and stolen 44 bases in 55 attempts this season. As he matures, he appears to be a great candidate to be an annual 20 home run, 20+ stolen base hitter.

That Red Sox lineup is already pretty damn good, and it is about to get better in 2017.

Roto Roundup

The Nationals have the best pitching prospect in the game in Lucas Giolito, but he has struggled at times this season, and when the Nationals needed a fifth starter recently, they called upon Reynaldo Lopez and not Giolito. Giolito may have lost some of his prospect shine this season, but Lopez has improved his. Last night, Lopez limited the Braves to just one run on 5 hits, 2 walks and just 2 strikeouts in 7 innings in the Nationals 7-6 win over the Braves. The win moved his record to 1-1 with a 5.74 ERA, 1.72 WHIP and a 15-8 strikeout to walk rate in 15.2 innings. The walks are an issue right now, but they have never been an issue in the past, so I see the walk rate coming down as he gains more experience in the big leagues. He has a bright future, and is a solid add in keeper leagues if not already owned. If you are in a one year league, there are more than likely better options on your league waiver wire.

Lopez's teammate Trea Turner had a big day at the plate on Saturday going 3-5 with a home run and 3 runs scored in the Nationals 7-6 win over the Braves. Turner fell a double short of hitting for the cycle, and is now hitting .315-.345-.537 with 3 home runs, 18 runs scored, 14 RBI and 10 stolen bases in 11 attempts in just 112 plate appearances. I was a little down on Turner earlier in the season, as he doesn't hit for much power, but he does everything else well.....hits for average, scores runs and an impact base stealer. He has the speed to steal 40+ bags, score 80+ runs and hit ,290 or better in a full season of at bats.

The Yankees released Alex Rodriguez on Saturday morning, a day after he played his last game as a New York Yankee, so yesterday was the start of a new era for the Yankees, as they called up outfielders Tyler Austin and Aaron Judge. Austin played first base and batted seventh and Judge played right field and batted eighth, and their first major league at bats couldn't have been better. Austin and Judge hit home runs in their first at bats, going back to back in the second inning off of Rays starter Matt Andriese. Both finished their big league debuts with two hits. Not a bad start for the rookies. Judge is the Yankees right fielder of the future and should play every day, while Austin is trying to prove himself as a member of the Yankees 25 man roster in 2017. Injuries resulted in a few down years for Austin, a former top 100 prospect, but he had a nice season in Triple A, hitting over .300 with a .313 ISO, so he has power.

Remember Joey Votto's very slow start in the first two months of the season? I sure do. I own him in a one year NL only league and was disappointed with him after the first two months of the season. As expected, he figured things out at the plate, and is now hitting over .300. On Saturday night, he went 4-5 with 2 doubles, a run scored and 2 RBI in the Reds 11-5 win over the Brewers. He is now hitting .301-.428-.504 with 18 home runs, 71 runs scored, 59 RBI and 7 stolen bases. His power is down a bit this season, so he will need a strong finish to duplicate the 29 home runs he hit last season, yet 25 home runs are definitely in reach. He is hitting fewer fly balls than last season, but his 42.5% hard hit rate is the best of his career. After hitting "just" .250 in the first half, Votto is going off in the second half, hitting .442-.550-.663. Pretty amazing.

Yesterday, i traded away a $20 George Springer and a $3 Brad Miller for a very expensive $55 Mike Trout, $15 Zander Bogaerts, $1 Doug Fister and a $10 Paulo Orlando in my AL only keeper league. I am currently 5 points out of first, sitting in third place, but I can make up a few points in stolen bases and in batting average, thus the reason for the trade. Trout, Bogaerts and Orlando, along with Melvin Upton Jr. and Shin-Soo Choo should help me gain a few points in the stolen base category.....I hope. That said, on his last day on my roster, Rays SS/1B Brad Miller gave me a going away present, as he went 4-4 with a home run and 4 RBI in the Rays 8-4 loss to the Yankees. Miller is enjoying a power breakout season in 2016, and is hitting .260-.314-.513 with 22 home runs, 54 runs scored, 52 RBI and 6 stolen bases. He is making more hard contact and hitting more fly balls this season, and the combination has resulted in a career high power year for Miller, as he ranks in the top 5 in home runs among all qualified fantasy shortstops this season.

Dodgers outfielder Joc Pederson struggled through a terrible second half in 2015 and came into spring training with doubt that he could refine his swing to cut down on his near 30% strikeout rate. The Dodgers traded for outfielder Trayce Thompson in the offseason and there was talk that Pederson could start the season in Triple A. Fast forward six months and Pederson is playing everyday, Thompson is out for the year with a back injury, and Yasiel Puig is the outfielder playing in Triple A right now. On Saturday, Pederson had a nice day at the plate, going 3-5 with a double, a home run, two runs scored and 2 RBI in the Dodgers 8-4 win over the Pirates. Pederson has made changes to his swing, cutting his strikeouts from 29% to 25%, while maintaining a double digit walk rate. He is now hitting .250-.342-.500 with 17 home runs, 46 runs scored, 49 RBI and 5 stolen bases. In addition to the improved plate discipline, Pederson is hitting for more power this season, so his power has not suffered at the expense of an improved approach. The former leadoff hitter has hit at the bottom of the Dodgers lineup for most of the season, but if he can continue to make progress at the plate, he could move back into the leadoff role.

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