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Roto Roundup: Alex Rodriguez, David Dahl, Nick Senzel and others

MLB: New York Yankees at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

My personal Twitter account

I have been meaning to add a personal Twitter account for awhile and 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.

Alex Rodriguez to announce his retirement?

The Yankees announced an 11am press conference this morning where Alex Rodriguez will be present. They have not announced the reason for the press conference, but there is plenty of speculation that he will announce his retirement.

He has struggled at the plate this season, hitting .204-.252-.356 with 9 home runs, 19 runs scored, 29 RBI and 3 stolen bases in 234 plate appearances as the Yankees designated hitter. His 29.2% hard contact rate is the lowest of his storied career, and on the flip side, his 22.1% soft contact rate is the worst of his career, so those two stats tell us that he is not the player he was even last season, where he hit .250-.356-.486 with 33 home runs, 83 run scored and 86 RBI.

Should the press conference be to announce his retirement, ARod will most likely not make it into the baseball Hall of Fame due to his multiple PED suspensions, but he will go down as one of the greatest to play the game.

His career stats: .295-.380-.550, 696 home runs, 2,021 runs scored, 2, 084 RBI, 329 stolen bases, 113.0 fWAR. Back in 1998, he hit 42 home runs and stole 46 bases, becoming one of a very few to put up a 40-40 season.

Roto Roundup

Despite some nagging injuries and getting older, Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun is once again putting up a very nice stat line for his fantasy owners. Last night, he went 3-4 with 2 home runs, 3 runs scored, 7 RBI and a stolen base in the Brewers 15-6 win over the slumping Diamondbacks. The big night raised his slash line to .324-.389-.546 with 18 home runs, 55 runs scored, 56 RBI and 13 stolen bases in 17 attempts. His hard contact rate has slipped a bit this season, and his fly ball rate has plummeted from 31% in 2015 to 25% this season, but more of his fly balls are making it into the seats, as his 25.7% HR/FB% ranks second in the game, and will increase as FanGraphs has yet to update their stat pages for Saturday’s games. The drop in fly ball rate is a concern going forward as his current fly ball rate is 11% below his career average.

Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper is suffering through the worst slump of his career over the last few months, and last night it continued, as he struck out three times in three at bats in the Nationals 7-1 loss to the Giants. He is currently hitting .233-.374-.438 with 20 home runs, 59 runs scored, 57 RBI and a career high 15 stolen bases in 22 attempts. It is nice to see the jump in stolen bases, but he has been very inconsistent this season, and I am beginning to wonder if his 2015 breakout season was a career year or not. After hitting 9 home runs and driving in 24 runs in April, Harper has hit just 11 home runs over the last 3+ months. He has hit .200 or lower in two of the seasons’ four full months thus far, and is still in a slump. His contact and swinging strike rates are the best of his career, but he is swinging at fewer and fewer pitches this season, and when he does make hard contact, it is of the softer variety rather than hard contact.

Is Harper playing with an injury?

The Rockies called up outfielder David Dahl a few weeks ago, and all he has done is hit since the promotion to the big leagues. Dahl went 3-5 with 3 runs scored, an RBI and 2 strikeouts in the Rockies 12-6 win over the Marlins on Saturday night. Dahl has hit in each of his 12 games since being called up, so he should be up for good. He is showing that his performance in AA and AAA this season was no fluke, as he is now hitting .380-.404-.620 with 3 home runs, 12 runs scored, 7 RBI and a 15-2 strikeout to walk rate in 52 plate appearances. He will have to cut down on the strikeout rate, but he is only owned in half of leagues right now, and that should not be the case. He has 20-20 potential in a full season of plate appearances, and should provide owners with solid home run, runs and stolen base totals the rest of the season.

Dahl’s teammate Charlie Blackmon is once again showing that he is one of the top fantasy outfielders in the game. Last night, he went 4-5 with a home run, 2 runs scored and 4 RBI in the Rockies win over the Marlins. After missing most of the first month of the season, Blackmon is hitting .306-.368-.478 with 13 home runs, 66 runs scored, 49 RBI and 14 stolen bases. Both ZiPS and Steamer project that he will just miss joining the 20-20 club this season, but he has a chance, as he need just 7 home runs and 6 stolen bases to do so. Several players are on pace to hit 20 home runs and steal 20 bases, but Wil Myers is currently the only member at this point in the season, as he has hit 21 home runs and stolen 21 bases.

Rays shortstop Brad Miller has been on some kind of tear of late, and last night he padded his stolen base total by going 1-4 with a run scored, RBI and 2 stolen bases in the Rays 7-3 win over the Twins. Over his last ten games, Miller has hit 5 home runs, scored 11 runs, 8 RBI and 2 stolen bases. He is hitting .256-.306-499 with 20 home runs, 50 runs scored, 45 RBI and 6 stolen bases. He is making more hard contact and hitting more fly balls this season, and the result is a career high in home runs. He should double his previous career high of 11 home runs this season, and I am curious if his 20% HR/FB rate is a new level or just an aberration.

The Reds drafted third baseman Nick Senzel with their first pick in the 2016 MLB draft, and they must be all smiles after watching him hit since he signed. Last night, Senzel went 3-4 with a home run and 2 runs scored, and is now hitting .333-.443-.579 with 5 home runs, 23 runs scored, 20 RBI, 12 stolen bases and a 23-22 strikeout to walk rate in 136 plate appearances for Low-A Dayton of the Midwest League. Low-A ball appears to be no match for Senzel so a promotion to High A could be in the cards for the slugging third baseman. For those of you in keeper or dynasty leagues, if he isn’t already, he should be on your radars for midseason or offseason pick ups.

Royals starter Danny Duffy continues to pitch well in his breakout season. A former top pitching prospect, Duffy was coming off the most dominant performance of his career in his last start, where he struck out 16 Rays in 8 innings of work. Last night, he limited the Blue Jays to 2 runs on 5 hits, 2 walks and 6 strikeouts over 6.2 innings in the Royals 4-2 win. He is now 8-1 with a 2.97 ERA, 3.26 FIP, a 1.02 WHIP and is striking out more than 10 batters per nine innings. He is throwing more change ups than ever, and batters are whiffing at more than 14% of his offerings this season, leading to his breakout on the mound.

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