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Roto Roundup: Jose De Leon, Cody Bellinger, Byron Buxton and others

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MLB: San Diego Padres at Los Angeles Dodgers Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

2016 Fantasy Football Rankings

Some of you still have some fantasy football drafts to participate in, and the fantasy football writers here at Fake Teams have you covered. This past week, they updated their position rankings for the upcoming season, so check out the links below:

2016 Position Rankings

Quarterbacks

Running Backs

Wide Receivers

Tight End

Defense

Top 200 Rankings

Standard League

PPR Leagues

Tiered Position Rankings

Roto Roundup

For those of you who own White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu, you have to look at his 2016 as a bit disappointing, as his power is down from 2015, and he is barely above a replacement player according to fWAR. On Sunday, he had a big day at the plate though, going 3-7 with 2 home runs and 7 RBI in the White Sox 13-11 win over the Twins. On the season, Abreu is hitting .293-.346-.476 with 22 home runs, 55 runs scored and 86 RBI. His power stats are down from 2015 as he is making less hard contact and more soft contact this season. Is it possible we have seen the best from the soon to be 30 year old first baseman?

The Dodgers called up Jose De Leon on Sunday, and based on his performance, he may stay in the rotation through the end of the season. De Leon gave up 4 runs on 6 hits, no walks and 9 strikeouts in 6 innings in the Dodgers 7-4 win over the Padres. De Leon is a big strikeout pitcher, and it will be interesting to see if he is in the Dodgers rotation to start the 2017 season. With Clayton Kershaw, Kenta Maeda, Alex Wood, Julio Urias Hyun-Jin Ryu and Brandon McCarthy already on the roster. One could make the case that Ryu is finished due to his shoulder injuries, and one has to think the De Leon is one the Dodgers top five starters right now. Prior to his call up, De Leon had struck out 111 and walked 20 in 86.1 innings in Triple A, and was 7-1 with a 2.61 ERA in his 16 starts, so he really doesn’t have much to prove in the high minors.

I wrote about being patient with Twins outfielder Byron Buxton several weeks ago, and since his call up, Buxton has performed well at the plate. On Sunday afternoon, Buxton went 3-6 with a grand slam and 4 RBI in the Twins 13-11 loss to the White Sox. In the four games since his call up, Buxton is 9-16 with 3 home runs, 7 runs scored, 9 RBI and just one strikeout. Strikeouts were his big problem earlier in the year, so if he is able to make more contact and reduce the whiff rate, we could see more of the potential he has at the plate.

The Mets pitching staff full of aces is down to one healthy ace, Noah Syndergaard, with Matt Harvey out for the year, and Steven Matz and Jacob DeGrom dealing with injuries. Enter Seth Lugo who has pitched primarily out of the bullpen this season, but he made a crucial start in the Sunday Night game last night. Lugo was stellar, limiting the Nationals to one run on 6 hits, no walks and 4 strikeouts in 7 innings in the Mets 5-1 win. In his four starts, Lugo has given up 6 runs on 20 hits, 5 walks and 16 strikeouts in 24.2 innings, good for a 2.19 ERA and 1.01 WHIP. He could help those of you in deeper mixed and National League only leagues over the next few weeks.

The Dodgers called up outfielder Yasiel Puig on Friday, and after a month in Triple A, Puig appears to have corrected some flaws in his swing. On Sunday, he went 1-2 with a home run, 2 walks, 3 runs scored and 3 RBI in the Dodgers 7-4 win over the Padres. In the three games since his call up, Puig is 3-6 with a home run, 3 runs scored, and 3 RBI. He will play vs left handers going forward, and could see more time vs right handers if he continues to hit. Josh Roddick is blocking him in right field at the moment, and it will be interesting to see if the Dodgers entertain trade offers for him in the offseason. Recent reports indicate that the Brewers were the team that claimed him off waivers in late August, and the two teams discussed a deal involving Ryan Braun. Adding Braun to the Dodgers lineup would have been a big upgrade, as they don’t have much right handed power in their lineup as it is constituted today.

The Dodgers farm system is one of the best in the game, and their top hitting prospect, first baseman Cody Bellinger, isn’t a popular name among the prospect hounds. That said, he is listed on many Top 100 prospect rankings lists, ranking at #48 in Keith Law’s midseason top 50 rankings, and at #24 in Baseball America’s midseason top 100 rankings. Here is what Law wrote about him in his midseason rankings piece:

Bellinger, who turned 21 on Wednesday, is a plus-plus defender at first who roped 30 homers in the Cal League last year but has traded in some power for more contact in his first year at Double-A. Still just 20 years old, he has cut his strikeout rate to 22 percent from 28, but I think I'd take a few more whiffs for more power, because he's unlikely to ever be a big hitter for average. He's among the league's youngest regulars -- but a few months older than teammate Alex Verdugo -- and has a carrying tool in the defense, giving him a high floor and the potential to be an impact bat in the middle-third of a lineup if that power returns.

Well, the power has returned. Bellinger was promoted to Triple A Oklahoma City on Saturday, and all he did was hit 2 home runs in his second AAA game on Sunday. On the season, Bellinger is hitting .269-.364-.501 with 25 home runs, 64 runs scored, 69 RBI, 8 stolen bases and a solid 94-60 strikeout to walk rate. He has improved his walk rate from 9.6% to 12.7% and reduced his strikeout rate from 27.6% to just over 20% this season, so he has made some serious improvements at the plate this season. He just turned 21 years of age, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Dodgers entertaining offers for first baseman Adrian Gonzalez in the offseason. He is the youngest player in the Pacific Coast league presently.

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