10 Watchlist Guys: Vol. 11

Most platforms have a feature where you can click something by the player’s name to put them on a virtual watchlist. It is smart to use this feature before the season starts because once it starts you be sorting by stats and you could miss out on someone you really want about to get a new role because you sorted by PA and he just didn’t show very high.

Jake Fraley hit .333/.400/.500 with 1 HR and 2 SB in 20 PA since last Friday. Three lefties in the six games cost him a couple starts, so keep an eye on the schedule if you want to play him.

SHALLOW LEAGUES (mixed leagues – 10 or fewer teams)

Cesar Hernandez | 2B/SS, CLE

Hernandez is having an uncharacteristic power season with 9 HR already and a career-best .167 ISO. Unfortunately, it hasn’t yielded major dividends across his profile as he is hitting just .220 with a .299 OBP. He also hasn’t attempted a stolen base since September 8th, 2019, when he swiped a pair against the Mets. Obviously last year wasn’t a full season, but it has been 136 games. His .246 BABIP is 87 points off his career mark and should rise. If maintains the power with that rising BABIP, he could be a sneaky MI asset even without the speed contributions.

Tucker Davidson | SP, ATL

Davidson will definitely be picked up in deeper leagues this weekend, but he won’t be an automatic in 10-teamers. He had a baseline quality start against the Mets to open up his career followed by 11.7 scoreless against Washington and Philadelphia. We actually watched his Washington start in our Discord Watch Party (check the Patreon if you’re interested!) and it was an impressive outing even with five walks. He only allowed one hit and the walks weren’t a result of having no clue where the ball was going. He has one walk in each of the other two starts, too, so he isn’t a major control risk.

MEDIUM LEAGUES (mixed leagues – 12-14 teams)

Harold Ramirez | OF, CLE

OK, it won’t be all Cleveland hitters today, I promise. I kept tabs on Ramirez back in Miami, but he was limited to just 3 games last year and then matriculated over to Cleveland, probably the team most starved for outfielders and it rekindled my interest in Ramirez. He been thrust into the middle of the order since getting a starting role and it is suiting him well with a .309/.371/.473 line plus 1 HR and 2 SBs in 62 PA across 16 games.

Scott Barlow | P, KCR

The hype is on Josh Staumont and while I understand being interested in him, I think Barlow is being overlooked. He has been excellent this year with a 1.74 ERA and 1.10 WHIP with 45 strikeouts in 31 innings. He has two saves to Staumont’s five, but Barlow has finished two of last three appearances. Greg Holland got the ninth in a non-save situation last time out (Thursday, June 10th) while Barlow pitched the 8th. It’s an unsettled situation for sure, but don’t overlook Barlow if you are speculating for saves.

DEEP LEAGUES (mixed leagues – 15+ teams)

LaMonte Wade Jr | SFG, OF

Wade is playing daily and batting atop the strong Giants lineup with contributions of his own. He is hitting .283/.389/.500 with 3 HR and 1 SB in 54 PA. He was a mid-level prospect in the Twins organization and even made Carson Cistulli’s Fringe Five twice (1, 2). By the way, both lists are really impressive as Cistulli highlighted David Fletcher, Josh Rojas, J.T. Brubaker, Jeff McNeil, Cedric Mullins, and Tony Gonsolin in addition to Wade.

Wade’s profile is mostly 45s and 50s with a 30 game power, so I wonder if the surge in pop (.217 ISO) is development of his power or just a nice run. Wade takes walks and has a cushy spot right now so I might even lean more toward him as a pickup at this point because his situation could change as players get healthy in San Francisco.

Bruce Zimmermann | BAL, P

Baltimore starters aren’t the richest avenue for fantasy goodness – John Means notwithstanding – but Zimmermann is quietly rolling right now. He was optioned to the alt site after posting a 5.40 ERA in his first six starts. However, since returning he has a 4.13 ERA and 1.25 WHIP in 24 innings with 28 strikeouts. He was hit hard once in that time (3 IP/5 ER at WAS), but has allowed 2 or fewer earned in the other four outings (3 starts and a relief appearance of 5.7 IP).

With the minor leagues having started up, I’m changing the AL & NL-Only watchlisters into a Prospect Watchlist as the waiver wires are usually pretty tapped out in those formats and almost anyone with a pulse is instantly bid up. Plus, I am not playing in an AL- or NL-Only league this year so figuring out who is actually on the wire in those formats is a bit tough. I think listing four prospects each week will be a lot more useful in the long run.

AL PROSPECTS

Jarren Duran | OF, BOS (currently in AAA)

There isn’t an obvious spot for Duran right now, but the flexibility of Enrique Hernández basically means that any injury could probably facilitate a Duran call-up and put him into centerfield. The 24-year-old has a .964 OPS with 8 HR and 5 SB in 99 PA. His insane 36% HR/FB is definitely doing some heavy lifting, but the speed is real and could be game-changing once he arrives.

Jo Adell | OF, LAA (AAA)

I mean, he’s Jo Adell, of course he should be on your radar. He flopped in a 38-game sample last year, making the jump after just 27 uninspiring games at Triple-A back in 2019, but it has gone much better this time around for him. His 15 HR are easily the most in Triple-A, six clear of the six guys with 9. He is hitting .264/.312/.690 which is good enough for a 131 wRC+, but probably not quite as strong as you expected. His 32% K rate and 4% BB rate are probably why he is still in the minors despite the HR surge. The Angels want to make sure they feel confident about his chances at success the next time they call him up so keep an eye on his plate skills more so than his HR and SB (he has 3 so far, by the way) totals.

NL PROSPECTS

Keibert Ruiz | C, LAD (AAA)

Ruiz is having a great run at Triple-A with a .292/.361/.615 line that includes 4 HR, 11% K, and 10% BB in 72 PA. He strikes me as a legitimate trade candidate this summer given that the Dodgers seem set with the Will Smith/Austin Barnes tandem. A trade could place him in the majors shortly thereafter, especially if he is still hitting this well at the time of a trade. While I am cautious with rookie catchers, I know the landscape is such that being picky isn’t always an option and someone with this kind of contact ability could deliver in short order.

Aaron Ashby | MIL, SP (AAA)

Ashby has been shifted to the bullpen in preparation for a call-up this summer where he will be used in a multi-inning relief role. He has big swing-and-miss in his game which could make him useful in deeper leagues even without a starting role. He has fanned a third of the batters he has faced thus far while allowing just 5.5 H/9. He is nasty, but the stuff is tough to reign in evidenced by his 15% BB rate. This bullpen move does not rule out starting in the future as it has been the strategy of the Brewers as highlighted by beat writer Adam McCalvy:





Paul is the Editor of Rotographs and contributes to ESPN's Daily Notes. Follow Paul on Twitter @sporer and on Twitch at sporer.

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SucramRenrut
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SucramRenrut

Can you go even deeper? I need it super deep (20+).

E-Dub
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E-Dub

I can’t tell if you’re being intentionally provocative or if you just “backed in to” that one.