10 Watchlist Guys: Vol. 12

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.

Bruce Zimmermann was one out away from a quality start his last time out and he has a 4.25 ERA and 1.31 WHIP with 31 Ks in his last 29.7 IP, but now he is on the IL with biceps tendinitis.

SHALLOW LEAGUES (mixed leagues – 10 or fewer teams)

Dylan Moore | 2B/OF, SEA

Moore was a popular power-speed pick this draft season after a 2020 breakthrough that saw him hit 8 homers and steal 12 bases in 159 PA. After hitting just .168/.270/.353 in the first 41 games of 2021, he suffered a calf strain that put him on the IL. He recovered and tore it up in three games on a rehab assignment (1.500 OPS, 1 HR/1 SB in 12 PA) before rejoining the Mariners.

Since getting back, he has an .898 OPS with 1 HR and 2 SB in 23 PA, though keep an eye on the 39% K rate in that same time. He will continue to have appeal with the power-speed capabilities, but the persistent swing and miss will make him volatile and there is a breaking point where the AVG sinkhole isn’t worth the counting numbers.

Ross Stripling | SP, TOR

Strip appeared on the June 4th WL in the 12-14 team range and since then he has a 3.63 ERA and 1.27 WHIP in 17.3 IP with 19 strikeouts and 5 walks. He is making himself an all-formats consideration as at least a team streamer if not more depending on your staff’s health. This doesn’t relate to fantasy baseball at all, but we also love someone who can acknowledge when they are wrong and Stripling did just that after a moment of weakness when he showed up Joe Panik for an error in his last outing:

MEDIUM LEAGUES (mixed leagues – 12-14 teams)

Bobby Bradley | UT/1B, CLE

Bradley is another repeat entry, though he was featured all the way back on April 30th. Since then, Jake Bauers continued to flounder (55 wRC+ w/CLE) and was eventually DFA’d then traded to the Mariners, clearing the path for Bradley in the process. Bradley was bit all-or-nothing in the minors, hitting just .196 with a 32% K rate, but clubbing 9 HR with a .485 SLG, giving him a healthy .289 ISO.

Since being recalled, Bradley looks much better with a .375/.429/.813 line that includes 4 HR as well as a 23% K rate and 8% BB rate in 35 PA. That is great, but the .400 BABIP and 18% swinging strike rate keep me grounded when looking at this line. He is obviously playing above his head and the perceived strikeout gains likely aren’t legitimate given the continued swing-and-miss in his game. That said, I am still Watchlisting him because of the power.

Projection systems like him to smack another double-digit homers in about 50 games of action, but I think he plays more than 52% of the team’s remaining 96 games. At these rates, he could chase down 20 HR from here on out assuming he can maintain the strong side platoon with occasional starts against lefties. The batting average will determine if those homers are worth rostering. If he can maintain something around .230, I’m in (which feels weird to say, but that’s where AVG is these days… .230 is now viable with enough pop).

Johan Oviedo | P, STL

Oviedo is one of those guys where you can definitely see how it could work when you watch him. He is 6’6 with a mid-90s heater, nasty slider, decent curve, and even an idea of a changeup (OK, it’s actually pretty bad, but there’s a foundation). A lack of command drives his inconsistency, but there is some streamer upside here. He just dropped seven scoreless on the Marlins and gets a cushy two-step this week at Detroit and home to Pittsburgh.

Or is it?

Oviedo has a major platoon split (+255 pts of OPS vL) and both the Tigers and Pirates can put upwards of 7 lefties (and switch-hitters) in their lineups to leverage this split. He might need to pare down to just the fastball and curveball against lefties as the changeup and slider both get smashed. I would probably still take the chance against two of the worst offenses in the league. If that command develops, he could be a summer gem for the Cards.

DEEP LEAGUES (mixed leagues – 15+ teams)

Chas McCormick | HOU, OF

McCormick is yet another WL veteran. He appeared in the April 23rd list in the AL-Only portion (which has since been switched to the Prospects section) as someone who could see his playing time rise as the season went on. He has been playing more often since late-May and has posted a .265/.339/.612 line with 5 HR, 10 RBI, and 12 R in 59 PA. A lot of that came from Michael Brantley’s injury and now Kyle Tucker is on the COVID list, so there is a fair question about playing time once Tucker returns. I wonder where the cutoff for Myles Straw’s offense is and if they would consider giving McCormick more time in center. Look, if McCormick is good enough for Vlad Sedler, he’s good enough for me.

Brian Goodwin | CWS, OF

With approximately 412 outfielders on the IL, the White Sox have turned to Goodwin. He is a decent fill-in outfielder who can put together useful runs as a power-speed asset. He has essentially been a 20 HR/10 SB player per 500 PA since 2019. Goodwin should probably be platooned against lefties, but even as a strong side platoon bat, there could be some value in five outfielder setups.

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

Luis Rengifo| 2B, LAA (currently in MLB)

Rengifo was just called back up on June 17th after a brief, uninspired call up back in mid-April. The 24-year-old hasn’t done much in 531 major league plate appearances thus far, but there is still some legitimate upside as a consistent power-speed middle infielder. He had 5 HR and 7 SB (in 11 tries) at Triple-A with an excellent .331/.402/.568 line in 132 PA. There should be a real chance for playing time given how much David Fletcher is struggling (75 wRC+, though he has been better of late).

Emmanuel Rivera | 3B, KCR (AAA)

Rivera was listed as a depth prospect on KC’s list this year, but an unexpected power surge has given him a little bit of juice. He has 11 HR in 155 PA, though my eye is immediately drawn to his 34% HR/FB rate which is obviously unsustainable. Kelvin Gutierrez isn’t really blocking off 3B, though. He has a 59 wRC+ in 111 PA. While I try to focus on guys who are legitimate prospects in this section, there will be times that I choose to highlight someone who is just going off statistically, even if they aren’t widely regarded for their skills.

NL PROSPECTS

Luis García | 2B, WAS (AAA)

Garcia was recalled on Wednesday with Starlin Castro going onto the Restricted List. Of course, Castro was just pulled off the RL so we will have to see what they do with Garcia in terms of playing time. Castro has struggled at the dish with just a .239/.287/.312 line so maybe they share 3B with Garcia getting a large share thanks to his left-handed bat.

Thairo Estrada | 2B, SFG (AAA)

Estrada has had a couple uninspiring MLB stints resulting in a 62 wRC+ over 122 PA, but he’s crushing in Triple-A so far with a 163 wRC+ that includes 6 HR and 4 SB in 130 PA. I think Donovan Solano has some more time to straighten his line out (94 wRC+), but if he doesn’t start hitting and Estrada keeps raking at Triple-A, we could see a move.





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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OddBall Herrera
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OddBall Herrera

The strikeouts are bizarre for Moore – he is at or around league average in everything, including SwStr, but has the 11th highest called strike rate. Swing the bat Moore!