10 Watchlist Guys: Vol. 3 by Paul Sporer April 16, 2021 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. This is starting to feel like a weekly thing… Previous Watchlists Jed Lowrie and Zach McKinstry were standouts from last week’s list. SHALLOW LEAGUES (mixed leagues – 10 or fewer teams) Adam Duvall | OF, MIA We are jumping on the train here as his 3 HR and 8 RBI from Monday and Tuesday of this week certainly earned him some attention. Of course, that’s why he on the shallow league end because he is still widely available with just a 21% roster rate at ESPN. He’s a two-time 30 HR hitter with all the playing time he can handle. I feel like he is regularly slept on so I’m already rostering him in some deeper formats, but he’s creeping into shallow, 3-OF territory, too. Tejay Antone | SP, CIN Currently in a relief role, Antone can’t really be rostered in shallow leagues even as he shuts down the opposition (6.7 scoreless) and dominates them (9 Ks), but the ultimate goal is to get him in the rotation. He has added to his workload each outing, peaking at 60 pitches (3.7 IP) on April 12th. If they can keep him stretched out with regular 50-60 pitch, multi-inning outings, he can transition into the rotation at a moment’s notice should an opening arise. Keep a close eye on him. MEDIUM LEAGUES (mixed leagues – 12-14 teams) José Marmolejos | SEA, OF (tracking toward 1B elig.) Marmolejos is a strong side platoon option in Seattle and has shown premium pop in his limited sample since last year (.234 ISO in 139 PA), but little else (.211 AVG, .273 OBP). Both are better to start this year (.238, .333), but not good enough for widespread mixed league viability. I considered him for the 15-team section, but he might start to garner some interest this weekend thanks to a couple homers in his last six games. If he lasts beyond this week in your 15-team league, go ahead and add him to your watchlist in those formats, too. Alex Cobb | LAA, SP With 17 Ks and 2 BBs in his first two starts, he probably deserves better than his 4.63 ERA, though a .393 BABIP has his hit rate at 9.3 and explains some of the elevated ERA relative to the tiny 2.17 SIERA. Bottom line is that he’s not walking guys (4%), striking out a ton (35% K, 19% SwStr), and the splitter is back! If he does well against Minnesota this weekend, elevate him to a pickup in 12s (even with a trip to Houston looming next week) and make him a shallow league watchlist guy. DEEP LEAGUES (mixed leagues – 15+ teams) Nicky Lopez | KC, 2B/SS You may remember Lopez from overspending on him during the 2019 Prospect FAABapolooza. Neither the speed nor the batting average arrived after that call-up or in a “full” season of work last year, totaling a .228 AVG and 1-for-7 in SBs over 594 PA since his debut. He is the locked in shortstop and hitting a bit early on (.273 AVG) with a career-best 4% SwStr rate. This is where I reiterate that this is a watchlist piece and not a pickups one because there is nothing that screams “go get him!” right now, but a speedster with guaranteed playing time can quickly become enticing. Garrett Whitlock | BOS, RP The 25-year-old righty has been a revelation for the Red Sox with 6.3 scoreless innings that includes 9 strikeouts and 0 walks. For his part, Matt Barnes is pitching his butt off (0.00 ERA, 0.29 WHIP, 61% K, 25% SwStr in 7 IP) so there isn’t really an opening in the closer’s role, which is what Whitlock would need to ascend into a legit pickup. However, if he continues to throw this well and get multi-inning appearances (2 of his 3 have been 2+ IP), then he could become a useful ratios and strikeouts Band-Aid when the scrap heap starters of a deep league waiver wire just won’t cut it. AL-ONLY Brent Honeywell Jr. | P, TBR The long-time top prospect has battled a throng of injuries to finally debut earlier this season at age-26. He threw two perfect innings, notching a pair of strikeouts, and sitting at 94 mph. He may be in a multi-inning relief role for the foreseeable future, but that could deliver some value, especially if they give him some leveraged opportunities to notch wins. Charlie Culberson | 1B (UT-only at some outlets), TEX OK, he literally a home run on Thursday as I wrote this which certainly adds some flair to the pick, but I can assure you that the homer wasn’t the sole reason for putting him here. He is definitely in a platoon at this point, playing on the short side against lefties. The schedule has lined up nicely of late with three straight southpaws for the Rangers from Tuesday to Thursday and four out of five, giving him a surge of playing time which he has taken advantage of with hits in all three against Tampa Bay, including a pair of homers. Keep an eye on the schedule because all 9 of the assumed lefty starters in the AL West are on the other four teams in the division (well, 8 with Paxton out). NL-ONLY Sean Newcomb | P, ATL Newk has 2+ Ks in each of his four appearances totaling 11 in just 4.3 IP. He has also snagged a win and a save, giving some juice to anyone who might’ve rostered him as a $1 last pitcher option in NL-Only leagues. As a 6th-7th inning guy, he is far from logging regular save opportunities (in fact, that lone save came in the 7th inning of a doubleheader game), and as such he isn’t generating a ton of fantasy interest. If he keeps pitching like this, he could find himself in a higher leverage role delivering a lot more fantasy goodness. The walk rate is still through the roof (16%), but this kind of swing and miss merits at least some watchlist attention (58% K, 17% SwStr). Pavin Smith | 1B, ARI The 25-year-old prospect dominated Double-A to the tune of a 142 wRC+ back in 2019. He skipped Triple-A and made his MLB debut last year, earning 44 PA across 12 games. After making the roster as a bench player this year, he has amassed 30 PA in 10 games, but plays 1B, LF, and RF so he there are multiple avenues for him to potentially find a more long-term role. He is a kitchen sink kind of guy with some contributions across the board, but no singular standout category, though AVG would be his best bet if he can run strikeout rates similar to his minor league mark of 12%.