10 Watchlist Guys: Vol. 7

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 could be sorting by stats and you could miss out on someone you really want who is about to get a new role because you sorted by PA and he just didn’t show very high.

Canning was solid against the Dodgers (5.7 IP/1 ER) and has now looked good in 4 of 6 starts.

SHALLOW LEAGUES (mixed leagues – 10 or fewer teams)

Robbie Grossman | OF, DET

His walk rate kept the OPS from sinking too low as he was finding his footing in Detroit and now he’s on fire over the last three weeks with a .267/.379/.444 line in 87 PA spanning 20 games. He is 5-for-5 on the bases in that time, too, pushing his season total to 7 SBs in 7 tries. If the Tigers are planning to turn him loose, he can be an all-formats play on the steals alone as his walks will keep him on base regularly enough to perhaps eclipse 20 SBs.

Adrian Houser | SP, MIL

Houser hasn’t allowed more than 3 ER in a single outing this year (he has one 4 R outing, but only 2 were earned) and while his strikeout rate is just 21%, he has been at a 28% clip over his last three starts thanks to 7 and 10 K outings against Miami on April 27th and May 8th. I wouldn’t plan on his strikeouts taking off from here as he has just an 8% SwStr rate, but strong ratios in line with his 2019 rates could be enough to make him worthwhile in shallower leagues, especially if you have your strikeouts in order with the rest of your staff.

MEDIUM LEAGUES (mixed leagues – 12-14 teams)

Niko Goodrum | 2B/SS, DET

I promise it won’t be all Tigers for the hitters because let’s be honest, they’re awful. Like Grossman, Goodrum is one of the few bright spots thanks to the team turning him loose on the bases. He’s 6-for-9 so far, putting him on pace to smash his previous high of 12, achieved in 2018 and 2019. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention his vomit-inducing 41% K rate and the fact that he has needed every bit of his .423 BABIP to hit .250 so far this year. In other words, if you need AVG then he is not your guy. With a sturdy enough AVG foundation throughout your offense, his HRs and SBs could fit right in.

Sam Coonrod | P, PHI

Héctor Neris has been pretty good and doesn’t seem to be in any danger of losing the closer’s role, but Coonrod has put himself in line to be next up if anything were to happen. In fact, he might be one of the handful of middle relievers who wind up being mixed league worthy just on their ratios and strikeouts alone. He has a 1.06 ERA and .82 WHIP along with a career high 27% K rate in 17 innings.

DEEP LEAGUES (mixed leagues – 15+ teams)

Brad Miller | PHI, 3B

Miller is always good a for a big run or two over the course of a full season and even has a 30-HR campaign under his belt. He has a 125 wRC+ over the last three seasons with 23 HR and 3 SB in 406 PA. He can ostensibly play just about anywhere and has already logged time at 1B, 2B, 3B, LF, and RF so far this year so most long-term injuries that could hit the Phillies would likely benefit Miller’s playing time. There is also the fact that Alec Bohm has been brutal thus far (58 wRC+) and if he doesn’t turn it around soon, it’s not hard to envision a demotion to Triple-A in the offing.

Keep an eye on the Phillies schedule, too, because a week full of righties makes Miller a viable streamer. The 32-year-old is best dispatched against righties in DFS formats, but if that playing time opens up, I think he has deeper mixed league viability.

Ross Stripling | TOR, SP

If you have followed my writing or listened to the podcast for any amount of time, you know how much I like Stripling. When he got out of Los Angeles, I was actually excited because I thought the reins would finally come off and he could become a full-time starter isn’t bouncing between the rotation and pen at the drop of a hat. But the wheels fell off last year as his hit rate soared above 10 while his strikeout rate plummeted and yielded a 5.84 ERA/1.46 WHIP in 49.1 innings between the Dodgers and Jays.

The hit rate issue has continued this year (11.8), but his strikeout rate is back up to 26%, though it is worth noting that his 9-strikeout outing on May 13th is a big part of that (he was at 22% in 4 starts prior to smoking the Braves). We aren’t out of the woods yet with Stripling, especially with his home run rate sitting at 1.7 per nine, but he has at least made himself watchlist worthy. If the hits and homers get back on track, Stripling would definitely have some deep league viability with a chance at being useful in medium-sized leagues, too.

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.


Yonny Hernandez | 2B, TEX (currently in AAA)

If the 23-year-old middle infielder continues to go off in Round Rock, the rebuilding Rangers will find some chances for the speedster to show off his wheels. He already has 5 SBs in 7 games at Triple-A and he has 41 SBs per 500 PA over his minor league career.

Alek Manoah| SP, TOR (AAA)

Manoah is probably stash worthy in some formats right now because he has been amazing in his first couple starts and once called up, there will be a frenzy for his services. He has 12 scoreless innings with 17 strikeouts, 2 walks, and just 3 hits allowed. The Jays rotation as-is likely won’t win them the division despite Robbie Ray and Steven Matz looking pretty capable so finding an opening for Manoah won’t be too hard if he continues to perform like this.


Jesús Sánchez | OF, MIA (AAA)

Sánchez got a shot last year but did virtually nothing in 29 PA (he literally had 1 hit) in the short sample so he is definitely off the radar for most. He is off to a blistering start in Triple-A with a .571/.600/1.179 line and 7 of his 8 hits going for extra bases: 2 2B, 1 3B, and 4 HR. There isn’t an obvious opening right now, but he is almost certainly the first OF up if someone goes down.

Corbin Martin | ARI, SP (AAA)

Martin debuted back in the 2019 to little fanfare (5.59 ERA) but there is still prospect hype here (6th in ARI’s list) and he could be seeing a long-term opportunity this summer. He has allowed just 2 runs while striking out 14 in his first two starts (spanning 9.7 IP). Finding an opportunity for him in Arizona won’t be hard as they are 17-21 and the rotation has struggled outside of a few guys, two of whom are on the IL (Zac Gallen and Taylor WidenerMadison Bumgarner is the healthy one right now).

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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1 year ago

Miller is a must own in leagues with daily lineups.