Week 3 Waiver Wire Watch List

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Welcome to Week 3 of The Watch List. We introduced this piece last week, but here’s a friendly reminder for those who forgot. Each week we’ll be updating this list full of players who you aren’t quite ready to be pick up, but who need to be on your radar. We’ll look at eight players each week and keep tabs on players “graduating” into the waiver wire pickups category, as well as players demoted off the list entirely.

After the first week, we have eight graduates (congratulations guys, I know this means a lot), as those eight are now over 40 percent owned in Yahoo! leagues. We had only four players demoted from last week’s list (it’s still real early, remember), and with plenty of new names, this list is even longer than last week. Players in bold are covered this week, players in italics were covered in past editions.

Once again, if there are any names who you’d like to see highlighted next week, or even just added to the list as a whole, feel free to at me on Twitter (@FantasyBaseTurv). Let’s get this show on the road.

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Players to Watch in 10-team Leagues

Travis d’Arnaud (C, NYM) 38%

After a few years of fantasy baseball flirtation, d’Arnaud is demanding your attention once again. The 28-year-old Mets' backstop has failed to meet expectations in seasons past, but he is slashing .323/.417/.645 in his first 10 games. With the catcher position as shallow as it is right now, d’Arnaud is certainly worth a look, if not an add. He’s never been a bastion of health, but his .154 career ISO accurately portrays a catcher with decent pop when he’s in the lineup. If you are currently holding onto a struggling Russell Martin, don’t feel like the drop is too steep down to d’Arnaud.

Ryan Schimpf (2B/3B) 28%

Schimpf connected on his third long ball of the season on Sunday, as he is doing basically exactly what we expected so far in 2017. The 5’ 9” two-bagger has just five hits on the season (.154 batting average), but three of them have been of the home run variety, giving him a decent .424 slugging percentage. If you are desperate for home runs in your league, you know you will get them from this guy. If you need anything else, look elsewhere. His .111 BABIP suggests his batting average won’t sit below the Mendoza line all season, but it’s never going to be great. In fact, it will almost certainly hurt you, but if you need the HR, go for Schimpf.

Corey Dickerson (OF, TB) 37%
Chase Headley (3B, NYY) 33%
Avisail Garcia (OF, CHW) 31%
Josh Bell (1B/OF, PIT) 29%
Domingo Santana (OF, MIL) 27%
Cesar Hernandez (2B, PHI) 25%
Jason Castro (C, MIN) 24%
Jarrod Dyson (OF, SEA) 24%
Jason Heyward (OF, CHC) 23%
Tyler Anderson (SP, COL) 22%

 

Players to Watch in 12-team Leagues

Trevor Rosenthal (RP, STL) 20%

It's rare that a pitcher with just one and a third innings - and a 6.75 ERA in that limited time - sees his ownership double within a week, but that's the case for Rosenthal, who made his season debut since the last Watch List, and is getting a little buzz now. Rosenthal is still in the set-up role for the Cardinals, with Seung Hwan Oh as the closer. Oh has looked shaky in his admittedly small sample of 2017. Oh is yet to save a game in 2017, with a 9.64 ERA over his four appearances so far. Only one of those four was a blown save specifically, but with Oh having had so much success in the set-up role to start 2016, and Rosenthal having had success as the closer in 2014-15, it's no surprise there's some Rosenthal-as-closer buzz. Rosenthal has also supposedly added another pitch to his arsenal, and all four of his outs this season have been strikeouts. Obviously we are dealing in minute sample sizes, but the closer situation in St. Louis is worth watching should the team eventually turn the corner and start getting some save opportunities.

Eduardo Rodriguez (SP, BOS) 13%

Rodriguez is an interesting two-start pitcher for the week of 4/17-4/23, facing off with the Toronto Blue Jays and Baltimore Orioles in a pair of road games. Typically a pair of AL East road games wouldn’t be excellent news for a pitcher, but Toronto seems completely declawed this season, and it makes sense. Edwin Encarnacion is gone; Josh Donaldson is on the DL; Troy Tulowitzki, Russell Martin, and Jose Bautista are all ice cold; and Devon Travis is best not mentioned (-36 wRC+ in 2017). Baltimore is doing a little bit better offensively, but they’ve only been about league average instead of being the top-10 unit they’ve had in seasons past. Rodriguez is an elite strikeout arm, getting 11.32 K/9 this season, and if he can harness his stuff to be effectively wild instead of just wild, he could make a leap into the must-own category.

C.C. Sabathia (SP, NYY) 19%
Steven Souza Jr. (OF, TB) 19%
Andrew Triggs (SP/RP, OAK) 19%
Zack Wheeler (SP, NYM) 18%
Lucas Duda (1B, NYM) 16%
Joey Gallo (3B, TEX) 15%
Daniel Norris (SP, DET) 15%
Jorge Polanco (2B/3B/SS, MIN) 13%
Cameron Rupp (C, PHI) 12%
Mitch Moreland (1B, BOS) 12%
Logan Morrison (1B, TB) 11%
Adam Conley (SP, MIA) 11%
Mike Foltynewicz (SP, ATL) 10%

 

Players to Watch in 14-team Leagues

Scott Schebler (OF, CIN) 5%

Scott Schebler definitely sounds like the name you make it to test if your friend really knows the whole Reds' roster, but Scott Schebler is indeed a real person, and he’s playing well in 2017. With three home runs and a batting average (.205) that is bound for some positive regression (.172 BABIP), he’s probably my favorite player in this entire tier. Schebler has a nice approach at the plate (five walks to seven strikeouts this season), and quietly slashed .265/.330/.432 in 82 games last season. If we simply double his stats from last year, he’s an 18-HR, 4-SB, .265-BA player who you can get in just about any league right now. Given the fact that he is just 26 years old, there may even be room for some improvement in those numbers as well. Keep an eye on this guy.

Geovany Soto (C, CHW) 5%

You can copy and paste pretty much everything thing from Travis d’Arnaud’s section here and simply slice the hype in half. Like d’Arnaud, Soto was a known fantasy name a few years ago, but has fallen on rough times in recent memory. However, with three home runs in just five games so far in 2017, Soto is popping up on fantasy player’s radar once again. Soto is much lower than d’Arnaud because - in addition to simply not being as talented - he also just landed on the DL. Soto has only 18 plate appearances in 2017, so he’s more likely to be a candidate in a two-catcher, or deep one-catcher league, but if you can afford to slot him on the DL until he returns, Soto has some intrigue right now.

Gleyber Torres (SS, NYY) 9%
David Freese (1B/3B, PIT) 9%
Tyler Thornburg (RP, BOS) 8%
Justin Bour (1B, MIA) 7%
Cody Bellinger (1B, LAD) 7%
Alex Gordon (OF, KC) 6%
Austin Meadows (OF, PIT) 6%
Devin Mesoraco (C, CIN) 6%
Travis Jankowski (OF, SD) 5%

 

 

 

Players to Watch in AL or NL-Only Leagues

 

Andrew Toles (OF, LAD) 4%

Toles, the speedy ex-Rays' prospect, is making a difference with his bat this season, showing  a bit of pop with three home runs through his first 11 games of 2017. Given his 19.2 percent hard hit ball rate, and the fact that he hit 10 home runs across all levels last year - and that was a career high - don’t expect the HR to continue, but they’re a nice way to even out a slow start on the basepaths. Most anyone who drafted Toles did so in hopes of some steals, but he has yet to even attempt a steal, in part because of a .278 on-base percentage. There are some troubling signs in Toles’ speed profile, however, as his steals totals have continually declined over the past five seasons, and he actually stole only one base in 48 games at the big-league level last year. (He stole 62 bases in 121 Single-A games in 2013.) Keep an eye where this goes, as Toles could be seeing a change in his game as he gets older. He’s an interesting player to watch.

Ian Happ (2B, CHC) 3%

There are two reasons to have Happ on high alert on your fantasy radar. For one, he already has five home runs in just ten games with the Cubs Triple-A affiliate in Iowa this season. He’s hitting .293 with an OPS well over 1.000 - he’s clearly ready for The Show. The only thing holding him up would seem to be the plethora of hitting talent already on the Cubs roster, but that might not be an issue if there is any truth to the rumors that the Cubs might look to trade Happ for pitching help. Now a call up for Happ - or a trade that would then result in a call up - may not be in the works until later in the season, but with the way this guy is hitting, he’s worth tracking for the time being.

Jed Lowrie (2B, OAK) 4%
Jose Berrios (SP, MIN) 4%
Scooter Gennett (2B, CIN) 4%
Derek Norris (C, TB) 4%
Amed Rosario (SS, NYM) 4%
Lewis Brinson (OF, MIL) 4%
Taylor Motter (SS/OF, SEA) 3%
Matt Davidson (UTIL, CHW) 3%
J.P. Crawford (SS, PHI) 3%
Roman Quinn (OF, PHI) 3%
Yandy Diaz (3B, CLE) 2%
ByungHo Park (1B, MIN) 2%
Nick Senzel (3B, CIN) 2%
Aaron Altherr (OF, PHI) 1%
Aaron Hicks (OF, NYY) 1%
Cody Reed (SP/RP, CIN) 1%
Charlie Tilson (OF, CHW) 1%
Matt Joyce (OF, OAK) 1%
Colby Rasmus (OF, TB) 1%

 

Graduated - Ownership Too High

Kendall Graveman (SP, OAK) 70%
Dylan Bundy (SP, BAL) 69%
Manuel Margot (OF, SD) 64%
Mark Reynolds (1B, COL) 63%
Mitch Haniger (OF, SEA) 62%
Aaron Judge (OF, NYY) 52%
Yoan Moncada (3B, CHW) 46%
Travis Shaw (1B/3B, MIL) 40%

 

Demoted

Jason Grilli (RP, TOR) 17%
Delino DeShields (OF, TEX) 4%
Carson Smith (RP, BOS) 1%
Ubaldo Jimenez (SP, BAL) 1%

 

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