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Week 4 Waiver Wire Watch List


As important as it is to be active on the waiver wire, snagging that next hot bat or pitcher on a roll before anyone else can, let's be honest--there are only so many roster spots. That's why your watch list is just as important as your waiver wire activity, and perhaps even more so.

Throughout the season, you want to get the jump on your competition and sniff out the breakout players before they break out. That's what this list is all about--using some in-depth research and advanced analytics to find the players who aren't quite there yet but are on their way.

This is not necessarily a list of players you should add right away - it is a list of people to keep a very close eye on in most leagues, and to consider picking up in deeper formats. In some cases, we will even caution you not to pick up a widely-added player, and steer you away from the fool's gold. Use it to build your own watch list.

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Pitchers to Watch in 12+ Team Leagues

Anthony DeSclafani (SP, CIN)

Tony Disco has been one of those guys who's always felt like he's right on the cusp of a breakout that's never truly come to fruition. There may be some signs that it's coming in 2019, as Desclafani has gotten off to a better start than his primary stat line suggests.

Through four starts (19.1 IP) Desclafani boasts an 0-1 record, an unimpressive 1.29 WHIP and a downright terrible 5.59 ERA, but the underlying peripherals tell a different story. Desclafani is currently sporting the best K% of his career at 26.2, which is significantly higher than his career average (20.5). That boost in strikeouts has his SIERA sitting at a solid 4.15, which indicates that he's pitching better than the stat line indicates. In his most recent start Desclafani tossed six innings of one-run ball with six Ks, so watch his next couple of starts and get ready to pull the trigger.

Jose Urena (SP, MIA)

Urena was absolutely horrible through his first three starts, getting tagged for 14 ER over just 13.2 innings. He's since rattled off two solid starts against good offenses (WAS and PHI). In those two games, he allowed just three ER over 13 innings, and added 11 Ks in that time frame.

Ultimately that's what I'm looking at--Urena is finally limiting the damage. His SIERA (4.41), while still not great thanks to his first few starts, indicates that Urena has pitched a bit better than that stats indicate. He's still on a bad team, and I'd like to see a little more in the way of strikeouts, but Urena's miniature hot streak has me intrigued.

Daniel Norris (SP, DET)

With Matt Moore presumably done for the season, Norris should have a pretty long leash in the Tigers rotation. He's pitched well so far in a mixed role so far in 2019, with a 2.70 ERA across 13.1 IP. That includes his first start of the season, in which he went five strong innings of shutout ball against the White Sox.

The peripheral stats aren't favorable for Norris, but given that he's only made one start I'm willing to forgive him a bit--he had one poor outing against KC that's bringing his stats down pretty considerably. Norris was once a highly-touted prospect, and it's possible he'll be a late bloomer. Keep an eye on him for now.

 

Batters to Watch in 12+ Team Leagues

Mike Tauchman (OF, NYY)

Due to sheer necessity, Tauchman has found himself a regular member of the Yankees lineup, and he's risen to the occasion. The former Colorado product has cracked three homers and driven in eight runs since April 16th, and is providing a measure of relief to the injury-crippled New York offense.

While I'm not betting on it, Tauchman possesses the pedigree to put up a 20/20 season. He likely won't ever see enough at-bats to make that a reality, but he's a legitimate power and speed threat who is almost guaranteed the opportunity to rack up some counting stats. If you're looking for a cheap option in either category, keep an eye on Tauchman on this west coast trip for the Yankees.

Brian Goodwin (OF, LAA)

Goodwin was heavily-hyped coming into 2018 following a season with the Nationals in which he hit 13 homers and stole six bags in just 251 at bats. That...did not pan out. Goodwin mustered just six jacks and four stolen bags with two teams in 180 at-bats while also hitting just .239.

Goodwin may be rediscovering some of that form from 2017, as he's already hit three homers while shaving 10 full percentage points off his K% from 2018. Goodwin currently has the better half of a platoon locked down in the Angels outfield, and he's playing himself into more playing time. If he can get regular at-bats, Goodwin can be a legitimate multi-category contributor.

Danny Santana (OF/2B, TEX)

Santana is currently getting playing time thanks to an injury to Rougned Odor, and boy is he taking advantage. Santana has only played seven games, but he's already swiped three bags and is hitting a solid .308. While the batting average may be too much to maintain, that speed is real, and Santana will soon hold multi-positional eligibility. You can use that in pretty much any format, and if he continues to play at a high level he will stick around in the Rangers lineup one way or another even when Odor returns.

 

Recapping The Waiver Wire Watch List

In the section, I will review the progress and current outlook of players that I wrote about in previous articles in this series.

Pitchers

Lance Lynn (SP, TEX) - Still Watching: An underwhelming outing and the apparent return of his walk issues have me wary, but he still hasn't been terrible in any start.

Jorge Lopez (SP, KC) - Still Watching: Was slapped around a little by the Yankees this weekend, but still went seven innings and now has 13 Ks in his last two starts. I'm okay adding now if you need some rotation depth.

Jeff Samardzija (SP, SF) - Still Watching: Continues to be better at home than on the road. If you're okay with streaming him in only those starts, you can add now.

Pablo Lopez (SP, MIA) - Dropped: Simply not producing, so we're cutting him off the list.

Eric Lauer (SP, SD) - Still Watching: Can't seem to get deep into games and doesn't have a ton of strikeout potential, but still avoiding blow-ups.

Lucas Giolito (SP, CWS) - Still Watching: On the IL currently, but should be back before the end of April. Not confident enough to add him, especially coming off the IL.

Sandy Alcantara (SP, MIA) - Dropped: Tagged in two straight, I'm off the Alcantara train for now.

Spencer Turnbull (SP, DET) - Still Watching: Seems to pitch to the opponent--good outings against bad offenses, can't hold up against decent ones. Merely a streaming candidate in deep leagues.


Batters

Josh Phegley (C, OAK) - Dropped: Cooled off a ton, and job security shaky once again.

Hunter Dozier (3B/1B, KC) - Add Now: Red-hot at the plate and providing some pop as well. Add him as a corner infielder in any format.

Freddy Galvis (SS, TOR) - Still Watching: Dealing with a stiff leg, but should be addable if he doesn't miss any time.

Kolten Wong (2B, STL) - Add Now: Hitting consistently now, and driving in runs at a really nice clip. A 20/20 season very possible.

Jorge Soler (OF, KC) - Still Watching: The strikeouts make him nearly useless in points leagues, but can provide some cheap power in roto leagues.

More Waiver Wire Pickups and Streamers