MARKET PULSE: Canning For Gold

Market Pulse looks at the movers each week in respective markets as we search for potential buying opportunities. The data is taken from CBS Sports, which features primarily daily transaction leagues, providing us with some insight as to player movement over the past week leading up to the Sunday waiver deadline in weekly leagues. Of course, depending on the parameters of your league, further investigation of every player is strongly encouraged. Click on the provided links for additional information and deeper analysis from our crack BaseballHQ.com staff. Also, please note that, as the season progresses, players who have been steadily rising or falling may have had additional commentary that still applies written up in recent columns, so you may benefit from perusing the Market Pulse archives.

Column designations include...

  • OWN: Ownership percentage prior to last weekend
  • CHG: Ownership percentage change since then, heading into the current weekend
  • RTG: The author's general rating for each player as follows:

+ = BUY: potentially profitable stock for your portfolio, further research strongly recommended for possible acquisition, depending on league parameters

o = WATCH: put on your radar for potential acquisition, depending on needs & league parameters

 = SELL: dead money, odds of helping cause extremely limited

 

MARKET OVERVIEW

More young talent continued its ascent to the big leagues this week, as Nick Senzel made his debut in Cincinnati. While widely hyped players such as Senzel may already be rostered in many formats, other lesser anticipated arrivals may often fly under the radar. Reading our forward-looking Playing Time Tomorrow is a great way to build a list of potential helpful assets that may be on the verge of contributing. Then keep an ear to the ground by reading our Call-Ups column, as we help to monitor their arrival, along with this column in which we will provide commentary on the week's biggest market movers.

 

BULL MARKET

These are the "hot" stocks, the players who are being most added. If you have a chance to jump on board and grab these players in your league, you should probably consider it, though we will try to point out who you should let slide by, or at least approach with caution.

Over 25% Ownership (Possibly Still Available in Shallow Leagues)
  PLAYER OWN CHG RTG COMMENT
  Kieboom,C (SS, WAS) 34% 33% + Early 8% H% depressing numbers, still strong add
  Chavis,M (3B, BOS) 29% 25% + Early 40% H% boosting numbers, still solid (2B!) add
  Dozier,H (1B, KC) 66% 19% + BB rate up, K rate down, looking more legit every day
  Velasquez,V (P, PHI) 50% 17% o 4.05 xERA, continued Cmd issues warrant caution
  Eickhoff,J (RHP, PHI) 34% 17% + Looking sharp, now, if he can just stay healthy...
  Lopez,R (RHP, CHW) 26% 16% Dominating DET Tankers not reliable indicator
  Soroka,M (RHP, ATL) 72% 16% + Continues to look fantastic, should be 100% owned
  Zunino,M (C, TAM) 44% 16% o Under the radar buying opp in fantasy C wasteland?
  Kepler,M (OF, MIN) 57% 16% + Hot streak adds fuel to breakout speculation
  Escobar,E (3B, ARI) 57% 14% + Has 3B job locked down with surging power bat
  Wainwright,A (P, STL) 26% 12% + Healthy elbow has vet back in play as streamer
  Smith,D (OF, BAL) 60% 12% + Early surprise taking advantage of opp in BAL

Adam Wainwright (RHP, STL)—An erstwhile fantasy staff ace given up for dead by most, Wainwright is showing signs of having a little left in the tank. With his cranky elbow feeling strong, and allowing him to up the usage of his devastating curveball. Even if he's no longer a reliable 30-start fantasy stalwart, the Tanking Era offers a multitude of high-value streaming targets that make Wainwright a solid asset.

Under 25% Ownership (Possibly Still Available in Deeper Leagues)
  PLAYER OWN CHG RTG COMMENT
  Canning,G (RHP, LAA) 7% 50% + Solid mid-rotation type with upside
  Pagan,E (RHP, TAM) 5% 36% + What if he really did usurp the TAM closer role?!?
  Lowe,N (1B, TAM) 12% 26% + Everyday 1B potential, getting his chance
  Santana,D (OF, TEX) 11% 22% o 64% H% not bankable foundation for future output
  Means,J (RHP, BAL) 3% 18% High-risk swingman type on bad team
  Reddick,J (OF, HOU) 24% 17% o Will need to stay hot to keep young phenoms at bay
  LaStella,T (3B, LAA) 13% 15% + Offers deep-lg value even as power spike fades
  Bassitt,C (RHP, OAK) 9% 15% o Possible deep lg streamer potential
  McCann,J (C, CHW) 3% 15% o Numbers surging due to astronomically high H%
  Thames,E (OF, MIL) 13% 14% o PT may be harder to come by as Aguilar heats up
  Jackson,L (RHP, ATL) 0% 12% o Peripherals encouraging but don't chase wayward SV

Griffin Canning (RHP, LAA)—With the ability to effectively command a solid four pitch mix, Canning offers the kind of upside that is attractive to fantasy competitors trolling for mid-season upgrades. That said, the youngster also carries some risk associated with a history of medical "concerns." He also has a relatively high effort delivery that may lead to a decrease in his effectiveness as he works into the latter innings of games. Since managers are hesitant to let virtually any pitcher work late into games anymore, however, that probably should not be much of an issue.

Danny Santana (2B-OF, TEX)—A shortstop and more recently outfielder over five previous partial MLB seasons, Santana has been seeing extensive time at second base along with some first base since being called up in mid-April following an injury to 2B Roughned Odor. While Santana logged an astronomical 43% hit rate that was inflated by a ridiculous 64% mark over the past week has led to a sparkling line, Odor's return will put pressure on Santana as his batted balls inevitably begin to find more leather. Of course, Odor's ongoing struggles (along with those of injured 1B Ronald Guzman) leave the door open for Santana to continue to force the issue.

 

BEAR MARKET

These are the players who are being dropped the most, many of which have meaningful reasons for being let go. Sometimes, however, the market may be overreacting and some nice profits can be made by the forward-looking owner who buys when everyone else is selling.

Over 50% Ownership (Possibly Becoming Available in Shallow Leagues)
  PLAYER OWN CHG RTG COMMENT
  Godley,Z (RHP, ARI) 70% -27% Bump to bullpen finalizes fall from fantasy grace
  Smith,M (OF, SEA) 78% -19% o Speed doesn't slump, but bats do
  Allen,C (RHP, LAA) 72% -16% o DL stint gives him opportunity to reset
  Stripling,R (RHP, LA) 85% -16% + Bumped to pen but skills still solid, not done starting
  Richards,T (RHP, MIA) 57% -15% Rough start on bad team, other streamers better bets
  Pineda,M (RHP, MIN) 67% -13% o Cmd strong, not as bad as surface stats, can stream
  Swarzak,A (RHP, SEA) 50% -13% o Seeing high-lev work, but SEA SV opps up for grabs
  Astudillo,W (C, MIN) 77% -13% + Already running again, should be back soon
  Profar,J (SS, OAK) 92% -11% + Low h% exacerbating slow start
  O'Hearn,R (1B, KC) 60% -11% o Still drawing BB, but low H% hurting, PT at risk
  Hernandez,E (2B,LA) 88% -11% + Hot start, rough slump, now heating up again

Mallex Smith (OF, SEA)—Expected to be Seattle's everyday CF and a prime contender for the AL stolen base crown, Smith missed much of the spring with a sore elbow and had a hard time getting up to speed once the regular season got underway. He was finally sent down to the minors on April 30 with defense-oriented Braden Bishop called up to replace him. Smith's wheels are too good to ignore, making him a prime target to keep on the radar, as he could be recalled relatively quickly once he gets the stick back on track.

Ryan O'Hearn (1B, KC)—While early performance woes can be partly attributed to a low hit percentage, a .225 xBA and 57 xPX are far from encouraging. With 3B-1B Hunter Dozier now a lineup staple and hot-hitting 3B Kelvin Gutierrez recently called up from Omaha, O'Hearn may get the short-term squeeze. 

Enrique Hernandez (2B, LA)—With multi-position (2B + OF, SS) eligibility in many formats, Hernandez' versatility offers a valuable asset. With his breakout potential still very much intact, he makes for a worthwhile pickup if he comes available.

Under 50% Ownership (Possibly Becoming Available in Deeper Leagues)
  PLAYER OWN CHG RTG COMMENT
  Swanson,E (RHP, SEA) 29% -18% o Cmd maybe too strong, as strikes getting tatooed
  Bailey,H (RHP, KC) 33% -14% Ks don't offset peripheral damage
  Shoemaker,M (P, TOR) 33% -13% Finished for season with torn ACL
  Anderson,B (P, OAK) 45% -13% o Deep-league streamer at best
  Phegley,J (C, OAK) 48% -11% + Earning consideration in even 1C leagues
  Cahill,T (RHP, LAA) 29% -10% Too flammable for consideration at this point
  Wendle,J (2B, TAM) 44% -10% Out until June with broken wrist
  Leake,M (RHP, SEA) 34% -10% Getting launch-angled to death
  Jeffress,J (RHP, MIL) 45% -9% o Getting back up to speed following DL stint
  Sanchez,A (RHP, WAS) 44% -9% 2018 magic appears to have worn off
  Hampson,G (SS, COL) 35% -9% o PT increasingly hard to come by, bat not forcing issue

Garrett Hampson (2B, COL)—With Ryan McMahon gaining the bulk of the starts at second base since his mid-April return from the DL, Hampson has been reduced to more of a utility backup, seeing action at both OF and SS in addition to 2B. The versatility should be helpful, however, as his speed offers an asset that should keep him in consideration, pending injury or slump to a starter. In most fantasy formats, Hampson is someone to keep on your radar at the very least.

 

PRE-MARKET

Just as the early bird gets the worm, the best way to gain an edge on the competition is by grabbing an emerging asset before the buying stampede begins. Here we consider lightly owned players who may be just beginning to move in the market. These players may be especially useful considerations in deeper leagues. We will try to dig a little deeper here in the early going, as we seek any useful nuggets that may have been passed over on draft day.

Players Who May Just Be Appearing on Radar, Depending on League Size/Format
  PLAYER OWN CHG RTG COMMENT
  Kelley,S (RHP, TEX) 11% 10% + Leader for SV opps after TEX bullpen shakeup
  Perez,M (RHP, MIN) 10% 10% + Throwing harder than ever, finding success to match
  Adams,M (1B, WAS) 8% 10% o Zimmerman injury opens short-term path to PT
  Robles,H (RHP, LAA) 6% 10% o In LAA mix for SV opps
  Banuelos,M (P, CHW) 2% 6% Marginal SP on marginal team with marginal outlook
  Fletcher,D (2B, LAA) 11% 5% + Excellent plate skills provide hopeful foundation
  Bote,D (3B, CHC) 5% 5% o Versatility offers multiple paths to PT
  Tapia,R (CF, COL) 8% 4% o Hot bat earning him PT but plate skills lagging
  Mercado,O (CF, CLE) 3% 4% o Cooling off after hot stretch at AAA fueled speculation
  Rengifo,L (SS, LAA) 2% 4% o May only be short-term promotion this time around
  Forsythe,L (2B, TEX) 2% 4% o Useful deep-league utility value
  Senzatela,A (P, COL) 11% 3% Subpar Dom, Cmd + Scary home park = Stay away
  Brebbia,J (RHP, STL) 5% 3% o Useful arm but indicators belie early dominance
  Drury,B (3B, TOR) 5% 3% o Guerrero arrival puts PT at risk
  Beede,T (RHP, SF) 2% 3% o Success at AAA positive sign in development
  Martin,C (RHP, TEX) 0% 3% o Another arm in mix for SV in shuffled TEX bullpen
  Webb,J (RHP, ATL) 0% 3% o Good arm w/high-leverage potential but concerns
  Biggio,C (2B, TOR) 11% 2% o Hot start at AAA but blocked by 40-man rstr absence
  Fowler,D (OF, STL) 8% 2% + Appears to have put nightmarish 2018 behind him
  Quantrill,C (RHP, SD) 5% 2% o Signs of former 1st rounder turning corner
  Gutierrez,K (3B, KC) 0% 2% + Settling into starting 3B role as long as he hits

Hansel Robles (RHP, LAA)—With ineffective (and apparently injured) Cody Allen removed from the LAA closer role, saves are up for grabs. If heir apparent Ty Buttrey continues to be employed in a variety of late-inning high-leverage situations, Robles may be positioned for some to fall to him. Of course, this multiplies the fantasy value of an otherwise pedestrian bullpen arm.

Orlando Mercado (OF, CLE)—No signs of imminent promotion to big leagues.

Tyler Beede (RHP, SF)—Although he got cuffed around in his 2019 big league debut, Beede's success in the hitter-friendly PCL to start the year cannot be denied. As a former first-rounder posting mid-90s heat, he must be kept on the radar.

Cal Quantrill (RHP, SD)—Anytime a former first-rounder shows signs of increased effectiveness, it is prudent to take note, as they may have made an adjustment that allows their stuff to play at the higher level. Since a rough first start at triple-A to start the season, Quantrill has been on a pretty nice roll, which continued in his big league debut. While he is a strike-thrower, inconsistent command sometimes leaves his offerings a little too strikey, much to the hitter's likey. With a good home pitching venue and an emerging team behind him, he bears watching, though how long the Padres elect to stick with a six-man rotation is another issue.

Kelvin Gutierrez (3B, KC)—Called up following an injury to DH-1B Lucas Duda, Gutierrez has slipped into an everyday role at 3B with 2019 surprise Hunter Dozier moving across the infield to 1B, along with some time at DH. If the 24-year old Gutierrez can stay reasonably productive, the playing time crunch upon Duda's return may come down to Duda vs. O'Hearn, as a pair of similar LH 1B-DH types.


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  For more information about the terms used in this article, see our Glossary Primer.