MARKET PULSE: Calhoun Express blows a tire

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

After a wild week that saw a flurry of exciting top prospects promoted to the majors, this week's market moving news is decidedly more subdued. In the marathon that is the season-long fantasy baseball competition, however, we must always be on the lookout for assets that may give our team a boost.

 

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
  Riley,A (3B, ATL) 65% 24% + One of the few phenoms who's hit the ground running
  Cron,C (1B, MIN) 40% 23% + Hot streak gets numbers up to respectability
  Lyles,J (RP, PIT) 62% 22% o May be more lucky than good
  Gonzalez,G (LHP, MIL) 42% 20% xERA almost double actual mark, career trending down
  LaStella,T (3B, LAA) 68% 18% + Breakout season just keeps rolling
  Cishek,S (RHP, CHC) 25% 17% o Strop getting healthy but Wally Pipp did too
  Bassitt,C (RHP, OAK) 54% 15% + Recent bump in road deserves a mulligan
  Rodgers,B (2B, COL) 51% 15% + Looking good and hasn't even stepped into Coors yet
  Robles,H (RHP, LAA) 27% 15% o Ride him while he's hot, but be ready to bail
  Giolito,L (RHP, CHW) 71% 14% + Spikes in Dom & Cmd taking performance to new level
  Mahle,T (RHP, CIN) 25% 14% + Showing positive signs of progress

C.J. Cron (1B, MIN)—After quietly posting a 30-HR campaign in 2018, Cron began this season by posting an even more quiet .206/.272/.412 line over his first 31 games. On May 8, however, he rapped out four hits, including a home run, and proceeded to go on a tear that has seen his power numbers among the best in the league, while bringing his BA and OBP up to respectable levels.

Steve Cishek (RHP, CHC)—Saves are saves, no matter where they come from. Owning the sidewinding Cishek may not be exciting thing but with the way he is throwing, he may remain in the mix for saves in the muddled Cubs pen even after Pedro Strop returns. Not a must-add by any means, but worth consideration, depending on needs and roster space.

Under 25% Ownership (Possibly Still Available in Deeper Leagues)
  PLAYER OWN CHG RTG COMMENT
  Calhoun,W (OF, TEX) 21% 37% + Short-term injury shouldn't plug well-tuned engine
  Castro,J (C, MIN) 15% 21% + Low H% masking strong early underlying performance
  Lynn,L (RHP, TEX) 21% 20% o Throwing reasonably well but tough P park adds to risk
  Lopez,N (SS, KC) 20% 20% + May have growing pains but solid long-term upside
  Plutko,A (RHP, CLE) 1% 14% o New CLE #5 SP with high-risk HR-prone profile
  Forsythe,L (2B, TEX) 6% 11% o Utility IF getting steady PT and coming off hot streak
  Irvin,C (RHP, PHI) 16% 10% o Rough outing took luster off shiny debut
  Urshela,G (3B, NYY) 20% 9% o Has claimed everyday role but somewhat empty BA
  Dyson,J (OF, ARI) 16% 9% o Still swiping bags, if little else, in speed barren game
  Walden,M (RHP, BOS) 11% 9% + Usage increasingly higher leverage along w/plus results
  Oberg,S (RHP, COL) 1% 9% o Smokey says mining COL pen for SV is playing w/fire

Willie Calhoun (OF, TEX)—After a frustrating lost season in 2018 caused his star to dim, Calhoun got off to a hot start at Triple-A to begin 2019, and this time he was able to carry it over to the big leagues following a May 14 promotion. Unfortunately, left quad "tightness" was deemed significant to give the 24-year-old a 10-day break on the DL. Though he still faces some competition for ABs in the relatively crowded Texas outfield, the injury should not prevent him from picking up where he left off at the plate upon what should be a quick return.

Marcus Walden (RHP, BOS)—A 30-year-old journeyman who has seemingly come out of nowhere, Walden has been impressing with more than just a mid-90s fastball. It's always a plus to have the guy who makes the pitching changes in your corner and Walden appears to be gaining the confidence and trust of his manager, Alex Cora. According to the BoSox skipper, Walden's "stuff is playing great at this level right now. The slider is good, the cutter is good, the fastball up is great." With excellent Cmd and solid Dom, he fantasy owners should start trusting Walden, as well.

 

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
  Andujar,M (3B, NYY) 66% -21% Only consideration in certain dynasty formats
  DeSclafani,A (RHP, CIN) 59% -19% o GASmallPark exacerbating major HR Achilles heel
  Heyward,J (OF, CHC) 65% -14% Just water seeking its level, but at least he can draw BB
  Brasier,R (RHP, BOS) 60% -14% o SV opps have dried up of late
  Hernandez,E (OF, LAD) 62% -13% o Extended slump making it tough to hang on
  Eickhoff,J (RHP, PHI) 80% -11% + Skills still solid despite rough stretch
  McHugh,C (RHP, HOU) 55% -11% Elbow issue may explain past but clouds future
  Beckham,T (SS, SEA) 58% -9% o Return of injured teammates putting dent in PT
  Garver,M (C, MIN) 77% -8% o Close to return but may need to fight for PT
  Winker,J (OF, CIN) 70% -8% o Falling into increasingly platoon-type usage
  McCann,J (C, CHW) 66% -8% o Hit rate finally starting to normalize

 

Under 50% Ownership (Possibly Becoming Available in Deeper Leagues)
  PLAYER OWN CHG RTG COMMENT
  Margevicius,N (LHP, SD) 34% -17% Sent down to double-A with no timetable for return
  Peralta,F (RHP, MIL) 45% -12% + Member of the Nickrand Buy-Low-SP club
  Cervelli,F (C, PIT) 45% -9% o Not providing much beyond AB
  Bruce,J (OF, SEA) 45% -9% + Still cheap power source, BA should rebound some
  Martin,C (RHP, TEX) 17% -8% Return of Kelley + rebounding Leclerc leave SV opps slim
  Goodrum,N (2B, DET) 43% -7% o Keep expectations modest but could be due for BA surge
  Stewart,C (OF, DET) 42% -7% o Lack of production belies underlying power skills
  Wainwright,A (RHP, STL) 40% -7% o Still streamer potential in deeper leagues that count wins
  Rodon,C (LHP, CHW) 30% -7% Row-DONE (for now)
  Loaisiga,J (RHP, NYY) 24% -7% Recovering from strained rotator cuff no simple task

 

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
  Anderson,S (RHP, SF) 4% 6% Current #5 SP on lousy team
  Mengden,D (RHP, OAK) 4% 5% Marginal Cmd tempers any enthusiasm
  Kay,A (RHP, NYM) 2% 5% + Pitching lights out at Double-A, on NYM radar
  Fedde,E (RHP, WAS) 2% 5% Temp #5 SP on desperately struggling team
  Workman,B (RHP, BOS) 7% 4% o Forcing his way into muddled BOS bullpen by committee
  Wilkerson,S (2B, BAL) 2% 4% o Util type getting steady run on horrible team
  Marisnick,J (OF, HOU) 1% 4% o Weak-side platoon type but getting some steady PT
  Luplow,J (OF, CLE) 5% 4% o Extreme weak-side platoon type with some pop
  Arraez,L (2B, MIN) 0% 3% + Diminutive sweet-swinging LHH with little pop or speed
  Perez,R (C, CLE) 3% 3% Not much to offer aside from occasional HR
  Sandoval,P (3B, SF) 1% 3% + Looking like vintage Kung Foo Panda, but PT capped
  Garrett,A (LHP, CIN) 5% 3% + Improved Cmd + power SL giving him breakout look

Stevie Wilkerson (IF-OF, BAL)—In the deepest of leagues where rostering ABs is key, Wilkerson may be a consideration, but fantasy competitors will probably be best served by targeting assets with more upside in most formats.

Jake Marisnick (OF, HOU)—With substantial career platoon splits, Marisnick does not figure to gain long-term everyday status in the Houston outfield, but he has been getting some steady playing time of late and taking advantage of the MLB rabbit ball to show some good power. Possible short-term deeper league asset.

Pablo Sandoval (3B-1B, SF)—Evoking fond memories of his younger years, Sandoval has been swinging a hot bat all season that has been particularly smoking during the latter part of May. While he is certainly worth adding in deeper formats, beware that he remains more of a backup plan at the corners for the Giants so long as 1B Brandon Belt and 3B Evan Longoria remain healthy.


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