MARKET PULSE: Yordaman

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

With the date for super-2 arbitration service time manipulation passing right around mid-June, we should be on the watch for more players like Yordan Alvarez getting the call as opportunity arises. As we saw with Keston Hiura, however, young players may still be vulnerable to demotion regardless of performance as the major league club strives to maintain depth and flexibility, at least into the trade deadline. Speaking of which, now is a good time to start watching what teams will shift into full tank-mode, dumping useful current parts in exchange for future hope (in the form of prospects and suspects) at the trade deadline. Deeper league fantasy competitors who anticipate dumping moves may be able to roster fill-ins who will benefit from tanking-related opportunity with low preemptive bids.

 

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
  Plesac,Z (P, CLE) 33% 38% + Came down to earth in 3rd start but still looking good
  Alvarez,Y (OF, HOU) 60% 30% + Uh, yes, please
  Bruce,J (OF, PHI) 59% 27% + Settling into nice situation in Philly
  Hudson,D (RHP, STL) 47% 20% o Skills suggest he's living on borrowed time right now
  Kingery,S (SS, PHI) 42% 20% + Still needs some work but solid post-hype production
  Chirinos,Y (RHP, TB) 68% 18% + Providing consistently solid production
  Sanchez,A (P, WAS) 32% 18% o Has suddenly flipped switch back to rosterable
  Pivetta,N (RHP, PHI) 60% 16% + Looking sharp since minor league tuneup
  Kelly,M (RHP, ARI) 27% 16% + Quietly putting together solid year
  Kendrick,H (2B, WAS) 46% 13% + Versatility plus hot bat keeping him in everyday role

Anibal Sanchez (RHP, WSH)—After a very rough first third of the season, Sanchez has suddenly put together three straight encouraging starts, picking up a pair of wins while posting a 3/15 BB/K. He may be worth streaming consideration for those in need.

Nick Pivetta (RHP, PHI)—Sent to the minors after opening the season with four rocky starts, Pivetta has returned looking rejuvenated and strong. In leagues where he was dropped, he is worth definite consideration.

 

Under 25% Ownership (Possibly Still Available in Deeper Leagues)
  PLAYER OWN CHG RTG COMMENT
  Sampson,A (P, TEX) 11% 40% o Strike-thrower with hittability risk in tough home park
  Valdez,F (LHP, HOU) 14% 35% A good start vs BAL marks good time to take profits
  Lambert,P (RHP, COL) 9% 34% Risk of Coors-flammability too high for prudence
  Perez,R (C, CLE) 7% 19% o Defense-oriented C doing launch-angle things
  Vargas,J (LHP, NYM) 9% 15% Has the smoke & mirrors working again... for now
  Alcantara,S (P, MIA) 24% 14% o Tanking Marlins don't offer much hope for '19 ROI
  Moran,C (3B, PIT) 10% 14% o Solid production has earned him primary 3B role
  Bote,D (3B, CHC) 10% 14% o Versatility, moderate production offers deep-lg value
  Cooper,G (OF, MIA) 18% 13% + Finally healthy again, providing solid production
  Diaz,E (C, PIT) 16% 13% o May not contribute much but at least not hurtful #2 C
  Jurado,A (RHP, TEX) 14% 13% o Getting job done but carries similar risk to Sampson

Peter Lambert (RHP, COL)—It's one thing to roster a rather hittable pitcher on a good team playing in a good pitcher's park in hopes of capturing some wins while the ratios are held to a reasonable level. It's quite another to be conducting such speculation exercises in the pitcher ratio minefield that is mile-high Coors. Lambert's minor league track record would seem to point to his early big league success as more fluke than fact. Bid accordingly.

Garrett Cooper (OF-1B, MIA)—A frustrating lost season in 2018 was followed by more injuries to begin 2019, but since he finally returned to action in early May, Cooper has been a hitting machine. Since a two-week stretch to work out the cobwebs, he has blistered the ball to the tune of a .366/.439/.577 line. With little competition for playing time on the tanking Marlins, Cooper looks like a solid investment in most formats.

 

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
  Astudillo,W (UT, MIN) 61% -28% + Has done nothing but mash since demotion
  McCutchen,A (OF, PHI) 61% -24% Underwent season-ending surgery 6/13
  Lyles,J (RHP, PIT) 74% -16% o Slowed after hot start but still worth a look
  Gausman,K (RHP, ATL) 56% -12% Mysterious injury clouds outlook
  Dietrich,D (OF, CIN) 88% -11% o Was bound to cool off at some point
  Lucroy,J (C, LAA) 79% -11% Has become a shell of his former all-star self
  Kikuchi,Y (LHP, SEA) 73% -11% o Even deeper-league usefulness looking streamerish
  Biggio,C (2B, TOR) 52% -11% o Another phenom finding MLB transition a challenge
  Smith,D (OF, BAL) 69% -10% o Had cooled noticeably before sidelined by concussion
  Chavis,M (IF, BOS) 85% -8% o BOS injuries only thing keeping demotion at bay
  Fletcher,D (2B, LAA) 71% -8% + Short-term dry spell + injury not enough to jump ship
  Strahm,M (LHP, SD) 71% -8% + Having some struggles but still investment-worthy
  Rodgers,B (2B, COL) 53% -8% o Slowly sinking into secondary role to McMahon

Willians Astudillo (C-1B-3B-OF, MIN)—With playing time getting tougher to come by and his bat looking a little lethargic (.185/.220/.185 over his previous 15 MLB games), Astudillo was optioned to triple-A for reps and a confidence boost as much as anything. He responded by rapping out fifteen hits in his first six minor league games, including three bombs. With his defensive versatility offering a multitude of ways to get his bat in the lineup, Astudillo's stay in the minors should be short-lived.

Cavan Biggio (2B, TOR)—After a pair of multi-hit games in his first six, young Biggio suffered through an eight-game 1-for-23 drought, which was finally halted with a two-homer game on June 13. While the ability to play both first base and outfield in addition to his normal keystone position has enabled him to continue getting regular at bats, the risk of being sent down for more seasoning will increase if his struggles persist.

Michael Chavis (3B-2B-1B, BOS)—The toast of the town (and the fantasy world) when he was blistering the ball to the tune of a .280/.380/.591 line over his first month of big league exposure, Chavis has since fallen on hard times. A .193/.272/.313 line over the subsequent 23-game stretch has seen his opportunities in the starting lineup begin to diminish. It would not be surprising if the Red Sox decided to have the youngster get more minor league seasoning once they have enough healthy options available at the big league level.

 

Under 50% Ownership (Possibly Becoming Available in Deeper Leagues)
  PLAYER OWN CHG RTG COMMENT
  Smeltzer,D (LHP, MIN) 48% -31% o Solid debut, should be back at some point
  Martin,C (RHP, HOU) 37% -18% Sent down to fix a mechanical flaw
  Eickhoff,J (RHP, PHI) 49% -12% Bombed out of rotation w/16 HR in last 27 IP
  Oberg,S (RHP, COL) 32% -10% Back in setup role
  Urena,J (RHP, MIA) 33% -9% Back injury puts 2019 return in question
  Cishek,S (RHP, CHC) 24% -9% Fantasy value has effectively been Kimbreled
  Martinez,J (OF, STL) 49% -8% o Performance slipping as PT dries up
  Moreland,M (1B, BOS) 44% -8% o Serious quad injury follows debilitating back issue
  Duffy,D (LHP, KC) 38% -7% o Racking up Ks but frustratingly inconsistent
  Sanchez,A (RHP, TOR) 38% -7% o Struggling since besent by more finger probs

Devin Smeltzer (LHP, MIN)—After an excellent start in his debut and a very mediocre performance in his follow-up, Smeltzer was returned to the minors to make room for the return of Michael Pineda from a short DL stint. His overall body of work suggests that he will be on the short list of candidates when the next need arises at the big league level. Keep him on the radar.

Jose Martinez (OF, STL)—He still possesses the bat, but Martinez' leaky glove has left him with little opportunity to use it in the still-gotta-play-the-field-like-a-complete-baseball-player NL. Fantasy owners with deep benches who can hang on in hopes of a trade to the one-dimensional DH league may be able to warehouse him, but for most others, it's time to think about cutting bait.

 

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
  Yamamoto,J (P, MIA) 1% 11% Results can only go down from here
  Severino,P (C, BAL) 9% 10% o Playing time quickly getting Siscoed
  Kennedy,I (RHP, KC) 8% 9% + Suddenly establishing self as KC go-to closer
  Jones,J (OF, DET) 5% 8% o On a roll, moved from bottom to top of lineup
  Biagini,J (RHP, TOR) 2% 7% o Purported temp short-term closer
  DeShields,D (OF, TEX) 7% 6% o Can really run, but can't steal first
  Beeks,J (P, TAM) 13% 5% + This year's Yarbrough, starter-not-starter getting Ws
  Milone,T (LHP, SEA) 5% 4% o Poor man's Beeks
  Plutko,A (P, CLE) 3% 4% Hittable fly ball pitcher, walking treacherous tightrope
  Murphy,T (C, SEA) 1% 4% o Power stroke earning him more time behind plate
  Frazier,T (3B, NYM) 5% 4% + Back healthy, producing in everyday role
  d'Arnaud,T (C, TAM) 1% 4% o New life, looking rejuvenated in Tampa
  Newman,K (SS, PIT) 5% 3% o Adequate fantasy filler riding a hot streak
  Hernandez,E (P, MIA) 1% 3% o Strong fill-in start, but MLB stay could be short-lived

Ian Kennedy (RHP, KC)—Though he seemed to have become the primary closer, the tanking Royals have been so bad that it was hard to tell. Four saves in two weeks over a five-appearance stretch beginning May 30 put a sudden end to any speculation. While he may be at greater blow-up risk than some other options, for those chasing saves, Kennedy certainly merits consideration.

Jalen Beeks (LHP, TB)—One of the (many) disheartening aspects of today's short-stint, max-effort pitching environment is that starting pitchers often don't get the chance to work through five innings in order to qualify for a win, as managers arbitrarily pull them in favor of one of a multitude of relievers before they can face the order for a third time. The Rays' "opener" strategy makes that a non-issue, allowing the erstwhile "starter" to, instead, come on in relief, pitch three or four innings, yet still qualify for the "W" based on baseball's increasingly outdated rules. Beeks is pitching plenty well enough to be rostered, plus he's on a roll, racking up the "relief" wins.

Adam Plutko (RHP, CLE)—While he has had some early success in his most recent recall, Plutko's recipe of serving up solo dingers by limiting walks is still a dangerous proposition in the Gimmickfred HR Derby Superball Era. Roster at your own risk.

Todd Frazier (3B, NYM)—After a slow start to the season due to a strained oblique, Frazier appeared to be playing second fiddle to J.D. Davis, who had taken over at the hot corner while Frazier recovered. As Frazier's bat has heated up, however, hitting .315/.422/.522 over last month, Davis has been increasingly deployed in left field, leaving the veteran to return to his everyday starting third base role.

Travis d'Arnaud (C, TB)—Acquired simply as emergency depth while the Rays dealt with injuries in early May, d'Arnaud has played well enough to earn a more permanent role.


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