Drew Smyly – SP, CHI (% Rostered Yahoo)
Season stats: 4 GS, 23.0 IP, 3.13 ERA, 2-1 W-L, 0.91 WHIP, 5 BB
Setting aside the heartbreaking end to Drew Smyly’s bid for perfection on Friday, the outing was a head-turning success for the veteran lefty. The 33-year-Smyly has looked excellent for Chicago so far this year since his first start of the season went awry.
In his past three starts, Smyly has accumulated 20 total strikeouts, including 10 in his near-perfect outing, and has allowed just seven total hits and two total earned runs. With the Cubs’ offense offering some serious run support this year, Smyly could continue to see success throughout the season, so you would be wise to scoop him up before his next start.
Brandon Pfaadt – SP, AZ (16% Rostered Yahoo)
Season stats: (Triple-A): 4 GS, 27.1 IP, 3.54 ERA, 1-1 W-L, 1.033 WHIP, 4 BB
When the Diamondbacks chose to DFA Madison Bumgarner on Thursday, all eyes turned to their top pitching prospect, 24-year-old right-hander Brandon Pfaadt. According to General Manager Mike Hazen Pfaadt is “MLB ready,” but the club chose to recall lefty Tommy Henry from the Triple-A Roster instead.
Despite the decision, you should still target Pfaadt, as the Diamondbacks will almost certainly call him up this year. Pfaadt led the Minors in Ks last season, and recently pitched a shutout through seven innings with eight strikeouts, three hits allowed, and just one walk. With the Diamondbacks apparently serious about contending in the NL West, Pfaadt could become a major piece in a competitive rotation.
AJ Puk – RP, MIA (55% Rostered Yahoo)
Season stats: 7 G, 1.13 ERA, 8.0 IP, 3 SV, 0.875 WHIP, 1 BB
AJ Puk has embraced a role with the Marlins as their closer in his first season with the team, earning three saves in the young season already. The Marlins have leaned on him heavily, so managers in need of a legit closer should target Puk if he is still available. The Marlins could see plenty of tight contests that create high-leverage environments for Puk, and he has answered the bell so far this year.
Johan Oviedo – SP, RP, PIT (55% Rostered Yahoo)
Season stats: 4 GS, 24.1 IP, 2.22 ERA, 2-1 W-L, 1.151 WHIP, 8 BB
The Pirates 22-year-old right-hander has been shoving to start the year, leading to a surge in adds already, but he is still available in almost 50% of leagues. Oviedo has not shied away from the strike zone, throwing 16 Ks in his past two starts against the Cardinals and Rockies.
His next start will come on April 25th when the Pirates take on the Dodgers, in a game that will prove as an early test of Ovideo’s true abilities. The Pirates have been pretty surprising so far this year, and if their bats remain effective Oviedo could continue to produce productive starts and, more importantly, wins.
Mason Miller – SP, OAK (34% Rostered Yahoo)
Career Triple-A stats: 10 GS, 28.2 IP, 2.83 ERA, 1-3 W-L, 0.698 WHIP, 6 BB
Miller recently made his much-anticipated MLB debut for the A’s, with his fastball maxing out at 102 MPH in that game. He does not have a vast sample size of work in his professional career, but he has shown elite stuff in limited opportunities. His swinging-strike rate in six starts last season was 23%.
His workload could be limited, and he might struggle to find wins pitching for the miserable Athletics, but Miller could be a sneaky rookie breakout. His deadly combination of velocity and off-speed pitches should translate to the pro level. Miller stands 6-foot-5, 220 pounds, so he could prove to be a durable and reliable starter. The A’s will not offer him much in terms of run support, but his talent is undeniable.
Jose Alvarado – RP, PHI (54% Rostered Yahoo)
Season stats: 8 G, 8.1 IP, 1.08 ERA, 2 SV, .480 WHP, 0 BB
The Phillies have struggled to find a definitive closer, but Alvarado has emerged as the rightful frontrunner over Craig Kimbrel and Seranthony Dominguez. He has produced at a ridiculous clip in relief for the Phils, collecting 18 strikeouts and no walks through 8.1 innings. If he manages to hold on to his role as closer he could be a steal, so grab him off the waiver wire while you can.