Tony Watson
Tony Watson
36-Year-Old PitcherRP
Los Angeles Angels
2021 Fantasy Outlook
The shutdown helped Watson shake a sore shoulder experienced in the spring. He showed no real lingering effects of the injury when the season got underway, allowing just one run in his first 19 appearances, spanning 17 innings. The veteran lefty yielded four more runs in his last two outings, but it was still encouraging to see a rebound from a down 2019, even in a limited two-month sample. With 2018 appearing to be an outlier, Watson's 20.5 K% and 4.1 BB% were back to pre-2018 levels, a good sign that he will find work in his age-36 season. In today's landscape, there's an outside chance Watson is signed to be part of a closer committee, but it's not worth paying for in drafts until it's clear he'll compile saves. At worst, Watson should be solid in leagues scoring holds and in single-league formats to buffer ratios. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
#599
ADP
$Signed a one-year, minor-league contract with the Phillies in February of 2021. Contract is worth $3 million at MLB level.
Implodes in Wednesday's loss
PLos Angeles Angels
June 17, 2021
Watson (2-3) was unable to retire any batters in his appearance against Oakland on Wednesday, allowing six runs on five hits and one walk to take the loss.
ANALYSIS
Watson entered the contest in the sixth inning with the Angels ahead by two runs. By the time he left, Oakland had seized the lead without making any additional outs. The southpaw wasn't exactly pummeled -- all five hits against him were singles (including one that didn't leave the infield) -- and the one free pass he issued was intentional, but the outing ranks as the worst of his career. Per Jeff Fletcher of The Orange County Register, Watson had never before allowed more than four runs in any appearance. The veteran reliever's ERA shot up from 3.43 to 6.00 as a result of the disastrous performance, but Watson should retain a prominent role in the Angels' bullpen.
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Pitching Stats
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2021
2020
2019
2018
2017
2021 MLB Game Log
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2020 MLB Game Log
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2019 MLB Game Log
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2018 MLB Game Log
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2017 MLB Game Log
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Pitching Appearances Breakdown
Average Pitch Count
14
Last 10 Games
14
Last 5 Games
12
How many pitches does Tony Watson generally throw?
 
1-10
 
11-20
 
21-30
 
31-40
 
41-50
 
51-60
 
61-70
 
71-80
 
81-90
 
91-100
 
101-110
 
111-120
 
121+
 
1-10
 
11-20
 
21-30
 
31-40
 
41-50
 
51-60
 
61-70
 
71-80
 
81-90
 
91-100
 
101-110
 
111-120
 
121+
 
1-10
 
11-20
 
21-30
 
31-40
 
41-50
 
51-60
 
61-70
 
71-80
 
81-90
 
91-100
 
101-110
 
111-120
 
121+
What part of the game does Tony Watson generally pitch?
 
 
 
1st
 
 
 
2nd
 
 
 
3rd
 
 
 
4th
 
 
 
5th
 
 
 
6th
 
 
 
7th
 
 
 
8th
 
 
 
9th
 
Extra
 
 
 
1st
 
 
 
2nd
 
 
 
3rd
 
 
 
4th
 
 
 
5th
 
 
 
6th
 
 
 
7th
 
 
 
8th
 
 
 
9th
 
Extra
 
 
 
1st
 
 
 
2nd
 
 
 
3rd
 
 
 
4th
 
 
 
5th
 
 
 
6th
 
 
 
7th
 
 
 
8th
 
 
 
9th
 
Extra
% Games Reaching Innings Threshold
% Games By Number of Innings Pitched
Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2019
 
 
-22%
BAA vs RHP
2021
 
 
-11%
BAA vs RHP
2020
 
 
-53%
BAA vs LHP
2019
 
 
-38%
BAA vs RHP
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2019vs Left .282 130 23 9 33 4 0 3
Since 2019vs Right .219 266 49 14 54 6 2 11
2021vs Left .250 34 9 2 8 1 0 1
2021vs Right .222 60 7 6 12 2 0 2
2020vs Left .095 25 5 2 2 0 0 0
2020vs Right .200 46 10 1 9 1 0 2
2019vs Left .359 71 9 5 23 3 0 2
2019vs Right .223 160 32 7 33 3 2 7
More Splits View More Split Stats
Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2019
 
 
-2%
ERA at Home
2021
 
 
-51%
ERA at Home
2020
 
 
-62%
ERA at Home
2019
 
 
-47%
ERA on Road
ERA WHIP IP W L SV K/9 BB/9 HR/9
Since 2019Home 3.86 1.14 49.0 3 3 2 6.1 2.4 1.1
Since 2019Away 3.94 1.16 45.2 2 2 0 7.7 2.0 1.4
2021Home 3.75 1.25 12.0 2 1 0 6.8 5.3 0.8
2021Away 7.59 1.22 10.2 0 2 0 5.9 0.8 1.7
2020Home 0.69 0.69 13.0 0 0 2 8.3 0.7 0.0
2020Away 1.80 0.80 5.0 1 0 0 5.4 3.6 1.8
2019Home 5.63 1.33 24.0 1 2 0 4.5 1.9 1.9
2019Away 3.00 1.20 30.0 1 0 0 8.7 2.1 1.2
More Splits View More Split Stats
Stat Review
How does Tony Watson compare to other relievers?
This section compares his stats with all relief pitcher seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 30 innings)*. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.

* Exit Velocity, Barrels/BBE %, Balls Hit 95+ MPH %, and Spin Rate are benchmarked against 2019 data (min 30 IP). See here for more exit velocity/barrels stats plus an explanation of current limitations with that data set.
  • K/BB
    Strikeout to walk ratio.
  • K/9
    Average strikeouts per nine innings.
  • BB/9
    Average walks per nine innings.
  • HR/9
    Average home runs allowed per nine innings.
  • Fastball
    Average fastball velocity.
  • ERA
    Earned run average. The average earned runs allowed per nine innings.
  • WHIP
    Walks plus hits per inning pitched.
  • BABIP
    Batting average on balls in play. Measures how many balls in play against a pitcher go for hits.
  • GB/FB
    Groundball to flyball ratio. The higher the number, the more likely a pitcher is to induce groundballs.
  • Left On Base
    The percentage of base runners that a pitcher strands on base over the course of a season.
  • Exit Velocity
    The speed of the baseball as it comes off the bat, immediately after a batter makes contact.
  • Barrels/BBE
    The percentage of batted ball events resulting in a Barrel. A Barrel is a batted ball with similar exit velocity and launch angle to past ones that led to a minimum .500 batting average and 1.500 slugging percentage.
  • Spin Rate
    Spin Rate is the rate of spin on a baseball after it is released. It is measured in revolutions per minute (rpm).
  • Balls Hit 95+ MPH
    The percentage of batted balls hit that met or exceeded the 95 MPH threshold.
  • Swinging Strike
    The percentage of pitches that result in a swing and a miss.
K/BB
2.00
 
K/9
6.4
 
BB/9
3.2
 
HR/9
1.2
 
Fastball
91.8 mph
 
ERA
5.56
 
WHIP
1.24
 
BABIP
.262
 
GB/FB
1.67
 
Left On Base
54.6%
 
Exit Velocity
80.5 mph
 
Barrels/BBE
5.4%
 
Spin Rate
2328 rpm
 
Balls Hit 95+ MPH
21.4%
 
Swinging Strike
12.5%
 
Advanced Pitching Stats
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Defensive Stats
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Stats Vs Today's Lineup
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Tony Watson
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25 days ago
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32 days ago
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115 days ago
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217 days ago
Bernie Pleskoff analyzes intriguing prospects from the NL and AL Central and discusses whether they will be on his draft list for 2021.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2020
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
Watson's season was cut short by a fractured wrist and his performance on the field was a far cry from what we'd seen from him in 2018. The lefty's strikeout rate went from a career-high 27.6% to a career-low 17.8% while his home-run rate nearly tripled. His swinging-strike rate held steady but Watson's Zone% fell five percentage points and same-handed hitters crushed him to the tune of a .914 OPS, up from .570. Despite those issues, he remained in a prominent role and racked up 25 holds before going down in early September, marking the sixth time in seven seasons that he has cleared 20 holds. After the season, Watson exercised his $2.5 million player option for 2020. With Will Smith moving on in free agency, the closer role is now up for the taking in San Francisco, and Watson does have some ninth-inning experience from his time in Pittsburgh. He's best suited for setup duty.
Watson quickly established himself as one of San Francisco’s most reliable relievers in 2018 after inking a three-year deal in the offseason. The veteran finished the year with a 2.59 ERA and 1.03 WHIP to go with his team-best 32 holds (tied for third most in the majors). He saw his strikeout rate jump to a career-best 9.8 K/9, while he posted his lowest walk (1.9 BB/9) and home run (0.55 HR/9) rates since 2014 and 2015, respectively. Watson also logged more than 70 relief appearances for a fifth straight year, with his 72 outings trailing only Sam Dyson for most on the team. The lefty did struggle to a 5.74 ERA from mid-July through August, though he finished strong with a 2.16 ERA and 15:1 K:BB across 8.1 innings in September. Watson should enter 2019 as one of the Giants' top setup men.
The lefty pitched his way out of the closer role in Pittsburgh, blowing four saves in a two-week span from late May to early June, and was ultimately dealt to Los Angeles at the trade deadline. His strikeout rate fell to a career-low 18.2 percent and while Watson's walk rate was solid at 6.9 percent, he has slowly regressed in that department from his near-elite levels in 2013-14. Watson does a good job of keeping the ball on the ground and he's trouble for opposing lefty hitters, but right-handers did far more damage against him in 2017 (.271/.348/.460). He was never an ideal fit in the closer role to begin with, and his recent struggles against righties make it hard to imagine he will ever get another extended opportunity to close in the majors. Watson figures to work primarily as a specialist no matter where he ends up in free agency.
Watson wasn't the same pitcher in 2016 that he was the two previous seasons. His fastball velocity (93.2 mph) dipped for the second straight year and his changeup usage (24.7 percent) dwarfed his career mark (13.4 percent). The lefty's pinpoint control wavered - a 2.7 BB/9 was his highest since 2012 - and he allowed homers at a 1.7 HR/9 clip, well above his last two seasons of 0.6 HR/9 and 0.4 HR/9, respectively. The good news - and there is some - is that general manager Neal Huntington said Watson will enter 2017 as his clear stopper. The lefty saved 15 of 18 games after taking over for Mark Melancon in August, registering a 3.86 ERA, 1.67 WHIP, 19:5 K:BB in 23.1 innings. He also gave up six homers. Although Watson's days of elite peripheral statistics might be a thing of the past, he's the frontrunner for saves in Pittsburgh. Keep in mind, however, that he may eventually face competition from free-agent addition Dan Hudson.
Watson is in line for Pittsburgh’s closer job whenever Mark Melancon gets hurt or moves to another team. Armed with a 93.9 mph fastball, the left-hander registered a 1.91 ERA and 0.96 WHIP in 75.1 innings. He led the majors with 41 holds — while blowing only two saves — and compiled excellent strikeout and walk rates. The 31-year-old is only two years away from unrestricted free agency, which likely means his time with Pittsburgh is nearing an end. In the meantime, he could surprise fantasy owners with 30-plus saves if Melancon leaves town.
Watson was unhittable in the first half of 2014. Through July 8, the hard-throwing lefty registered a 0.84 ERA and 0.93 WHIP in 42.2 innings. He pitched well the rest of the way, but wasn't quite as dominant (2.60 ERA, 1.12 WHIP). It's possible that Pittsburgh over-extended the lefty at times, given that Watson and closer Mark Melancon were the only two reliable bullpen options. If anything happens to Melancon, such as an injury or trade, then Watson would likely take over as the team's stopper. He has two more seasons of arbitration, so the penny-pinching Pirates figure to keep him around a bit longer. For the season, Watson went 10-2 with a 1.63 ERA and 1.02 WHIP in 77.1 innings. He finished second in the senior circuit with 34 holds but also blew seven saves. Expect more of the same in 2015.
One of Pittsburgh's unheralded bullpen arms, Watson crafted a 2.39 ERA and 0.88 WHIP in 71.2 IP in 2013. Armed with a 93.6 mph average fastball, the lefty recorded 22 holds and two saves while blowing just two save opportunities. Watson's improved control -- 4.5 K/BB rate -- gave manager Clint Hurdle confidence using him indiscriminately against both righties and lefties. In fact, the 29-year-old limited right-handed batters to a lower batting average (.192) than lefties (.206). Most likely, Watson will once again serve as a late-inning setup man in 2014. He's got the stuff to close, but Hurdle likes him in high-leverage situations.
Watson held opponents to 37 hits in 53.1 innings in 2012, courtesy of a strong fastball (92.5 mph) and slider (84.9). He held opposing hitters to a .198 batting average (.183/.213 vs. LHB/RHB) as a relief specialist. The lefty compiled 16 holds and five wins despite dealing with command issues -- he walked 23 batters. There's a good chance the 28-year-old, who often served as the team's lone lefty out of the bullpen, serves in a similar capacity for 2013. He might even close out a small number of games after the Pirates traded closer Joel Hanrahan to Boston, but drafting him for anything other than the holds category would probably be a mistake.
Watson got his first taste of big league ball in 2011, compiling a 3.95 ERA in 41 innings. The left-hander features a hard-to-pickup delivery and actually did better against righties (.193 BAA) than lefties (.279 BAA). He has the potential to start in a pinch but will likely continue on as a reliever, shuttling back and forth between Pittsburgh and Triple-A Indianapolis. Provided Pittsburgh keeps him in the bullpen, Watson has the upside of an eighth-inning setup man.
More Fantasy News
Dealt blown save
PLos Angeles Angels
May 24, 2021
Watson suffered a blown save in Sunday's 6-5 win over the Athletics after allowing a run on one hit and two walks. over two-third of an inning.
ANALYSIS
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Suffers loss Wednesday
PLos Angeles Angels
May 20, 2021
Watson (2-2) took the loss Wednesday against Cleveland after allowing one run on one hit and a walk while striking out a batter in two-thirds of an inning.
ANALYSIS
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Picks up second win
PLos Angeles Angels
May 18, 2021
Watson (2-1) earned the win over Cleveland on Monday by striking out all three batters he faced over one inning.
ANALYSIS
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Suffers loss in relief
PLos Angeles Angels
May 15, 2021
Watson (1-1) was tagged with the loss Friday against Boston as a result of allowing two runs on two hits in one inning. He struck out one.
ANALYSIS
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Picks up third hold
PLos Angeles Angels
May 11, 2021
Watson earned a hold by pitching a perfect 1.2 innings against Houston on Monday.
ANALYSIS
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