Tony Watson
Tony Watson
35-Year-Old PitcherRP
San Francisco Giants
2020 Fantasy Outlook
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. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a two-year, $9 million contract with the Giants in February of 2018. Exercised $2.5 million player option for 2020 in November of 2019.
Deemed healthy for 2020 season
PSan Francisco Giants
June 23, 2020
Watson (shoulder) is back to 100 percent health and will be ready to participate fully in workouts when the Giants resume training, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
ANALYSIS
Watson was slowed in spring training while tending to a minor bout of tightness in his left shoulder, but the season's delay of more than three months has provided him with plenty of time to make a full recovery without having to miss any game action. The southpaw profiles as the Giants' top candidate for saves in 2020, though new manager Gabe Kapler's historical preference to play matchups in the ninth inning may result in San Francisco opting for more of a closer-by-committee approach.
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Pitching Stats
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2019
2018
2017
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
15
Last 5 Games
14
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 2017
 
 
-13%
BAA vs RHP
2019
 
 
-38%
BAA vs RHP
2018
 
 
-5%
BAA vs RHP
2017
 
 
-1%
BAA vs LHP
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2017vs Left .278 288 64 12 74 10 1 5
Since 2017vs Right .242 495 102 34 108 17 3 17
2019vs Left .359 71 9 5 23 3 0 2
2019vs Right .223 160 32 7 33 3 2 7
2018vs Left .231 110 35 3 24 4 1 1
2018vs Right .219 151 37 11 30 6 1 3
2017vs Left .276 107 20 4 27 3 0 2
2017vs Right .280 184 33 16 45 8 0 7
More Splits View More Split Stats
Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2017
 
 
-25%
ERA at Home
2019
 
 
-47%
ERA on Road
2018
 
 
-64%
ERA at Home
2017
 
 
-49%
ERA at Home
ERA WHIP IP W L SV K/9 BB/9 HR/9
Since 2017Home 2.84 1.08 92.0 7 4 7 6.9 1.4 1.1
Since 2017Away 3.80 1.36 94.2 6 8 3 9.0 3.0 1.0
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
2018Home 1.36 0.85 33.0 1 1 0 9.5 1.1 0.5
2018Away 3.82 1.21 33.0 3 5 0 10.1 2.7 0.5
2017Home 2.31 1.11 35.0 5 1 7 6.2 1.3 1.0
2017Away 4.55 1.67 31.2 2 3 3 8.2 4.3 1.4
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
3.42
 
K/9
6.8
 
BB/9
2.0
 
HR/9
1.5
 
Fastball
93.0 mph
 
ERA
4.17
 
WHIP
1.26
 
BABIP
.297
 
GB/FB
1.46
 
Left On Base
75.8%
 
Exit Velocity
87.4 mph
 
Barrels/BBE
6.4%
 
Spin Rate
2353 rpm
 
Balls Hit 95+ MPH
32.2%
 
Swinging Strike
13.3%
 
Advanced Pitching Stats
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Defensive Stats
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Stats Vs Today's Lineup
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
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
To benefit from delay
PSan Francisco Giants
Shoulder
March 27, 2020
Watson (shoulder) could be ready to help lead the Giants' bullpen when play resumes, Steve Gilbert of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Progressing toward spring debut
PSan Francisco Giants
Shoulder
March 1, 2020
Watson (shoulder) threw from 120 feet Sunday and is scheduled to throw his second bullpen session in three days Monday, John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
ANALYSIS
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Fine after minor shoulder issue
PSan Francisco Giants
Shoulder
February 29, 2020
Watson is behind schedule after dealing with a tight shoulder early in camp but feels fine now, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
ANALYSIS
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Frontrunner to close for Giants
PSan Francisco Giants
February 27, 2020
Watson is the favorite to begin the year as the Giants' closer, Mark W. Sanchez of KNBR.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Exercises player option for 2020
PSan Francisco Giants
Wrist
November 2, 2019
Watson (wrist) exercised his $2.5 million player option to remain with the Giants for 2020 on Saturday, Maria I. Guardado of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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