Welcome Fantasy friends and foes to the 2020 Fantasy Baseball Week 2 Waiver Wire. Isn't it great to have baseball back?
The shortened season has Fantasy managers adjusting their strategies. It will be challenging to hold on to a player that you are hoping to break out or even come out of a slump. The 60-game season doesn't allow for much wiggle room, and those preseason sleepers need to wake up immediately.
To help Fantasy managers, I came up with up seven players that you should grab now and don't look back. Our Fantasy Baseball Rankings will help guide you weekly, along with my 2020 Fantasy Baseball Week 2 Waiver Wire.
2020 Fantasy Baseball Week 2 Waiver Wire
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Nick Madrigal, 2B/SS, Chicago White Sox
Nick Madrigal is finally here. LET'S GO! https://t.co/u0amrdUlBC
— Sox On 35th (@SoxOn35th) July 31, 2020
The Chicago White Sox call up their top prospect Nick Madrigal, who will immediately replace Leury Garcia at second base for the White Sox. Madrigal is a consensus top-50 prospect who began 2019 at High-A Winston Salem and finished the season at Triple-A Charlotte. He produced a .311/.377/.414 slash line with four homers but stole 35 bases and only 16 strikeouts while drawing 44 walks in 532 plate appearances last season.
Madrigal possesses excellent bat control, which projects him to hit for a high average. His speed allows him to be a stolen base threat, and his Gold Glove defense assures that Madrigal should have a spot in the White Sox everyday lineup.
Madrigal finished his first weekend in the big leagues on a promising note. He went 4-for-5 with an RBI and two runs scored on Sunday. Fantasy managers looking for speed or have a hole in their MI spot (paging Jonathan Villar owners) should pick up the former number four overall selection in the 2018 Draft, who will boost your stolen bases and batting average categories.
Colin Moran, 2B/3B, Pittsburgh Pirates
Colin Moran is smashing pitching in the first eight games this season. Moran is leading the league in runs (eight), home runs (five), slugging (.893), and OPS (1.260).
I couldn't believe it either, but Fantasy managers need to ride the wave and add Moran as long as he is hitting like Babe Ruth. Of course, he will not continue to hit like this or anything close for the rest of the season. He is a career .276 hitter, so let's temper our Fantasy expectations with Moran.
Fantasy managers that possess underperforming players such as the hitters in Josh Mantel's weekly Drop List should jump on the bandwagon until you are kicked off by the anticipated regression of Moran.
JaCoby Jones, OF, Detroit Tigers
— Barstool Sportsbook (@BSSportsbook) August 1, 2020
JaCoby Jones entered the 2020 season as the Detroit Tigers starting center fielder and hoping to pick up the offensive progress where he left off in 2019. Jones was in the middle of his best offensive showing last season before he suffered an internal fracture on his hand after being hit by a pitch. He was hitting .235 with 11 homers and 19 doubles along with an OPS+ of 93.
Jones has been a sparkplug for a surprising 5-3 Detroit Tigers team. He possesses the third-best batting average (.423) in the league along with the second-best slugging percentage (.885) while leading the league in OPS with 1.349.
Is Jones finally blossoming at 28-years-old? Jones has never hit higher than .235 or more than 11 homers in a season. His track record suggests that this type of power display is not sustainable. However, in this crazy shortened 2020 season, Fantasy managers can not afford to be patient with players that are not producing. In five outfielder or deeper leagues, Jones should be picked up immediately. In other formats, Fantasy managers should strike early and often to pick up players that are off to hot starts, so your Fantasy teams stay hot.
Trevor Gott, RP, San Francisco Giants
— Tyler Klein (@TyKlein93) July 27, 2020
Most Fantasy managers were led to believe that southpaw Tony Watson would be the San Francisco Giants closer this season. However, someone forgot to tell Giants manager Gabe Kapler. Trevor Gott, who owns a 4.56 career ERA, has been given the ball to close out Giants games and shut the door both times and is 2-for-2 in save chances this season.
Last season, Gott was featured in a middle-relief role and posted a 26.6 percent strikeout rate, 3.73 SIERA, to go along with a 10.8 percent swinging-strikeout rate.
Admittedly, it's challenging to trust Kapler. Still, currently, Gott is the first reliever to record saves for the Giants, and for any Fantasy manager chasing saves, Gott is a worthwhile pickup.
Greg Holland, RP, Kansas City Royals
— Western Carolina Baseball (@CatamountBSB) July 27, 2020
Greg Holland returned to the Kansas City Royals this season after bouncing between four teams after undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2015. The once-dominating closer has a chance to resurrect his career where he started in 2010.
Royals manager Mike Matheny loves his veterans and has surprisingly allowed Holland to close out games for the Royals. Holland has not given up a run in his five innings of work this season, earning a win and a save in relief. The Royals have other options to close out games in Scott Barlow, Trevor Rosenthal, and Ian Kennedy so he could have a short hold on the closer's role.
A repetitive theme, but which Fantasy manager is not chasing saves? Holland could be useful for the time being, but how long will his Fantasy relevance exist in 2020? Ride the hot streak and drop immediately once the sky falls on Holland.
Cristian Javier, SP, Houston Astros
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) July 29, 2020
Cristian Javier was dominant in his progression from High-A to Triple-A last season. He compiled a 1.74 ERA and a 0.97 WHIP across all levels with an incredible 170 strikeouts in 113.2 innings.
The Houston Astros placed Justin Verlander on the 10-day IL with a strained forearm. There are conflicting reports if he is or is not done for the season. However, the Astros rotation is suffering through issues right now. The decision was made to call-up Cristian Javier, who owns a minor league career 2.22 ERA and 1.03 WHIP in 377 innings.
In his first big-league start, Javier went 5.2 innings and gave up just one earned run while striking out eight of the Los Angeles Dodgers he faced.
The young righty will look to continue to shine this week when he is lined up to face the Arizona Diamondbacks, who own the fifth-worst team batting average in the majors (.199). The young right-hander is worth streaming this week and could end up as one of the best waiver pickups of 2020. Don't miss out!
James Karinchak, RP, Cleveland Indians
James Karinchak (Chatham ‘16) has not allowed a hit or an earned run in three appearances for the @Indians this season. https://t.co/P3m2uWAiR3
— Chatham Anglers (@ChathamAnglers) July 31, 2020
James Krinchak was coming off a promising two-week trial after a September call up last season. In 5.1 innings, he struck out eight batters on his way to a 1.69 ERA. Krinchak and Emmanuel Clase, who was acquired in the Corey Kluber trade with the Texas Rangers, were supposed to pair up to form an intimidating right-handers duo to complement All-Star southpaw closer Brad Hand. However, Clase was suspended 80 games by the MLB for a positive test in violation of the league's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.
Karinchak continues his impressive showings in 2020 with four innings of no-hit ball, five strikeouts, and one save. Brad Hand is the closer, for now. I mention that because Hand has been struggling to the point of a 15.43 ERA in his 2.1 innings of work. Hand is not reliable now, and Karinchak looks dominating and may be in line for more saves.
Karinchak is worth rostering in all formats, and it is clear that manager Terry Francona trusts the young right-hander. He is a must-add in dynasty formats with Hand in the last year of his contract and Karinchak developing into the closer of the future. The future may be as early as the 2020 season.
Check out the rest of our 2020 Fantasy Baseball content from our great team of writers.