10 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Adds For Week 2
Time flies, and we're already one week into the Major League Baseball season. There are plenty of more games to go though, so you should try to resist tinkering your lineup as best you can. Clearly regression to the mean is bound to occur for any unknown who starts a season off with double-digit strikeouts or a batting average above .600, but at the same time, those players could be in store for a productive 2014.
With that being said, while the players below could end up being dropped at this time next week, there's a chance that these guys could turn out to be wise investments if you have a free roster spot due to injuries or a trade. Week 2 of the season is about to begin, and it's time to get off on the right foot.
1. Scott Kazmir - P, Oakland Athletics
If you're searching for your lightning-in-a-bottle add who might win you your season, Kaz could be your guy. After a successful comeback year in 2013 where he sported a 9.23 K/9 and should have posted a lower ERA than his 4.04 mark, he debuted this past week with 7.1 scoreless innings. While unlikely, he could be in for a monster year if his 50% ground ball rate is not just from random chance. He's currently available in over half of ESPN.com leagues, and is a good pitcher to add if you need help in your fantasy rotation.
2. James Paxton - P, Seattle Mariners
You've probably heard of Paxton, a top prospect for the Mariners, but you may not have expected him to start 2014 by striking out nine Angels without allowing a run. He may not provide wins if your league credits for them, but he has top-notch command and the Mariners sure do know how to develop pitchers. While Safeco is probably no longer a pure pitching heaven, the M’s offense has been rejuvenated and is primed to give Pax decent run support.
3. Dustin Ackley - 2B/OF, Seattle Mariners
I smell a post-hype sleeper. Those in deep leagues who took Ackley have already been rewarded with one of the hottest starts to this 2014 season. He hit .457 in spring training and has hit safely now in 5 of 6 games played. As a bonus, he also has dual-eligibility between 2B and OF. He should be available in most standard leagues out there.
4. Justin Smoak - 1B, Seattle Mariners
The third-consecutive Mariner on this list, Smoak can be considered another post-hype sleeper. The ex-phenom homered twice in the opening series before struggling in the four-game set against Oakland. I'm willing to give him a free pass on the A’s series while keeping a note that it's possible teams have identified a flaw in his approach. That, and he's always been a very average guy at the plate. It's the beginning of the season though, and while a lot of leagues have already picked up on him, it's not a bad idea for you to as well.
5. Casey McGehee - 1B, Miami Marlins
Let’s play a game of “Who is the Real Casey McGehee?” In one corner, we have a 31-year-old player for the Miami Marlins whose last good season was in 2010 and was playing in Japan a year ago. And on the other side is a guy whose current .375 batting average is fueled by a .474 BABIP. As much as I’d like to see this guy sustain a wOBA close to .500, I know it won’t happen. However, it's completely plausible that Mike Redmond gets carried away and will hit the ex-Brewer in a premium spot of the Marlins lineup, where he’ll have a fighting chance to match his career high of 104 RBI. Yes, that happened once upon a time.
6. Sergio Santos - P, Toronto Blue Jays
If you read my preview of the Blue Jays, you might recall that I left Santos out of my list of top Toronto relievers. With regular closer Casey Janssen out in the meantime, Sergio has the opportunity to surge into full-time closer duty (see what I did there?) and pick up some cheap saves. Keep in mind he has shown the tendency to allow baserunners, and is likely prone to a disaster week that could result in his losing the job. I also still prefer Aaron Loup or Steve Delabar as the closer if Janssen does not regain his title upon return.
7. Jim Henderson - P, Milwaukee Brewers
Ron Roenicke is my type of guy. Unlike Terry Collins, who pitched Bobby Parnell when he was hurt and may have worsened an elbow injury, R-squared has rested Henderson in favor of Francisco Rodriguez so that he can regain his form without losing any confidence. He also has made life easy for owners by saying Henderson will get the job back soon. To me, it seems counter-intuitive to drop Henderson for Rodriguez, which is what is happening in a lot of leagues. If that happened in yours, scoop him up. Our projections say Henderson can pick up 28 saves over the rest of the season.
8. Tim Hudson - P, San Francisco Giants
We underrate him because he’s old. I was surprised at his 7.2 inning, 3 hit, no run, and 7 strikeout performance during the first week of the season, but even more surprised to see that our projections view him as a horrendous option in standard leagues due to a modest strikeout total. Even so, he remains a solid streamer-caliber hurler who could put together a fine season if he's durable.
9. Kole Calhoun - OF, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
A popular sleeper this preseason, Calhoun has been dumped in leagues on account of his slow start. I can't say with certainty he will break out, but he carries a .214 BABIP (.297 career) and has surrendered his healthy career fly ball rate of 34.7% to 26.7% in favor of more ground balls and line drives. Looking at very small amounts of PITCHf/x data, I've concluded that pitchers have been throwing Calhoun junk, at which he is swinging and missing (25% K rate). He's worth an add in deeper formats, since Mike Scioscia has yet to remove him from the juicy leadoff gig.
10. Emilio Bonifacio - 2B/OF, Chicago Cubs and
Angel Pagan - OF, San Francisco Giants
Neither will keep up what they’re doing now - did anyone say Sam Fuld? - but Bonifacio could provide elite steals numbers in category leagues, and Pagan is an underrated source of runs for a Giants squad that is hitting well to open up the season. If they are available, feel free to add them but don’t hesitate to use that spot for a more valuable purpose.