Fernando Tatis Jr. has not only played through what could still be a major shoulder issue, but he has rendered any Padres waiver addition irrelevant. I cannot believe my White Sox traded him for James Shields after going all-out for him.
A few of the names below appear to be solid additions as injuries and COVID-19 continue to change the baseball landscape. This piece is also specifically focused on position players — we’ll be back on Sunday with a starting pitcher planner to help you get ready for next week.
Have other questions regarding roster construction? Find me on Twitter at @_jeff_hicks_.
Pick Them Up
C.J. Cron — 1B, Colorado Rockies
Yahoo: 52%, ESPN: 55%
The brutally slow start to Cron’s season has evened out. He had been getting on base via the walk prior to collecting mini hitting streaks and is now driving in runs.
It felt like yesterday he was hitting below the Mendoza line, but he’s now batting .274 with an expected .869 OPS hitting in Coors Field.
Adolis Garcia — OF, Texas Rangers
Yahoo: 45%, ESPN: 46%
Do you remember who the St. Louis Cardinals traded Adolis Garcia for?
No one. Cash considerations.
Garcia is playing well considering who he plays for, but he does not walk. The reason he makes this section over a short-term addition is his BABIP. At .294, it is realistic. He also plays above-average defense, which will keep him in the Rangers lineup.
Omar Narvaez — C, Milwaukee Brewers
Yahoo: 56%, ESPN: 47%
Manny Pina is on the 10-Day IL, and if you know who the temporary backup is now, good on you (it’s Luke Maile).
Narvaez is one of the few catchers who could legitimately hit .280 or better in 400-plus at-bats and is attached to the top team in the National League Central. The Brewers are running cold offensively, but Narvaez is a necessity at a thin position.
Raimel Tapia — OF, Colorado Rockies
Yahoo: 37%, ESPN: 69%
If you are in a Yahoo league without Tapia, you are slacking. I have pounded the table for Tapia privately and with digital ink.
He has only 10 strikeouts in 81 at-bats, which at this point, is excellent. He hits leadoff and does not benefit from the Coors factor because he is not a power hitter, and his .764 OPS would be the second-best of his career. His best was last season, making my case for his improvement. I wish he were trying to steal more bases because his one steal in three attempts is not ideal.
That’s all I have for must-adds this week. One month in, and it’s becoming clearer who has “it” and who does not. The idea of adding and subtracting starts to slow some save for injuries and COVID-19. The next few sections help you tinker your roster, which is more than likely to happen going forward.
Worth A Look
Nate Lowe — 1B, Texas Rangers
Yahoo: 76%, ESPN: 69%
He’s back! The good week-bad week play is expected, but he is now coming off two good weeks and has a five-hit week heading into Friday’s action. The power is legit, and he has even managed to steal a couple of bases.
Carlos Santana — 1B, Kansas City Royals
Yahoo: 65%, ESPN: 82%
You would not consider Santana for his average, but in OBP leagues, he is great. Nine of his 20 hits are for extra bases, and there could be more to come (.238 BABIP).
Tyler Naquin — OF, Cincinnati Reds
Yahoo: 57%, ESPN: 66%
I held off on adding Naquin to the column because I have seen a lot of him in his small sample size.
He is reaching base as well as he did when he burst onto the baseball landscape in 2016 but is hitting at an unsustainable rate. Naquin is almost halfway to his career-high of 14 home runs in 260 fewer at-bats.
He also strikes out way too often and has been dependent on a resurgence from the Reds offense.
Evan Longoria — 3B, San Francisco Giants
The 35-year old is having his best pure hitting season in a decade, and it had a chance to be sustainable despite an elevated BABIP.
Longoria is pulling the ball at the lowest percentage of his career while hitting the ball to the opposite field at the highest rate of his career. The power is more than likely going to come down, but the veteran’s ability and willingness to adjust as a hitter is encouraging for fantasy purposes.
Mike Zunino — C, Tampa Bay Rays
Yahoo: 2%, ESPN: 2%
Mike Zunino is all power and is utilized against left-handed pitchers. He is widely available, so he can be added in a pinch if you are struggling at catcher. He is hitting .389 and has a Weighted Runs Created Plus (wRC+) of 299 against southpaws. His strikeout rate is 9% lower as well.
Corey Dickerson — OF, Miami Marlins
Yahoo: 10%, ESPN: 24%
Much like his teammate Jesus Aguilar, Corey Dickerson is worth rostering solely for keeping a few categories afloat.
I do not know if he finds his power stroke, but his ability to get on base makes him valuable as more hitters turn into three true outcome players because of dominant pitching.
Austin Riley — 3B/OF, Atlanta Braves
Yahoo: 54%, ESPN: 54%
Austin Riley is too good to be as bad as he was the first two weeks of this season, but his numbers have regressed so positively that I do not know where he lands in terms of production.
The Braves lineup is stacked, and he has little pressure on him to produce compared to others. It should help him find a level of consistency, but I’m not sure how long it stays.
David Peralta — OF, Arizona Diamondbacks
Yahoo: 58%, ESPN: 82%
Of Peralta’s RBI production, 33% came in one game, and he’s on pace for his first 100 RBI season. At 33.
Maikel Franco — 3B, Baltimore Orioles
Yahoo: 14%, ESPN: 21%
Franco’s 17 RBI’s look great on paper, but the rest is ugly.
He is pulling the ball and making soft contact at the highest rates of his career, and his Expected Average, Expected Slugging, and Expected Weighted On-Base Average are all lower than their actual counterparts.