Fantasy Baseball 2020: Streaming Options for Injured MLB Players for Week 2

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistJuly 31, 2020

Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Zach Plesac delivers in the first inning in a baseball game against the Chicago White Sox, Wednesday, July 29, 2020, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Tony Dejak/Associated Press

With the injured list ballooning around Major League Baseball, quality fantasy streamers are at a premium entering Week 2.

While the small sample of a fresh season is always tricky to read—doubly so in a year as unique as this—there already seems to be a sufficient amount of replacement players worth your attention on the waiver wire.

Let's take a closer look at our favorite three streamers—available in 50-plus percent of Yahoo leagues, per FantasyPros—for the upcoming week.

                  

Avisail Garcia, OF, Milwaukee Brewers (44 Percent Owned)

While Avisail Garcia hasn't set the fantasy world on fire just yet, his offseason move from Tampa Bay to Milwaukee still bodes well for his overall outlook.

In his lone season with the Rays, he paired 20 homers with 10 stolen bases. Any player providing double-digit marks in both categories will get attention, and the fact he did so in only 125 games hints at the kind of impact he could make with an even greater role (prorated to this 60-game season, of course).

He has friendlier confines now in Milwaukee, plus more high-level hitters around him. It would help if he hit a tad higher in the lineup—he's mostly batted fifth or sixth—but the Brewers have enough bats to produce from any spot.

With more than two weeks until Milwaukee's next scheduled off day, Garcia should have the opportunities and volume to bulk up any fantasy lineup he joins.

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Zach Plesac, SP, Cleveland Indians (28 Percent Owned)

Zach Plesac teetered on the brink of fantasy relevance as a rookie in 2019. His 3.81 ERA was no worse than serviceable given the amount of offense produce last season, but he wasn't much of a strikeout source (88 K's in 115.2 innings pitched).

Either he just had one of those nights on Wednesday, or he's about to skyrocket his fantasy profile.

The 6'3", 220-pounder toyed with the Chicago White Sox in his first start of the season. He needed just 98 pitches to get through eight scoreless frames, totaling 11 punchouts with only three hits and zero walks allowed.

"Plesac pounded the strike zone; he changed speeds," Indians manager Terry Francona told reporters. "He was efficient."

Plesac is slated to face the Cincinnati Reds next time out, which seems like it'll be one of the trickier matchups for starting pitchers this season. But if he's as razor-sharp as he was Wednesday night, it may not matter who he's going up against.

                

Jose Peraza, 2B/SS/OF, Boston Red Sox (19 Percent Owned)

Jose Peraza started his Red Sox tenure with a bang, going 4-for-5 with a pair of doubles, two runs scored and two RBI his first time out. While his bat has been quieter since (four hits in six games), the residuals of that fantasy success could pay dividends down the line.

He hit out of the ninth slot on Opening Day and jumped all the way to fifth his next time out. He's only been back in the ninth spot once since, and he led off for the third time on Thursday night.

His fantasy stock tanked last season, when he bottomed out with a miserable .239/.285/.346 slash line, which led to his being non-tendered by the Reds last December. But if he gets his groove back in Boston, the 26-year-old still has time to become an asset.

With steals at a premium, his potential in the category can't be overlooked. He stole 67 bases between 2016 and 2018, and in the first season of that stretch, he only played 72 games. He also added 14 homers in the 2018 campaign, and while he shouldn't be relied on for power (he only has 14 homers in the rest of his big league career), there's a chance he isn't a complete zero in the category.

With no Mookie Betts, Boston hasn't been nearly as potent as it had in recent seasons. But that gives Peraza a chance to carve out a prime spot in the batting order, and there are still enough good hitters near the top of the lineup to knock him in if he gets on base consistently.