Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Prospect floodgates about to open as Kris Bubic, Daulton Varsho make the leap

It turns out, a week without games was just what the top prospects around baseball needed to prove they were major-league ready. We saw Nate Pearson make his debut Wednesday, and he’s going to be followed be a slew of other top options in the next few days, all of whom need to be on Fantasy baseball radars. Especially the pitchers, like Pearson and Spencer Howard, because as The Athletic’s Eno Sarris noted Wednesday, there have been nearly five times as many IL trips by pitchers in the first week as there were during the first week of last season. 

Pearson probably got snatched up in your leagues by the time he made his debut Wednesday, and Howard remains a viable stash option, though the Phillies may not play for a few more days as they continue to deal with the fallout of the COVID-19 outbreak that struck the Marlins when they were playing in Philadelphia. So, it’s hard to say just when Howard will make his debut, but it will be soon.

However, we do know when Royals pitching prospect Kris Bubic will make his debut: Friday night against the White Sox. The Royals already surprisingly called up Brady Singer earlier, and Bubic is an even bigger surprise: The 22-year-old has never pitched above A ball. However, he was dominant in the minors in 2019, striking out 185 with just 42 walks in 149.1 innings, so he might well be ready now. Why waste bullets having him throw in scrimmage games when he can get some real game action now?

The lefty is widely available (rostered in 3% of CBS Fantasy leagues), and with how much the White Sox have struck out this season, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him hit the ground running in his debut. If you need pitching help, and you almost certainly do, Bubic is worth a flier in deeper leagues.

Of course, it’s not just pitching prospects getting the call. Before we get a trio of potential new closers and a couple of young players to consider adding on waivers heading into the weekend, here are three more hitting prospects about to make their debut, beginning with one who actually got the call Thursday:

Daulton Varsho, C,  Diamondbacks (8%)

Varsho was Scott White’s No. 64 Fantasy prospect coming into the season, tagged as a “midseason hopeful” call up, and … well, this would be midseason in a normal year. Varsho hasn’t earned rave reviews for his defense behind the plate, and there are concerns he may have to move to another position, but he’s catcher eligible now and brings a very enticing skill set to the table, having hit .301/.378/.520 with 18 homers and 21 steals in Double-A last season. If he gets in the lineup regularly, Varsho could be a must-start option even in a one-catcher league. 

Joey Bart, C, Giants (18%)

This one is more speculative, but it’s worth noting that Bart has been taking grounders at first base and figures to play there in a scrimmage within the next few days. That kind of flexibility could help him when he inevitably does get called up, something that seems likely to happen within the next week, according to speculation from reporters around the team. Bart played just 22 games above Double-A last season, but with no minor-league games going and Buster Posey opting out for the season, this is an opportunity for the Giants to find out if the heir apparent is ready.

Nick Madrigal, 2B, White Sox

Another speculative one, though this time we’ve actually got White Sox director of player development Chris Getz on the record Thursday saying, “He’s pretty close.” There was some lip service paid to needing to ensure Madrigal was in the best “position succeed when he gets here,” but with the offense scuffling and Leury Garcia unsurprisingly off to an uninspiring start, Madrigal figures to get a chance here soon. The platonic ideal of a punch-and-judy hitter, the only thing Madrigal does less often than strike out (21 in 163 career minor-league games) is homer (four). Madrigal has plenty of speed and a plus-plus hit tool that could help him challenge for batting titles eventually, and that combination could make him a must-start Fantasy option in any format.

Friday’s Top Waiver Targets

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