If you missed out on the cream of the crop at catcher and need help to address the problem, look no further. This article will address your concerns by looking at who might be the best streaming-caliber catchers for the week ahead.
First, we have to rule out any widely owned catcher. For the purposes of this list, that means anyone who has 50% ownership rate or higher. The ineligible catchers are:
Gary Sanchez – (New York Yankees)
J.T. Realmuto – (Philadelphia Phillies)
Buster Posey – (San Francisco Giants)
Willson Contreras – (Chicago Cubs)
Yadier Molina – (St. Louis Cardinals)
Yasmani Grandal – (Milwaukee Brewers)
Wilson Ramos – (New York Mets)
Omar Narvaez – (Seattle Mariners)
Robinson Chirinos – (Houston Astros)
Mitch Garver – (Minnesota Twins)
Reviewing Last Week
In weeks past, I outlined guidelines for determining a streaming “win” and I’ll leave these up here each week as a reminder.
- Batting average is king. When we stream a catcher, we’re not expecting multiple home runs, so a guy hitting .275 is helpful and I’ll consider that a plus. Anything over .300 is a super plus and a near-automatic win. That said, we have to keep in mind the number of plate appearances—under 10 PA diminishes that boost.
- Home runs have a major impact. If you get two homers from the catcher position, it’s almost a guaranteed win, unless the catcher batted under the Mendoza line. However, a catcher can still be a streaming win without home runs if other factors are there.
- Counting stats (R+RBI) are the lowest stat consideration because you’re not expecting them from your catcher anyway. They’re a nice bonus.
Travis d’Arnaud – (Tampa Bay Rays): 4/7, 4 R, 3 HR, 7 RBI
I don’t know that I’ve ever seen this before. Only two starts but three homers??? That’s nuts. I know a few weeks ago, Scott mentioned that it’s hard to give a win off of two starts and I agree, but this is a clear case where it has to be awarded.
Christian Vazquez – (Boston Red Sox): 2/16, 2 R, RBI
Wow. There should’ve been at least a decent average here, but a one-week sample can burn you. Keep your head up and keep streaming. There are going to be weeks like this.
Isiah Kiner-Falefa – (Texas Rangers): 1/3, R
IKF went 1-for-3 before landing on the 10-day IL with a sprained ligament in the middle finger on his throwing hand. That could keep him out a while and leave Jeff Mathis as the starter ahead of Tim Federowicz. It feels a bit harsh, but if you streamed IKF, this has to be a loss.
Dave’s Streaming Record: 9-7
Scott’s Streaming Record: 4-3-2
Quick Thoughts from Week 10
The Indians are loving what they are seeing from Roberto Perez right now and so are fantasy owners; you can read more about Perez below.
Josh Phegley slugged his eighth HR of the season last night, but is hitting just .229 the last two weeks and we’re starting to see the average regress to his previous seasons’ totals. If you can still sell on Phegley, go ahead, but I’m not sure who is buying.
I was asked on Twitter about catcher streamers last Friday and this individual asked about a particular Orioles catcher whom I proceeded to downplay… well, Pedro Severino responded with a three-homer game. It’s easy to see the appeal: .284/.363/.550 with eight HRs in just 125 PAs so far! I hate to be the bubble-popper again (I’m always playing that role!!), but the guy has never yet posted double-digit home runs in any season as a professional. He did hit nine in 94 games, but that was five years ago in high-A, so I don’t buy into the 25.8% HR/FB. The .299 xBA and .504 xSLG do look very nice though, as does the .384 xwOBA. I’m ok riding the hot streak and seeing what you can milk out of it. The Orioles called up Chance Sisco on June 3rd, but he’s only started two of the six games in that time, and Severino had to sit due to potential concussion issues. Severino had taken a foul ball off the mask on Wednesday night, and Sisco finished out that game and the next two before Severino took back over. This isn’t the best week for Severino, but it’s also not the worst, getting three games vs Toronto.
In my pre-season rankings, I was fading Buster Posey, but even I didn’t expect this. A .257 AVG with just three HRs in 152 PAs and now he’s on the DL with a hamstring strain. If you drafted Posey high, this hurts and I’m probably cutting my losses because that team around him is awful even when he does come back. Let him be someone else’s problem.
It’s finally time. I’m FINALLY buying in on Mitch Garver. Not because I didn’t think he was good before, but because he’s finally getting regular playing time!! Garver has started five of the last seven behind the dish (including today), which is everything I needed to see. I’m sorry that it came a bit late, as he’s now owned in 59% of Yahoo leagues, but I couldn’t tell you to get a player getting 50% of starts.
This Week’s Streamers
Tony Wolters – (Colorado Rockies): Whenever you see a Rockie on here, it’s pretty easy to guess why—he’s got games at Coors. This week is the super-week, Wolters gets ALL. SEVEN. GAMES. at Coors. Yes, I just copied and pasted this from the article two weeks ago but it’s still true! Wolters is batting .319 at home this season with a .372 OBP, so he’s a significant asset in both AVG and OBP leagues this week. The pitching matchups aren’t awful either: three games against Chicago (Yu Darvish, Jose Quintana, Cole Hamels) and four vs the Padres, avoiding Chris Paddack. If there’s a reason for concern, it’s that the Rox face five lefties this week and historically, Wolters struggles slightly versus lefties. However, that’s not been the case this season—Wolters has posted a .325/.357/.475 line in 43 PAs vs lefties so far this far, so he could certainly feast at the plate. Additionally, there are two games that are almost DANGs (the last game of each series), but I’ll count them and say Wolters has a ceiling of five starts this week, all at Coors, and we love that.
Austin Hedges – (San Diego Padres): Hedges was scratched late last night with a mild ankle sprain, but the injury is not expected to send Hedges to the IL. A Padres beat writer said that he was even available to catch in an emergency last night, so I’m going to be optimistic and send him out there for this following week assuming he gets Sunday off as well because the Padres have Monday off. Hedges has been downright terrible this year, slashing .189/.259/.331 with just six HRs in 162 PAs and an unsightly 31.5% K-rate. I get it. But he’s here for the same reason Wolters is- Coors. I’m not saying this four-game set is enough to turn him into a star or anything, but it could give his bat the jump start it needs.
Roberto Perez – (Cleveland Indians): Perez is one of the hottest hitters in the game right now, with homers in his last four starts, taking him up to 11 on the year. To be frank with you, this is a matter of riding the hot streak. The Tribe has two days off this week, which limits his upside, and one of the five games is against Luis Castillo (Tuesday), but after that, it’s smooth sailing. Perez even gets to face a lefty in Ryan Carpenter; Perez is slashing .279/.392/.581 versus lefties this year.
Elias Diaz – (Pittsburgh Pirates): When Francisco Cervelli went to the IL with more concussion-related symptoms, I was excited to see more of Diaz, who swung a hot stick last year—slashing .286/.339/.452. This season, he’s followed that up with a .288 line through his first 116 PAs. We’ve yet to see the pop he demonstrated last year, but it could come in time; Diaz was never much of a power threat in the minors, but popped 10 last year with a digestible 13.2% HR/FB, so it wouldn’t be surprising if he continued that trend. The Pirates have a fairly difficult draw this week, getting Kevin Gausman, Mike Foltynewicz, Mike Soroka, and Julio Teheran from the Braves. Of those, Gausman is the only one Diaz has faced at least five times and he’s got a two-run shot to show for it. Diaz follows that up with a three-game set in Miami against the young gun trio of Trevor Richards, Pablo Lopez, and Sandy Alcantara. When he has this kind of draw (and the changeups that the first two possess), it’s important to note that Diaz has not struggled against offspeed pitches really the last two seasons.
I also love Chirinos this week, but he’s ineligible for me to recommend for streaming. That said, if he’s out there, go grab him. I’m comfortable recommending you hold him as your regular catcher.
(Photo by Tony Quinn/Icon Sportswire)
Molina or Garver ROS (OBP + SLG roto)? I was able to grab Garver when Molina went down but might have a difficult decision on my hands when Molina’s ready to return.
I’ll probably go Garver, but it’s close. Garver gets a big boost with his bump in playing time.
Who do you like between Narvaez & Wolters this week?
With the way Tom Murphy is stroking the stick, I’m nervous about Narvaez’s playing time moving forward, so I’ll go Wolters.
Statcast hates Wolters. Terrible hard hit %, exit velocity and xAVG (.236).
Sure and I don’t expect him to keep hitting .307 but I don’t think the end will be coming during a week-long stint at Coors.
Chirinos or Alfaro in a standard 5×5, ROS?
Chirinos for sure
Have you seen Perez’s statcast numbers? This seems like more than a hot streak, he’s top 30 in Barrels/PA and xwOBA, regardless of position! It’s the first year where he has really been given the reigns of the starting catcher position and he’s talked a lot about how much that has helped him psychologically (e.g. https://www.cleveland.com/tribe/2019/06/what-in-the-world-has-gotten-into-cleveland-indians-catcher-roberto-perez.html).
I wouldn’t sell him short!
I meant more in terms of his HRs in 4 straight but you’re not wrong. He still has the misfortune of playing on a bad offense, but he could certainly be solid throughout the year. I’ll have to do some more research.