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 according to FantasyPros consensus ranks. 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)
Christian Vazquez – (Boston Red Sox)
Mitch Garver – (Minnesota Twins)
Travis d’Arnaud – (Tampa Bay Rays)
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.
Roberto Perez – (Cleveland Indians): 4/14, 3 R, 3 HR, 5 RBI
That’s more like it. Keep riding Perez as long as people continue to ignore him.
Will Smith – (Los Angeles Dodgers): 6/18, 4 R, 2 HR, 7 RBI
SOMEONE STOP THIS MAN. The power is not here to stay, in my opinion, because he never graded very high with power in the minors. But he could be a 20-25 home run guy at his peak a la Jorge Posada. In the meantime, keep running him out there, he’s awesome.
Travis d’Arnaud – (Tampa Bay Rays): 5/15, 3 R, HR, 3 RBI
A CLEAN SWEEP! I still don’t get you, d’Arnaud but it doesn’t matter. If you grabbed d’Arnaud, keep holding him because 2019 is super weird and it somehow means he’s awesome now. Since May 24th, he’s hitting .314/.387/.616…. of course this happens right when he leaves New York… poor Mets fans.
Dave’s Streaming Record: 23-14
Scott’s Streaming Record: 4-3-2
Quick Thoughts from Week 17
We have a problem with catcher streaming. For the last few years, teams have run out one main catcher and a backup. But now, too many teams are preferring (wisely in my opinion) to run out two, part-time catchers rather than one full-time and a backup. So when you combine 11 catchers who are very widely owned with the fact that roughly half of MLB teams don’t have a defined starter, it’s hard to plan for your week because the splits can often be random. Therefore, there’s only a handful of guys that I feel comfortable running out there in a given week because they may only get three starts, and in three games it’s hard to tell you confidently that a player will succeed or fail; there are just TOO many variables. So, I’m sorry if you’re not getting the information you want from this article. I’m struggling with it too.
I got James McCann back for streaming! He’s hitting .172/.217/.299 since the start of July. Oh, that’s why. Welp, he goes back to the reject pile. I lost Travis d’Arnaud! That… actually kind of upsets me and I don’t like it. WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO ME, TRAVIS?
Yan Gomes has been hitting better as of late, going six for his last 18 with three home runs. He’ll never be a solid average guy, so you’re banking on the power sticking around and I don’t want to make that bet long term.
We’re still a little worried about Yasmani Grandal, who is hitting .206/.353/.309 since June 26th. He’s still walking at a sky-high clip, so those of you in OBP leagues are happy, but the average hurts you. We knew it wouldn’t stay in the .270s, but it’s falling fast. The strikeout rate hasn’t been egregious and his plate discipline numbers are in line with prior metrics, so I’m not overly concerned, but it would be nice if he started hammering the ball again because only one home run over that time is frightening.
With Martin Maldonado going to Chicago then Houston, Cam Gallagher is getting a bunch of starts in Kansas City. Don’t bother—he’s hitting eighth and ninth and in THAT lineup, that’s bad. Don’t forget the name Salvador Perez in drafts next year.
Another two-homer week from Carson Kelly who is thriving in his first regular big league action as the starter. The average isn’t stellar but you want to stream him every time the D-Backs face a healthy crop of lefties.
The White Sox placed Welington Castillo on administrative leave. It’s sad that his star has burned out so quickly, but he’s been fully replaced by James McCann. While we’re at it, Jonathan Lucroy has been fully replaced by Max Stassi and was DFA’d by the Angels. He may get picked up by a team like the Orioles or the Royals.
If Austin Nola is available in your league and eligible at C, go grab him. Because he’s not universally C-eligible, I’m going to gloss over him for the most part.
The Tigers called up top prospect Jake Rogers, who came over in the Justin Verlander trade. He put up an .845 OPS with 14 home runs in the minors, but I’m not expecting massive production from him down the stretch. The Tigers are bad and so are their players for fantasy.
This Week’s Streamers
Will Smith – (Los Angeles Dodgers): Own Smith; don’t stream. Of the matchups the Dodgers get this week (which are all at home by the way), the only really frightening ones are Jack Flaherty and Robbie Ray due to Smith being prone to Ks. It’s six games and that helps for sure.
Roberto Perez – (Cleveland Indians): As I said above, keep riding him as long as he’s available. I want to just flat out own him at this point. Don’t stream.
If Christian Vazquez is available in your league, I’d run him out there this week against the awful Rangers pitching staff.
(Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire)