(Photo by Larry Radloff/Icon Sportswire)
Catcher is a barren wasteland. Unless you’ve got one of the top catchers, you’re left guessing as to what to do with the position. Personally, I’m in 2 points leagues: I’ve got Sanchez in one league, but in my other, I left the position blank and I’m streaming pitchers instead. In the staff league, I waited to draft Robinson Chirinos in the last round and I’ve already dropped him. But in a roto league, you’re missing valuable production by leaving it empty. If you missed out of the cream of the crop and need help for how 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 purposes of this list, it means anyone >50% owned (according to Yahoo). The ineligible catchers are:
JT Realmuto – (Miami Marlins)
Honestly, considering the amount of 50%+ owned catchers, chances are you already have one of these guys. Maybe you took a flier late in the draft and are still debating whether to hold someone like Wilson Ramos and his rough start. Maybe you’re wondering if Mike Zunino is back early this week and refusing to drop him. I feel like this year’s version of Catcher Streaming is harder with so many of my favorite guys in the prohibited list. But, as the season wears on, guys will get dropped, and streaming should become more and more necessary. Regardless, let’s take a look at some of the other guys and who could provide some value to your team this week:
Tucker Barnhart – (Cincinnati Reds)– You’re not looking for 3 home runs in a week out of someone like Barnhart. You’re looking at a guy who could help your average without hurting you too much in the counting stats. He’s got a relatively light week ahead, despite matchups against Aaron Nola and Carlos Martinez. Feel free to take a flier.
Martin Maldonado– (Los Angeles Angels)– It doesn’t get a whole lot easier than Maldonado has it this week. A full slate of games, no real threat for playing time, and no difficult matchups ahead. Maldonado does hit in the 9 hole, so don’t expect a plethora of counting stats, but he offers you something few others at this price can- a lion’s share of the playing time.
Austin Hedges– (San Diego Padres)– Nothing clears the sinuses like a trip to Coors Field, which apparently is in Philadelphia now. Oddly enough, Coors Field is one of Hedges’ worst ballparks, but now is as good a time as any for the career .193 hitter to snap out of it. I’ll be honest, I don’t really like Hedges at all- people ask me about him all the time and I’m just not a believer, even as a Padres fan. But this could be a good week for him.