Catcher has been a desperate wasteland all season, which has many of you wondering if there’s a savior waiting in the minors for a September call-up. Some are hoping it’s Minnesota’s Mitch Garver. I caught a lot of heat for not including him last week, but I have trouble endorsing a 26-year old rookie, who was the Twins #23 prospect before his promotion. He’s a low floor, low-to-medium ceiling rookie, who I can’t endorse outside of streaming on a good week. He’s got playing time with Jason Castro dealing with a concussion, but I see no indication he’s on a path to long term playing time. He’s streamer worthy at best on a great week.
Outside of him, I’ve got more bad news: there’s really no savior waiting in the wings. Francisco Mejia is the highest ceiling offensive catcher, but he’s in AA and unlikely to get a promotion this year. Sorry guys, I wish I had better news for you.
Let’s recap last week:
Wilson Ramos– 5/16, RBI. I warned that his matchups were not very good and I love that he still hit over .300 despite that. Sure, he didn’t fill up your other categories, but that’s gonna happen when the Rays offense is this bad. They’re 26th and 22nd in wOBA and wRC+ respectively over the last 30 days. Keep firing him up though. His potential is higher than anyone on this list.
Robinson Chirinos– 8/21, 3B, HR, 2 RBI. Great average? Check. 2 BBs to help your OBP? Check. A home run? Check. Great week for a streamer and you definitely want him on his good weeks moving forward. You could hold onto him this week if need be, but he’s got an off day, and then has Keuchel and McHugh. There are better streaming options this week.
Tyler Flowers– 0/10, 2 BB, 4 Ks. Can’t win em all. This one hurts more than Castillo last week because at least Flowers got the playing time. It’s almost like the baseball gods are laughing at me whenever I decide to roll with a player two weeks in a row. Why baseball gods? Why???
On to this week’s recommendations:
Chris Iannetta (Arizona Diamondbacks)– Anyone who plays three games in Arizona and three games in Coors is worthy of consideration. He does have the misfortune of facing The Dodgers’ Rich Hill, Hyun-Jin Ryu, and Kenta Maeda, but those games are still in hitter friendly parks. He’s spending most games hitting 2nd which gives him a great shot to score runs. He starts the week with an off day, so he should get at least 4 starts this week. It could be better, but this is a good week for him.
Alex Avila (Chicago Cubs)– He’s got more playing time than most with Contreras on the shelf. He sat yesterday, which means he should get the maximum possible amount of starts with a minimum of 4. He’s got a light week, facing the Pirates (Trevor Williams, Chad Kuhl, and Ivan Nova) and the Braves (Sean Newcomb, Mike Foltyniewicz, Lucas Sims, and RA Dickey). He’s still no savior to your team, so I don’t recommend treating him as such, but he’s worth a look this week.
Jorge Alfaro (Philadelphia Phillies)- He hasn’t been setting the world on fire, but the Phils are committed to letting their top catching prospect get playing time at the big league level. He’s playing more than most and faces a similar set of Braves pitchers as Avila (Lucas Sims, RA Dickey, and Julio Teheran), followed by a 4-game set in Miami (Adam Conley, Dan Straily, Jose Urena, and Justin Nicolino). He’s got a low ceiling as he’s still sitting on 3 XBHs through 44 ABs, which actually gives him a better slugging percentage than his .358 in AAA this season. He should help those ratios, but don’t expect him to start launching balls out of the park.
If you need a desperation play, you can roll with Mitch Garver and hope he finds some of that AAA value.