Catchers to Stream for Week 25 (9/19-9/25)

Who's Worth Streaming Behind The Dish?

If you’re still with me, you’re on the hunt for a title. The catcher position can be a barren wasteland, and unless you’ve got one of the top catchers, you’re left guessing what to do with the position.

My strategy in many leagues is to wait until the last round if I don’t get one of the top guys. If you can properly use that extra spot, some people go catcher-less, a legitimate strategy in a head-to-head league. But in a roto league, you’re missing valuable production by leaving it empty. So if you missed out on the cream of the crop and need help addressing the problem, look no further. This article will look at the best streaming-caliber catchers for the week ahead.

 

Who Are the Catchers?

 

Prohibited List

 

First, we have to rule out any widely-rostered catcher. For this list, it means anyone over 50% rostered (according to Yahoo). The ineligible catchers are J.T. Realmuto, Will Smith, Willson Contreras(IL), Salvador Perez,  Daulton VarshoTravis d’Arnaud, Adley Rutschman, Christian Vázquez, Sean Murphy, Alejandro Kirk, MJ Melendez, and William Contreras. That’s TWELVE catchers.

I’m going to say this now — if you’re in a 12-team league or fewer, don’t stream right now. Try trading for someone’s backup instead of diving in the bargain bin for the players who meet my threshold. But we’re going to go ahead anyway.

 

Who is Eligible?

 

So who is left? Keibert Ruiz(IL), Jonah Heim, Gary SánchezChristian Bethancourt, Joey Bart, Danny Jansen, Omar Narváez, Jacob Stallings, Tucker Barnhart, Austin Nola, Francisco Mejía, Austin Barnes, Eric Haase, Luis Torrens, Max Stassi, Jorge Alfaro, Yan Gomes, Gabriel Moreno, Ryan Jeffers, Kyle Higashioka, Jose Trevino, and more. That extensive list will change throughout the year and should give us ample opportunity to find value. If you have questions about those players, please shoot me a tweet; I’m happy to discuss.

Honestly, considering the 50%+ rostered catchers, chances are you already have one of these guys. On the other hand, maybe you took a flier late in the draft and are still debating whether to hold someone like Austin Nola. Maybe you drafted Yadier Molina but didn’t feel confident he’d return to his old self.

I say this every year, but this year’s version of catcher streaming feels so much harder, with so many of my favorite guys on the prohibited list. But, as the season wears on, guys will get dropped, players will emerge, and streaming should become more and more necessary.

 

Reviewing Last Week

 

I outlined guidelines for determining streaming a “win” in years past, and I’ll leave these up here each week as a reminder.

  1. When we stream a catcher, we’re not expecting multiple home runs, so a guy hitting .250 is helpful, and I’ll consider that a plus. Anything over .300 is a super plus and a near-automatic win. We must keep in mind the number of plate appearances — under 10 PA diminishes that boost.
  2. Home runs have a significant impact. If you get two homers from the catcher position, it’s a guaranteed win unless the catcher bats under the Mendoza line. However, if other factors exist, a catcher can still be a streaming win without home runs.
  3. Counting stats (R+RBI) is the lowest stat consideration because you’re not expecting them from your catcher, and they’re a nice bonus.

 

Week 24 Streamer

Danny Jansen, Toronto Blue Jays: 5-for-17 (.294), 2 R

Jansen finished the week with two-hit nights, including three doubles. While there weren’t opportunities to drive in a bounty of RBI, his ability to get on base helped a ton. On top of the five base hits, Jansen walked three times while only striking out as many. We got it all this week without the power.

Dave Swan’s Streaming Record: 24-19

 

Notes & Transactions From Week 24

 

 

  • The New York Mets demoted Patrick Mazeika. Indeed, he’s not fantasy relevant, but the Mets are an upper-echelon offense. At the moment, James McCann and Tomás Nido are splitting time (50/50), but Nido has turned it on recently. Since the calendar flipped to September, Nido is slashing .417.423/.792 with 234 wRC+. There’s very little time left in the season, and giving the opportunities to the hot hand might come into play.
  • The Boston Red Sox DFA’d (pending) Kevin Plawecki. This move made Connor Wong as the front-runner for playing time, with Reese McGuire taking a backup role. In 323 minor league ABs, Wong flexed a .201 ISO and 121 wRC+ while keeping the K% to a manageable 22% clip. Furthermore, his skills have translated to the big leagues well, and his K-rate rose only three points, but the ISO and wRC+ stayed nearly the same.

 

  • Alejandro Kirk has been sidelined with a hip injury that’s caused him to miss the last four games. Danny Jansen stepped up in his absence, with Gabriel Moreno getting a start. Recent reports have Kirk running bases and available only off the bench as a bat. Additionally, a stint on the IL does not seem forthcoming.

 

  • Injury Updates!
  1. Willson Contreras (CHC) is still a week or so away from returning. Additionally, that’ll put him a month away, and rust couldn’t be evident upon arrival. Still, if you’re holding til the bitter end, he’ll likely come back at some point.
  2. Keibert Ruiz (WSH) has a groin injury that will likely take the remainder of the season to recover. Technically, he will only miss three weeks, but reports have signaled that he is being shut down.
  3. Tyler Stephenson (CIN) underwent surgery to repair his fractured clavicle. The team moved him to the 60-day IL, and he isn’t eligible to return from the IL until the end of September.
  4. Mitch Garver (TEX) underwent season-ending surgery to repair a flexor tendon. The recovery time is six-to-eight months, and he should be dropped in all redraft formats.
  5. Mike Zunino (TBR) underwent season-ending surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome.
  6. Ryan Jeffers (MIN) has a fractured right thumb and will miss six-to-eight weeks. Jeffers participated in a rehab outing this week and went 2-for-6 with a three-run HR.  Still, he’ll need more rehab stints since he’s been out since July.

 

Week 25 Streamers

 

With the playoffs here, I wanted to provide you with some options. The following players have consideration, not only for Week 25 but also for Week 26, as many leagues play-out two-week segments. Should you need Week 25-only streamers, check the list:

 

Week 25 Top Streaming Options

Joey Bart, San Francisco Giants

Bart’s schedule is extremely favorable in Week 25 (four games @COL, three games @SFG). Streaming inside Coors Field gives you front-of-the-line treatment, but there’s more going on for Bart. Since returning from his demotion, Bart started looking like the player maybe prospect folks expected. From early July until today, he’s flexing a 112 wRC+, thanks to a .182 ISO and lifting the ball more in the air.

But even more important, he’s trimming those pesky strikeouts that really suffocated his production. His first-half K-rate was a disastrous 43.6%. However, the second half is down to 30%. Indeed, it’s still above the league average, but the added power should even things out.

Furthermore, in Week 26, Bart grabs three-game series vs. COL and ARI. So, we get late-season home games with no travel and a better chance for added playing time? Check. Keep in mind; that his Week 26 games are simply a bonus and not the entire reasoning behind making him a streamer.

 

Carson Kelly, Arizona Diamondbacks

The Week 25 schedule is a bountiful one for the Diamondbacks (and Kelly). They start with a five-game set against the Dodgers, which isn’t terrific, but then finish the Week at home vs. the San Francisco Giants. AHHH! An eight-game week for a streamer with Kelly’s abilities is well worth making him a priority pickup. Lastly, he’s got six games lined up for Week 26(three vs. COL, three vs. SFG).

In the second half, Kelly is performing much better. A couple of the factors are he’s finally healthy of a decent stretch and getting everyday PAs in an improved offense. Additionally, he’s showcasing improvements in his plate discipline.

  • June (7.1% walk rate)
  • July (7.5% walk rate)
  • August (11.2% walk rate)
  • Sept (16.3% walk rate)

Now, the power started to erode in this time frame but chipping in bats hits and piling up counting stats is where he’ll become helpful. So, make Kelly your streaming catcher if you’re already heavy on power and looking for a little more help in the batting average.

 

Catcher List

 

With many leagues having playoff implications at this point in the season, I’ve pushed roster% to the side. Instead, the focus must be solely on the upcoming week and the week alone(Week 25). For instance, if you have a chance to drop Gary Sánchez or Jonah Heim for Joey Bart, do it.

Note: The 10-team league options don’t factor into the streaming decisions.

 

Catcher List Roster%
MJ Melendez (KCR) 55%
William Contreras (ATL) 58%
Christian Vázquez (HOU) 58%
Yasmani Grandal (CHW) 42%
Joey Bart (SFG) 11%
Cal Raleigh (SEA) 35%
Carson Kelly (ARI) 14%
Gary Sánchez (MIN) 41%
Jonah Heim (TEX) 39%
Elias Díaz (COL) 40%
Danny Jansen (TOR) 18%
Jose Trevino (NYY) 14%
Eric Haase (DET) 24%
Yan Gomes (CHC) 3%
10-team Streamers (70%-50%)
Week 25 Streamers

 

Featured image by Jacob Roy (@Jake3Roy on Twitter)

Dave Swan

Dave Swan is an avid Chicago Cubs fan that enjoys all aspects of fantasy baseball-especially DFS. He would trade his right arm for a GIF library of Greg Maddux pitches. Swan's baseball thoughts are available at @davithius.

2 responses to “Catchers to Stream for Week 25 (9/19-9/25)”

  1. Rock City Brew Dad says:

    Would you drop Travis Darnaud for any of the 10 team streamers?

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