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)
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.
Robinson Chirinos – (Houston Astros): The bad news? He had a .231 batting through four games this week (prior to Sunday). The good news? He had a .353 OBP and a .538 slugging percentage thanks to a couple of walks, a home run, and a double, which all led to three runs and three RBI. I’ll take that kind of action from a catcher all day long and twice on Sundays.
Martin Maldonado – (Kansas City Royals): Three hits and three walks in 16 plate appearances isn’t ideal, but it’s not poison, either. If you relied on him this week, you probably didn’t get ahead, but thanks to some decent ratios (.250 batting average and .438 OBP) and zero strikeouts in four games played, you didn’t fall behind either. I’m going to call this a wash.
Willians Astudillo – (Minnesota Twins): Yikes. He had just two hits in 16 trips to the plate with a strikeout (which is SO unlike him) and two RBI. On the plus side, he found his way into four games during the week even though Miguel Sano made his return to the team. Playing four or five games a week is essentially full-time work for our purposes, so I still like him a lot going forward.
Dave’s Streaming Record: 7-6
Scott’s Streaming Record: 3-1-2
Quick Thoughts from Week 7
One of the early season heroes at catcher so far is Mitch Garver, who hit the IL this past week, leaving Willians Astudillo and Jason Castro. Castro is hitting .269 with 4 HRs over his last two weeks and .279 with 7 HRs and 31 R+RBI over the last month. Our own Ben Pernick wrote about him the other day and I’m cool riding him for this short time while his bat is hot.
One player who has thoroughly surprised me this year is Christian Vazquez from the Red Sox, with his .309/.358/.536 line with 6 HRs so far (Vazquez came into 2019 with 10 HRs in 999 PAs). After his awful offensive season last year (.207/.257/.283), some thought he may be done (myself included), but it appears that he may he closer in skill to his 2017 season. Ride him while he’s hot in the Sawx lineup.
Josh Phegley put together a solid week and I still don’t see anything that should make owners overly excited. Stream when it makes sense and ignore him outside of that.
This Week’s Streamers
Jason Castro – (Minnesota Twins): This is less a testament to the weakness of Castro’s opponent schedule and more to Castro’s recent hot streak. In addition, Castro has done all his damage against righties, to the tune of .259/.375/.722 in 64 PAs and the Twins face no lefties this week (although the Angels’ starter for tomorrow is yet to be posted).
Tony Wolters – (Colorado Rockies): Whenever you see a Rockie on here, it’s pretty easy to guess why—he’s got a trio at Coors. Not just against anyone, but against the homer-happy Orioles. If there’s a time for Wolters to get his first dong of the year, it’s now. Besides that, look at Wolters as a high-average guy with the potential for R+RBI. The other three games are in Pittsburgh against a potentially Still ILL Chris Archer, a potentially still injured Trevor Williams, and a surprisingly strong (so far) Jordan Lyles. I’m not overly concerned.
Isiah Kiner-Falefa – (Texas Rangers): I’ll be honest, I don’t feel great about this. It’s not the easiest of weeks and it’s not the best of catchers, but the upside is high against the Mariners (not Yusei Kikuchi) and the Angels (unfortunately Griffin Canning). The floor is low for average, so if you can’t afford to play with fire a little bit, I’d probably not stream him.
Vazquez could be good, but he’s got the duo of Astros aces and I don’t love that at all.
(Photo by Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire)
I’m in a league where Castro isn’t available and i’ve been streaming all season at C, and i’m going with Jansen coming off the two homer weekend with seven games and a few lefties lined up against him. Doable?