The catcher position for 2015 places only four players inside the top 100 picks. If you’re not going Buster Posey early, you’re waiting awhile. The position seems to be stocked with high-power, low-average type players for the most part, so your goal here is to get a productive backstop without paying too much. Let’s take a look at several over/underrated players, breakout candidates, and our top sleeper picks at the catcher position.
My love for Santana is only exceeded by my love for fine IPA’s and drinking them on Opening Day at 10 AM. They’re both problems I need to deal with. Anyway, back to Santana. He can RAKE (27 HR, 85 RBI in 2014). He’s eligible at three positions (1B, C, 3B), which is manly. He’ll be leaving most of the actual catching (once again) to Mr. Yan Gomes, which is great news for his durability. His BABIP was super low in 2014, which means his BA should normalize around .260. And (in my mind) he’s probably the best value if you’re planning on paying for the catcher spot. Love, thy name is Carlos.
I hope the hype machine doesn’t get out of control for ‘El Oso Blanco’. I love this guy. He gets to hit in the AL, in a hitters park, on a team that’s still developing their talent. Basically, he’s going to play every day, and some of his outs / doubles (for Dustin) are going to turn into HR. He’ll play 1B, DH, and C. Maybe even a little OF if they get desperate enough. If you can pay a reasonable price for the man-bear, get in on that action. He’s a beast.
In 518 AB in 2014, Gomes hit 21 HR and drove in 74, while batting .278. His ADP last year was basically nothing, so he was a godsend to those who were prospecting for catcher value. Featured in about the 10th round (12 team drafts) or so this year, I still like his chances to return solid value. He’s consistent, in a good spot to hit, and is in his prime (28 years old). He’s one of the few affordable catcher options that you can set and forget.
I suppose you could make the argument for drafting Posey at 28.3. You could say that it gives you a massive advantage in the catcher area over basically every other team in the league, every week…and you wouldn’t necessarily be wrong about that. But I look for value first and foremost, and despite a wonderful year in 2014 ( 22 / 72 / 89 / .311) Posey didn’t finish inside the top 40. I think he’s an excellent, game changing player for the Giants, but my personal belief is that he’s a better real-life player than fantasy player. If you think the move to 1B will allow Posey to improve on those numbers, the by all means, draft away. I’ll most likely be prospecting the catcher bargain bin, looking for the 2015 version of Devin Mesoraco.
I do like the fact that Perez actually can help you in the BA category, and he does have decent power (17 HR last year). But where the rubber meets the road, Perez finished as the #211 player overall. He’s being drafted at #114. The Royals offense overachieved last year, and I doubt they can repeat 2014. I wouldn’t take Perez at his current ADP, or even 40 picks later – there are still a ton of monster upside players on the board at either of those points. No thanks.
Personally, I simply don’t see too much to get excited about here. Guy who was marginal in the AL goes to a huge NL pitchers park, where he’ll undoubtedly bat just in from of the starting pitcher. He wasn’t a big HR guy before, and you have to think he’ll be less so now. I don’t even think the Padres lineup is that great, even after they bought every available FA and tradable asset. Ignore.
I doubt too many of you owned Vogt last year, but I did. He was absolutely raking through the first half (.353 BA) and then hurt his foot, tried to play through it, and tanked. He ended up having it surgically repaired. He can also play 1B and OF in Yahoo leagues, and positively wears out righties. I love Vogt as a late round steal – he’s virtually free!
Zunino hit .199 in 2014. I know that’s really awful, but it’s also the reason he’s going virtually undrafted. On the bright side, he did manage 22 HR in only 438 AB, which is a pretty solid HR / AB rate. The Seattle roster looks to be quite a bit better than usual this year, and if you’re drafting for upside, Zunino has the pedigree and opportunity to break out.
Average draft position (ADP) information is courtesy of FantasyPros and is aggregated from Yahoo, CBS, and ESPN draft data.