Friday, February 12, 2016

Fantasy Baseball: So You Need a Catcher?

If you have played Fantasy Baseball one time or 100 times you know one thing for sure, there are certain positions you have to get a little bit early or you won’t get them at all. One position that immediately comes to mind is the closer position as there is basically a finite amount of them (unlike an outfield that has three per team and a total of 90 outfielders not counting bench pieces) and another one of them is the catcher position. There just aren’t that many run producing offensive catchers that you can snag for fantasy purposes so you may want to grab them early if you want a good one. Everyone knows the Buster Posey’s of the world as he sits atop the position but what about below him? That’s where I come in, hopefully.

Buster Posey is the best catcher in real life and in fantasy but if I were to fill out a Top 5 list behind him I would have Salvador Perez, Yadier Molina, Kyle Schwarber and Jonathan Lucroy in some order behind him. Brian McCann comes to mind as well only because he possesses 20-25 home run power and plays inside Yankee Stadium where the runs and RBI opportunities are as plentiful as the beer and the suits in the stands. If McCann is 6th on my list then in some order behind him Matt Wieters, who should be better in his second year removed from Tommy John surgery, Travis d’Arnaud, Russell Martin, for his power only, and Yan Gomes probably fill out my Top 10.

I know many will call me crazy but if I had to stretch the list to a #11 I may go with Francisco Cervelli of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Yes I know I am ignoring the likes of Yasmani Grandal, Devin Mesoraco (little protection behind him and no reason to pitch to him), Derek Norris (Petco Park), and Stephen Vogt (see Derek Norris) to name a few but they all have legitimate reasons to worry about their offensive production. Plus I like Cervelli and the player he has become since leaving New York and heading to Pittsburgh, I admit though that I may be higher on him than most. I think I’m also pretty high on Yadier Molina as well and that’s okay.

If you don’t grab one of these catchers you are taking a true risk in your league. You may get something out of J.T. Realmuto in Miami, especially with the fences drawn in a bit, or John Ryan Murphy in Minnesota over the course of a season but if you have to rely on a Wilson Ramos of Washington, Miguel Montero of Chicago, Nick Hundley of Colorado or Blake Swihart of Boston to name a few you may be in trouble just a tad. My strategy over the years, for better or worse, was to grab a catcher early so I knew that I had one. That’s the best advice I can give you, reach for Posey and settle for a guy in the Top 5. If you miss then you’re in trouble. Don’t miss. 


  1. I have always liked him, as I am admittedly a defence first guy with catchers but only a 60%-40% split. Catchers like Piazza don't make me happy...IF I were pitching to him as my catcher.
    Man on first (with speed) he calls fastball after help himself out forgetting about his job, to help the pitcher get past the situation.
    Cisco (Francisco Cervelli) was one of the best Clutch hitters on the team, bar none!

    1. Cervelli did have a flair for the dramatic, didn't he? He was awesome in the clutch and when he was needed the most. if he would just put his damn hand behind him while he was catching he would be fine...

    2. I had noticed that but as I have no experience in that part of the game. I thought it would be presumptive of me to comment...although I remember many others commenting on it and seeing it myself.
      I do know what I wanted in a catcher when I was pitching. A strong hand, good framing and picking the right pitch for any situation. If I can see the hitter moving up and tight in the box...the catcher better see it and call the right pitch to counter the move, not a soft down and away pitch...or I will call my own game and have a short talk afterwards.
      That is my limit of knowledge into the hardest job on the team.

    3. It may be what makes a pitcher or catcher more comfortable with the hand out there, which is what I assume you are referring to, but Cervelli has "caught" the ball with that hand more than once. He has to start thinking about his longterm future as a catcher.

    4. Not really, strong hand means his catching hand. With me it was no problem catching my fastball (I didn't have one) but when one has to catch a 96+ fast ball and frame it to look like a strike it takes a strong but soft hand if that makes sense at all.
      You are right with Cisco getting hit on the throwing hand to many times is a big No No!

  2. That reminds me of a little something many pitchers (and infielders) don't know about the so-called smart pitchers/infielders. Many of the "Smart Pitchers" watch the batter as he sets himself in the box and will read him and his likes and dislikes. They already have his scouting report and (have seen/faced him a time or two) so anything that changes the way he sets up in the box is like a red flag, telling the infielders and catcher/pitcher what he may try and do.
    Actually, it is much like playing poker both the pitcher and hitter as a one on one game.
    There is much more to it than that, but I think you can see, there is more to being a very good player than most fans realize. Of course, the ones with outstanding talent don't need that part of their game just us humans need it.
    Oh, by the by, that in itself is a talent, ever wonder why an infielder moves a foot more than where he was set to be? Why is this SS/2nd baseman is most always in the right place at the right time not needing that great speed to get to the ball? It is called a learned talent.

    1. I should clarify the way infielders will move a step or so one way or another. They are positioned by the coaches for each hitter and the situation of the moment but, some will see something and adjust a step or two more or less.
      Just because there is nothing to do today!


Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)