Here, friend, are some catchers that I will be targeting at my 2014 fantasy drafts after the top options are gone. I’m not going to get into the strategy of punting catchers. Been there, half-drunkenly wrote that three years ago then had to fight Steve McQueen for writing credit. Click on the player’s name where applicable to read more and see their 2014 projections. This is a (legal-in-most-countries) supplement to the top 20 catchers of 2014 fantasy baseball. Now, guys and four girl readers, I am not saying avoid catchers like Salvador Perez if they fall, but to get on this list, you need to be drafted later than 200 overall. And, to preemptively answer at least seven comments, yes, I will go around the entire infield, outfield and pitchers to target very late. Anyway, here’s some catchers to target for 2014 fantasy baseball:
Evan Gattis (Yahoo 203, MDC 215, ESPN 241) – I took some guff for ranking Gattis ahead of Mauer, cause y’all a bunch of guffers! Gattis has averaged around one homer every five games every stop he’s made in his professional career. And half of those stops were when he was subsisting on the cheese found in discarded pizza boxes. There’s a real chance here for a top 5 catcher season overall. If he can slug 25 homers, 80+ RBIs and 70+ runs are well within his reach since he doesn’t suffer from an ailment that runs in my family, Short Arms, Deep Pocket Disease. The only real concern is he hits .230 or lower or decides to leave baseball to walk the earth like Caine in Kung Fu.
Jason Castro (Yahoo 252, MDC 291) – I’m guessing Yahoo just forgot to rank him until it was very late. “You want me to put Liquid Paper on the computer screen? Well, all right!” That’s The Noise talking to Funston. Every year a catcher I rank in the top 10 just happens to fall for other sites and a catcher I wouldn’t have taken previously ends up on one of my teams. This year it’s Castro. I figured he’d be off the board by the time I ranked him, but if he’s not, then more yummy for us. More Yummy For Us is also the name for my future chain of Japanese convenience stores. Yummy Cashier, where’s your Yummy Pocky?
Miguel Montero (Yahoo 230, ESPN 232, MDC 303) – Up until last year, Montero was good for 15-ish homers and around a .280 average. Then last year happened — 11 HRs, .230 in 116 games. It depends on how much you think last year was his beginning of the end or just an injury-shortened aberration or if I’m using the word aberration correctly.
Alex Avila (MDC 344, Yahoo unranked, ESPN unranked) We’re admittedly deep at this point, but slightly surprised ESPN and Yahoo both haven’t ranked him. AA doesn’t get you drunk on his stats? No, he doesn’t really. He is only 27 years old with a top catcher year under his belt (2011: 19 HRs, .295), so worth the flyer.
Mike Zunino (MDC 347, Yahoo unranked, ESPN unranked) If this were 3 years ago, Zunino would’ve not only been ranked by the Big Two, but they would’ve been touting him as a top 100 guy. Maybe they felt the effects of getting burned on Wieters, Jesus Montero and every other catcher not named Posey. I don’t necessarily think Zunino will be 12-team mixed league viable catcher from the jump, but definitely worth a flyer since he does have 20+ homer pop that hopefully won’t kill you on average.
Welington Castillo (MDC 356, Yahoo unranked, ESPN unranked) Where’s the beouf?! Welington’s got it! Catchers usually take a tad longer to mature — which I’m pronouncing ma-toor in my head — so Castillo could surprise and finally show that 15+ homer power that has long been rumored in his bat. Or George Kottaras, not the dad on Webster, will sneak in enough playing time where fantasy baseballers (<–my mom’s term!) are wondering why Papadopoulos isn’t the starter rather than the backup.
Yan Gomes (Yahoo 258, ESPN 277, MDC 306) – If Yanny Gomes can just manage to hit righties…*checking notes* Wait, that’s Jonny Gomes. The decree passed down by King Hanathan Yanson of Brazil in the 1300’s that no boy can be named John with the standard spelling has made for some interesting workarounds by Brazilians. Yan has shown power in the minors, and the Indians seem content to put Chuck Santana at 3rd base, which would boost Gomes’s value since no one would be breathing down his neck for playing time. Brucely, I’m not even sure who’s backing Gomes up anymore. Maybe Lonnie Chisenhall becomes Lonnie Catchingball. Maybe Gomes gets 750 ABs and plays all 27 innings of their July 27th game (don’t doubt my crystal ball). Maybe Indian pitchers just pitch to third base and Santana plays both positions from 3rd. Either way — or eyethurr if Mystikal’s reading — I’d simply take a flyer on Gomes at the end of my drafts and pray he gets 120 games played and 17+ homers. There’s also Sky’s Yan Gomes sleeper post that he wrote in a freight car on an old timey railroad.