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Make sure you check out Scott Evans’ Prospect ETA’s for a sense of potential high impact call-ups. I’m going to focus on prospects and MLB sleepers beyond the obvious list of prospects. If I list a prospect, that said prospect should have the opportunity to make an impact this year, and in my opinion, have the minor league numbers/skill to translate well enough.

My ‘translate’ for fantasy purposes is simple: do they make enough contact (how often they put the ball in play); what is their approach to putting the ball in play (balls in play mix i.e. linedrives, flyballs, groundballs, HR/FB, infield flyballs, etc.); and what power/speed potential do they have from a fantasy counting stats perspective. Speed won’t have much of a weight in this post though.

Onto the fat-a$$es (w/ an ESPN Ownership <10% as of 3/31):

Alex Avila (3%): He’s really just staying-on-the-field-away from 20 HR considering the 17% homerun to flyball ratio, and he’ll bat 6th at times meaning he’ll have a ton to drive in. He’s actually a pretty solid option if you’re in an OBP/SLG/OPS league over using AVG.

Dioner Navarro (1.4%): He wants to prove he’s a full-time catcher and why not plug him into your c2 spot since he gets to do it in Toronto. I’m down with 15+ homers with a .270+ avg. I’m skipping a Matt Wieters to go Navarro and basically any of the guys below based on draft position and the lack of value differential.

Yasmani Grandal (.4%): Did everyone forget his 2012 already?! Even last year, he walked exactly as much as he struck out: 16.7%! I can see him batting 5th later in the season when he’s healthy…6 at worst. His .201 BA last year came from an insanely low .257 BABIP. In A+, he had a .359; .377 in AA; .381 in AAA. In his first go, he had a relatively realistic .333 BABIP. I think a .275 BA is a floor for this guy if he can stay on the field enough to reach a sustainable BABIP for us to enjoy.

Josmil Pinto (.4%): It’s great that he made the opening day roster, but Gardenhire is still the manager and Kurt Suzuki is batting 2nd. His balls in play approach could make him a solid fantasy counting stats catcher. He could be surprisingly fun to own the next few years if they’re putting Buxton-Dozier-Mauer-Arcia-Sano out there in front of him.  Or the Twins can trade him like Wilson Ramos where he becomes a monster for another team.

Wellington Castillo (.2%): I think the Cubs finally know what they have with him. BABIP has little face, but it’s been .3475 in the last 600+ plate appearances. He’s a solid AVG play, but he’s as good or better in OBP leagues. He’s another catcher that could be batting 5th sooner than later meaning more counting stats. Staying rational though, I’m projecting something along the lines of 55-15-65-270/.345/.765. Even without a ballsy proportionate Chris Davis-esque age 27 season, he’ll do for your c2.

For your 2015 Fantasy Baseball Pleasure:

1)   Travis d’Arnaud: I like Travis, but unless he hits in or closer to the heart of the order, I don’t see him outperforming the above tier this year on the Mets. Bump him up to your 2015 lists though.

Here are 2 other 2015-2016 catchers to keep an eye on  in dynasty leagues after more obvious names like Gary Sanchez, Jorge Alfaro and far-away prospets like Stryker Trahan and Reese McGuire.

2)   Tom Murphy: When the power catcher that is Rosario could no longer catch, another power catcher will be in Colorado. He doesn’t have the same raw power that Rosario has, but he could be more of an overall onbase threat. As a catcher (with impact by 2015), he’s worth an add in dynasty leagues.

3)   Blake Swihart: If Swihart trends forward again in the discipline department and takes a step forward in the power department, he could shoot up lists in conjunction with other on base sox-monsters Mookie Betts and Garin Cecchini (and the more-known Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley of course). By the time Ortiz/Pedroia/Napoli are too old, the sox will have an influx of homegrown talent.

Next up – CI followed by MI & OF. Here’s my post last week on Sleeper Starting Pitchers. Some Sneak Peeks:

1B: Mitch Moreland = Poor Man’s Chris Davis

2B: Tommy La Stella = 75% of Dustin Pedroia

3B: Cody Asche = Chase Utley 2.0

SS: Alcides Escobar – his 2013 BABIP simply offset the 2012 BABIP.  Assume the in-between and expect something closer to .270 with 25 SB.

OF: Oswaldo Arcia, Justin Ruggiano, and Stephen Piscotty (yes, even over Oscar Tavares).

 

Follow Dan on Twitter @Rotobanter or buy thermal packaging from him.

  1. Mike says:
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    Nice writeup!

    How would you rank this pu-pu platter of low-end catchers for a 2C league:

    Iannetta
    Hanigan
    Suzuki
    Flowers
    Arencibia

    • Dano

      dano says:
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      @Mike: I wouldn’t rank them ;) prob iannetta for hr and rbi.

  2. Joe says:
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    12 team 2C OBP league, Grandal, Zunino, and Castillo are available. Would you drop Jaso for any of those?

    • Dano

      dano says:
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      @Joe: grandal is an obp monster. He could have the best c obp or atleast top 3 this year.

  3. Oz says:
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    I know it’s early but what’s the ETA for the braves best catcher prospect? I’m blanking on his name but I hear good buzz about him. My catching is killing me in my dynasty league. I drafted d’arnaud with my last pick but he’s done nothing yet.

    • Montezuma's Revenge... right now says:
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      @Oz: christian bethancourt.

  4. Nightpandas says:
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    Rolling with Arencibia right now in my 15 team keep 11 (28 moves left) league with Ramos on the DL. Better off with Meseraco, Grandal or Pinto?

  5. Dano

    dano says:
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    Bethancourt? Not sure he will be a great fantasy catcher which us why I left him off

    • Oz says:
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      @dano: ok thx. Btw is the order of catchers u listed their ranking? I’m tryin to decide who to replace d’arnaud or if I should stick it out. I’m thinking of dropping him for Avila but I have to wait till Mon cuz my league put in transaction limits and many other anti-Oz rules to try to limit my dominance (I went 22-1 last year.)

      • Dano

        dano says:
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        @Oz: it’s not but good question and in future posts it will be in order…I like grandal the best. I think he’ll bat third sooner than later or 5th worse case now…he’s already back to disciplined form.

  6. Shake N Bacon says:
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    Pinto is intriguing. Why does Kurt Suzuki have to take playing time away from young good catchers (Ramos in Wash. for example)….Makes me sad :'(

    • Dano

      dano says:
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      @Shake N Bacon: totes agree…I guess he just blocks twins or past twins twins catchers

  7. Birdmann says:
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    Mike Z will only get better as the season goes on, I am drinking the Lloyd kool-aid. Twenty plus HRs and a BA north of. 230 will out perform the above mentioned.

    • Dano

      dano says:
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      @Birdmann: I agree. Did I miss him? Forgot if his %ownership was under 10%. He could hit 18+ hr this year.

      • Birdmann says:
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        @dano: yeah only 6%

        • Birdmann says:
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          @Birdmann: 8% in Yahoo and the 6% is ESPN

  8. Big Al says:
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    Like a lot of guys I had Ramos and was happy. I’m in one H2H league that counts K’s as a minus -1 so guys that can carry a better average with some power is what I’m looking for. Been thinking Mesoraco just off DL and will play this week,and Zunino. Also available Navarro,Grandel,Castillo,Martin,Ruiz and Salty. What’s your thoughts on the top 3 guy’s out of this group. Great article and your timing with Ramos going down on the first day of the season will help a lot of us decide our next step.

    • Dano

      dano says:
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      @Big Al: grandal! Doesn’t strike out and power potential

  9. BitchesBeShoppach says:
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    Stick with Castro or pick up grandal?

    • Dano

      dano says:
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      @BitchesBeShoppach: standard 5×5? I’d personally go grandal ..can you trade Castro and pick up grandal?

      • BitchesBeShoppach says:
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        12 team obp league with one catcher. I like where Castro hits in the Astros line up. I tried shopping him around, but got no bites.

  10. Dano

    dano says:
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    I’m personally grandal over Castro so long as grandals healthy

  11. The Thumb says:
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    Eat a dick JJ Hoover

    • Dano

      dano says:
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      @The Thumb: ha. This is why I draft kimbrel and uehara in most leagues
      Sure things with peripherals

      • The Thumb says:
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        @dano: yeah I’m definitely reaching for at least 1 $12 dollar salad. It’s a sv+hold league so I have some flexibility lol

  12. Jay Zee says:
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    Flowers is off to an excellent start- why is he off a list with Avcila on it (who is wretched)?

    • Jay Zee says:
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      @Jay Zee: That’s “Avila” of course

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