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See Jesus Montero, see Mike Zunino…Shoot, see any young catchers.  Don’t care if it’s Chinatown or on Riverside, catchers aren’t great guys to look at when they’re young.  Defense is demanding for them.  Have to handle the pitching staff.  Have to bend down and shizz.  It doesn’t seem like much fun.  I don’t like bending down to look for a lost dog toy under the couch, imagine doing that for three hours a night.  Blech.  Get me a Barcalounger and put it behind home plate.  Actually, I don’t want people to steal this invention that I’m going on Shark Tank with, but if you put a motor on a Barcalounger, you really never have to stand up again.  A great year from a young catcher is handling the pitching staff and chipping in a homer here and there and a .240 average.  I still don’t fully buy Yadier Molina’s stats the last few years, but let’s assume he is this good.  For his first seven years, he never topped 8 homers or a .304 batting average.  In his last three years, he hasn’t had a mark under either of those.  If the pitchers are doing well and/or liking how the catcher is calling the game, catchers don’t have to hit, especially not when they’re first called up.  This seems to go doubly for NL teams.  BTW, try to say ‘doubly’ without sounding drunk.  You can’t do it.  So, expect nothing from Travis d’Arnaud.  But if he backs into some stats (say, while sitting in a motorized Barcalounger), what can we expect of Travis d’Arnaud for 2014 fantasy baseball?

When he was called up, I said d’Arnaud could be Carlos Santana as early as Fourteen-After-Twenty (or FAT).  He can’t not hit, which either means he can or can’t depending on how we’re counting negatives, and in turn double negatives.  He hit 21 homers in Double-A with a .311 average.  In Triple-A, more of the same — 16 homers, .333 average — in only 67 games.  There was a reason why the Mets sent their Cy Young winner, The Dickster, to Toronto for d’Arnaud.  At some point, d’Arnaud will be a top five catcher for all of fantasy.  I’m gonna be totally honest with you for a change, I have no idea when d’Arnaud will be a top five catcher.  Could be this year, could be in 2017 when you will be taking flying cars to your draft and you will be able to marry your robot maid (in Vermont) while going down the aisle in a motorized Barcalounger.  Catchers’ growth charts are hard to predict.  Carlos Santana should be better than he’s been, Matt Wieters should be better, the list goes on.  Those guys haven’t even reached their potential yet.  Will d’Arnaud be worth a flyer at the end of your draft?  Yes, definitely.  Will you want to drop him by April 7th?  Maybe.  For 2014, I’ll give him the line of 52/16/67/.260/2 with a chance for much more upside or downside.  Now which one of you knows how to put a motor on a Barcalounger; I’m taking bids for engineers.

  1. gareth says:
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    Hitting in Metco will do him no favors…………..

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Don’t think it’ll matter with his bat…

  2. Clyde Prompto says:
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    As someone who’s overpaid for Matt Wieters basically every year he’s been in the majors, I fully endorse staying away from youngin’s at the C position.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Ha, yup

  3. TheNewGuy says:
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    At Darnauds price hed be worth a very late round shot, no risk there so what are you losing. Hes only worth touching in 2 catcher leagues though and I dont play in any unfortunately, so I guess ill be staying away this year.

    Honestly had no idea what Mike Zunino did last year though, must have been one of the quietest top prospect rookie seasons I can remember. Did he suck bad?

    If so even more reason to stay away. After Santana what rookie catchers have actually hit on debut and remained valuable? Think we’re going right back to B-Mac.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Nah, he’s not a two catcher league guy…He’s worth drafting in every league for some upside… Buster Posey hit from his debut on…

  4. Chris says:
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    Grey- I’ve got an offer on my $47 Braun in Ottoneu point of $10 Headley and $4 Leubke. I know Braun’s overpriced, but I’m wondering what your take is on what would be a good return for a guy who is overpriced but still could be a beast.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I wouldn’t go near Braun for that price… Way too much…

      • Chris says:
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        @Grey: Haha ok. That’s what I thought. I went ahead and traded him for Headley and Luebke because apparently one guy in my league thinks he’s worth $47.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          @Chris: Ah, gotcha

  5. Aaron says:
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    Who do you like more in the long run, Machado or Buxton?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I’m concerned on Machado’s knee… Buxton sounds like he’s going to be the read deal…

  6. Wake Up says:
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    wavy lines, wavy lines…was having a very similar conversation in Sept…I said, alright bend down…she did…I said, alright bend over…had to try…she left…moved on…alright you, you bend down…she said yeah that is tough…try walking around in heels for 8 hours/day…you try walking around with balls all day everyday…you try showing the top half of your boobs to everyone you meet and still expect to be respected… she made me eggs Benedict, in the morning…

    point is…what’s the point of having a two catcher league? do you know?
    if you do…you should know what to do in a one catcher league…
    I mean could you imagine over-drafting someone like Salvador Perez?
    Do you have any idea how frustrating that would have been?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Hahahahaha… Drafting Perez was not frustrating, dealing with his maternal’s maternal whims… That was another ball of gritted teeth…

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Haha…His dead abuelita told him to do it!

          • Wake Up says:
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            @Grey: #neverforgether …
            (NIIU – I miss you… playing in the background)

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Salvy plays Careless Whisper on a boombox placed on her headstone… It’s on an eternal loop like JFK’s eternal light…

              • Wake Up says:
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                @Grey: hahaha

  7. Gareth says:
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    I mistakenly joined a 2 catcher league last season. Hated it. The position is so weak, why do you need 2 of them?

    The guys don’t play full time, Injury is a constant concern – a Foul tip / Home plate collision / Wear and Tear, No Speed at all, Some Catchers are Platooned.

    I usually target guys who Don’t play there anymore but still have Catcher eligibility, or guys that play in the American League who are good enough that their bat stays in the Lineup at DH or 1B when they are not catching. That way you get a solid number or at bats and counting stats.

    I know Grey preaches not taking a Catcher until much later in the draft – and I agree to an extent. I would do this if I missed out on certain Catching targets.

    Victor Martinez and Mike Napoli were guys I would usually reach for. However Martinez and Napoli are not Catcher eligible any more and as strictly 1B / DH they are not worth the cost for 2014.

    It seems Joe Mauer will be the 2014 version of the catcher eligible player turned 1B / DH. He’s intriguing for the right price and hits for a good average. However I’m concerned by the lingering effects of the Concussion, the Massive Home Ballpark and the Anemic Offense that surrounds him.

    As an Indians fan I love Carlos Santana. 2014 will offer him a lot more time at 1B / DH to keep him fresh due to the emergence of Yan Gomes. The Indians love his Pop, OBP ability (second only to Mike Trout in the AL), durability (The only significant time he’s ever lost was due to a home plate collision a few years back), and will keep his bat in the lineup as much as possible.

    If he falls to me in the right slot I’ll grab him. If I miss out – I’ll settle for upside guys like Jason Castro and Wilson Ramos later on.

    Finally – With all that Squatting, I wonder if Catchers are more Susceptible to Hemorrhoids?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Gareth: Guys that don’t play there anymore but are still eligible are ideal, but there’s very few of them usually…Maybe one or two a year…

  8. Sky

    Sky says:
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    There are certain positions you want to win in your draft (1B/3B/OF) and there are other positions it’s ok to be ok just like everyone else. Catcher is one of the latter. Drafted Salvy, picked up Ramos, picked back up Salvy, played Castro for a little while, then Ramos. Pretty sure I got less frustration outta that pile than any Wieters or Mauer drafter did and might’ve even outproduced them while I was at it.

    • Gareth says:
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      @Sky: You’re right. I think that’s my failing in that regard – That I want to “Win” the category.

      I’d draft names like Mauer, Santana, McCann and then see guys (like the ones you mentioned) outperform them. That’s frustrating.

      Catchers like Rosario, Castro, Ramos emerge and make my ploy look foolish.

      Who would you Target for 2014, Sky?

      • Sky

        Sky says:
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        @Gareth: at catcher? Whoever goes cheapest. I’m assuming Castro/Ramos/Perez will still go relatively low in 2014 but it’s just too early to tell. Probably keep my eyes on Yasmani and Miguel Montero as well.

  9. Gareth says:
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    Mets sign Crispy Young for 1 year 7.25 million.

    Grey – You like this addition or the Indians David Murphy 2 year 12 million signing better?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Gareth: I’d prefer Murphy for his purpose to the club (a platoon player)…

  10. ReleasetheMcCracken says:
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    Belated welcome back from your honeymoon. Hope you used plenty of sunblock on the stache. Offseason trading is getting underway in my 12 team dynasty keeper. Was offered this trade:

    my Votto straight up for his Braun.

    My1B: Votto, CDavis, Matt Adams, Singleton(milb)
    MyOF: Kemp, DomBrown, AGordon, Holliday, Fowler, MChoice(milb), AGarcia(milb)

    We keep 17 players at their current MLB salary with no limit on keeper years. We start 4OF (3OF + CF) and rosters include CI and DH spots .

    Salary relief alone might make it worthwhile. Plus a little dreaming on Kemp and Braun return to form and my OF looks pretty good…

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Thanks! Sunblocked from my nose to my upper lip… I’d want Votto, but have no idea of salary considerations…

  11. J-FOH says:
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    I thought they shipped the “Dickster” so they could get more than a nickle and a couple of dirty looks for him. I was thinking Yadier got introduced to Alberts St.Louis connect and thats been the catalyst for his amazing jump. I hope the Dodgers bean him in the neck next year and knock that f**king tattoo and c**k sucking smirk off his face.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      HA… Something’s odd about the fact Yadier wasn’t even a top 15th ranked catcher for his first 10 years, then suddenly became a top three ranked one…

      • J-FOH says:
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        @Grey: He’s got juiced up monkey all up in his eyes….I’d still fight him if we ever cross paths

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          You’ll have to first get through his two giant older brothers….

          • J-FOH

            J-FOH says:
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            @Grey: thats why I’ll bring steaks and reece’s peanut butter cup moiniatures

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Ha!

              • J-FOH says:
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                @Grey: those wrappers can be a bitch

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  Ha, yup

                  • goodfold2 says:
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                    @Grey: hey jack, don’t bring up those kind of pujols accusations to him on a radio station, you will get served. He already is suing jack clark over that sort of thing. a dumbass sports shock jock basically got clark drunk (or something) and had him raving about “pujols was on roids and I have proof” while on air. Apparently this wasn’t the kind of proof which holds up in court though, was the problem.

  12. chunk says:
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    Awesome read today, had me cracking up.

    I drafted Trav last year last round of my draft, no regrets. I see the same thing happening again this year. The catcher carousel was surprisingly effective and probably will continue to be.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Thanks! And, yup…

      • J-FOH says:
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        @Grey: This might be the year to get a good deal on a catcher, If more people are zigging to the “I’ll play the carousel route for catcher” then you might score a more steady no worries player at a much better value than years past…..and please for the love of god NO….I MEAN NO “SHOULD I DRAFT POSEY IN THE 2ND ROUND” QUESTIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          I have some guys that I’ll be targeting after the top 100, but they could be decent or Salvador Perez…

          • goodfold2 says:
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            @Grey: I thought I got a deal on alex avila last year. 2 years ago i actually did get a huge deal on a.j.polack when he had his best season ever while i drafted him like 16th catcher off the board. If only avila hit whole year like he did at end of year i would’ve been cool.

  13. gareth says:
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    Its catcher roulette in 2014.

    Better than craps I suppose.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Ha

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      NOOOOOOO…. HA!

  14. gareth says:
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    Fantasy wise, what’s your take on bourgeois and freese in their new homes?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Both will get an uptick in value…

      • J-FOH says:
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        @Grey: Am I the only one not seeing much difference for Freese? The manager will move him all over that line up, he’ll get hurt, and like all things the Angels do will make everyone wonder what 4 year old is running that organization

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Yeah, not much difference, maybe a change of scenario might help him, and slightly easier pitchers…

  15. costaricanchata says:
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    @ Grey :

    appreciate the articles , but how you can post this one
    without giving a heads-up to cram-it doesn’t seem kosher .
    it’s like eating oreos without the milk .

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Better than milk without Oreos…

  16. SwaggerJackers says:
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    @Grey: What kind of OBP do you see from Deez Nards in 2014?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Who?

  17. Darkness says:
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    That line about going down the isle on a barcalounger was an instant classic. I’ll run it by my fiance, but I’m not sure it will fly since she isn’t a robot maid.

    I remember you saying that when you rank and project the players, you don’t look at any other rankings or anything to prevent bias, which I think is a great idea that I would like to copy (before I come back and look at your and Rudy’s ranks of course). Where do you grab your player list from then, the final rankings of the previous year? I feel as though I will miss guys like Kemp who were dogbreath last year since they will not be on the rankings.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      She’s not a robot maid…yet. I look at team lineups/rosters… All major sites have rosters… I usually just use ESPN…

  18. Wake Up says:
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    Question on Chris Carter’s swing? I was asking my physicist buddy the other day about how they are working on somewhat of a fingerprint-like thing for robot’s hands to make them more tactile…His response, “Just seems like a waste of lotion”…

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Ha! So, obviously you meant the X-Files Chris Carter there…

      • Wake Up says:
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        @Grey: *In a Chris Carter voice…”I can hit ball hard. I can hit ball far. I have no emotional response at all to striking out. Beep. Bop. Must do no harm. Must protect myself. Would you like another beep bop handjob Grey?”

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          I’m beginning to like Chris Carter… His first name is androgynous…

          • Wake Up says:
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            @Grey: and his middle name is Bowie…

            “Robot Handjobs Are The Future, And The Future Is Coming”

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              …and I’m wearing a white turtleneck and a boa around my neck… An actual boa constrictor…

  19. Mink says:
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    Grey, love the articles, many thanks. Was hoping to pick your brain on keepers. Need 8 from this list, for $260 auction, standard 5×5 H2H format: Braun (15); Matt Adams (1); Profar (2); Pedro Alvarez (3); Bogaerts (1); Austin Jackson (22); Dex Fowler (4); Gardner (16); Puig (1); Leonys Martin (1); Billy Hamilton (2); Nick Catellanos (1); Oscar Taveras (2); Dom Brown (2); Latos (21); Scherzer (20); Gerrit Cole (1); Wacha (1); Archie Bradley (1); Sonny Gray (1); and, Taijaun Walker (1). Dollar values in parenthesis. I appreciate any guidance.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Braun, Alvarez, Puig, Hamilton, Taveras, Brown, Gray, Cole… Nice group, could’ve went a few different ways…

  20. danny almonte says:
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    Grey, 12 team, keep 7. I have 6 locks -C.Davis, Machado, Cargo, Braun, Scherzer, Bumgarner.
    I never keep 3 pitchers, but I may be best off keeping Hamels – other options are D.Ortiz or C.Santana. Xfactor is our league has categories for BB, K, and OBP which makes Santana attractive. Ortiz defying father time has me confused too although he’d jam up my Util slot.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Keep Santana…

  21. Anthony says:
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    @Grey: What do you think about McCann becoming a yankee? Do you see him as a top 5 catcher coming into 2014? He should benefit from that short porch at yankee stadium.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Gonna go over McCann in tomorrow’s roundup…I like him in Yankee Stadium, yup…

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