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Like Tobias from Arrested Development, the Miami Marlins will forever be known for their offseason fire sale. OH, THE BURNING! Giancarlo Stanton seems to be the last man standing in South Beach. However, rebuilding can often mean opportunities for young talent to shine. This will be the case for catcher Rob Brantly. Brantly, 23, will have the chance to be the every-day catcher (sorry, Jeff Mathis) for Miami in 2013.

Rob Brantly, along with Jacob Turner, were acquired by the Marlins in the Anibal Sanchez trade to the Tigers last July. Before being traded, Brantly was considered a top 10 prospect in the Tigers organization. After being traded to Miami, Brantly instantly got his chance to catch behind the plate at the big league level.

In 100 at bats for the Marlins in 2012, Brantly hit .290/.372/.460. Coming up through the minors, Brantly was known for his offensive output. He’s not going to provide a lot of power to fantasy owners, but will be known for his ability to hit the ball into the gaps. Brantly has also maintained a low strikeout percentage (12.1%) throughout the minors and his time with the Marlins.

Towards the end of 2012, Brantly was hitting 6th in the batting order with Miami. Now, after trading John Buck to the Blue Jays in the 12-player deal, Brantly doesn’t have to worry about losing playing time. And although the Marlins will most likely struggle offensively in 2013, his spot in the batting order seems to be safe, providing chances to get on base and drive runners home.

Brantly’s low strikeout rate, mixed with ability to get on base, gives him a legitimate chance to surprise fantasy owners in 2013. If you’re looking for him to hit 15-20 home runs or steal bases, he’s not your guy. I would say his numbers will fall somewhere slightly above those of Chicago Cubs second baseman, Darwin Barney.

So where does this put Brantly in terms of fantasy ranks for catchers? Realistically, he sits somewhere overall between 15-20. His upside makes him worth taking a flyer as a quality backup catcher, with potential to be a starter as the year progresses. In deeper leagues, and especially two-catcher leagues, don’t let this guy go undrafted. He has the tools to provide stability to an always thin and inconsistent fantasy position. My 2013 projected line for him is:  400 AB, 45 R, 10 HR, 45 RBI, .270/.340/.440, 4 SB, 40 BB, 60 SO

15 Responses

  1. Edub says:
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    Always love a good catching sleeper being that I never end up with any of the top guys. Had Rosario and Perez on my team last year, hoping to find more guys like that this year.

    A keeper question if I may…Desmond Jennings for $14 or Crawford for $8? Salary increases $5 to retain for next season. Thanks

    • slimsmitty

      slimsmitty says:
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      I would keep Jennings. He has a lot of room to improve and become a focal point with BJ Upton gone. There are just too many question marks with Crawford this year. I don’t believe he will be the player he once was.

  2. Curt says:
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    Who shoul I keep??….Austin Jackson as a 10th rounder or Carlos Santana at 14??……2 catcher league. Thank you.

    • slimsmitty

      slimsmitty says:
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      In a two-catcher league, you have to go with Santana. Jackson will put up good numbers this year, but Santana is a top 5 catcher. I will admit the catcher position is deep this year, but you can always find outfield depth.

  3. Rags says:
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    In a two-catcher, NL-only OBP keeper league (up to 15 players kept) is he worth keeping at $8?

    • Rags says:
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      @Rags: Forgot to mention 11 team league, although maybe 10 this year.

      • slimsmitty

        slimsmitty says:
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        His track record proves he will have a solid OBP this season. However, I believe you might be able to draft him for a little less of a price. However, it also depends on what catchers are being kept.

  4. Big AL says:
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    Speaking of Miami. How do think the league is going to pitch to Stanton with this weak line up? Do they pitch around him in all key situations? He has very little protection.Bottom line,What does this cost him in runs and rbi? I would never think of avoiding him in the 1st or 2nd round,but this is a unique situation.Plus you know playing for a team like this is going to be hard to get up mentally when your losing so much. All though 150 walks may help a little for his stats. Interesting problem.What’s your take and have any other writer’s you know,weighted in on this?

    • slimsmitty

      slimsmitty says:
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      I think you shouldn’t be concerned about the mental aspect of Stanton. You are correct in saying he will be pitched around in key situations. However, good players will get their production. Stanton is a guy worth taking in the early second round of drafts. In a keeper league, I would take him in the late first round.

      The Marlins have a very young team, so it’s hard to say who’s going to step up and have a nice year. Stanton won’t be putting up 100 RBI this season, but his OBP will be very solid.

      If you want my opinion, the Marlins situation doesn’t shy me away from taking Stanton. His upside is through the roof, so draft with confidence.

  5. Nick says:
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    Does anyone have any knowledge as to when the updated 2013 War room is going to be available?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Currently working on it…

  6. Marty says:
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    Who do you keep andrus round 11 Alex rios round 16 or smjarzhia round 30

    12 team roto mixed league.

    My other keepers are Joey bats 28 Allen Craig 23 Todd frazier 31 Justin upton 5 and Madison
    BUmgarner round 10

    I can keep 6 players

    • slimsmitty

      slimsmitty says:
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      Here’s my thought process:

      Alex Rios is too inconsistent each year to be a keeper on that list of 3 players. Samardzjia has a really high ceiling as a fantasy pitcher. Cubs fans view him as a potential #2 starter for several years. However, in a 12 team league, you have to keep the SS. It’s such a commodity position in fantasy.

      The only move I would consider elsewhere would be keeper Samardzjia over Frazier. I don’t see Frazier ever amounting to an elite-level fantasy talent.

      Let me know what you end up doing. Good luck!

  7. Dave says:
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    Interestingly he performed well against stiff competition last year – mlb.com showcases his dingers against Strasburg and Dickey, knocks against Huddy, Medlen.. he seems to adapt his swing well to the situation and when he lets it loose in hitters’ counts he’s got nice lift. If he’s clearly got the job and can stay healthy, why not get 500 ABs and 15-20 dingers? He’s clearly got a strong enough body to handle the workload from the way showtime showed the other players fixating on his abs…

    • slimsmitty

      slimsmitty says:
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      500 ABs is definitely a possibility. My only concern with the amount would be the fact that the Marlins probably won’t be competing for a playoff spot. In that event, they may give him more days off than desired.

      As for the home runs, I just don’t see the numbers throughout the minors, plus the big ballpark in Miami, adding up to 15-20 this season in the majors. I definitely agree that the pitchers he took deep are impressive. Let’s stick with the 10 HR projected and just consider each one after an added bonus.

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