Being a former junior-varsity back-up catcher with a pop time of about 5 and a caught stealing percentage of 0% — I have the perfect qualifications to write this column. 

Pop time for the un-initiated is another in a long line of new-age states that we nerds are using to quantify the game of baseball. The long and short of this stat is quite simple: it reflects how quickly a catcher can grab the ball from his glove and whip it to a certain base to catch the stealing runner. The lower the number, the better! However — that doesn’t tell the whole story of a catcher’s success rate at throwing out a runner. You can have a pop time of half a second and throw it over the second baseman’s head every single time and you quickly realize why you never made it to the varsity back-up catcher level.

For the purpose of this article I took a look at each team’s projected starting catcher (or catchers) and ranked them via their 2019 pop time (couldn’t find 2020’s data — sorry!) and paired this with their caught stealing percentage from 2019 and 2020 combined. There are some guys (like Ryan Jeffers) who didn’t record a pop time in 2019 so they’re only being judged on their caught-stealing rate. Unfair? Maybe. Happening anyway? Oh you betcha! 

Below I’ve grouped these guys together by the division they’ll be playing in so I can point out who benefits/suffers based on who they’re playing their most games against. I could’ve ranked and tiered them — but what fantasy info is there to glean from that if you’re not using defensive categories? At least this way, maybe you’ll see that a certain team/division has strong or weak catchers in it which helps certain runners or hurts certain pitchers.  

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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SAGNOF has a new Daddy! Or I guess technically Step-Daddy — this will always be Grey’s baby. That’s right — this year I’ll be slipping into those SAGNOF slippers each week to tell you who will be doing the saving and who will be doing the stealing! 

“So like good guys and bad guys?” asks my wife as I explain to her what I’m writing about this year. 

*Sigh* “Yes…like good guys and bad guys…” I wept.

Let’s get this SAGNOF off to a great jump-off. Lo! Below are my top-30 closer rankings! 

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

This has been a peculiar season to say the least. Hot streaks, injuries, and canceled games have shifted mountains. Hopefully you’re grinding the final week for a finishing place. Best of luck to your fake teams my fake friends.

  • When mining for steals it’s best to target the Mets. They’ll face the Rays and Nationals this week. Manny Margot or Josh Harrison are a couple of names to look up.
  • Roman Quinn leads the Phillies in steals and plays most days. He’s not giving you much anywhere else but if it’s speed you need go get him.
  • Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

Kudos to you for reading a baseball article with NFL action dominating the airwaves. We haven’t had quite as wide of an NFL distraction window without its preseason. These next couple of weeks will have to make due for easy FAAB times. Finish strong my friends.

  • The Angels closer is now *spins wheel of random mediocre reliever* Matt Andriese? The internet is telling me that is correct. Not really since they came in somewhat unique situations but also maybe with how bad the rest of the pen has been lately.
  • The Arizona pen is turning into an open competition. Stefan Crichton is maybe the best to speculate on. There are probably too many cooks in this kitchen with no enough ingredients. Save opps and wins being the ingredients here.
  • Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

Take the opportunity this week to sneak some adds by your leaguemates who could very well be distracted by the impending start of the NFL season. Things are happening around the league on the waiver front. The last crop of rookies are getting their shots. Some IL returns are happening. Time to push your chips in.

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

The MLB trade deadline is today. So far the fireworks haven’t been overly bullpen related. We’ll see if that holds true as many teams fashion themselves plucky upstarts in the mix for expanded playoff spots. As far as rumormongers go, Jeff Passan is really the only name I put any stock in at this point. Evening-bird and Yo-dude are banned from my twitter feed.

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

You all can blame me for the weekend bullpen chaos. I said last week was a relatively calm one on the saves front and as soon as I typed the words the baseball gods launched a comet of calamity at MLB. I shall do may best not to draw their ire again anytime soon.

  • The Phillies traded for Brandon Workman to come in and close over the struggling Hector Neris. We’ll see how this goes. Workman has better results than peripherals. He may be a time bomb. He’s 1/2 for saves on Philly already. Matt Barnes was named sort of the closer but like only if he’s being cool about it. Maybe Ryan Brasier finds himself in the ninth again at some point.
  • Please, blog, may I have some more?
 
 

The rocky start to our baseball season continues. The Cardinals are fighting outbreaks. Cleveland is grounding pitchers for breaking protocols. Fernando Rodney is preparing to debut. Cats and dogs living together. Mass hysteria. Sorry, I went full Venkman for a second. Let me wipe the ectoplasm off. There. Now to the prognostication.

  • You can write Rafael Montero’s name in pen as the Rangers closer. He’s been the only one they’ve called to close out games since his return. Seems rash I know. Welcome to fantasy baseball in 2020. Raf may have been everyone’s least favorite TMNT but he may be the best reliever to pop in the SAGNOF scene all year if he stays healthy.
  • Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

I’ll give the 2020 baseball season credit for this: it’s going to make us feel like it was 26 weeks. Illness, injury, and outbreak have not been in short supply. FAAB periods have been wild. Here’s my corner of the internet to help keep you afloat in this sea of change.

  • Turns out Craig Kimbrell is shot after all. Rowan Wick is the assumed closer now, though Jeremy Jeffress has a recent save and will be called on for high leverage spots, as well. There’s more strikeout upside to Wick.
  • James Karinchak did, in fact, eat a save opp from Brad Hand last week. Karinchak is going to have to show he can consistently control his wipeout stuff. But if he does…
  • Please, blog, may I have some more?