With the likelihood of a shortened MLB season growing by the day streaming and targeting matchups will be more important in our 2020 fantasy world than ever before. One of the best places to take a stab at that is using catcher defense to try and mine some stolen bases. Two things factor into this: how often a catcher is run on and how often they throw runners out. Ideally, you’re getting a good matchup on both sides, like finding toilet paper at the grocery store that’s also not sandpaper texture, but I’d prefer volume to efficiency. Here are the 2019 stats and some of the likely hot spots.

Name Team SB CS CS% Inn SB/Inn
Wilson Ramos NYM 94 17 15.3% 1016.1 0.09
Yasmani Grandal MIL 73 27 27.0% 1095.2 0.07
Omar Narvaez SEA 58 13 18.3% 815.2 0.07
Jonathan Lucroy – – – 53 18 25.4% 669 0.08
Jeff Mathis TEX 50 10 16.7% 651.1 0.08
Buster Posey SFG 50 24 32.4% 846.1 0.06
Josh Phegley OAK 50 24 32.4% 824 0.06
J.T. Realmuto PHI 49 43 46.7% 1139.1 0.04
Robinson Chirinos HOU 45 12 21.1% 966 0.05
Kurt Suzuki WSN 45 5 10.0% 628.1 0.07
Tony Wolters COL 44 23 34.3% 904.1 0.05
Elias Diaz PIT 42 15 26.3% 706.2 0.06
Pedro Severino BAL 42 13 23.6% 719.2 0.06
Danny Jansen TOR 42 19 31.1% 852.2 0.05
Yan Gomes WSN 41 18 30.5% 787 0.05
Tucker Barnhart CIN 41 12 22.6% 773 0.05
Willson Contreras CHC 39 16 29.1% 811.2 0.05
Tyler Flowers ATL 38 9 19.1% 679 0.06
Grayson Greiner DET 38 13 25.5% 509 0.07
John Hicks DET 37 16 30.2% 494.1 0.07
James McCann CHW 37 17 31.5% 905.1 0.04
Brian McCann ATL 36 9 20.0% 678 0.05
Christian Vazquez BOS 36 22 37.9% 918 0.04
Gary Sanchez NYY 36 11 23.4% 742.2 0.05
Travis d’Arnaud – – – 35 14 28.6% 626.2 0.06
Curt Casali CIN 34 11 24.4% 504.1 0.07
Tomas Nido NYM 34 3 8.1% 341.2 0.10
Jorge Alfaro MIA 33 16 32.7% 973 0.03
Carson Kelly ARI 32 15 31.9% 785.2 0.04
Mitch Garver MIN 31 6 16.2% 673.2 0.05
  • It should come as no surprise to anyone that’s scratched the surface of this data that the Mets catchers get hung out to dry continuously. Even more interesting since the coaching staff was new coming into 2019 and nothing changed. They’ll be under new management again. I wouldn’t expect a different result. Maybe a slight improvement since Noah Syndergaard, the worst offender, will miss the season with TJS.
  • Kurt Suzuki’s not throwing anyone out these days. He’s not catching every day, either though. You’ll have to find your spots to attack.
  • The Rangers should be a good team to target. Neither Robinson Chirinos nor Jeff Mathis do much to discourage base stealers.
  • The Tigers are taking a chance on career backup Austin Romine as their starting catcher. We’ll see how that pans out. His 2019 offensive numbers are decent but flawed in sample size. Should he not hold onto the job either of the backup options has been a frequent target of opposing green lights.
  • An interesting game of musical chairs (catcher version) happened with Yasmani Grandal heading to the ChiSox and Omar Narvaez replacing him in Milwaukee. Grandal and the Brewers pitchers were run on often. It could have been a product of some of the youth in the pitching staff. Grandal was solid throwing out 27% of runners. Narvaez threw out about 9% less. There could be a stress point fracturing here.
 
  1. Nate Marcum says:
    (link)

    I am intrigued with Alfaro. Tops in sprint speed amongst catchers. 68th overall! Crazy….but speed doesn’t always translate. His SB success is decent. Too bad he will be crushing bombs and not standing on 1st anyways

    • Roto-Wan

      Roto-Wan says:
      (link)

      Yeah, on-base matters. It’s not all about speed.

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