Please see our player page for Bo Naylor to see projections for today, the next 7 days and rest of season as well as stats and gamelogs designed with the fantasy baseball player in mind.

Well, the World Series is over, the citizens of Houston got to have their parade and now here we are – the offseason.

But don’t fret. If you are a regular Razzball reader, then you know we have been looking at the top keepers for 2023. Over the last two weeks we’ve released the 2023 Top Keepers 2023 – Relievers and 2023 Top Keepers – Starting Pitchers. This week – catchers!

Catchers are almost becoming like the place kickers of fantasy football – everyone needs one, but except for a few top players who can actually sway an outcome, they are all the same.

So here are a few simple rules when it comes to catchers:
Catchers, in general, will only play in about 110 to 120 games except for a few outliers. So don’t expect catchers, as a group, to perform like other position players.
If you think two catchers are equal except for age, go with the younger catcher. Few catchers age well.
Be happy if you have a catcher who is a standout in one scoring category. Rare is the catcher who hits for average and homers, even more rare if they add steals.
There are some catchers who make Rule #1, #2 and #3 completely false. If you have one of them, hold onto them for as long as you can.

In backing up rule No. 3, the career leader in home runs by a catcher (as in hitting a homer while playing catcher in that game) is Mike Piazza with 396. There are only three more players who hit more than 300 – Carlton Fisk (351), Johnny Bench (326) and Yogi Berra (305). That is it. This season, the highest batting average by a catcher with more than 200 at-bats was .285 by Alejandro Kirk of the Blue Jays – .285!

So for the below rankings, if you see a player like Martin Maldonado, you are going to wonder why he is even ranked. Dude slashed only .186/.248/.352. But he did hit 15 homers and drove in 45 runs.

You know how many other catchers hit more than 15 homers? Twelve. Do you know how many other catchers drove in more than 45 runs? Fourteen. When looking at a catcher like Maldanado for just his power and run production, he is actually close to being a starter in deep fantasy leagues.

Moral of the story – catchers are their own breed and should be viewed differently.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

“Hey, yo, long-time listener, first-time caller, this is Jimmy from Dyker Heights. The Mets, guy, are killin’ me with the freakin’ James McCann, guy. I said to my ma, “Ma, what are the Mets doing, guy, they’re throwing away everything they’ve built this year to have this stunod behind the plate. Why don’t they try callin’ up what’s-his-face Francisco Alvarez. He’s the future, right, guy? The right guy, guy? You know what I’m sayin’ here, guy. Jesus effin Christ, ma, lower your freaking Dean Martin, I’m on the phone with WFAN! I read on Razzball dot com this Prospect Itch guy said a few months ago, and I quote, ‘A rare backstop in that Francisco Alvarez features plus athleticism and foot-speed, Alvarez stands alone atop minor league catcher mountain after Adley Rutschman joined the Orioles. Alvarez generates easy loft from a strong natural uppercut. After demolishing A ball for 15 games, Alvarez got the quick bump to A+ and struggled a bit before surging to finish with 22 HR and 6 SB in 84 games. That’ll play. His 12/24.6 BB/K rate ain’t too shabby either, especially considering he was 3.9 years younger than his average competitor.’ Badda bing badda boom, call this guy up, guy!” So, Jimmy from Dyker Heights got his wish, and Itch’s words speak to the excitement we should have for Francisco Alvarez next year. For this year? Well, if you wanna try to catch lightning in a bottle by all means, guy. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Sun’s getting real low on stash season

Hope remains its sparkly self in the nooks and crannies of the recent Collective Bargaining Agreement. 

If an organization thinks a young player will break camp on the major league roster in 2023, it has incentives to bring him up in September while he’s in rhythm. Downsides remain, of course, from a player-control perspective, but they’re mostly in the form of injury and marginally compromised roster flexibility, but those always exist. 

Graduated From Stash List Volume 5Miguel Vargas, DL Hall, Kerry Carpenter, James Outman, Cade Cavalli, Will Benson, Stone Garrett.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Here’s where the frontispiece would go, if I didn’t think that word was kinda nasty. 

Here’s a link to the Top 25.

Here’s a link to the Top 50.

51. 1B Triston Casas | Red Sox | 22 | AAA | 2022

52. RHP Andrew Painter | Phillies | A+ | 19 | 2024

53. OF Evan Carter | Rangers | 19 | A+ | 2024

54. OF Jasson Dominguez | Yankees | 19 | A+ | 2024

Triston Casas hasn’t had the season some expected, and Eric Hosmer joining the club muddies his playing time outlook, but he remains a high-probability major league bat. 

For all the talk about Eury Perez being huge and young with good command, you don’t hear much about 6’7” 215 lb Andrew Painter, but Painter has been every bit as dominant as Perez, racking up 109 strikeouts through 68.1 innings across two levels and posting a 1.32 ERA along the way. He threw seven shutout innings against the High-A Yankees his last time out, allowing two hits and one walk while recording eleven punchouts. Makes me wonder if they’ll send him to Double-A for September. 

Evan Carter has 22 extra base hits and 13 stolen bases over his last 39 games, slashing .333/.415/.605 over that stretch. He’s controlling the zone, too: 11.1% BB and 15.8% K-rates. He’ll turn 20 on August 29 and might be in Double-A before then. 

Gotta hand it to Jasson Dominguez for evolving his game to make plate skills his calling card. Or one of his calling cards, anyway. He’s already stolen eight bases in 19 High-A games, where he’s posting a .410 on base percentage and 16.9-to-22.9 walk-to-strikeout rate. The power is coming, too. He’s got 39 extra base hits in 94 games across two levels this season. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Once upon a time, Cleveland had too many catchers.

The fantasy baseball community knew just what to do in this scenario: throw a killer New Years party, trade Yan Gomes, start Francisco Mejia, and bench Roberto Perez. 

Cleveland scanned this obvious play and disregarded it, attempting instead some inverse combination of the above by staying home to watch a movie, trading Mejia for Brad Hand and starting Gomes, who played well and endeared himself to a fan base that was frustrated to see Mejia go. 

That off-season—last winter—fans were livid to see the club swap Gomes for Jefry Rodríguez, Daniel Johnson and Andruw Monasterio. Yanny G was set to cost about $7 million, and the inferior Roberto Perez was under contract for about two million. Nasty things were said. Baseball Universe decided Cleveland was cheap and dumb for how it handled the catching surplus. 

One year later, Roberto Perez is a solid OBP source with excellent defense and plus power for the position, while Yan Gomes is a $7 million backup in Washington. 

So my thinking in regard to this Kluber trade or any Cleveland move: que sera sera. 

The Yandy Diaz trade for Jake Bauers did not go as well, but in general, Baseball Universe loved that one, and this team knows what it’s doing. I’m sure it’s depressing to lose the Klubot and Bauer in a matter of months, but if anyone can develop the pitching to make fans forget, it’s Cleveland. Maybe it’s not the perfect trade, but Emmanuel Clase is going to bring positive value across the life of his contract. Open-market relievers are pricey these days. And we have little reason for confidence regarding the state of Kluber’s health. Could be this one looks bad next New Year, but whatever will be, will be. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?