Please see our player page for Francisco Mejia 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.

In the last couple of weeks, we’ve taken an early look at first and second base and how those positions are stacking up for fantasy baseball this year, particularly in terms of how the state of the position might affect those of us in NL-only, AL-only, or other deep leagues.  This week, we’ll move on to catcher.  Why didn’t we just start with the catching position?  Mainly because talking about catchers felt like a phenomenally boring if not mildly depressing way for me to kick off my posts in 2020.  But the more I’ve thought about it, I’ve changed my mind significantly on that front.

Not only do I feel that there are more interesting catching options out there than there have been in a few years, but thinking about some of my teams last year is also reminding me that catcher is one of the positions that is most relevant to discuss when thinking about how to attack it based on differing league parameters.  Any given owner’s approach to drafting or buying a catcher might vary wildly even within the same drafting season depending on how that league’s rosters are structured, but the more we know about the position in general, the better.  All information in terms of catching options, how tiers are looking, and which of last year’s results might help us prepare better for this year, can help as we head into drafting for the current season — whether we’re choosing a team for a standard re-draft mixed-league with a head-to-head format that only uses one catcher, a 12-team NL-only roto keeper league that employs two catchers, or anything in between.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s the episode you’ve waited patiently the entire off-season for, it’s of course the Top 20 Catchers for 2020 Fantasy Baseball. This was essentially Grey recording 60 minutes of catcher questions. Imagine if that was a specialty series weekly during the season here on Razzball? We need a catching expert! Donkey Teeth make this happen! Words, words, words. More words, stop. Oops didn’t mean to write that, but my delete button is broken so I’m going to leave that here. It’s not like I ran out of exciting things to say about catchers, or the players we discuss not named Gary, J.T., Yasmani, Willson, or Carlton Banks cousin. It’s catchers, but we make it enjoyable. Grey talks about Chance Sisco and doesn’t make a single Dru Hill joke.

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Hello, darkness, my old friend.  But replace ‘darkness’ with ‘catchers’ and ‘my old friend’ with ‘we have to get through this to get further into our 2020 fantasy baseball rankings.’  Hmm…Then replace ‘our 2020 fantasy baseball rankings’ with ‘my 2020 fantasy baseball rankings,’ then replace ‘with’ with ‘wit’ to millennialify it, then replace every third ‘replace’ with ‘in place of’ to diversify word choice because my 3rd grade teacher, Ms. Pinatauro, said we shouldn’t repeat words–Actually, she can eat it!  After going over the top 10 for 2020 fantasy baseball and the top 20 for 2020 fantasy baseball (clickbait!), we are now in the positional rankings, and all 2020 fantasy baseball rankings can be found there.  Here’s Steamer’s 2020 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Hitters and 2020 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Pitchers.  The projections noted in the post are my own, and I mention where tiers start and stop.  I also mention a bunch of hullabaloo, so let’s get to it.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 catchers for 2020 fantasy baseball:

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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?

Usually readers know my Saturday posts are all about value on the mound.  Sometimes it’s just not there.  Sometimes you have to bite the bullet and recommend the most expensive pitcher on the board, Mike Clevinger ($11,200).  There are just too many positives: He’s at home, where he’s gone 3-0 with a 1.85 ERA.  The Royals only hit .238 with a .594 OPS against him.  If that’s not enough, the wind is howling in at Progressive Field in Cleveland.  But if you think you won’t find value here you’re wrong.  Using the powerful tool of ISO over the past two weeks, along with the usual Razzball insight, we present Saturday’s all value team after a quick word from our sponsor.

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Throwing a 9 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 12 Ks game against the 1927 Twins by Lucas Giolito can mean only one thing, today, we celebrate Lucas Giolito’s Star Mitzvah! Mazel tov! Here’s a check for $18.  Many blessings from your bubbeleh. But, oy, it’s hot in here, can we turn on the fan? Forget the electric bill for one day, it’s a Star Mitzvah! Your uncle, Shlomo, didn’t retire to Boca Raton and leave me with the money he won from scratch-off tickets so I can’t turn on the fan once in a while. Guys and five girl readers, Giolito is a legend. Who isn’t a Giolito fan? (Besides the Streamonator; why the long face, tin can head?) I’ve already given you my Lucas Giolito 2020 fantasy too, that’s what a legend he is. This is his 2nd insane game this month, and, brucely, it’s more fun to revel in great pitching performances this year than the 400th three-homer game. Last time, I said Giolito would be a top 15 starter. Now I’m starting to think I was being too low. Dude’s so lit he’s got that shizz in his last name! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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The Cardinals pulled Dakota Hudson 111 pitches, 6 2/3 IP, into his no-hitter, which is a smart move. He was gassed and they had thunderbolt and lightning, very, very frightening, Gallegos (Gallegos), Gallegos (Gallegos), Gallegos Figaro magnifico! The Cardinals don’t make dumb moves. They even make smart moves about which teams to hack. The Ghost of Dave Duncan makes something out of nothing with every Cards starter (don’t look at Wacha). It’s without can. Ya know, uncanny. David Duncan’s leftover notes jotted on a loose-leaf spiral notebook are better than Ray Searage. Don’t at me; it’s true. Put him in the Hall of Fame before he really is a ghost. You look at Hudson’s numbers — 7 K/9, 4.2 BB/9, 5.10 FIP — and you shudder they’re so bad. Yet — again with stank — YET! he has a 3.63 ERA and he no-hit the Brewers last night for almost seven innings. Dave Duncan, man!  He’s the best ghoster. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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As is the on-trend thing to do this season, Mike Yastrzemski joined the 3-homer club Friday night smashing three long balls in one night including his 16th of the season, a go-ahead solo shot in the 11th inning. The three-dinger-day!?! Yaz queeen! That kind of feat is something his hall-of-fame grandfather Carl, who will ALWAYS be mentioned whenever Mike does anything of note, only accomplished once in 3,308 career games. But this is 2019. We have Monster energy drinks and super baseballs and over 15 players who have had a 3-homer games this season alone. Friday’s Giants/DBacks match up was a perfect illustration of this with both team’s combining to hit 12 home runs. Just the second time two teams have combined to hit this many homers. Kevin Pillar had his own double-dinger day, hitting his 16th and 17th of the year, the second a go-ahead in the 10th. But the Snakes countered with homers from Wilmer Flores (his second of the game) and Nick Ahmed to tie it up before Yaz’s game-winner. Brandon Belt, Ketel Marte, Eduardo Escobar and Adam Jones also chipped in their own bombs.  Yeah so, basically, everyone was dinging dongs Friday night at Chase. Still, Mike Yasztremski deserves his credit, and his credit is due. The hat-trick is a special thing and he’s now rocking 5 homers and a .333 average in the past week.  His .272/.324/.548 slash is nothing to sneeze at and he’s also slugging .755 in August with a 1.088 OPS. He’s a 30+ homer hitter across a whole season, folks. Yeah, you’d own that! And Yaz is criminally still available in about half of leagues at this point. Sure, Vlady and Bo and Cavan are cool, but grand kids are where it’s really at and Mike Yastrzemski needs to be owned everywhere. Yaz more please!

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The title refers to Lisztomania by Phoenix, which led me down a rabbit hole of Wikipedia that I have to share with you. Lisztomania was a frenzy over composer Franz Liszt, the original Justin Bieber. This is especially hilarious from Wikipedia, “Lisztomania was considered by some a genuine contagious medical condition and critics recommended measures to immunize the public,” and not considered the same as Beatlemania, which was used to mean a craze; Lisztomania caused actual craziness. Will Luzardo-Manaea cause women to rip their brooches from their bosoms and throw them at passing horse-drawn carriages in Oakland? Well, let’s let Tupac tell you about Oaktown, “Out on bail, fresh out of jail, California dreamin’, soon as I step on the scene, I’m hearin’ brooches screamin’.”  Screamin’ instead of whizzin’ by for the rhyme, obviously. Sean Manaea and Jesus Luzardo should be back with the team within ten days and now’s the time to stash them. For thousands of years, Samoans were a persecuted people, due to their big bones. One Samoan, Fa’a’la’a’la’la’la told one reporter, “If you ordered a flank steak, and got a thick ribeye, you’d be elated,” then Fa’a’la’a’la’la’la got choked up, “But if you order a five-foot, six-inch man and get a 485-pound man wearing a grass skirt, they make fun of you.” Manaea, the one skinny Samoan in the world, doesn’t have this problem. He has control, not just appetite control.  He could have an under-2 BB/9, which should limit damage, just like his home park. I’m stashing him everywhere. Luzardo is a bit more of an upside gamble. He also has pinpoint control, and can strike out a ton of guys. There’s little to not like about Luzardo, except how he might be deployed in September and does he get enough starts to matter. Plus, roofies, those darn things. I’m stashing Luzardo too, but I’m not throwing brooches at him. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

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Yacht Rock has polluted my brain. I’m singing Bertie Higgins, dressed like Thurston Howell, III, and wearing deodorant that smells like Pina Colada. And the most frightening aspect of the previous sentence is only one of those statements is make-believe!  Cougs figured since I like blended, virgin pineapple drinks it would be a good idea to buy me Pina Colada-scented Suave deodorant. I walk around all day wanting to lick my armpits! I’m damaged! Even more upsetting, I don’t own Xander Bogaerts (3-for-4, 4 RBIs and his 26th and 27th homer, hitting .308) or Rafael Devers (2-for-4, 2 runs, 25th homer, hitting .327) in any meaningful way. (I own Bogaerts in one league, but it’s my worst league, so it doesn’t matter.)  I briefly mentioned this yesterday, but last year Betts and Martinez put fantasy owners on their backs (no easy feat for some of you), and this year it’s been all Bogaerts and Devers. On our Player Rater, both guys are top ten for the season (Acuña reached the mountaintop, by the by). Incredibly, neither guy has been lucky. Bogaerts upped his walks; has a BABIP in line with career norms; held all batted ball profile marks from previous years, except raised his launch angle and fly ball rate just a tad. Bingo-bango-Bogaerts! Devers’s numbers are new from him at the major league level, but nothing jumps out as a career year and he’s only 22 years old.  Both guys will and should be highly ranked next year. Now, excuse me, while I go lick my armpits. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?