Please see our player page for Omar Narvaez 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.

Tyler Naquin. Is that an official sentence? Anyone? Typically I wouldn’t be buying into him, but allow me to explain why I have picked him up in two of my primary leagues. In one league I have Ketel Marte on the IL, but since I have David Fletcher on bench I was able to plug him into my 2B spot. By the way, you should all own Fletcher considering I insisted upon it prior to drafts. And this was exactly why. His draft day price tag was well below his actual value and to have him on your bench just in case made him a great draft day buy. Fletcher isn’t off to a great start by any means, but with 42 plate appearances, only Mark Canha, Marcus Semien and Jose Altuve have stepped into the batters box more often this season. The more plate appearances, the more opportunity for points. The Angels are in the top five teams for runs scored and being at the top of that lineup provides a promising outlook. But this opening paragraph was supposed to be about Naquin and why I’ve added him to my rosters. The simple answer is because I had the bench spot to see where this hot streak ends with Ketel to the IL in one league and Quintana to scrap heap in another. Tyler Naquin leads all hitters in fantasy points. That’s certainly not going to last for long, but I wasn’t going to let someone else benefit from another week or two of potential points. And if I get the chance, I will we include him into a trade to sweeten the deal. Worst case scenario is that I drop him in two weeks.

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Yabba Dabba Baddoo! Big Bad Baddoo Daddy! He’s a Baddoo Baddoo man! Who? Akil Baddoo, that’s who who. Whatchu gonna doo doo when Akil Baddoo comes for you you? You you have no answer because Baddoo makes the rooroo-ules. Don’t you you see see I’m Greybot3000 and and I am am malfunctioning…please oil my joints. Steam pours out of Greybot’s ears, slowly he falls over and puns mutter out onto the floor. Yikes, I might need a mechanic. So, Tigers have Grossman, the two outcome player leading off, then it just gets progressively worse until the 9th place hitter and Andre 3000’s ex namleganger, Baddoo. If I’m the Tigers, I’m staying the hell away from Joe Exotic, and I am not leaving Baddoo in the nine hole. Let my man sink or swim, and move him up to the three hole. He might be a hot schmotato, but he had a year at the tender age of 19 in Class A, where he hit 11 homers, and stole 24 bags. He’s never struggled with strikeouts, and actually could have a .360-ish OBP. With a 55-grade power tool and 60-grade speed, you might just sneak into a 25/20/.260 guy. Whatever the case, I grabbed him everywhere. Now let’s put on our pinstripe suit, patented leather shoes, and watch Big Bad Baddoo Daddy swing with their hit song, You & Me & Baddoo Makes 3. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

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It seemed like a nothing move at the time. Just a transactional move that people would forget about within hours, if not minutes. Just ten days ago, the Nats announced they would be demoting Carter Kieboom. Then, before leaving town, Carter Kieboom watered down all the hand sanitizer. Now Patrick Corbin, Yan Gomes, Josh Bell, Brad Hand (ah HA!), Will Harris, Josh Harrison, Alex Avila, Jon Lester, Jordy Mercer and Kyle Schwarber are all on the IL, as the Nats recalled Luis Garcia and Kieboom. “Kieboom goes my flight to the minors!” That’s Carter Kieboom as he mixed a cocktail of Palmolive and Capri Sun into the hand sanitizer bottles. “These stupid straws!” That’s Kieboom struggling to get the juice out of the plastic-metal pouches. Wow, Kieboom is not being very stealth. So, it sucks if you had Hand, Schwarber, Corbin, Bell…Well, the guys there you might’ve had. Hopefully, they all return shortly. For all these moves, the only guy I grabbed in leagues was Tanner Rainey, who might now get saves, but Daniel Hudson is also there, so that’s a crapshoot too. “All these crapshoots and I should clean my hands…Hey, why does this soap smell like tropical punch?” Off to the side, snickering, “More like Crappy Sun!” Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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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.  

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*KICKS DOWN DOOR* (Loud non-descript 80s metal plays; a man steps to the mic). Are you ready? *Crowd Cheers* Are you ready for… *Crowds cheers more loudly* Are you ready for 2021 catcher ranks? Everyone stops cheering, looking at each other with bewilderment, turns away sadly and leaves. Except one man, the hero America needs. Position scarcity man, stands there unshaken by the thought of ranking catchers, for he remembers the hey day of position scarcity, he owned Mike Piazza and he’s never letting go. We’re ranking catchers this week. Enjoy!

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After we went over the top 10 for 2021 fantasy baseball and the top 20 for 2021 fantasy baseball in our (my) 2021 fantasy baseball rankings, it’s time for the meat and potatoes rankings. Something to stew about! Hop in the pressure cooker, crank it up to “Intense” and let’s rock with the top 20 catchers for 2021 fantasy baseball. Am I at all selling you on the top 20 catchers being good? No? Good, don’t want to give you the wrong impression. Here’s Steamer’s 2021 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Hitters and 2021 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Pitchers. The projections noted in this post are my own, and I mention where tiers start and stop. Anyway, here’s the top 20 catchers for 2021 fantasy baseball:

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Starts quietly at first then builds, “Javy….Nagilla….Javy…Nagilla…Javy…Nagilla!” Waving napkins above my head while I’m lifted in my chair above my fantasy team, “Javy….Nagilla….Javy…Nagilla…Javy…Nagilla!” Spots someone who looks like a Rabbi with a long beard, and screams down, “Thank you, Rabbi!” The bearded man replies, “I’m Lance Lynn.” So, Javier Baez went 3-for-5, 2 RBIs, 3 RBIs with his 4th and 5th homer, hitting .219. Shoot, hold on, someone is ringing my doorbell. “Oh, hey, Instacart deliveryman, I ordered the smelling salts thinking I might need them for Javier Baez, what’s your return policy?” Hopefully, this is the start of Baez hitting like a top 25 hitter, and not like every rookie the Marlins call up. I could use it. Plus, I have this chair now propped on top of my desk for the Javy Nagilla dance. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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There have been a lot of strange things about this off-season.  I mean, in addition to the obvious, like constantly worrying about the health of ourselves, our loved ones, and the fate of mankind while not having baseball as a job/hobby/distraction.  For me, one of the odder consequences of the delayed season is the fact that I have yet to draft an NL or AL-only team this year, as all of my private leagues are waiting to draft until we have a better idea what the coming weeks and months will bring.  Another very weird thing that seems to have happened to me over the last several months is that I have evidently developed a propensity for paying more than ever before for catchers on my fantasy baseball teams.

I realize now that this trend actually started back in another lifetime late November, when my first draft of the season took place.  I’ve drafted quite a few teams since then — mostly 15-team mixed format, 2-catcher leagues, with a standard 5×5 roto scoring system.  Unlike every other season of my fantasy baseball career, almost every one of them features at least one catcher that I had to pay for with either a mid-round pick of a handful of valuable auction dollars.  Last year, I literally did not even include catchers on my master spread sheet… I just had a handful of names in mind that I knew I could grab at the very end of a draft or with my last dollar in an auction.  This year, paying for a catcher was not a strategy that I came into draft season with; it just kind of happened.  Draft after draft, it just continued to occur: time to make a pick, and I felt a catcher was the best value on the board.  This happened back in my first drafts this winter, and continued through my last drafts a couple of weeks ago — so in terms of the catching position, my take on how to construct the best team really didn’t change once the uncertainty of the season’s timeline and potential format changes came into play.  What I’m also realizing is that I’m pretty happy with how most of my teams turned out overall on paper — to the point where, if worse comes to worst and we have no baseball in 2020 and I don’t get to see if my don’t-wait-as-long-as-usual-to-draft-a-catcher method worked, I will most likely jump right back in and employ a similar strategy in 2021.

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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.

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