Please see our player page for Roberto Perez 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.

It’s been a crazy first half-week of baseball, and I’m already struggling a bit trying to keep up with tracking the waiver wire in all of my leagues.  As often happens even after months of offseason research, the first few box scores of the season have featured a handful of surprise names in terms of who’s contributing fantasy stats.  Instead of looking at a few of the young up-and-comers who’ve already made contributions that we may not have been expecting based on our winter planning, I’ve decided that this post should instead be dedicated to some names we were already plenty familiar with but may have passed right over.  It’s been hard for our heads not to be turned — and perhaps rightfully so — by the Jonathan Indias and the Akil Baddoos of the baseball world (both of whom we’ve already chatted about over the past couple of weeks).  But here at Rolling In the Deep, we’ll take one for the Razzball team this week, and concentrate on the Island of Misfit Toys rather than exciting shiny new objects.  To earn a blurb below, each player needed three qualifications:  to be age 30 or older, to have been basically left for dead (or in this case between #570 and #700)  in terms of ADP this year, and to have had at least one impressive/helpful game fantasy-wise to start the 2021 season.  Not gonna lie, those qualifications proved a bit more challenging than I thought they’d be, bringing us to the names below.

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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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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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“Have I been wrong, hypnotized, paralyzed, by what my eyes have seen,” sang Natalie Merchant the last time I saw her at Lilith Fair. As I lay there, on that hemp blanket, eating a homemade granola bar, I thought, “I’m buying whatever that Merchant is selling.” Sadly, I can’t have my soul enriched during these dastardly times by some female honkeytonks, unless I happen across something between my binge watching of Siesta Key. Then, yesterday, Nate Pearson (5 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 5 Ks) was as good as Natalie Merchant and Siesta Key combined. Yo, my man went from a 99 MPH fastball that had Nats’ hitters bulging their eyes to a backdoor 77 MPH dipsy with poise of a 15-year vet. The 99 MPH fastball is enough, but his secondary command, just dropping pitches in. Go to the top of a mountain and let out a chef’s kiss. This was against the defending champs, and he was like en bee dee. Massively impressed by him during Spring Training in March just off a few clips, but watching him for five innings has me convinced:  He can be this year’s Chris Paddack. He should be owned in 100% of leagues. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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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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*insert musical note* Hello, darkness, my old friend. It’s something-something, me again. So, I don’t know the words. Are you here for musical theory or for a recap of the craziest season in recent memory if one can only remember a year or two? I thought so! Today’s jazz handsy recap is of the catchers. Please don’t ask if this is ranking for next year. It’s not a ranking for next year. It’s me recapping last season. Please, for the love that all is holy, understand this. It’s all I ask of you. Well, that and shower me with praise. The latter isn’t hard, the former is. Also, remembering which is the ‘latter’ and which is the ‘former’ is hard too. Quibbles and semantics, my good man and five lady-mans. It wouldn’t be fair for me to preseason rank the players, then rank them again in the postseason based on my opinion, so these postseason top 20 lists are ranked according to our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater. It’s cold hard math, y’all! Anyway, here’s the top 20 catchers for 2019 fantasy baseball and how they compared to where I originally ranked them:

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Remove Giancarlo’s hamate bone! Please! Actually, remove all players’ hamate bones immediately! Sorry, not to get all The Handmaid’s Tale here, but have Aunt Lydia line up all hitters and scalpel their hamates out of their hands. No, no, no, seriously! What if the hamateless hand is just a millisecond quicker around on a swing adding to exit velocity and–Ugh! Can’t that be a possibility? I will remove my tinfoil hat for you to answer me. Okay, I can’t risk Thetans invading my between-the-ears-space so I’m putting the hat back on. Sorry. So, Jose Ramirez returned from the IL, hamateless, and did what Matt Olson and legions of others (maybe no one else) have done before and homered a bazillion times. Yesterday, Jose Ramirez went 2-for-3, 7 RBIs with his 21st and 22nd homer. In 2020, I imagine Jose Ramirez will be ranked in the preseason by everyone like I ranked him coming into this year — at some point in the 2nd round vs. that top five ranking everyone was giving him like a bunch of loons. Though, now that hamate removal surgery is the new cortisone shot… Hmm…  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Was thinking how much I like Harrison Bader and how he feels tailor-made for a 2020 sleeper post, then I had a deep thought. No, not my deep thought about oat milk, but if you wanna hear that one, it goes like this. The dairy industry invented oat milk because when you order, “Coffee with oat milk,” you invariably get a coffee without milk, and it makes you appreciate dairy much more. I’m onto you, industrial dairy complex! But my deep thought about fantasy baseball sleepers was:  If every hitter is great, doesn’t it make more sense to only look at pitchers who are sleepers?  Anyone can tell you so-and-so hitter is a sleeper, because they will likely hit 30+ homers, but every hitter hits 30+ homers, so bleh! More discussion for the offseason, I guess. Yesterday, Harrison Bader went 2-for-4 with two homers (9, 10) as he hits .213. He’ll be 26 years old in 2020, and way past the point when he should have an everyday job, and we care because he has 20/15/.250 potential. Reminds me a bit of all the Bradley Zimmer/Clint Frazier sleeper posts over the years, and now I want nothing to do with him. Obviously, with three homers in last four games, he’s hot, but, as the eight-hole hitter, I’m once again wondering about pitcher sleepers.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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One day, late-summer, when your cousin, who you don’t like, started posting her kids going-back-to-school pictures on Facebook and a Russian troll farm began mining said pictures and getting your cousin’s kids to distribute propaganda, your so-called ace, James Paxton, decided to show up and be spoken for, after five months of grueling ‘what’s wrong with him/is there something wrong with him/is there something wrong with us for not accepting James Paxton for who he is’ questions. Yesterday’s Paxton line of 7 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, 1 walk, 12 Ks, ERA at 4.16, was what we signed up for! (If we signed up for it, I didn’t, but that’s semantics.) If you drill down on Paxton — hey now! — his velocity is relatively samesies; his K/9 is fine; his walks are up (3.4 BB/9); his FIP is the highest it’s been in almost five years and he’s getting choked by the long ball like a zipper on a senior. This looks like poor luck and worse command. For 2020, a lot depends on how much the ball is flying out still, and I imagine a lot, but it’s hard to not think he should rebound, no matter what your cousin’s brats’ leaflets say.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?