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.
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.
They say New Jersey can only be appreciated by people from New Jersey, which seems stupid. Where else can you get your ass beat over a sub while meeting the love of your life in a Wawa parking lot? Where else can you say you’re from New York when you’re from New Jersey? Where else can you win loose Newports in a boardwalk claw machine? Is there anywhere else you can simply lower the window to hide the smell of a fart? I think not! Similarly, maybe you have to own Eugenio Suarez (3-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 43rd and 44th homer, hitting .269), to appreciate him, but I just dug in on him, and there’s some concerning stats for 2020. His HR/FB% is goofy high, even though he’s hitting the ball less hard and more in the air. That’s a recipe for a plummeting batting average, and the skyrocketing Ks won’t help. His exit velocity is that of Amed Rosario; his average feet per homer is Piscottish (totally a word) and not Soleresque. The ball dripping of juice could fix all of this, but Suarez looks a lot more like a 32-homer, .255 hitter vs. this new incarnation. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:
Hello, Newman! Newman goes into Colorado and gets tangled up with Kramer as he tries to sell his newest invention: Oregano that smells like weed. It’s called Mario Bluntali. Or is it weed that smells like oregano? Or did he already say that? Newman and Kramer have forgotten. Yesterday, Kevin Newman went 4-for-4, 4 RBIs with his 8th and 9th homer. Sure, it was in Coors, but it’s time we start considering Newman as more of a one-trick pony that annoys Jerry, and flush out his character. He had 28 steals last year in Triple-A, and 13 this year in just under 400 ABs. His lack of Ks are also interesting. He has a top ten strikeout rate (11.6%), so his BABIP is high (.334), but his .302 average might be close to repeatable in 2020. Say 12/25/.290 for what will almost be a bargain price in 2020? Is that far off from what you were hoping from Lorenzo Cain? I wrote Kevin Newman in this afternoon’s Buy column, then deleted him because he has to be owned in a majority of leagues by now, but if he’s out there, absolutely grab him, like Newman would help Kramer grab some Kenny Rogers Roasters. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
We have for us today a 9-game Main Slate on FanDuel, and it’s a bit of a mess on the starting pitching front. We have serviceable starting pitchers with great match-ups who we know* are not throwing over 60 pitches in Eovaldi and Richards (*we do not know, but, you know). We have very good starting pitchers with okay match-ups, only they’re pitching in unfavorable conditions in Wheeler and Flaherty. And we have pitchers with favorable opposing starting pitching, who we’d otherwise love to roster, except Fried is facing the Dodgers and Clevinger the Yankees; both very tough match-ups.
So, what to do? We spread our risk, identify the risk areas to avoid – hello Richards and Eovaldi, identify value when it shows up – hello Chris Owings starting for Boston today, and we embrace the unknown.
Read on for additional written words, and best of luck today. May all your lineups be winners.
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Stan Bush? Give me that beat! You got the Tauchman! You got the power! Yeah! You’ve never walked, you’ve never run! You’re a winner! (Though some may say running and walking aren’t bad for baseball.) You got the moves, you got the streets (not as important in baseball)! Break the rules (well, Barry Bonds had some success with this)! You’re nobody’s fool! Yeah! You’re at your best when the going gets rough! (This is true since the Yanks had some injuries and needed Mike Tauchman to step up.) You’ve been put to the test, but it’s never enough! (That’s less true; we appreciate you here, Tauchman). You got the Tauchman! You got the power! It’s all true! So, Mike Tauchman (2-for-4, 2 RBIs, hitting .299) hit another home run last night, his 10th, that’s in 60 games. And he stole a bag, his 4th! He now has three homers in two games, and four homers in the last week. I grabbed him in multiple leagues, because who doesn’t love dongs! Not this redblooded American! Hoo-rah, I got the Tauch!
Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
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Jordan Hicks sounds headed for Tommy John surgery with a torn UCL. This sucks; don’t get me wrong, but it’s amazing all the people shocked by this news just because the Cardinals said on Sunday it wasn’t serious. I wish I could be that uncynical. I wish I could see the birds chirping and not a bird nagging another bird to take out the trash, or see the flowers and not think, “I wonder who’s buried under there,” but alas…So, with Jordan Hicks out for the next 14-18 months, who will close? Carlos Martinez has the makings of a two-inning closer, I guess, but, man or five women, it seems super dumb to continue Carlos Martinez down the closer route. Don’t they want him to start again at some point? John Gant’s been great until he defecated the sheet out of my fantasy bed on Sunday. He might still get some looks. Then there’s wild cards, Andrew Miller (if he were great like years past; he’s no brainer) and Tyler Webb, who is only in discussion because he got one save look the game where Hicks was hurt. I’d go C-Mart and Gant at 55% vs. 42% chance and everyone else at 3%. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Andrew McCutchen is out for the year with a torn ACL. To borrow a phrase often quoted in the White Sox bullpen box score, that’s A. Bummer. On the bright side, Cesar Hernandez (1-for-5) isn’t some obscure Roman emperor, you’re thinking of Nero Antivirus and Flavor Flavius! Last year when Cesar Hernandez had 563 at-bats in leadoff, he was a sneaky top 50 bat. Before last night, he had only 5 at-bats at leadoff. Well, all that’s about to change for the better. Then you have the new Phils’ outfielder, Jay Effin-Up-My-Paddack Bruce (3-for-4, 3 runs, 6 RBIs and his 15th and 16th homers). Also, Adam Haseley (0-for-4) suddenly has value as the Phils’ center fielder, when two days ago you thought Haseley was the singer of Ghost. You say you’re no good for me, I like it ANYWAY! What, I have to work the five-lady crowd too. As I said yesterday, “(Haseley is the) Phils’ 2017 1st round pick. Prospectonator doesn’t love Haseley, giving him 15/7 with little average over the course of a season (by the way, if you click on Haseley’s name, his projections are there for free — like every player). I will say this for Haseley, he looks ready to contribute in the landmark case of sooner vs. later since he played college ball. In NL-Only leagues, I’m interested since McCutchen looks out for a while, but wait and see in mixed.” And that’s me quoting me! The Phils also said (This Phil character has a lot to say!) Scott Kingery (2-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 4th homer) will be getting regular starts at 3rd. When asked about Maikel, they said, “…” Oh, now you have nothing to say! But Maikel hit a pinch-hit homer, his 9th. Still nothing? “…” Damn. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Minnesota’s resident bad boy Miguel Sano continues his triumphal return to crushing baseballs and dinging dongs Friday night with his fifth home run (a solo shot) off Reynaldo Lopez in the third inning. Let it Sano. Let it Sano. Well, you get it. It seems like everyone on the Twins is having a career year so far, and Miguel has returned from the IL just in time to get on this sweet 2019 Twinkie action. He’s now slashing .250/.333/.857 with five home runs and nine RBI through seven games. Yes, you read that correct, five home runs in seven games. Extrapolate that. Calculating….calculating…calculating. Let’s see he’s on pace to hit 76 home runs from now until August. Hmm, wait that seems wrong. Irregardless! He’s 7-for-28 in the past week and five of those seven hits have gone yard-o, folks. If that doesn’t make your happy memorial day I don’t know what can. Sure, he’s got 11 strikeouts already, but he’s also slugging .857. This is Miguel Sano. This is what you’re signing up for. He swings and misses with the best in and biz but when he connects *kisses fingertips* mmm, grazie. He’s available in over 60% of leagues, but that number should shrink quite a bit once the Minneapolis die-hards wake up. He was a BUY and he’s definitely worth a flier if you need power, especially while he’s sending every baseball he touches to the moon. Pick him up, Sano you want to!
Here’s what else happened in fantasy baseball Friday night: