Please see our player page for Yadier Molina 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.

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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Howdy, folks.

Feels weird to say Spring Training is right around the corner when my neck of the woods has upwards of 20-something inches of snow on the way tomorrow night-ish. But, Spring Training is right around the corner! And it’s a good thing, too, cuz these weekly offseason updates are getting less exciting from here on out since all the sexy names have finally gone somewhere. There are some good players yet to be signed, but no one I’m on the edge of my seat over. Does anyone really expect Justin Turner not to be a Dodger at this point?

This past week was a bunch of meh faces in new places for the most part, except my boy Benny Baseball is closer to home now after a three-team trade I’ll be jumping into straight away:

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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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Hello again, my friends. Hope all is well in your neck of the woods.

I had another fun-but-also-terribly-painful experiment for you guys. For some of you this will be euphoric. But as a Cardinals fan myself, well, this just sucks.

My experiment is rather simple, and it’s similar to my last piece on Waiver Wire All-Stars. I’m certainly not alone in this, but I’ve noticed a whole lotta ex-STL players having really, really, really good things happen after leaving town. I got to thinking, and I wondered if it were possible to field a full fantasy squad of 100% ex-STL players and still have a good team. The answer is YUP. Oh, joy.

I had to take some liberties, and I had to do a lot of digging through past draft classes and minor league affiliate rosters, but I’ve built a Yahoo standard lineup of players who at one point in time were in the Cardinals system (with some liberties sprinkled in). It’s not a perfect team, but it’s a damn fine one if you ask me. It just hurts all the more knowing this didn’t have to be fantasy for the Cardinals. IT COULD HAVE BEEN REALITY! MAYBE! *crying baby GIF*

Another thing about this experiment is we gotta assume these players reach or maintain their fantasy ceilings. Some guys weren’t so great in 2020 but have been good recently, or vice versa. Some of them I don’t exactly miss, if I’m being honest, but that doesn’t mean they couldn’t help this fantasy fantasy squad win.

Cardinals fans, get your tissues ready. Have Freese’s heroics from Game 6 of the 2011 World Series playing on a loop in the background as you read. Go to your happy place and try to stay there as you see name after name break your heart over and over again. This is supposed to be therapeutic, right?

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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? 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 (last two months?). 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 2020 fantasy baseball and how they compared to where I originally ranked them:

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“Jeimer real boy,” says Jeimer Candelario, as his nose, labeled with Louisville Slugger’s insignia, grows. Gepetto clears his throat and sits Jeimer down for a heart-to-heart. “Jeimer, I saw you went 5-for-6, 2 RBIs with your 6th and 7th homer in yesterday’s doubleheader.” Jeimer tells him again, “Jeimer a real boy.” Jeimer’s nose-bat grows a little bit more. Gepetto looks at Jeimer’s stats from the last week, “Wow, three homers in four games, and hitting near-.400 in the last seven.” Jeimer, losing his temper, restates, “Jeimer real boy!” Gepetto shrugs, “Works for me,” and Gepetto whittles Jeimer’s nose into a club, and applies pine tar to its tip. So, Jeimer Candelario has been one of the hottest nose-bats in the leagues, recently. Wasn’t entirely by design when I benched Nelson Cruz in one league for Jeimer Candelario, but it actually has worked out better than planned. Jeimer will also be in the Buy column later today. To read it right now, join our Patreon. It’s $5, the cost of 15 minutes on a NYC parking meter. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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It’s trade deadline season already? It feels like the season just started. Well, sometimes one’s feels are the correct feels, and sometimes one’s feels are the type of feels that have you on a first date snorting through tears that your daddy never hugged you. Today, I’m having the right feels. This feels weird. The season just started and teams are buyers and sellers. This is all so nuts. We will never see another season like this in our lifetime (barring a strike, then we might see this in 18 months). Never again will the league sit out for Covid. Even if there’s an outbreak next year with no vaccine, teams will just go into bubble mode in March. This past year happened because people didn’t know what they didn’t know. The ‘what we know now stuff’ is the Mariners sent Taijuan Walker to the Buffalo Bleu Jays. A better team is a greater than symbol, but ballpark A doesn’t equal ballpark B. This isn’t a great move for Walker to Buffalo’s Wild Winds, but there’s only about six starts left for pitchers, so Streamonator. I do think Taijuan Walker has become a fascinating name for 2021. His 8.3 K/9, 2.7 BB/9 are back up to where he was pre-Tommy John (surgery, not underwear), and back then he was a 3.50-ish ERA pitcher. That was in an easier league, but also a bad park. He becomes a free agent this offseason, so we’ll see where he is pitching next year, but I’m way more interested in him now vs. later. Yum, those candies were good! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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“Thinking about how I could’ve had Jose Abreu three rounds after Pete Alonso,” is what I tell the man in the plane after I say I want to parachute from the plane without a parachute. “You have anything that burns hotter than 500 degrees?” Is what I ask the grill store employee as I put charcoal briquettes down my pants as I watch Jose Abreu hit six homers in one series. “Just seeing if I can chew glass, that’s all,” which is what I say to Cougs as I bite into a water glass while thinking about El Grande Dolor hitting .322 and four home runs in a row from Saturday until Sunday. “No, I’m not cutting onions, I’m ripping my fingernails out,” which is what I say to my reflection when I think about how Jose Abreu has 11 homers and Pete Alonso hasn’t played in four days and was moved down the lineup for Dom Smith. How’s everyone else doing, that’s nice. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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The Cardinals, Marlins, and Phillies have born the brunt of the misery in this young baseball season thus far with Covid outbreaks and cancelled games.  This week, we’ve got a group of other teams that are getting put through the ringer with your more traditional injury issues…..”injuries classic” we’ll call it.  We’ve also lost some more big time arms for the remainder of the season as the herd starts to thin here.

Mike Soroka is out for the season after suffering an achilles injury in his latest start.  It’s a brutal blow for the young righty, and even a bigger blow for the Braves, who are now in a real crunch for arms.  This solidifies Touki Toussaint and Sean Newcomb’s spots in the rotation, but the rest of the rotation couldn’t really be worse shape given the recent DFA of Mike Foltynewicz and Cole Hamels still ailing.  Without a trade, it’s hard to see any potential fill in being roster worthy here.

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