The drama caused by my unpopular catching strategy is still being talked about at the chinstrap ninja headquarters water cooler on a fairly regular basis.
You know … the one where I suggested investing in a catcher in the top portion of your fantasy draft.
Well, knowing that most of the fantasy baseball crowd is as oppositional-defiant and as procrastination-prone as I am, I felt it necessary to look a little deeper into some true sleeper catcher options that you can load up on in the late, late rounds of your respective drafts.
A couple to consider include …
A good sleeper is a player who has all the attributes to becoming a star player, but is missing one small yet vital ingredient. For Buster Posey, that missing link is simply playing time.
The San Francisco Giants for some crazy reason resigned Bengie Molina this offseason, to the surprise and dismay, I’m sure, of Posey and his fantasy posse. The youngster compiled a .327 minor league batting average and has one of the best textbook swings one could ask for.
Posey handled the jump from High-A to Triple-A ball seamlessly last year, batting .321 with five homers and 22 RBI (and a .391 on base percentage) in 35 games before seeing some time late in the season with the major league club. He struggled in his small audition, likely due to excessive late-season fatigue.
The plus for Posey is that the Giants are starting to realize that they need to get him some playing time at the major league level, and are currently trying him at a majority of infield positions … specifically first base and short stop.
This move, and his overall statistical display are clear signs that Posey has ample potential to be a really cheap yet really nice fantasy addition to your squad, and is someone you should snag early, especially in two-catcher leagues.
Adam Moore, Seattle. For what seemed like a bazillion years, the word catcher in Marinersland has been synonymous with Kenji Johjima. Until, that is, Johjima this offseason decided to opt out of his contract and export himself back to his native Japan.
Seattle’s loss will be procrastinating fantasy owners’ gain. Moore has plenty of potential to be a solid backstop in the majors. His 3-for-3 performance behind the plate Monday is just a small indicator of what he brings to the plate. His minor league career produced consistent plus-.300 average and double-digit homer numbers.
The problem is that even with Johjima out of the equation, Moore does not yet have a clear path to the major league job. Rob Johnson currently projects into that spot, but is coming off three offseason surgeries and has a penchant for underachieving on a regular basis.
If you are looking for a super cheap source of production at catcher, and don’t expect Godzilla-like numbers out of him right out of the gates, than Moore could be a nice last-round snag.
Carlos Santana is another catcher whose fantasy value hinges on his playing time. At the moment, he will likely start the season in AAA ball, but don’t expect him to stay there too long before being called up.
Santana was amazingly effective in AA ball last season, batting .290 with 23 homers and 97 RBI anda .413 on base percentage. In fact, he has smacked more than 20 long balls and 30 doubles in back-to-back seasons in the minors and could be a nice power option.
An additional plus for Santana is his patience at the plate (90 walks in 424 at-bats in minor league play last season).
Again, his potential to produce on fantasy rosters is tied totally to his playing time in big league ball. Watch closely and make sure he’s on your roster when he does make his appearance behind the plate for the Indians.
Who are your sleeper catching options? We’d love to hear about them or other comments you may have about drafting a fantasy catcher.