FANTASY BASEBALL 2014 – Catchers on New Teams
Pat Mayo (@ThePME) tells you whether team changes increase or decrease the Fantasy values of Brian McCann, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and A.J. Pierzynski...
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Catchers in New Places
Brian McCann (NYY) ADP: 85 – McCann was basically left for dead this time last year, starting 2013 on the DL and without the perceived upside high enough to stash away, he just lingered on free agency for two months in most leagues. That was a mistake. McCann carried Fantasy squads to many a title, smacking 20 dingers in just 102 games. And a move to the Bronx, with that short porch in right, will help him continue his power binges. His only downfall last season was his average, likely due to a BABIP 27 points below his career rate. So, if he regresses (the good kind of regression) back to his baseline, we could be looking at a backstop in the .270, 30 HR range. Aka, elite.
A.J. Pierzynski (BOS) ADP: 193 - Pierzynski’s back for year 17 after inking a one-year stay in Boston. And frankly, don’t expect anything different from the past few seasons. He’s a borderline starter in 12-team leagues, granted, with limited upside. Chalk that up to his inflated age, and complete inability to draw a walk. In 529 plate appearances last year - 11 walks. That’s astonishing. Still, there's the move to Fenway, one of the only places more generous to hitters than Arlington, and there’s a capable lineup surrounding him to assist with counting stats. In 10 and 12 team leagues, I’d gamble on a high upside catcher, but in deeper formats and AL-Only, there is safety in his numbers. He just needs the playing time.
J.P. Arencibia (TEX) ADP: 337 – Power? Check. Horrible average. Checkmate. He’s a sinkhole in basically every category outside of home runs, but in deeper formats, if you have enough average to absorbe the hit, Arencibia is one of the few catchers that will challenge 25 HRs - if he can best Geovany Soto for playing time, that is.
Ryan Doumit (ATL) ADP: 264 – The Braves decided that having one catcher that can play multiple positions simply wasn’t enough, so now Atlanta can run out a weird infield/outfield combo of Evan Gattis and Doumit every day. The increased plate appearances from playing other spots on the diamond is about Doumit’s most redeeming quality at this point, which makes him a guy to stay away from in standard leagues, but a calculated gamble in NL-Only formats.
Jarred Saltalamacchia (MIA) ADP: 211 - Fantasy wise, Saltalamacchia's one of the better power hitting backstops, but the move from Boston to South Beach is going to knock those numbers down a little. Spacious doesn’t do that place justice. Oh, and don’t anticipate another average in the .270 range again this year. Guys who strike out in 30-percent of at-bats struggle keeping that number above sea level. He’d have to replicate his .372 BABIP again, which would make him an extreme outlier two seasons in a row. Don’t get suckered into name value, Salty’s nothing more than an NL-Only play.
Dioner Navarro (TOR) ADP: 292 – Navarro may actually end up being the primary signal caller in Toronto this season…
Erik Kratz (TOR) ADP: 614 - … or it could be Kratz. You don’t want either one.
Kurt Suzuki (MIN) ADP: 462 – Suzuki will be likely be caught in a platoon behind the plate with Josmil Pinto, and if that’s the case, there’s no way you can draft him. Even if he possessed the full time gig, there’s not much upside to be had with a low power, mediocre average backstop.
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