Fantasy baseball News and Notes: Catcher woes? Double up
Are you bummed that you don't own an elite catcher? Did Buster Posey, Yadier Molina, Joe Mauer and Carlos Santana slip by you in the draft? I guarantee that if you add two readily-available players you will immediately get grade-A production from your fantasy backstop. How? Simple: just add Derek Norris and John Jaso, the Oakland Athletics' tandem of starting catchers.
If you're confused, don't be. Every once in a while, a catcher platoon will combine to put up stats that are quite formidable in unison, so strong in fact that they equal or surpass the numbers of some of the game's most productive catchers. And so far, the A's catchers are doing just that. Combined, they're hitting .326 with 28 runs scored, eight home runs, 29 RBI and two steals.
For context, Buster Posey is the No. 1 ranked catcher in fantasy, and his numbers (18 runs scored, seven homers, and 22 RBI) fall short to this Oakland duo. Now sure, there are some serious pitfalls with the dual-catcher strategy. For instance, it requires rostering multiple catchers, and ideally, owners should normally only own one. Another is that you'll have to be pretty active in how frequently you change your lineup, since it'll often be a toss-up which catcher is starting on a given night. Sometimes, you might even have to do research or check game lineups hours in advance.
With that being said, if you don't mind the extra effort, and if owning a second catcher doesn't conflict with your sensibilities, this isn't a bad makeshift tactic at all if you want a boost out of the catcher's spot.
Also, on the off chance that neither Norris nor Jaso is available (Norris in particular might be taken, thanks to his .359 average), fret not because there's another dual-catcher combo to try this with: Chris Iannetta and Hank Conger of the Los Angeles Angels. Neither L.A. catcher is owned in more than 2% of all Yahoo! leagues because individually their numbers are rather mediocre. Together, though, Iannetta and Conger have combined for a .257 average, 19 runs, six home runs, 27 RBI and two steals. Take that, Buster Posey.
Remember to keep this in mind the next time the draft rolls around because now that you know that this is a legitimate strategy, it's not all that hard to attain elite catcher stats in even the deepest of fantasy leagues. You may want to think twice before you shell out $20 for Posey, Molina or Mauer.
For Your Consideration
● Miami Marlins outfielder Christian Yelich had a huge night in San Francisco, going 2-4 with four runs scored, a home run and a stolen base. Yelich now has 33 runs scored, the fifth most in all of baseball, and not only has he excelled as a table-setter for Giancarlo Stanton, he's shown to have some pop as well and is on pace for 20 home runs. Yelich is merely owned in 65% of leagues right now, and I say "merely" because it's insane that someone this productive is still unowned in a third of all fantasy leagues. If you're lucky enough to be in a league where he's still out there, make the add immediately.
● St. Louis Cardinals second baseman Kolten Wong returned to the majors on Friday, going 2-4 with a run scored and a stolen base. It might take a while for Wong to reach his full potential, but if he can, he could easily be the next Jose Altuve. The lack of home runs might steer some owners away, but the steals that could come from Wong hitting .300 in the Cards' lineup could be plentiful. At the moment, he's worth keeping an eye on.
● Catcher Devin Mesoraco returned to the Reds lineup in style, belting a three-run homer that proved to be the difference in Philadelphia. Mesoraco is batting an insane .460, and remarkably, he's accrued 11 runs scored, four homers and 16 RBI in just 50 at-bats. Mesoraco has a chance to be a top-notch backstop if he can just stay healthy, and he's only owned in 55% of Yahoo! leagues. He's a huge steal if he's still floating on your waiver wire.
● Oakland Athletics outfielder Josh Reddick had a monster night against the Indians, going 2-4 with two runs scored, two home runs and six RBI. Two years ago, Reddick surprised everyone by belting 32 home runs. Maybe this two-homer outburst will be what gets Reddick going, and while he is in the midst of a pretty disappointing season thus far, he has a chance to turn that around in a hurry. If he hits another home run this weekend, it might be time to add him everywhere.
Thoughts? Comments? You can follow David Pincus on Twitter @Reetae_.