Catchers to Stream: August 7 – August 13

Dave Funnell looks at catchers you can stream this week.

The catcher position isn’t always one that’s fun to figure out. Depending on your league size and format, it can be incredibly tough to utilize that position in a way that helps you win. What makes things even worse is in two catcher leagues, there are two roster spots just sitting there with the possibility of players that either won’t play or won’t produce. It can be frustrating, to say the least.

That’s why this column is here, to help you overcome your desolate need in a position of volatility. This is such a hard position to project sometimes because of a few reasons. For one, it can be physically difficult for the body to crouch and stand for hours, so catchers do get a day off more frequently. Secondly, some pitchers like to hand-pick their catchers, as they are in sync when calling games. Third, their defensive abilities to frame and defend come into play more so than any other position in baseball. Add those factors together and you have a position that can be difficult to predict.


Things to Watch

When trying to predict the potential status of a catcher, there are a few things that need to be considered.

  1. Playing time is key. If they are on the strong side of a platoon, chances are that they will play the majority of the week, but even four out of the seven days in a week is promising. If they qualify and play elsewhere in the field, that’s a huge bonus.
  2. Statistical contributors are ideal. Look for players that can offer help with at least two of the five traditional categories. Anything more than that is great, while anything less is a detriment.
  3. Injury history is a consideration. It’s always important to consider a player’s past before considering their future.


Who Doesn’t Qualify?

Looking at the catcher position, there are some quality options that have already likely been drafted. These are players that are highly rostered in all leagues with the expectation of them performing well all season long. These are players that have at least 40% rostership, and therefore will not be options here. Those names are J.T. Realmuto, Will Smith, Adley Rutschman, Salvador Perez, Daulton Varsho, Willson Contreras, MJ Melendez, Henry Davis, Tyler Stephenson, Jonah Heim, William Contreras, Sean Murphy, Cal Raleigh, Francisco Álvarez, and Elias Díaz.

Everyone else that qualifies for that position is eligible to be selected as a streaming option. That list will likely be the standard unless season-ending injuries occur or if others rise up and become players worthy of being rostered everywhere.


The Streamers

The recommended players will be categorized into three different tiers. The first will be players that have extremely low rostership but are too good to not be rostered. These players will eventually grow to the list of players who don’t qualify and are recommended to be picked up in all two-catcher leagues. The next grouping is for players who don’t officially qualify at the catcher spot but will eventually due to appearances behind the plate. These players are in a good spot and should be picked up in most two-catcher leagues. Finally, the last grouping is for one-week options. These recommendations are based on past performance and upcoming schedules. Here we go…..


The Injured

Logan O’Hoppe C Los Angeles Angels

O’Hoppe was placed on the 60-day Injured List on April 29th but hopes to return before the end of the season. He had surgery for his injured shoulder. There was a report earlier in the week that he is close to beginning a rehab assignment later this upcoming week. It was also reported that whenever it does start, it would be a lengthy one, meaning that it would be close to the full twenty-day maximum allotted time.

Jonah HeimC Texas Rangers

Heim went on the 10-day Injured List for wrist soreness, with a retroactive date of July 27th. It was reported this week that it was only a partial tear in his wrist and that surgery may be off the table completely. He is working on returning to the Rangers this season and will start taking dry swings. This is great news.

Gabriel MorenoC Arizona Diamondbacks

Moreno had been bothered by shoulder soreness for a while and was placed on the 10-day Injured List on July 23rd. He has been hitting off of a tee and has started to ramo things back up. Carson Kelly remains the team’s primary catcher, but he has been atrocious in Moreno’s absence with only three hits.


The Too Low-Rostered

Mitch Garver C Texas Rangers

With the aforementioned injury to Heim, the door was opened for Garver to not only enter the catching realm but make a home for himself. Since Heim left for the Injured List, Garver has played in eight games, and six of them have been with him starting at catcher. In that time, he has posted a .370/.469/.630/1.098 slash line and two home runs. That is more than serviceable for the position. Additionally, he’s still finding his way into the lineup as the team’s Designated Hitter, meaning he’s getting everyday at-bats. This upcoming week, the Rangers play at Oakland and then at San Francisco. With the back half of the week being tougher than the front, Garver is still worth rostering until Heim returns.

Yainer Diaz – C Houston Astros

There was always the worry that Diaz was getting playing time because of injuries elsewhere on the team. Since Yordan Alvarez has returned, Diaz has played in every single game and has dominated the competition. In fact, he has batted .385 while hitting three home runs and striking out just once. Additionally, he’s played as a catcher for most of the games he’s played. On top of all of that, his xBA of .288 and xSLG of .567 show that more has been expected out of him this season. This upcoming week, the Astros play at Baltimore and then at home to the Angels. If he can get through these tough matchups, we may have a rest-of-season add here.


The One-Week Options

Travis d’Arnaud – C Atlanta Braves

This recommendation is simple: Atlanta plays eight games this week. As a result, d’Arnaud will likely play in at least four of them, with the possibility of more. With four games at Pittsburgh and then four at New York against the Mets, these are matchups with which to look at. We could see a productive week from him.

Jake Rogers – C Detroit Tigers

This one comes as a deep league dive, but Jake Rogers has emerged as the number-one catcher in Detroit. While that may not be the most prestigious title in all the land, it does mean that he’ll play almost every day. While he does strike out a lot, what he does do well is hit the ball hard. His Hard Hit rate of 49.2% puts him in the near-elite in all of baseball, while his Barrel rate of 13.4% is nearly double that of the MLB average. As it stands, he has thirteen home runs hit on the season, which puts him eleventh among all catchers. Gary Sanchez is the only catcher ahead of him in that category with fewer at-bats. This week, the Tigers play four games against the Twins before heading out to Boston. Take a chance on him in two-catcher leagues.

Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)

Dave Funnell

Dave Funnell has been playing fantasy baseball for years. He is a husband and a father of three up in Canada. And while is a full-time teacher inside of the classroom, he's also a student of the game of baseball. Follow him on Twitter @sportz_nutt51.

One response to “Catchers to Stream: August 7 – August 13”

  1. Leron says:

    I’m not really sure how I’m supposed to be interpreting these rankings. Do I prioritize “the injured”? I don’t think that makes sense since this is a “catchers to stream” article, so streaming an injured player doesn’t seem like the right move. That leaves the two other categories. Should I be prioritizing players in the “too low rostered” or the “one week options” categories?

    The “streamers” paragraph looks like it hasn’t been updated for a while, so trying to read about what I should be prioritizing isn’t really an option either. That paragraph says the three categories are “too low rostered,” “not catchers,” and “one week options.” Why would “not catchers” even be part of an article about streaming catchers in the first place?

    How am I supposed to be reading this article? How would I rank the players included in the article?

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