Streaming catchers can be a Sisyphean task. Unless you have one of the top catchers, you are left guessing what to do with the position.
Catchers are similar to kickers in fantasy football; you don’t think about your catcher slot as much as the other high-scoring positions, but if you’re looking for an advantage over your competition it makes sense to monitor what is happening. Why wouldn’t you research every position on your team?
We have all been on the losing end of a matchup when we needed just one more hit or one more steal so that deep-cut catcher you just picked up and who homered on Sunday – that guy could deliver you to victory.
So join me gluttons of fantasy baseball punishment and without further ado – let’s kick off this week in streaming catcher land!
Reviewing Last Column’s Picks
Here are the established guidelines from last season for determining whether or not streaming was a “win”, and I’ll leave these up here each week as a reminder.
- When we stream a catcher, we’re not expecting multiple home runs, so a guy hitting .250 is helpful, and I’ll consider that a plus. Anything over .300 is a super plus and a near-automatic win. We must keep in mind the number of plate appearances — under 10 PA diminishes that boost.
- Home runs have a significant impact. If you get two homers from the catcher position, it’s a guaranteed win unless the catcher bats under the Mendoza line. However, if other factors exist, a catcher can still be a streaming win without home runs.
- Counting stats (R+RBI) is the lowest stat consideration because you’re not expecting them from your catcher, and they’re a nice bonus.
I write this column every other week, so these were my streaming picks from the week of May 29:
Álvarez had some real momentum going into the week of May 29, hitting back-to-back home runs on May 27 and May 28. Unfortunately, his hot streak cooled off and he went hitless in 14 at-bats over the course of the week. He also struck out four times. Definitely a loss in the streaming column.
Travis d’Arnaud, Atlanta
d’Arnaud didn’t fare much better during the same time frame with only one hit in 12 at-bats. On the plus side, he had one walk and scored a run, but this was not enough to salvage the week.
Since returning from injury, d’Arnaud continues to battle Sean Murphy for playing time for the Braves. Murphy is having a great season, which means d’Arnaud has been pushed to second on the depth chart and now may not start every day, hurting his fantasy value.
Nate Kosher’s Streaming Record for 2023 Season: 5-5
Notes & Transactions From Last Week
- The Mets reinstated Omar Narváez from the 60-day IL and designated Tomás Nido for assignment. Narvaez started the season as the number one catcher on the Mets depth chart, but has been out since early April with a calf strain. It will be interesting to see how much playing time Narvaez now gets.
- The Royals recalled Nate Eaton from Triple-A Omaha. Eaton will provide some back-up depth at the position and is hitting .058 in 52 Major League at-bats in 2023.
- The Blue Jays sent Danny Jansen to Triple-A Buffalo as he covers from a groin strain. Jansen is hitting .207 with six home runs and 26 RBI and is someone worth watching if you are desperate for a catcher.
Have more questions? “Catch” up with me on Twitter @NathanielKosher!
This Week’s Streamers
Each week, we highlight a streaming option for a 12-team league and a 15-team league each week. Based on Yahoo’s ownership numbers, Francisco Álvarez is only owned by 47% of all teams, which still makes him eligible for this column by sneaking under the 50% owned mark.
I’m not going to select him again as a streamer this week as I have done so the last few columns, but he really does make the most sense if he’s still available. After a cold spell, he appears to be heating up with home runs on back-to-back days, including two home runs and three RBI on June 8th. Pick him up if he’s still floating in your free agent pool.
Without further ado, here are the potential streaming targets for this week:
After departing the Mets, Sanchez has bounced back in a big way and has made a huge splash in San Diego. He has slid into the top of the depth chart at catcher and looks like he could be a key contributor the rest of the way. Sánchez already has four home runs and nine RBI during his time with the Padres, showcasing the power that made him an All-Star during his time with the Yankees.
The Padres are off Monday before playing three games in Cleveland and then traveling to Tampa Bay to face the team with the best record in baseball, the Rays. Sanchez is a streaky hitter but seems to be in the middle of a great rhythm currently. Get him while you still can and ride the hot streak until he slows down.
Bailey made his big league debut on May 19 and has already made an impact in the last few weeks for the Giants. As of June 9, he is hitting .309/.321/.546 with two home runs and 14 RBI in 55 at-bats.
Joey Bart is nearing his return from injury but Bailey is playing so well the Giants made have to keep him in the lineup. The 24-year-old Bailey was San Francisco’s #11 prospect coming into the season and was drafted in the first round in 2020. He’s a switch-hitter who has traditionally been stronger from the left side of the plate, but thus far he’s having success from both sides of the plate at the Major League level.
- Left-handed: .300 with one home run and eight RBI
- Right-handed: .333 with one home run and six RBI
The Giants are in St. Louis to begin the week and then face the Dodgers on the road. Not the easiest of pitching matchups, but if Bart is still out next week, Bailey makes a nice option as a deep league streamer.
A ten-player list of potential streamers by weekly rank is added to each week. To qualify, the catchers must be 50% owned or less. For example, if Gabriel Moreno is already rostered in your 12-team league, the next in line should be Keibert Ruiz and so on down the list. Also, 15-team leagues are much deeper, so attention to roster% is added to the process. If a 12-team player is available, they are considered the player before the 15-team streamer. Lastly, the Roster% is based on Yahoo leagues.