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 June 12th:
Sánchez went 1-17 during the week of June 12th, but his one hit was a three-run homer. Unfortunately, this wasn’t enough to salvage the week and this was a loss in the streamer column.
He has cooled off since his hot start with San Diego but has likely done enough to stick around for the time being and is continuing to get the majority of catcher starts for the Padres. He is sitting at seven home runs, 19 RBI, and a .207 average on the season.
Bailey continues to impress as a rookie backstop for the Giants and had a great week from June 12th – 18th. Bailey played in six games and had eight hits in 25 AB, good for a .320 average and .357 OBP. He also hit a home run and racked up six RBI during the week. This was probably the second-best week a catcher has had all season from my picks in this column, behind only a scorching week from Jonah Heim. Definitely a “W”.
Nate Kosher’s Streaming Record for 2023 Season: 6-6
Notes & Transactions From Last Week
- Pittsburgh called up Henry Davis from the minor leagues this week. Davis was drafted first overall in the 2021 draft and is the Pirates’ #3 prospect in the organization. More on him later.
- The Cardinals recalled Iván Herrera from Triple-A Memphis for the taxi squad ahead of their series in London against the Cubs. He’s hitting .291 with seven home runs and 37 RBI this year in Triple-A.
- The Red Sox placed Reese McGuire on the 10-day IL with a right oblique strain. McGuire is hitting .267 with 11 RBI.
- The Blue Jays placed Alejandro Kirk on the 10-day IL due to a laceration on his hand. Kirk’s had a disappointing season compared to his breakout 2022 season (.285 average with 14 home runs and 63 RBI). He is hitting .253 with only three home runs and 21 RBI.
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. First, I’m going to briefly discuss a couple of names I’ve already chosen as streamers but are good options if you are starving at the catcher position. Based on Yahoo’s rostership numbers, Francisco Álvarez is now currently rostered on 48% of all teams. He did rise above the 50% cutoff mark for this column last week but now sneaks back under. I’m continuing to stump for him moving forward.
Travis d’Arnaud is another good option and is currently sitting at 29% rostered. d’Arnaud had a two-home run game back on June 16 and hit home runs in back-to-back games on June 23 and June 24. In the game on June 24 against the Reds, he went 4-5. He’s getting the starts at catcher as Sean Murphy is currently on the IL. d’Arnaud is hitting .283 with six home runs and 18 RBI this season.
Without further ado, here are the potential streaming targets for this week:
Davis is currently rostered in 45% of leagues so this is probably his last week to be eligible as a streamer, so grab him if you can. Davis hit his first major league home run last week – a 407-foot shot – and there will be many more to come. Interestingly enough, so far he has split his time with starts in the outfield and at DH. The Pirates have said that the plan is for him to see most of his playing time in right field, but he is eligible at the catcher position. Davis hit .284 with 11 home runs and nine steals between Double-A and Triple-A this season so he possesses nice pop and some speed.
When Yordan Alvarez hit the injured list with a strained oblique, this was bad news for Astros fans. However, it has turned out to be good news for Astros rookie Yainer Diaz as he is getting the DH starts that Alvarez’s absence has created.
He’s mashing at DH with two home runs, five RBI, and a .346 average last week alone. And in the month of June, Diaz has started in 16 games and has hit five home runs while collecting 11 RBI. He’s hit .323/.328/.646 and also has six doubles this month. For the season he now sits at seven home runs and 16 RBI, with a .276 average. He’s worth taking a flyer on while he is hot.
A 10-player list of potential streamers by weekly rank is added to each week. To qualify, the catchers must be 50% rostered or less. For example, if Keibert Ruiz is already rostered in your 12-team league, the next in line should be Gary Sánchez and so on down the list. Also, 15-team leagues are much deeper, so attention to Roster% is added to the process. The Roster% is based on Yahoo leagues.