Catchers to Stream for Week 13 (6/28-7/4)

Who should you stream behind the dish?

Catcher is a barren wasteland! Unless you’ve got one of the top catchers, you’re left guessing what to do with the position.

My strategy in many leagues is to wait until the last round if I don’t get one of the top guys. Some people go catcherless, which is a legitimate strategy in a head-to-head league if you can properly use that extra spot. But in a roto league, you’re missing valuable production by leaving it empty. So if you missed out on the cream of the crop and need help addressing the problem, look no further. This article will look at the best streaming-caliber catchers for the week ahead.


Who Are the Catchers?


Prohibited List


First, we have to rule out any widely owned catcher. For purposes of this list, it means anyone over 50% rostered (according to Yahoo). The ineligible catchers are J.T. Realmuto, Salvador Pérez, Willson Contreras, Will Smith, Isiah Kiner-Falefa, Christian Vázquez, Buster Posey, Yasmani Grandal, Carson Kelly, Yadier Molina, Gary Sánchez, Sean Murphy, and James McCann. That’s THIRTEEN catchers.

On top of that, I’m avoiding certain situations until playing time becomes more apparent. Those situations include the Rays (Francisco Mejía/Mike Zunino) and the Orioles (Pedro Severino/Austin Wynns).


I’m going to say this now — if you’re in a 12 team or fewer, don’t stream right now. Instead, try trading for someone’s backup instead of diving in the bargain bin for the players that meet my threshold. But we’re going to go ahead anyway.


Who is Eligible?


So who is left? Austin Nola, Mitch Garver, Yan Gomes, Tucker Barnhart, Jacob Stallings, Stephen Vogt, Zack Collins, Roberto Pérez, Wilson Ramos, Martín Maldonado, Max Stassi, Austin Barnes, Jorge Alfaro, Kyle Higashioka, James McCann, Jacob Stallings, Victor Caratini, and Jose Trevino. That’s an extensive list that will change throughout the year and should give us ample opportunity to find value. I base my list on Yahoo eligibility, as it is generally the broadest, so some players like Yermín Mercedes aren’t included. If you have questions about those players, please shoot me a tweet; I’m happy to discuss.

Honestly, considering the 50%+ rostered catchers, chances are you already have one of these guys. That’s 13 guys who are well-owned, the perfect amount for a 12-teamer. On the other hand, maybe you took a flier late in the draft and are still debating whether to hold someone like Omar Narváez. Maybe you drafted Salvador Pérez but didn’t feel confident he’d return to his old self.

I find myself saying this every year, but this year’s version of catcher streaming feels so much harder, with so many of my favorite guys on the prohibited list. But, as the season wears on, guys will get dropped, players will emerge, and streaming should become more and more necessary.


Reviewing Last Week


I outlined guidelines for determining streaming a “win” in years past, and I’ll leave these up here each week as a reminder.

  1. Batting average is king. 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. That said, we have to keep in mind the number of plate appearances — under 10 PA diminishes that boost.
  2. 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, a catcher can still be a streaming win without home runs if other factors are there.
  3. Counting stats (R+RBI) are the lowest stat consideration because you’re not expecting them from your catcher anyway. They’re a nice bonus.


Tyler Stephenson, Cincinnati Reds: 4/14 (.286), 3 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI

Stephenson may have only started three games this week but was very effective as a pinch hitter. Included in the pinch-hit heroics was last night’s solo shot. The dinger added on to a viable week that concluded with a .286/.412/.571 slash line and .983 OPS. Winner winner, chicken dinner!

Jorge Alfaro, Miami Marlins: 1/15 (.067)

Alfaro is a tough pill to swallow for a couple of reasons. One, he stuck out on six of his 15 plate appearances (40% K-rate); not good, Bob! And two, included in his nine batted balls were seven hard-hit balls. That is good enough for a 77% hard-hit rate. Unfortunately, 55% of those batted balls were worm-burners and produced out. Nevertheless, I shall take my loss.

Swan’s Streaming Record: 8-9


Quick Thoughts From Week 12


  • Reese McGuire went off this week by piling up base hits, as he went 11-for-21 this week. While he didn’t send any of those base knocks over the outfield wall, his .524 batting average is impressive. Especially since he is a part of the very potent Toronto offense. Keep in mind that Alejandro Kirk will return soon, which would likely devastate McGuire’s playing time.
  • After a successful Week 11, Luis Torrens is back in the notes after sending two more moonshots into the bleachers. There is still a bit of swing-and-miss in his profile that will keep his batting average at bay, but plenty of thunder in the bat. Furthermore, Seattle could use the extra offensive fire-power, and it appears he has overtaken Tom Murphy as the lead backstop.
  • Mike Zunino only started two games this week but went yard in both of them, bringing his total to an impressive 16 dingers on the season. This level of production begs the question, will we ever see full-time plate appearances for Zunino? The answer, a resounding no. These are the Rays, and this is what they do; maximize players in spots. Unfortunately, this is why Zunino is a challenging streamer.
  • Barely hitting over the Mendoza Line is something many catchers do, even more so for the streaming catcher options. Jose Trevino’s batting average wobbles back and forth there very often, except for this week. His 5-for-2o week included one bomb and five RBI with a pair of runs. Maybe he can stay hot and become the viable streaming option we all need.
  • Not a streaming option, but Buster Posey sat his last two games with a back ailment. Posey’s health is worth monitoring because any IL stint will result in an immediate increase in playing time for Curt Casali. He is a veteran backstop with a high walk rate and elevated K% for those unaware of Casali. Although, Casali did pick up base hits in the Posey replacement games, including one HR.
  • After another Carson Kelly injury, playing time has opened up for Daulton Varsho or Stephen Vogt. Varsho brings a unique skill set to the table and can steal a base with very limited at-bats. However, he struggles to make consistent contact(1-for-11 in the last two weeks). On the other side is Vogt is not running away with the job due to some lackluster performances.
  • Yan Gomes continues to put up multi-hit games and solidify his lead role as the Washington backstop. While none of those hits did any damage, his 17% roster% in Yahoo leagues is probably too low. Gomes is slashing .254/.302/.412 with a .714 OPS.
  • STOLEN BASE ALERT! A reader reached out to me and asked about finding a catcher with stolen bases. So, as we advance, I will be recapping any catcher that swiped a base that week. Yadier Molina, Christian Vázquez, Eric Haase, and Daulton Varsho each swiped a base in Week 12.


Have more questions? “Catch” up with me on Twitter @davithius!


This Week’s Streamers


Well, that was a lot to go through. So now, let’s examine players that might provide added value for the upcoming week:

Omar Narváez, Milwaukee Brewers (48% rostered): Playing time has never been a concern for Narváez, and the upcoming week is no different. Next week, Milwaukee starts with a three-game series in Wrigley Field against all right-handed pitchers, followed by a four-game series in Pittsburgh. During that time frame, only two DANG (Day After Night Games), which should lead to at least five games of production.

The matchups tilt in favor for Narváez. Against left-handed hitters, both the Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates rank in the bottom eight in FIP (CHC 4.83, PIT 4.48). Additionally, Chicago allows the fifth-most HR/9 to lefties. Also, it’s important to point out that Narváez sits against southpaws. In fact, only 26 of his 198 plate appearances have been against LHP. As we continue to search for good news, six of his matchups this week are against RHP. None of which are terrifying and carry K% under 22%. Furthermore, Narváez is raking against RHP (.894 OPS and 145 wRC+). We’ve had loads of success streaming Narváez, so why stop now?

Max Stassi, Los Angeles Angels (37% rostered): Against RHP, Stassi has been more than serviceable, as shown by his .186 ISO, .406 wOBA, and 161 wRC+. Even better, he squares off against middling RHPs like Michael King, Jameson Taillon, Domingo Germán, Jorge López, and Thomas Eshelman. Also, much like Narváez, Stassi sits regularly against southpaws because of his overwhelming lack of production (.190/.346/.238 slash line).

As we look ahead to playtime, five RHP in seven days should indicate plenty of at-bats. And the schedule is not concerning either because the only DANG comes on Thursday (July 1) against LHP Jordan Montgomery. Stassi will likely get a day off and be fresh for the July 4th weekend. To sum it all up, plenty of suspect SPs that fall right into Stassi wheelhouse, plus a rested full schedule? There should be plenty of fireworks from Stassi next week.

Tyler Stephenson, Cincinnati Reds (10% rostered): I feel pretty confident suggesting Stephenson, even after considering the platoon situation in Cincinnati. The playing time has been just enough to keep him streamer relevant, and this week is no different. The Reds play seven straight days at the hitter-friendly confines of The Great American Ballpark in the week ahead. And while only one is against a southpaw, there should be plenty of chance to sneak Stephenson into the lineup or pinch-hit.

I mention he only faces one LHP because he touts a .939 OPS vs. southpaws instead of the .770 OPS vs. RHP. Nevertheless, his .398 OBP keeps him on the base paths and helps boost the run total. Lastly, it should be noted what a solid batter he is at home. In 2021 at home, Stephenson touts a .353 BA and 179 wRC+, with a 14.8% walk rate and 19.8% K-rate. That’s pretty darn impressive for any hitter, let alone a streaming catcher rostered in only 10% of leagues.


Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)

Dave Swan

Dave Swan is an avid Chicago Cubs fan that enjoys all aspects of fantasy baseball-especially DFS. He would trade his right arm for a GIF library of Greg Maddux pitches. Swan's baseball thoughts are available at @davithius.

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