Catchers to Stream for Week 23 (9/4 – 9/10)

Well hello everyone. For most all of you, this week marks the beginning of the fantasy baseball playoffs. It’s been a long, arduous road to get here, and if you’re...

Well hello everyone. For most all of you, this week marks the beginning of the fantasy baseball playoffs. It’s been a long, arduous road to get here, and if you’re still playing for something, give yourself a pat on the back. Ok, now enough with that, it’s time to get serious.

This past week marked the arrival of baseball’s top catching prospect: Francisco Mejia. And everyone wanted to know if he was worth a pickup. After all, he had a .297/.346/.490 triple slash this year in the minors, but that was AA. On top of that, he’s been slumping recently: in 32 games since the Eastern League all-star break, he hit just .220/.282/.390. Other managers noticed he was looking tired despite only catching 72 games this season. The Tribe is already planning on sending him to the Arizona Fall League to learn 3B, which would add to his versatility nicely. His ceiling is as high or higher than any other catching prospect, but he’s not a usable fantasy commodity this season, so don’t treat him as such.

Let’s recap last week:

Wilson Ramos (Tampa Bay Rays)2/19, HR, 2 RBIs. Man, this week got me feelin like. I love the HR…. hate everything else. I saw many, many people posting that they wanted to get off the Wilson Ramos bandwagon for the stretch run. I can’t blame you as these numbers leave a lot to be desired. This happens every time I recommend a streamer two weeks in a row, which just further proves that this article is necessary. The double dipping gods strike again!

Chris Iannetta (Arizona Diamondbacks)5/15, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 3 BBs. Take a picture of this, folks. This is what a great streaming week looks like. 2 bombs and a .333 average? .444 OBP? Yes, please. Some are tempted to roll with him again, but he’s got Rich Hill and Clayton Kershaw on the road, plus an off day, which significantly limits his ability to produce. Be happy that you got this last week out of him though.

Alex Avila (Chicago Cubs)2/11, 2 RBI, 2 BBs. The OBP looks a lot better than the average. There’s not much else here. People want to cut bait on Avila and I don’t blame them. Very few catchers are worth holding and using every week; Avila isn’t one of them.

Jorge Alfaro (Philadelphia Phillies)-  4/11, 2 RBI. I told you he wouldn’t do much for your power numbers, as all those hits were singles. But if you play in an OBP or average league, that’s a very serviceable week. It’s no Chris Iannetta, but you’ll happily take it. Long term proponents of him should be wary this week, as he takes on deGrom, Strasburg, Gio, and possibly Scherzer. Nooooooooo way.

On to this week’s recommendations:

Wilson Ramos (Tampa Bay Rays)– I wanna believe… maybe the third time’s the charm? He’s got an easy enough week playing host to the Twins (Jose Berrios, Bartolo Colon, Aaron Slegers) and then traveling to Boston after an off day (Drew Pomeranz, Chris Sale, Rick Porcello). I know what you’re thinking. He’s facing Sale! How is that an easy week?? Well, Ramos actually hits better against lefties than righties and is 3 for 6 off Sale with a home run in his career. Add that to a second lefty the day before and a guy making his 2nd major league start the game before that and there’s reason for confidence still. He should get a minimum of 4 starts, with the off day giving him a higher chance for more.

James McCann (Detroit Tigers)- I’m not McCann’s biggest fan, but I’ll recommend anyone on a good enough week. Even Omar Narvaez? Ok, so not anyone. Or Bruce Maxwell? Ok, ok almost anyone. You get the point. The Tigers host KC (Jake Junis, Jason Vargas, Jason Hammel) and then the Jays after an off day (Marcus Stroman(?), Brett Anderson, J.A. Happ). Stroman is not a lock to make that start, which would make this week even better. Yes, he hits in a bad Tigers lineup… ok, it’s a really bad Tigers lineup. But he’s facing bad enough competition that I’m ok starting him. He should get a minimum of 4 starts with the off day but likely more.

If you need a desperation play, you can roll with Yan Gomes (Cleveland Indians). He’s still getting the bulk of playing time and doesn’t have the worst week ahead. You can also take a shot on Martin Maldonado (Los Angeles Angels). He’s starting almost every game for the Angels, who are pushing to win a Wild Card. He’s not great, but give him enough ABs and something could happen.

Dave Cherman

Across the Seams Manager, also a former player and umpire and New York-based lawyer who spends his free time studying advanced statistics and obsessing over fantasy trades. Will debate with you about most anything.

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