Catchers to Stream for Week 3 (4/19 – 4/25)

Dave Cherman takes you through the streaming options at catcher in Week 1.

Catcher is a barren wasteland. Unless you’ve got one of the top catchers, you’re left guessing as to 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 make proper use of that extra spot. But in a roto league, you’re missing valuable production by leaving it empty. 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 >50% rostered (according to Yahoo). The ineligible catchers are: Gary Sánchez, JT Realmuto, Willson Contreras, Wilson Ramos, Yasmani Grandal, Buster Posey, Austin Nola, Yadier Molina, Will Smith, Salvador Perez, James McCann, Isiah Kiner-Falefa, Christian Vázquez, Travis d’Arnaud and Sean Murphy.

On top of that, I’m avoiding certain situations until playing time becomes clearer. Those situations include the Reds (Tucker Barnhart/Tyler Stephenson), the Rockies (Elias Díaz/Dom Nuñez), the Rays (Francisco Mejía/Mike Zunino), the Jays (Alejandro Kirk/Danny Jansen), the Nationals (Yan Gomes/Alex Avila/), and the Mariners (Luis Torrens/Tom Murphy).


Who is Eligible?


So who is left? Carson Kelly, Stephen Vogt, Pedro Severino, Zack Collins, Roberto Pérez, Wilson Ramos, Martín Maldonado, Max Stassi, Austin Barnes, Jorge Alfaro, Omar Narváez, Ryan Jeffers, 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, feel free to shoot me a tweet and I’m happy to discuss.

Honestly, considering the amount of 50%+ owned 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. 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 don’t feel confident he’ll 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. As the season wears on, guys will get dropped, players will emerge, and streaming should become more and more necessary.


Reviewing Last Week


In years past, I outlined guidelines for determining a streaming “win” 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 .275 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 major impact. If you get two homers from the catcher position, it’s almost a guaranteed win, unless the catcher batted 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.


Omar Narváez, Milwaukee Brewers: 3/13, 2 R, 1 RBI

We’re hoping for more average but the playing time is still there. Don’t worry about Manny Piña. Take the L for the week and move on.

James McCann, New York Mets: 5/11, R, HR, 2 RBI

Yeah, we’ll take that. A .455 average from the catcher spot isn’t a bad boon to your lineup, not to mention the dinger. Our backup for this pick was Wilson Ramos though, who had a great week and is almost definitely rostered in your league now.

Pedro Severino, Baltimore Orioles: 2/14

Severino couldn’t take advantage of a bad slate of pitching ahead of him. Oh well. On to the next week.

Dave’s Streaming Record: 1-2


Quick Thoughts from Week 2


The person I was asked most about on Twitter over the last week was easily Yadíer Molina. The 38-year-old had a 2 HR game vs the Phillies and is now hitting .340 with 22 combined R+RBI. So, are we buying in? Sadly, I’m not. Yadí hasn’t put together an OPS over .780 since 2016 and hasn’t topped .800 since 2013. This is merely an early power surge and we should enjoy the ride. Maybe give it a hitter’s version of Vargas Rule.

You were worried about Willson Contreras. Clearly, there was no need to be. He’s fine.

All I want is for Carson Kelly to get regular playing time. Stephen Vogt is still getting about 1/3 of starts and I get it- Kelly is still doing most of his damage vs lefties, but he’s still hitting .300 in 20 PAs vs righties and it’s time to let him fly.

Another week, another HR for Tucker Barnhart. I’m still out, but you can ride the wave if you want. Tyler Stephenson is getting too much of the playing time for me to consider either for fantasy.

Yesterday, Gary Sánchez left yesterday’s game with a contusion to his right index and middle fingers after taking a foul tip off the hand. X-rays were negative and Sánchez not only finished the inning but also batted after the injury. He’ll be fine. He may even be in the lineup today, but I expect tomorrow because today is a Cole start.

Alejandro Kirk has a Tucker Barnhart problem, i.e. not enough playing time even though I like what he’s doing. If Jansen goes down, look for Kirk to be a very suitable fantasy asset.

Well, you have my attention Jorge Alfaro. The veteran backstop – yes, Alfaro is a veteran now – is still striking out at a ridiculous clip, but he hit three batted balls over 110 mph this week. Veeeeeerrry interesting.

Finally, Max Stassi went to the IL with a left thumb sprain. He’s not an IL stash while Kurt Suzuki and Anthony Bemboom hold things down behind the plate. Neither are strong streamer options either.

Have more questions? Send me a tweet @davecherman!


This Week’s Streamers


Well, that was a lot to go through. Now, let’s take a look at some of the players and who could provide some value to your team this week:

Jason Castro, Houston Astros: Blegh. Wow, what a great way to start. I’m sorry but Jason Castro is not a great hitter. He’s here for two reasons: 1) He’s playing two games at Coors this week and 2) Martín Maldonado is on the COVID-IL and the Astros are not expected to activate him before the end of the road trip. After the Rockies, Castro gets vs Angels’ lefty José QuintanaIs that bad? Castro has a career .555 OPS vs leftes. Oh. Yeah, that’s bad. His floor is as low as they come but we’re chasing playing time and upside with this pick.

Jacob Stallings, Pittsburgh Pirates: I don’t love this either. The 31-year-old doesn’t hit for a ton of average and has very little pop, but again, we’re going to chase upside. The Tigers pitching staff has been very vulnerable to start the year. The Pirates’ offense has also shown some life over the first few weeks, even without Ke’Bryan Hayes.


Some other things to note:

  • If you’ve been riding Dom Nuñez, the Rox get 2 days off this week, but the other games are in Coors soooooo you win some, you lose some.
  • Mitch Garver is back in streaming territory and I’d go with him if you’re able. Ryan Jeffers is getting starts but not enough to really derail Garver’s production potential.

Featured Image by Justin Paradis (@freshmeatcommr on Twitter)

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Account / Login