Catchers to Stream: July 3 – July 9

Dave Funnell looks at catchers you can stream this week.

The catcher position isn’t always one that’s fun to figure out. Depending on your league size and format, it can be incredibly tough to utilize that position in a way that helps you win. What makes things even worse is in two catcher leagues, there are two roster spots just sitting there with the possibility of players that either won’t play or won’t produce. It can be frustrating, to say the least.

That’s why this column is here, to help you overcome your desolate need in a position of volatility. This is such a hard position to project sometimes because of a few reasons. For one, it can be physically difficult for the body to crouch and stand for hours, so catchers do get a day off more frequently. Secondly, some pitchers like to hand-pick their catchers, as they are in sync when calling games. Third, their defensive abilities to frame and defend come into play more so than any other position in baseball. Add those factors together and you have a position that can be difficult to predict.


Things to Watch

When trying to predict the potential status of a catcher, there are a few things that need to be considered.

  1. Playing time is key. If they are on the strong side of a platoon, chances are that they will play the majority of the week, but even four out of the seven days in a week is promising. If they qualify and play elsewhere in the field, that’s a huge bonus.
  2. Statistical contributors are ideal. Look for players that can offer help with at least two of the five traditional categories. Anything more than that is great, while anything less is a detriment.
  3. Injury history is a consideration. It’s always important to consider a player’s past before considering their future.


Who Doesn’t Qualify?

Looking at the catcher position, there are some quality options that have already likely been drafted. These are players that are highly rostered in all leagues with the expectation of them performing well all season long. These are players that have at least 50% rostership, and therefore will not be options here. Those names are J.T. Realmuto, Will Smith, Adley Rutschman, Salvador Perez, Daulton Varsho, Willson Contreras, MJ Melendez, Henry Davis, Tyler Stephenson, Jonah Heim, William Contreras, Sean Murphy, Cal Raleigh, Francisco Álvarez, and Elias Díaz.

Everyone else that qualifies for that position is eligible to be selected as a streaming option. That list will likely be the standard unless season-ending injuries occur or if others rise up and become players worthy of being rostered everywhere.


The Streamers

The recommended players will be categorized into three different tiers. The first will be players that have extremely low rostership but are too good to not be rostered. These players will eventually grow to the list of players who don’t qualify and are recommended to be picked up in all two-catcher leagues. The next grouping is for players who don’t officially qualify at the catcher spot but will eventually due to appearances behind the plate. These players are in a good spot and should be picked up in most two-catcher leagues. Finally, the last grouping is for one-week options. These recommendations are based on past performance and upcoming schedules. Here we go…..


The Injured

Logan O’Hoppe – C Los Angeles Angels

O’Hoppe was placed on the 60-day Injured List on April 29th but hopes to return before the end of the season. He had surgery for his injured shoulder. He has recently begun playing catch in an effort to return sometime in August or September.


The Too Low-Rostered

Bo NaylorC Cleveland Guardians

Two weeks ago, I was adamant that his 10% rostership would go up, and since then it’s actually gone down. Part of that has to do with the fact that he’s since posted a .167/.250/.250/.500 slash line with a 37.5% strikeout rate. All of them are nowhere near the level that should be expected long-term with Naylor.

Naylor will figure things out and start to produce. He is too good of a hitter not to, and perhaps this upcoming week is when it happens. The Guardians play three games versus the Braves and will go against the most unstable part of Atlanta’s rotation. After that, they play four games versus the Royals. If Naylor is going to put it together, now might be the time. That being said, if he doesn’t get it going soon, he’s not worth rostering in redraft leagues.

Yainer Diaz – C Houston Astros

Yainer Diaz struggled to begin the season, but since June, has been on a heater. Over a 30-day period, Diaz posted a .310/.314/.583/.897 slash line with five home runs and 12 RBI. In short, he was incredible. Will this continue? Likely not, but his rest of season production is probably somewhere in between the numbers he posted before and after this blazing month. In order to help maintain his value, his 1.9% walk rate will undoubtedly need to improve.


The One-Week Options

Patrick Bailey – C Los Angeles Angels

While the Giants have gone through many injuries this season, one thing has remained constant: Patrick Bailey and his hitting ability. Entering next week, the rookie catcher has continued his successful ways as he’s been a consistent force in the Giants’ lineup. With Joey Bart sent down to Triple-A to get his game and his mindset right, Bailey kept on producing. In the month of June, he posted a .316/.346/.553/.898 slash line over 22 games played. He will need to walk a bit more, but that’s just nitpicking right now. This upcoming week, the Giants start the week out with a tough three-game set at home against the Mariners but finish with three games versus the Rockies. Continue to roll with Bailey until he falters.

Jake Rogers – C Detroit Tigers

Looking for a shot in the dark? Look no further than Detroit, where Jake Rogers has mashed all season. With 10 home runs in only 145 at-bats, Rogers is platooning with Eric Haase, but is actually seeing more time behind the plate than his teammate. Next week, the Tigers play three games versus Oakland and then three versus Toronto. What makes it enticing is that seven of his home runs have come against left-handed pitchers, and Detroit lines up to face three southpaws. We could see a big and powerful week from Rogers.

Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)

Dave Funnell

Dave Funnell has been playing fantasy baseball for years. He is a husband and a father of three up in Canada. And while is a full-time teacher inside of the classroom, he's also a student of the game of baseball. Follow him on Twitter @sportz_nutt51.

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