Who to Draft Fantasy Baseball 2014: Catchers
Which catchers should you avoid, and target, for fantasy baseball in 2014?
* ADP's taken from the NFBC.
Brian McCann (81 ADP): The new Yankees' catcher is getting lots of love because, frankly, he's the Yankees' catcher. When you play for the Yankees everyone loves you. Give McCann credit though, he's hit at least 20 homers in 6-straight years and he's the only catcher in the game that can make that claim. He's also hitting in Yankee Stadium this season, and according to Fangraphs that stadium was third best in baseball in 2013 for left handed home run hitters. So why is McCann overvalued? He's hit .230 and .256 the last two years, and the last time he hit .277, his career average, was 2009. He's also failed to record 52 runs in any of the past three years and he's more expensive than Matt Wieters (99). By the by, Wieters has hit three more homers the last three seasons, has driven in 35 more runs and scored 60 more times.
Miguel Montero (210): In 2011 and 2012 Montero hit at least .282 with 15 homers, 86 RBIs and 65 runs scored as one of the best hitting catchers in the game. He stunk in 2013 (.230-11-42-44), but there's still hope. His 0.46 BB/K rate last season was three hundredths off his career mark. His 21.4 percent line drive rate was a percent better than his career rate. His 11.3 HR/F was a dead on match for his career mark. Part of the blame for his struggles goes to his increased ground ball rate, but you can also fault his .282 BABIP after 5-straight years of a mark of at least .318.
Russell Martin (271): He's not great, and he's failed to hit .230 the past two seasons. That's the down side. The plus side is that he's hit at least 15 homers each of the past three seasons with 53 RBIs and 50 runs scored. His rankings the last three years among catchers: 6th in homers, 12th in RBIs, 7th in runs scored. Oh yeah, his total of 23 steals also leads the position.
Devin Mesoraco (274): The new Reds' starting catcher has hit only .225 in 538 big league at-bats, but he's also socked 16 homers with 62 RBIs and 53 runs scored. Those are solid numbers for a second catcher in the fantasy game. Ranked the #16 prospect in baseball according to Baseball America prior to the 2012 season, Mesoraco hit .279 with 18 homers and 84 RBIs in 576 at-bats Triple-A. He can hit.
Get All of Ray's Picks in the 2014 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide.