Behind The Dish
Buster Posey was creamed last night at the plate in a collision with Scott Cousins. Was it a dirty play? I don't believe so, but that's a discussion for another day. The issue at this point is what do you do if you own Posey because a report from Amy Guttierrez says that Buster Posey is in a cast (the team has already placed him on the DL with a broken leg, and unconfirmed reports are circulating that he also has injured ligaments in his leg)? Whatever the truth turns out to be, it's pretty clear that in a best case scenario Posey is going to be out for the foreseeable future – at best.
This situation will send all Posey owners scrambling to the waiver-wire. Of the options available, who might you consider picking up? Here are some thoughts.
Ryan Doumit - .272-4-15-7-0 in 92 ABs Who doesn't wish that the Pirates would play him more frequently, even if it isn't behind the dish. I mean, it's not like Lyle Overbay is tearing it up at first base is it? He isn't for those of you wonder as he's hitting .235 with a .662 OPS. Doumit has flashed his power bat in May hitting .289/.351/.477. The best thing for him could be a deal to a team that would play him everyday. Until then, at a weak hitting position, he still is someone you need to consider.
Ryan Hanigan - .261-2-12-12-0 in 92 ABs He isn't close to an everyday option, not with Ramon Hernandez around (.327-6-15), but it might surprise you to learn that Hernandez only has 12 more at-bats than Hanigan. Why would I suggest adding a guy who is hitting .261 with a .359 SLG? Because there is no downside here. Hanigan never strikes out, in his career he's walked more times than he's whiffed, and that means there is virtually no chance that his average will fall below where it is right now (career .276). You could do a lot worse as a second catcher in mixed leagues, but he would be stretched as a starter if you only use one backstop.
Jonathan Lucroy - .321-5-22-15-0 in 112 ABs The name everyone is interested in, and why wouldn't you be given his work to this point? Be warned though. Unless your name is Joe Mauer or Mike Piazza, catchers don't hit over .320. Second, though he looks to have a huge a power bat, Lucroy has a 48 percent ground ball rate that will keep the big flies in check. The only reason he has five bombs already is due to an unsustainable 17 percent HR/F rate. He's probably already snatched up unless you are in a shallow league, but if he isn't, give him a look – there's likely to be plenty of production from this bat.
Miguel Olivo - .229-4-15-20-4 in 144 ABs He's not hitting very well, but what's new if you are a Seattle Mariner? However, three things of note. (1) He has four steals, a huge boost at a position where guys don't run. (2) He plays everyday. His total of 144 at-bats is 10th at the position (3) Each of the last five years he has hit at least 12 homers with 41 RBI. Those seem like mild totals but only he and Brian McCann can say that they have reached both totals each of the last five years.
Mike Napoli - .185-6-16-15-1 in 92 ABs I blame this one on the Rangers. When Napoli was hot to start the year the Rangers just kept sitting him on the bench. Despite their thoughts, what I see is the seeds of success. Napoli currently has the best walk rate of his career, the lowest strikeout rate of his career, and his 18.2 HR/F ratio is a dead on match for his 18.1 percent career mark. One this hits start falling, his BABIP is .172, only .114 points below his career mark, he'll return to being a power hitting star at the position... that is if the Rangers ever play him.
Wilson Ramos - .255-3-11-18-0 in 110 ABs As great as he was in April (.358) he has been as bad in May (.158). He has value, but it may only be in certain spots right now. Consider these two points. (1) You only want to play him at home where he has hit .349 with a .990 OPS (his marks on the road are .194 and .605). (2) He has killed lefties (.323/.462/.484) while struggling badly against righties (.228/.284/.392).
Jarrod Saltalamacchia - .240-4-15-11-0 in 100 ABs Salty, and no, I'm not going to type out his name again, has been a blasting of late with four bombs and seven RBI in his last five games. Long thought of as a guy who could hit .250 with 20 homers, is he finally reaching his potential after years of false starts?
Kurt Suzuki - .252-4-13-17-1 in 155 ABs I cant understand how, after three solid years, that this guy is on so many waiver-wires. He's currently working on his best BB/K mark of 0.82 (career 0.61), and though his has a superb 22.5 percent line drive rate he has only been rewarded with a .261 BABIP that isn't even the equal of his career rate of .276. I see lots of room for improvement here.
My rest of the way rankings of these catchers:
Mike Napoli Kurt Suzuki Jonathan Lucroy Miguel Olivo Ryan Doumit Jarrod Saltalamacchia Wilson Ramos Ryan Hanigan
By Ray Flowers
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The co-host of The Drive on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (Sirius 210, XM 87: Mon-Fri 7-10 PM EDT), Ray also hosts his own show Sunday night (7-10 PM EDT). Ray has spent years squirreled away studying the inner workings of the fantasy game to the detriment of his personal life. Specializing in baseball, football and hockey, some consider him an expert in all three.
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