Is your team lagging in production from behind the plate? Can you sacrifice some batting average if it means a boost in the counting stats? Well, if you answered yes to either or both of these questions, here are a pair of catchers you should probably look into to give your fantasy team a nice little burst of power.
J.P. Arencibia, TOR |C| Ownership: ESPN – 26.4% Yahoo -60.0%
The assumption here is that there are more two-catcher leagues on Yahoo than on ESPN, not that Yahoo owners are more in-the-know of the latest news that has affected Arencibia in a positive way. While it might not be the best of news to some, it was announced that Triple-A Las Vegas backstop Travis d’Arnaud will miss the next six to eight weeks after tearing the posterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. A full recovery is expected, but with the type of injury and the position at which he plays, it would seem unlikely that the Jays would be in any rush to promote d’Arnaud and risk further damage.
Arencibia job security? Check!
Obviously the batting average is a huge bummer. No one likes having a guy who’s hitting .226 on the season. However, if your team is strong in average and you don’t count OBP, then Arencibia’s production is almost as good as it gets for catchers. His 10 home runs puts him sixth amongst the backstops and his 37 RBI puts him sixth as well. His 26 runs scored and one stolen base are each good for 11th. Not too far behind Mike Napoli overall, is he?
The power has been out for almost all of June thus far, but he just hit his first home run of the month on Monday and is 6-for-17 (.353) over his last five games. He’s a streaky player, for sure, so now looks to be a great time to pick him up and take advantage of some of that power. If you’re struggling behind the dish, like most owners seem to be, then this should be a helpful move for you.
Wilin Rosario, COL |C| Ownership: ESPN – 10.5% Yahoo – 22.0%
It would appear that Rosario is cut from the same cloth as Arencibia, what with the double digit home runs, low batting average, poor walk rate, etc. So again, if you can’t withstand the hit in batting average, then you should probably find someone who hits with a bit more regularity. But if you’re looking to increase your team’s totals in the counting stats, then Rosario is your man. With 11 home runs, 32 RBI, 24 runs scored and three stolen bases, he’s right there in the same range as Arencibia and should provide you with a similar boost. Perhaps even a little more if his .239 average can climb just a touch. He’s currently batting .286 with two home runs and five RBI over his last seven games and appears ready to finish the month strong.
One potential caveat with Rosario is obviously the amount of playing time he may or may not receive come the second half. Ramon Hernandez is currently on the DL with a left hand strain and hasn’t played in more than a month. But when he does eventually come back there will be a question as to who gets the bulk of the work. Hernandez is the veteran, and signed a two-year deal prior to the season, but Rosario, in this writer’s opinion, has more than earned the right to start. It might go back and forth when Hernandez returns, but Rosario should be the one who lands the lion’s share of the work before the month of July is even up.