Archive for Catchers

The Boston Infield: Change is Here

It’s time for our Depth Chart Discussions to begin. In an effort to suss out every team, we’ve divided them into four parts (infield, outfield, bullpen, and rotation) and will begin breaking them down for you over the next few weeks. You can find them gathered here.

The Boston infield practically has to hand out name tags this spring. Even the guys that are returning to their old positions are probably hoping for different results this year. There’s opportunity here in droves — with a nice home park and a lineup that could mash, the park and team effects line up well. Considering there probably isn’t a player that will cost top-50 prices in the bunch, you could call this a list of sleepers, even.

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Quick Winter Meetings Winners and Losers

So many things happened. Everyone was traded. Everyone was released. And everyone was signed. It’ll fuel RotoGraphs pieces for weeks to come. You’ll see more in-depth pieces on these guys. But, with the dust settled, it seems like a good time to run all through some of the players that changed addresses, and talk a little bit about how they may have changed their fantasy outlooks for the coming season.

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GadZooks! Twins Catcher Shows Pulse, Semblance of Fantasy Value

Suzuki was the 14th ranked catcher, behind Seattle’s Mike Zunino and ahead of San Diego’s Yasmani Grandal.

When the news broke last November that Joe Mauer would be moving off the catcher position permanently, a void opened that many assumed would be filled by Josmil Pinto. Not much was known about Pinto’s receiving skills, but the 24-year-old had just wrapped up a 21-game September run where he hit .342/.398/.566 and in doing so created considerable buzz.

It’s been nearly a year since then and Pinto still hasn’t grabbed that starting spot. And some would say it’s for good reason. No, it probably doesn’t make sense that Pinto’s age-25 season was spent by and large at Triple-A Rochester — especially in light of the Twins losing 90 games for the fourth consecutive season. But the Twins had their reasons, like it or not.

Their reasoning was the play of Kurt Suzuki. Read the rest of this entry »

Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Meet Jarrod Saltalamacchia

There weren’t too many who were bullish on Jarrod Saltalamacchia coming into 2014 even after his 2013 totals ranked him about eighth overall for catchers. Salty was coming off his finest season as a professional, reducing his strikeout rate and increasing his walk rate, all while producing a .273/.338/.466 slash line with 14 home runs and career highs in runs and RBI with 68 and 65, respectively. He even stole four bases.

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2015 Sleeper Alert: John Jaso

I’ll freely admit that this column is highly speculative in nature, and based on plenty of assumptions. However, that’s kind of what this time of year is for as a fantasy writer. It’s the time of year when you start going through your “What ifs” for the next season, and I think I have a pretty intriguing “What if” scenario for John Jaso.

For the second consecutive year, Jaso had his season cut short due to continued concussion symptoms. For very good reason, this has led to some speculation regarding Jaso’s future behind the plate, or possible lack thereof. The A’s already took steps in 2014 to get his bat in the lineup at designated hitter, but even with his 32 starts at DH, the 47 starts he made behind the dish proved to be too many, and Jaso’s 2014 season ended just like 2013 did.

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Doubling Up With Jonathan Lucroy

Jonathan Lucroy was a frequent guest of FanGraphs this season, but we left him on his own here at RotoGraphs. It’s not like he was ever on the waiver wire. FantasyPros recorded a price range of $3 to $24 for Lucroy, averaging $12. You can bet that will increase next year after turning in a $16 season per Zach Sanders. Read the rest of this entry »

Mike Zunino, or Chris Davis, the Catcher Version

Chris Davis, the 2014 bust, was obviously a massive disappointment to fantasy owners. But did you know that he was also a catcher, playing for the Seattle Mariners? Check out these two cherry-picked batting lines:

Player A 33.0% 0.209 0.308 0.242 0.196
Player B 33.2% 0.205 0.290 0.248 0.199

Without looking, are you sure you know which one is Mike Zunino and which is Davis?

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Travis d’Arnaud: TDA less TBD

Here is Travis d’Arnaud before he was sent down on June 8th: .180/.271/.273/.241 (BA/OBP/SLG/wOBA).

Here is TDA after his return: .269/.315/.481/.346. He also tore it up (again) at Triple-A.

Here is TDA from August fifth onward: .280/.335/.510/.369. Yan Gomes, FYI, went .278/.313/.472/.340 albeit for the season.

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Another Underwhelming Year From Miguel Montero

For the four seasons spanning 2009-12, Miguel Montero was a very useful fantasy catcher. The lowest triple slash he posted over that time frame was a useful .266/.332/.438 line, still good for a 100 wRC+. His decline has been rapid, as for the second year in a row Montero has hit below .250 and over his past 1,035 plate appearances he’s managed a mere 86 wRC+.  Read the rest of this entry »

Reflection and Speculation: Derek Norris

The Oakland Athletics are undoubtedly quite pleased with the breakout at the plate of Derek Norris in 2014. He batted .270/.361/.403 in 442 plate appearances, posting obvious career bests in AVG and playing time, both of which proved useful to fantasy baseball players.

Two aspects of Norris’ production in his supposed breakthrough season seem to warn his owners not to get too far ahead of the backstop’s train, however. He hit 10 home runs, but eight of them came before the All-Star break, in only 28 more PAs than he accrued after the season’s faux midpoint. His uptick in PT could be traced to team need as well as some notable gains in his splits versus right-handed pitchers early in the year, especially in terms of strikeouts, something I chronicled in June, but that discipline against same-handed pitchers faded as the season wore on.

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