Keeper League Thoughts for Catchers

As the calendar gets ready to flip to August, it’s time for those of you that have fallen out of contention in your keeper league to start making plans for the 2013 season.  You’re probably sitting on a number of players that can help the contenders in your league make that final push for a championship, so it’s time to turn those guys into a little something for your efforts this year.  The catcher position is not usually long for guys you’re dying to protect from year to year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t grab yourself some quality options for cheap that can be fruitful components to next year’s championship squad.

Keeper rules are different in virtually every league, so it’s pretty difficult to assign an actual value to a player without knowing your league’s parameters for protecting guys.  So for today, I’m just going to generalize here with some thoughts on specific players based on a broad scope of criteria such as expected performance, potential 2013 ADP, and possible 2013 costs based on 2011 and 2012 draft results among other things.  Obviously, the cheaper you have them for, the better, but a number of these guys, in a number of different leagues are going to come with a middle to high-end cost, thus making the decision process a little tougher.

This piece is actually meant to inspire discussion so that we as a fantasy community can intelligently discuss these players and hope to help each other out as we try to make some trades now to invest in our future.  Here are some of my thoughts, in no particular order…

Buster Posey, SF — In my opinion, a quick and easy note here.  Whether it will cost you a fourth or fifth round draft choice or a few extra bid dollars from your 2013 budget, this is probably the easiest decision to make.  Based on what he’s done to date and given the recovery process from last year’s devastating injury, this kid is nails.  I own him in two keeper leagues and protecting him doesn’t require a lick of thought.

Carlos Santana, CLE — A lot depends on how he performs here in the second half.  If it’s anything like the first half, then he can go right back into the player pool.  But if he powers up int he second half and is slated for more time at 1B and DH next year, then I lean towards holding onto him if it is cost-effective for my league.  Given this season’s first half and the obvious injury risk for catchers, I cannot justify investing too much into him regardless of his potential.  He needs to show more consistency to reach that “no-brainer” protect status for me.

Carlos Ruiz, PHI — He may be having a phenomenal year this year and he probably cost you pennies on the dollar to own, but I’m not buying it as a long-term thing.  Ruiz fluffers can rake me over the coals all they want, but when they’re sitting there next season with a BABIP that is closer to his career norm and an ISO that isn’t in the stratosphere, they can think back on this moment and mentally apologize for the harsh things they’ve probably said.  I’m definitely not discounting what he’s done this year, but it’s a sucker’s bet if you think he’s repeating this next season.

Wilin Rosario, COL — The batting average and the OBP may be sitting in the toilet, but from a counting stats perspective, what’s not to love about a power hitting catcher in Colorado?  Rosario definitely has the ability to continue the power numbers and he has the potentil to hit better than .260, so with a job to himself next season, if it’s not costing you an arm or a leg…or even just a finger, I’m a fan of holding onto him.  At just 23 years old, he still has enough of a shelf life to be a worthy protect for a few seasons so long as he doesn’t get too expensive.  You’ll know for your league when that happens.

Matt Wieters, BAL — What’s not to love about the power potential here, except for the fact that the operative word is still ‘potential.’  He’s a little too pricey for what he’s delivering right now, so I’m starting to lean away from him.  Of course, that just means I’ll miss his super-breakout season but given his likely proce tag for next year, that’s a risk I’m willing to take.

Mike Napoli, TEX — It’s simply a matter of what you’re willing to pay for 20-25 home runs and a mediocre batting average.  For me, he’s probably a little too expensive given where he went in drafts this season, but if you got him for super cheap the year before and the inflation isn’t going to kill you, then he’s probably worth another look.

Yadier Molina, STL — I love what he’s done this year and last, but my concern lies with the mileage he’s put on over the years.  Eight straight seasons of 110 games or more is a lot of wear and tear on the body.  I’m definitely a fan of selling high for next year.

Joe Mauer, MIN — Definitely comes down to cost here.  I never thought he’d hit for power again, but he’s certainly done plenty to get back that average and runs scored advantage he’s held for so many years.  I’m more a fan of selling him to someone who would be likely to overpay for the marquee name, but if I could hold him for one more season at a low/reasonable cost, I would consider it.

Devin Mesoraco, CIN — Get him away from Dusty Baker and then we’ll talk.

 

 




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Howard Bender has been covering fantasy sports for over 10 years on a variety of websites. In addition to his work here, you can also find him at his site, RotobuzzGuy.com, Fantasy Alarm, RotoWire and Mock Draft Central. Follow him on Twitter at @rotobuzzguy or for more direct questions or comments, email him at rotobuzzguy@gmail.com


47 Responses to “Keeper League Thoughts for Catchers”

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  1. Brandon says:

    In a 16 team league Carlos Santana as a 6th, 7th or 8th rounder make sense?

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    • Howard Bender says:

      If he hits in the second half this year like he did last year, then definitely a yes. If he hits in the second half like he did in the first of this year, I would consider the 8th round.

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      • jfree says:

        If he hits like he did last year for the rest of the year, there’s no way he’ll make it to the 6th round (that’s a top 96 pick in a 16 teamer)

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  2. benj says:

    Grandal?

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    • Howard Bender says:

      I really like Grandal and II like the way he’s started out right now.I would like to see how he finishes the year before really passing judgement, particularly what his splits look like, both home/road and how he fares form each side of the plate. My gut tells me that he’ll warrant consideration based on cost, but my gut also tells me that Hostess strawberry cupcakes are the best snack ever. We’ll re-visit him during the offseason, for sure.

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  3. worm turner says:

    Any thoughts on Yasmani, or does Petco kill any value?

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  4. ecp says:

    I think you need to include Salvador Perez in any keeper league catcher discussions. At least he plays, which is more than you can say for Mesoraco.

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    • Howard Bender says:

      I realized I left Perez off as soon as I published the article so that’s definitely an oversight and no reflection of my thoughts on him as a potential protect. I really like him a lot and from what I’m reading there’s plenty of talk that his power is better than most anticipated. I’m excited to see how he finishes the season here and where the Royals feel he should be batting in the lineup on a regular basis.

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      • saucypony says:

        The only problem with that is that no one on the Royals lineup bats in a given spot on a regular basis.

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  5. Chris says:

    Trusting he somehow finagles eligibility, how about V-Mart in the 13th round in a 15-team OBP league?

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    • Howard Bender says:

      If he can somehow maintain catcher eligibility, then I like V-Mart in the 13th round if the knee is 100%. As a DH with needing time off because of swelling in the knee, well then that’s a different story.

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  6. Travis says:

    Wieters for $17 or pick up Rosario and keep him for $5?

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  7. Kris says:

    expecting d’arnould to start the season in the bigs for TOR?

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    • Howard Bender says:

      I’d like it, but have to see how he bounces back from surgery. JPA’s no slouch, but I think the Jays would rather have a more complete guy behind the dish next year.

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  8. Matt says:

    No thoughts of keeping McCann?

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    • Howard Bender says:

      It’s not that I don’t have thoughts on keeping McCann, but given his service time and level of production in years past, I feel like he may cost a little more than you’d like to spend on a catcher, especially one who will be going into his eighth year and spent this season struggling with his average and OBP. You might be better off investing in a cheaper option here.

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  9. Scott Clarkson says:

    20-team $120 cap: McCann at $10…thoughts?

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    • Howard Bender says:

      The 20-teamer makes me think about it, but that’s still a strong percentage of your budget to take a chance with if his avg/OBP doesn’t rebound.

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  10. Sizzle says:

    Jesus and Miguel? Jesus’s stock’s gone down, but he was an elite prospect. Miguel’s solid from year to year.

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    • Howard Bender says:

      Miguel is solid from year to year, but feel like he’s always underrated enough that you can grab him in your draft for potentially less than what you’d be keeping him for. Atleast that’s my experience with him in a few keeper leagues the past few years.

      I like Jesus and feel like he could definitely break out, but given his hype coming into this year, he’s probably a little pricey for what he’s going to give you in the early stages of his career. If you grabbed him for cheap because he didn’t qualify at catcher to begin with, then he could/should be worth the risk. Hate the way Safeco stifles his power though.

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  11. Michael says:

    Thoughts on Avila & Saltalamacchia with the intentions of only using either against RHP?

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    • Howard Bender says:

      I have a hard time keeping anyone if I have to think about platooning them right from the start…

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  12. Alex says:

    Is Jesus Montero simply not as good as people thought he would be prior to the start of the year? He’s started the second half with promising numbers.

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    • Howard Bender says:

      response a few comments above, but yes, he’s definitely started off the second half on the right foot which gives a lot of promise

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  13. chri521 says:

    At least we don’t have to worry about Jason Kendall… he finally retired!

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  14. Schide says:

    Yeah, I picked up Ruiz off the waiver wire and can keep him next as probably an 11th rd pick. He might be worth it at that to keep but he might make better trade bait after the season.

    Or not, who the hell knows.

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  15. jwbixby says:

    How many $$ is Posey worth keeping at in Ottoneu? $35?

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    • Howard Bender says:

      took a consult from Jeff Zimmerman on this — $35 might be a bit high, but there was nothing in his response that insinuated that $35 was completely outlandish.

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  16. Dave says:

    What about Salvador Perez?!

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  17. Joel says:

    I have Mauer for $11 (14 team, 25 man) and Mesoraco for $1 with $2 yearly inflation. I’m leaning toward keeping them both. Thoughts?

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    • Joel says:

      Forgot to say it’s a 1 C, $250 budget league

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    • Howard Bender says:

      I’d probably hold Mauer and let Mesoraco go. That’s the call right now, but obviously we need to see what the situation in Cincy will be once we head into the 2013 season.

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  18. TomReagan says:

    How many more years do you see Wieters at catcher?

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  19. Flint Bomber says:

    Man, I love catchers. Here is one – Victor Martinez! I took him as a stealth grab in the 19th round, and can keep him one more year at that price.

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  20. Andrew says:

    I have Avila and Mesoraco. Either keepable?

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    • Andrew says:

      20 Team H2H.

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    • Howard Bender says:

      At this point, no. But Mesoraco could warrant some consideration if somehow he has the job heading into next season. I’m sure his playing time and abilities will be a hot topic thi soffseason.

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  21. Josh says:

    Jesus Montero v Lucroy in a 16 team dynasty. Also, Lucroy in general?

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