2018 Fantasy Baseball: Dumpster Diving For Catchers
We are reprising a series we have done in past seasons where we look at the top waiver claims at each position throughout the season. The draft is dreadfully important, but most fantasy championships are won or lost based on how well an owner manages the waiver wire. Some waiver claims are obvious. It doesn’t take a rocket science to know that Ronald Acuna is going to be a good add. Only one owner can take advantage of that little gift. Here are some guys everyone has access to. First, our rules for who is eligible for this article.
- A player must be available in 75 percent of more of Yahoo leagues. Simply put, it’s a waste of time to go with someone that is already owned in most leagues.
- Statistics used are for six category leagues. That includes walks. Most people play in five category leagues but adding the walk category doesn’t hurt to know.
- We will try to stay position relevant and that includes the specific outfield positions.
- Once a player has been profiled I try to avoid repeating them when we come to the position again later in the season.
James McCann— Detroit Tigers
Yahoo: 8 percent
Numbers: .232, 2 HR, 8 Runs, 10 RBI, 5 BB
The first consideration with any waiver add is attendance. In other words, how often does the guy play. McCann is entrenched as the Tigers regular catcher. That is about as much as anyone can say about him. He does have decent pop and can be a plus in three categories because of that. Stolen bases really don’t matter for catchers (which is why we don’t list them), so the only real downside is batting average.
Add if: Your regular has come down with an injury or is in a desperate slump.
Tucker Barnhart— Cincinnati Reds
Yahoo: 12 percent
Numbers: .233, 2 HR, 6 Runs, 8 RBI, 10 BB
Barnhart is a Gold Glove catcher on top of what you see here. The only downside is that the Reds still have Devin Mesoraco. They will likely play Mesoraco at least twice a week to see if he can rediscover the magic from days of yore. Like McCann, Barnhart will not hit for high average. Unlike McCann, he will draw walks. So, he probably carries slightly better long-term value. The Reds have been terrible offensively in the early going, so he has had fewer run producing opportunities, but that shouldn’t happen for long.
Add if: You need a healthy catcher or you are in a six category league and want some more walks.
Yan Gomes— Cleveland Indians
Yahoo: 7 percent
Numbers: .233, 4 HR, 6 Runs, 8 RBI, 4 BB
After a couple of seasons in the sub .200 abyss it appears Gomes is back amongst the living. Gomes is actually tolerable in five category leagues when he is producing on this level. He brings more pop than either McCann or Barnhart and there is no reason to expect the Indians to be this bad offensively for long. This is where the advantages stop. I suppose the good news is that he has four walks already. I didn’t think he’d be there until the all-star break. Still, he could approach 20 home runs and you can never ignore that from a catcher.
Add if: Your catcher is hurt or you need to add some pop at catcher.