2014 Fantasy BaseballFantasy Baseball

2014 Fantasy Baseball: Real Offensive Value — Catchers, Part II

rosario land

There are two categories of catchers left on the fantasy landscape after our first real offensive value edition. There are catchers that were expected to be top notch catchers, but are merely performing as above average catchers. That’s bad enough, but then there are catchers that are actually performing below the league average, but are doing so on a daily basis. In many cases, these players are putting up better run producing numbers than many of the catchers we saw last time. Unfortunately, they are costing you in the area of batting average (and on base percentage).

The league average for real offensive value is .245. ROV is calculated by averaging batting average and secondary average. One of the unfortunate things about doing in season analysis is the fact that we always have a lag time. The numbers are not real time numbers, but we always link to a player’s baseball-reference.com page because you can see what the player is doing in real time and adjust the calculations if you really are interested. Let’s start with the mildly disappointing players.

PA

ROV

RC

wRC+

RP

Wilin Rosario

202

.252

19

83

41

Kurt Suzuki

243

.248

34

121

50

Carlos Ruiz

263

.258

32

110

39

Buster Posey

277

.255

33

113

60

This a veritable smorgasbord of fantasy catchers. We begin with the consensus number one catcher on nearly everyone’s preseason list. On the one hand, Posey’s numbers may look disappointing, but he is third amongst fantasy catchers in runs produced. That being said, the .255 real offensive value highlights the disappointment. The primary problem is a sharp reduction in power production.

Both Posey and Wilin Rosario have been disappointments on that front. Rosario is closer to career norms in terms of home runs, but he also plays in the best hitter’s park in baseball. Comparatively, his numbers are worse and that is why the wRC+ is so low. Of course, I could say I told you so on Rosario, but I won’t do that given the number of times I have been wrong so far this season.

Kurt Suzuki and Carlos Ruiz fall on the positive side of the spectrum. In particular, Suzuki was supposed to be an insurance plan on Josmil Pinto. Pinto has been good, but they can’t keep Suzuki out of the lineup. Ruiz has been his usual self, but that somehow comes as a surprise to most observers. I think many fantasy owners thought he’d go in the tank following his drug suspension. That hasn’t happened. Outside of Posey, none of these guys may be performing like fantasy regulars, but they are viable bench guys and Rosario might regain his fantasy regular status.

PA

ROV

RC

wRC+

RP

A.J. Pierzynski

240

.194

22

70

44

Yan Gomes

255

.236

29

105

48

Jason Castro

263

.220

23

87

47

Brian McCann

268

.217

23

76

51

Mike Zunino

239

.237

26

100

43

Yadier Molina

286

.242

35

109

47

Dioner Navarro

243

.220

26

89

47

Tyler Flowers

227

.211

20

78

39

Joe Mauer

310

.231

31

87

56

If we start with the big names, we find ourselves starting with Joe Mauer. Mauer is now playing at first base. The moment he loses catcher eligibility is the day he dies as a fantasy baseball factor. The Twins thought they were solidifying their future when they signed Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau to long-term contracts. Morneau is now plying his craft in Colorado and Mauer is no longer a front-line offensive player.

Coming into the season, Yadier Molina, Brian McCann, and Jason Castro were also fantasy regulars on draft day. In terms of runs produced, they could still end up that way if they finish the season strong, but fantasy owners are disappointed for the most part. Molina is considered above average according to wRC+ and his real offensive value is almost average as well. You’d just expect more out of a fantasy regular.

The rest of the guys were backup material coming into the season and most are capable of being quality backups. Mike Zunino is a guy that might blossom as the season goes on and Yan Gomes has shown enough power to be an intriguing second half prospect as well. On the flip side, there is no one more overrated that A.J. Pierzynski. He consistently gets picked up by teams to be their regular catcher. He has only four seasons with wRC+s above 100 and has only scored one above 92 once since 2006. Admittedly, he is on pace to have the worst season of his career in that category.

Dioner Navarro and Tyler Flowers are getting consistent playing time for the first time in their careers. On that note alone, they are interesting bench possibilities, but they won’t ever be more than that. As we saw last time, sometimes you have to keep in mind that you can surrender a lot of value in batting average (and OBP) in exchange for decent run production. It may not be worth it.

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2014 Fantasy Baseball Daily Fix Podcast: July 1, 2014

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2014 Fantasy Baseball: Real Offensive Value -- First Basemen, Part I

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