A Tale Of Two Catchers
The Houston Astros may strike out nearly 25% of the time and have performances where they are laughably bad. However, instead of being a league worst offense they way they have for the last several years, they rank 19th in total runs scored and 16th in team ISO. There are some OBP black holes amongst their regular players, but the main reason they are such a losing team is the pitching. The general stench of losing on the Astros causes their players to be undervalued, specifically Jason Castro and Carlos Corporan.
Over the last week, the asking price for Castro in a trade has probably risen significantly. He has had several multi hit games, including a sublime 4-4 performance. On the year, his triple slash is .286/.341/.482 and he has a .352 wOBA. For his career, Castro has 25.6% Line drive rate and it’s slightly increased this year to 26.8%. He is an Astro, so his ADP before the season was severely depressed and it’s likely that many of his owners are willing to sell high. Castro has not played well, at all, versus lefties but he is a certified righty masher, hitting 6 homers with a .319 average versus right handed batters. He has played several of the Astro’s like 7 games as the DH, with 20 plate appearances in that position. This new development will allow his hitting to continue to florish and as long as he stays in the 3 hole (which looks likely) he will continue to provide excess value.
It is because Castro has started playing games at designated hitter that Carlos Corporan is starting to gain more value in AL-Only leagues and can likely be had for almost nothing. In 68 plate apperances in 2012, Corporan is hitting .311/.391/.508 and has been passable versus lefties and righties, hitting .343 versus lefties and .269 versus righties, with his 3 homers coming off of righties. There is unique buying window for Corporan because is Castro continues to get playing time at designated hitter, that means that Corporan will get more time at catcher. In deeper AL-Only leagues, I’d be fine giving up a relief arm to play Corporan in my UTIL slot, because when he does play, the numbers will be there.