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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

THE FANTASY SPORTS BOSS 2015 FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFT GUIDE: POST-FREE AGENCY EDITION CATCHER EXCERPT

The Fantasy Sports Boss 2015 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide:  Post-Free Agency Edition is now on sale both here and through Amazon and Barnes and Noble.  Here is an excerpt from the catcher section of the position rankings.  Remember that if you didn't already pick up your copy, to do so by using the BUY NOW tab below.

 



CATCHERS



DRAFT STRATEGY:  One of the more tried and true sacraments of fantasy baseball drafting that we firmly subscribe to each and every season is to ALWAYS wait on drafting a catcher until the middle rounds at the earliest.  Year after year many make the foolish mistake of using a high round draft pick on a catcher which 9 times out of 10 ends up being the wrong decision.  A few factors are at play here as to why drafting a backstop early in single-catcher formats is a big no-no.  The first is the fact that outside of pitchers, catchers are the most injury-prone fraternity in all of fantasy baseball.  No one has to be told that a catcher constantly is at risk for injury, what with getting hit with foul balls, back swings, and up until a year ago, collisions at the plate being part of the daily hazards of manning the position.  In addition, the grueling nature of catching 140 games a season almost always takes a toll on offensive performance during the summer and into September.  This is especially a big problem in September when you need your high draft picks to be operating at full efficiency in order to nail down your league title.  A catcher is just not physically able to be that kind of player that late in the year for all the reasons already mentioned.  Finally as we already noted, a catcher only starts about 140 games a season which has to be factored into the decision of using a high draft pick here.  While the rest of your league is selecting hitters early in the draft who will play (health permitting) 155 games or so a season, you will be going with a catcher who will fall about 15 games short of that total bare minimum.  Multiply those 15 games by 4 at-bats per and you get a total amount of 60 fewer plate appearances than the guys your opponents are taking in those early rounds.  Thus the best course of action is to wait for value plays at catcher in the middle to late rounds.  Our criteria for this remains the same as always.  The first type of catcher to look for would be a prospect getting close to sticking with a big league club or who could get promoted sometime at or before June 1.  In this space we recommended none other than Buster Posey and Carlos Santana a few years ago under this heading, which of course turned out well on both fronts.

The second type of catcher to look out for is a bounce back candidate who is coming off a rough season the year prior.  Last season that guy was Miguel Montero who had a miserable 2013 season but then came back and produced a very solid 2014 campaign that reestablished him as useful backstop.  Such candidates this season under such a scenario could be Travis D’Arnaud from the New York Mets or Wilin Rosario from the Colorado Rockies.  Some prime values can be had here if you look in the right places.

1.     Buster Posey:  It was another very solid season for three-time consensus number 1 fantasy baseball catcher Buster Posey in 2014 as he hit 21 home runs and drove in 87 while batting .310.  By now it has become clear that the .336 Posey hit in 2012 was an outlier number but otherwise his stats have remained very consistent despite playing the always grueling catcher position.  Turning 28 for the 2015 season, Posey is now flat in his prime so what you see now is what you get numbers-wise.  In fact other than the injury risk that comes with any catcher, the only issue concerning Posey is whether or not you want to spend a third or fourth round pick on a guy whose offensive numbers may not measure up to the other guys picked in the same round. 
    PROJECTION:  .305 22 HR 89 RBI 72 R 1 SB

2.     Carlos Santana:  Santana retains catcher eligibility for another season despite playing most of his games at his new third base position.  It was a volatile season for Santana in 2014 as he was arguably the worst everyday hitter in baseball in April and May when he hit .157 and .169 respectively.  From that point on however, Santana caught fire as he slammed 21 home runs the last four months of the season, giving him a position-leading 27 to go along with 85 RBI.  The holes in Santana’s swing are stark and haven’t gotten any better as he has reached his prime which means the average will continue to be a liability.  However at catcher you can live with a shoddy average as long as the power there which is clearly the case with Santana who has smacked 27, 18, 20, and 27 home runs the last four seasons.  In addition, many overlook the bonus value Santana brings in that he is the rare catcher who plays every day due to his move to third base.  That boosts Santana’s counting stats and eliminates the annoying issue of losing a game or two a week due to rest. 
    PROJECTION:  .255 26 HR 83 RBI 70 R 4 SB

3.  Devin Mesoraco:********THE REST OF THE RANKINGS ARE FOR THOSE WHO PURCHASE THE DRAFT GUIDE.  USE THE BUY NOW TAB ABOVE TO GET YOUR COPY FOR ONLY $17.99.*****

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