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Saturday, December 19, 2015

FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFT GUIDE EXCERPT: CATCHER RANKINGS

For those who haven't already purchased the 2016 Fantasy Sports Boss Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide:  Early Offseason Edition, be sure to do so through Amazon.com via the following link:  http://www.amazon.com/Fantasy-Sports-Baseball-Draft-Guide/dp/1519133383/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1450545721&sr=8-1&keywords=michael+Keneski

Better yet, purchase the Draft Guide straight from our website on the homepage (on the right side using the BUY NOW tab) and receiver the Post-Free Agency edition FREE via e-mail form which is due out in January.  With that said, here is an excerpt of the catcher rankings and write-ups. 


CATCHERS

Draft Strategy:  Outside of maybe shortstop, there is not a position in all of fantasy baseball that causes more angst and frustration than catchers do.  With the position already thinned out in recent years with former top tier bats like Joe Mauer, Mike Napoli, and Victor Martinez losing eligibility there, this already thin group was made even more barren with Carlos Santana and Evan Gattis leaving the position as well for 2016.  Buster Posey is obviously the diamond in the rough here whose combination of high batting average and solid power perennially makes him a popular target in the early rounds of the draft but from that point on chaos reigns.  With that said, we continue to espouse on our firm strategy of drafting catchers in the mid-to-late rounds, in particular looking for players that fit two different criteria.  The first centers on veteran catchers who are coming off a down season that will result in a much more affordable draft price the following spring.  Players who fall into this category for 2016 include Jonathan Lucroy, Yan Gomes, Devin Mesoraco, and Matt Wieters.  The other grouping is to target young catchers who are on the verge of being promoted to the big leagues and who carry some decent sleeper value.  Those who came through under this scenario with varying degrees of impact in 2015 included Kyle Schwarber, Stephen Vogt, Francisco Cervelli, J.T. Realmuto, Wellington Castillo, Derek Norris, Travis D’Arnaud (when he was on the field), and Yasmani Grandal.  In fact we pushed both Vogt and Grandal heavily in last year’s draft guide under this premise which worked out well for those who followed the advice. 

In two-catcher formats you obviously have to move a bit sooner to get your first backstop but again we prefer passing on the big names early on as you instead fill out the rest of the roster with more stable players at other positions.  In single-catcher leagues, wait until the middle-to-late round where you can find some significant value if you know where to look.

1.  Buster Posey:  Simply the best among all catchers once again, Buster Posey will remain a debate talking point in regards to whether or not it is smart to use a very early round pick on a catcher.  On numbers alone, Posey makes the grade as he is the rare catcher who can hit for both average and power, coming in at 19/.318 in 2015.  Now having logged four straight full seasons since his devastating broken leg in 2011, Posey’s durability makes investing in him a bit less risky than it once was.  In terms of the numbers, Posey is one of the best pure hitters in the game, having now logged 4 of his six major league seasons with an average north of .300.  While his career-high in home runs is a modest 24, this is like 34 at the catcher spot.  Still early in his prime at the age of 29, Posey incredibly stuck out in just 8.8 percent of his at-bats in 2015, while walking at a 9 percent clip, making a .300 average a lock when looking ahead to this season.  While we still prefer looking for value in the middle rounds when it comes to addressing this position, Posey is so far ahead of the next catcher in fantasy baseball that he does qualify to be chosen so high.

2016 PROJECTION:  .311 22 HR 93 RBI 73 R 1 SB

2.  Kyle Schwarber:  Meet the new “must have” fantasy baseball bat, as Chicago Cubs backstop/outfielder Kyle Schwarber became the latest prospect gem to become an instant impact player for the team in 2015.  Evoking some memories of Mike Piazza, Schwarber showed instant massive power, while hitting over .300 his first two months in the majors in June and July.  Schwarber’s high strikeout rate was exploited from that point on though, as his 28.2 percent K rate caused his average to sink to a shaky .246 by the end of the season.  We can chalk a lot of that up to Schwarber being a rookie but he did hit well over .300 in his final minor league season in 2014 which points to an expected improvement there as he continues to develop.  The power is already here though (16 home runs in just 273 at-bats with the Cubs) and Schwarber seems like a lock to be a future 25-30 home run threat as soon as this season.  Also carrying outfield eligibility, Schwarber is the new catching-eligible toy we all want to have.  The price will be steep though given the lack of top-end options at catcher and the excitement Schwarber generated during his debut.  However the upside is tremendous and the name Jim Thome has been mentioned as a power comparison. 

2016 PROJECTION:  .265 25 HR 77 RBI 84 R 5 SB 
3.  Brian McCann:*******THE REST OF THE DRAFT GUIDE IS FOR PURCHASERS ONLY.  USE THE BUY NOW TAB BELOW AND GET THE FREE EDITION OF THE POST-FREE AGENCY EDITION VIA E-MAIL.*******

 


 

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