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Wednesday, February 1, 2017

2017 FANTASY BASEBALL OVERRATED/UNDERRATED: KYLE SCHWARBER/EVAN GATTIS

Our first 2017 fantasy baseball OVERRATED/UNDERRATED centers on the catching position which takes the mantle once again as the most shallow position on the field.  That means those rare catchers who can hit and hit for power take on that much more value and importance which brings us to the subject of today's post.  Once Yahoo opened up their fantasy baseball game last week, I noticed as predicted that the Chicago Cubs' Kyle Schwarber retained catcher eligibility despite not making an appearance behind the dish in his two-game regular season run at the start of 2016 before being lost to a serious knee injury.  Yahoo and most leagues I gather didn't hold that against Schwarber and so for the second season in a row, he is a highly sought after catcher.  One can understand this premise as Schwarber has impressive natural power that suggests he should be able to crack 30 home runs in his sleep which solid counting numbers.  Alas Schwarber does strike out a ton and so hitting for a decent average will be a challenge.  Given the upside of Schwarber, he is likely going to be fought over again at the draft table and thus see his price go up sharply.  In contract, the Houston Astros' Evan Gattis is being largely ignored compared to Schwarber and this despite the fact he comes off a 2016 campaign where he slammed 32 home runs and collected 72 RBI.  At catcher might I add.  So when you break it down, Schwarber and Gattis should both be able to hit close to or slightly more than 30 home runs with 70-plus RBI but with shaky batting averages.  Yet Schwarber will likely get drafted 6-8 rounds earlier then Gattis despite their similar numbers.  This of course is a yearly fantasy baseball phenomena where the new kid on the block gets all the love and the boring veteran gets ignored.  This is clearly the situation encompassing Schwarber and Gattis this season and in turn, you as the prospective owner should go with the latter given the better value he supplies.  Yes Schwarber is likely to better Gattis in runs scored and in batting average but the disparity should not be enough to justify their massive gap in expected draft value.  Gattis the better buy.


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