Two entire weeks of the fantasy baseball season are in the books, and with it two major injuries to the catcher landscape. Gary Sanchez and Buster Posey, two of the top five catchers off the board went down with injuries. Posey hopes to return soon from the concussion DL, but Sanchez will miss at least a month with a biceps injury. Just like the first two iterations of this piece, we will explore three catchers available in 50% or more of leagues. For this exercise, we use Yahoo! ownership percentages. For deep leaguers, one of the three has ownership in less than 10% of Yahoo! leagues. [Jeff]
Travis d’Arnaud, Mets (44% owned)
The Mets backstop is the #1 catcher in baseball over the last week, despite missing two days of action (though he did cancel that out by getting 16 innings on one game). Despite this, fewer than 50% of leagues have an owner that thinks he is worth rostering. Unlike some of the hot starters to the season, d’Arnaud has the pedigree to support the production. Granted, he isn’t going to hit .323 all year, but he’s not now, and if you’re suffering from injured catchers or Bad Catcher Syndrome (caught by Russell Martin, Willson Contreras, Evan Gattis, and others). The main problem with d’Arnaud is health, and he’s healthy now, so scoop him up.
Wilson Ramos, Tampa Bay (16% owned)
This is a special feature for Buster Posey owners. Posey will return from the concussion DL when eligible, so you’ll have a freed up DL slot. He’s set to return in June, and it’s silly to leave a DL slot uninhabited. He’s a major hitter who will be the Rays’ DH when he gets back. That’ll overcome the major inhibiter for catcher usefulness: plate appearances. He’s the stashiest of stashes, but you’re using a free spot to bank future production.
Austin Romine, Yankees (2% owned)
Romine is an easy find-and-replace for Gary Sanchez owners. The backup backstop in New York has filled in admirably for Sanchez since he’s gone down. He’s the #6 catcher on the season on a per-game basis. Over the last week, he socked a dinger, snagged three RBI and scored 2 runs (with a .375 average). He’s a clear replacement for wanting Sanchez owners, since he’ll be the man behind the dish until Sanchez returns. His ownership percentage means he’s still available in some two catcher fantasy baseball leagues, so go snag him there if you haven’t already.