You may have heard that it is Catcher Week here at Faketeams. In honor of this, I thought some importance should be placed on the future of the position. Who is available and worth a pick after Francisco Mejia in a dynasty league? Take a look below!
1. Francisco Mejia – Cleveland Indians – Francisco Mejia’s cup of coffee in the major leagues did not go as well as planned for the young prospect (.154 average in 14 PAs). Don’t let that fool you into thinking he won’t be ready the next time he gets the chance, though. Mejia’s bat is for real, as shown by his 50-game hit streak in the minors last season. His defensive skills and plus arm strength give him a boost that will help keep him eligible at the Catcher position long-term.
2. Carson Kelly – St. Louis Cardinals – Kelly is another prospect that struggled upon his call-up to the big leagues with a .174 average in 75 PAs. However, the peripherals show that he had good plate discipline (only 11 Ks) and was unlucky (.207 BABIP). Carson Kelly will continue to bide his time behind Yadier Molina, but he will be ready when his name is called.
3. Jorge Alfaro – Philadelphia Phillies – Alfaro is a tough player to figure out. He played very well in 2016 at Double-A before a small struggle at the big leagues. Then last season he struggled at Triple-A before an extended stint in the majors where he tore the cover off the ball. However, this playing time came with a .420 BABIP and a 33:3 K:BB ratio. He clearly needs to work on his plate discipline, but he could be a cheap DFS play on an improved Phillies team.
4. Chance Sisco – Baltimore Orioles – Sisco has been a name in the prospect community for what seems like forever. Selected way back in 2013, he finally got his first taste of the majors last year and he did not disappoint over a small sample size. With a 224 OPS+ and .444 ISO, Sisco didn’t leave anything to be desired. Don’t expect these same eye-popping numbers to continue, but with an Orioles team on the verge of a rebuild Sisco should inherit a very long leash.
5. Jake Rogers – Detroit Tigers – Part of Detroit’s return package for Justin Verlander, Rogers has recently been named as the top defensive catcher in the minor leagues. His defensive game alone holds enough weight to get Rogers to the major leagues. The best thing about Rogers is that his bat made some big strides last year while also moving up to High-A. If Rogers continues to make offensive strides, he will be a solid asset as a lock to make it to the show.
6. Keibert Ruiz – Los Angeles Dodgers – The rich get richer. Ruiz is a solid prospect and it is difficult to rank him this low. He absolutely lit up High-A last season (.316/.361/.452) and put himself on the map as a top prospect. At only 19 years old and blocked by Grandal/Barnes, it may be a while before we see Ruiz. Do not miss out on him in dynasty leagues, however.
7. Sean Murphy – Oakland Athletics – Sean Murphy is nearly a carbon copy of Jake Rogers, but with better footwork. Murphy is lower because of his bat potential. He will make it to the big leagues for his defense, but he has not made the offensive strides that Rogers has. Murphy had an excellent eye during his Double-A stop as shown by his 34:21 K:BB ratio. However, his .209/.288/.309 slash line brings his stock down a little.
8. Victor Caratini – Chicago Cubs – Caratini’s bat is the real deal. At Triple-A Iowa last season he hit .342 with a .951 OPS in 83 games. The issue for Caratini is he is blocked at the major league level because of the team he is on. His value will rise dramatically if there is any injury to Willson Contreras or Anthony Rizzo, though.
9. Zack Collins – Chicago White Sox – Zack Collins profiles as a middle tier catcher for fantasy purposes. He will offer 20-25 home run power, but he will be a liability in batting average. His plate discipline is excellent for a 22-year-old, as he had 87 walks last season including a 11:11 K:BB at Double-A. With an invite to spring training on the horizon, Collins is someone to keep an eye on as a deep bench stash or sneaky DFS play.
10. Andy Yerzy – Arizona Diamondbacks – Yerzy is a player that I am extremely high on. Coming off a successful season in rookie ball (.298/.365/.524) that included decent plate discipline (24:45 K:BB) and good power (13 HRs in 54 games), the sky is the limit for this young Canadian. With a hitter’s park in his future, this may be the time to scoop up Yerzy for long term planning.
As always, continue to enjoy Catcher Week and stay tuned for First Base Week! Let me know who you agree with or who I may have missed.