We’re now in the thick of week 15, and where do you stand in your league? Do you feel as though nobody’s giving you a shot at winning anymore? Maybe a bit forgotten about? Well these sleeper catchers have felt the same way during their careers, and you can both continue to play with a chip on your shoulder and show the fools in your league why they’re wrong. These MLB catchers can make for solid waiver wire pickups in deep leagues or shallow 2-catcher leagues.
Mike Zunino, Seattle Mariners
Owned in 21% of Yahoo Leagues, Owned in 14% of FleaFlicker Leagues
BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Formats
ANALYSIS: A former third overall pick by the Seattle Mariners, Mike Zunino has started to show why he was so highly regarded just a few years ago. He’s been fast-tracked through the system during his short career, but has been forgotten about or overlooked by many fantasy managers.
While this “selective memory loss” may be justified, especially after a sluggish start to the year, Zunino had a solid month of June, rounding off his season numbers at 33 R, 13 HR, 34 RBI, and a .217 average in 253 at bats. His high K-rate and abismal BB% at all levels is concerning, but he’s always had tremendous power upside, and may be starting to put the pieces together. With the Catcher position being what it is this year, Zunino is a potential pickup in 12+ team leagues and should be owned in all AL-Only/2 Catcher formats. For more insight on this former prospect, check this out.
Kurt Suzuki, Minnesota Twins
Owned in 29% of Yahoo Leagues, Owned in 20% of FleaFlicker Leagues
BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Formats
ANALYSIS: The Flyin’ Hawaiian…. Okay, so that title already belongs to Shane Victorino, but another Hawaiian native is quietly putting together yet another good season at the thin Catcher position. Kurt Suzuki, a former second round pick by the Oakland Athletics, has been somewhat of a journeyman during his career. He’s bounced back and forth between Oakland and Washington several times, and has landed in Minnesota this year, where he’s regurarly batting second in a much-better-than-expected lineup and was also just named as a reserve for the All-Star game. With 23 R, 2 HR and 34 RBI to go with his .306 average on the year, he can be easily overlooked, especially with Josmil Pinto breathing down his neck for playing time. But as long as Suzuki ends up with the lion’s share of the work and the Twins do continue to bat him second in the lineup, then he just might be worth a look in deeper leagues.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Miami Marlins
Owned in 22% of Yahoo Leagues, Owned in 13% of FleaFlicker Leagues
BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Formats
ANALYSIS: The Miami Marlins have gotten almost exactly what they were expecting from the former Boston back-stop Jarrod Saltalamacchia (A.K.A. Salty – as I don’t want to type that name out every time.) What they were expecting was a better than average Catcher defensively, with average (at best) stats at the plate. Salty has 25 R, 9 HR, and 27 RBI on the year to go along with his .232 average. He’s belted three of his nine bombs in the past two weeks, and is stating his case to stay at the number six slot in the Marlins’ lineup. If you’re struggling at the position, and need some power, (and Zunino with more upside is already gone) then Salty is a viable option for fantasy managers in 14+ team leagues.
Other Catcher Options
Check out even more waiver wire analysis for fantasy baseball catchers by some of RotoBaller’s other awesome writers. And stay tuned for further updates and analysis on catchers coming next week…
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