Top Seven Catcher Keepers for 2014 Dynasty Leagues

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Top Seven Catcher Keepers for 2014 Dynasty Leagues

I know it may still be cold outside where you live,  but if you close your, eyes you can hear the faint crack of a baseball hitting the sweet part of the bat. It's baseball season, people, and if you’re in a dynasty or keeper league, you need to get to work and answer the following question regarding your roster: "Whom should I keep now?”  Depending on the rules governing your league, you may need to carefully consider which players you will keep. Remember, you will be looking for players with exceptional value based on 2013 draft position and your league rules.

We’ve carefully analyzed the catcher position for you and are happy to present you with the top seven catchers that we feel will add real value to your fantasy team.  Some of the players on our list might not have been drafted in your league last season, but they certainly made it to your squad because you were smart enough to monitor player stats as well as your league’s waiver wire. Other players that we’ll talk about here were considered “sleepers” last year. They realized their potential, had breakout seasons and now may be in a spot to help your team for years to come. We hope the following will help you as you decide whom to keep going in to 2014.

 

Wilson Ramos            Age on opening day: 26         B: R, T:R

Twitter handle: @WRamosC3

Wilson Ramos Washington Nationals MLB News

Health issues limited Ramos to only 287 at bats in 2013, but he certainly made the most of them. He began the season on the bench recuperating from ACL surgery, and later battled some hamstring issues, but once he put those issues behind him, Ramos put up some excellent numbers. He slugged 16 homeruns and drove in 59 runs en route to a a .777 OPS. At 26 years old, Ramos should continue to develop his overall skills, and if he can stay healthy, he will see many more at bats in 2014.  He has tremendous upside and with a bit more plate discipline, he could develop into a perennial 25-to-30 HR, 90+ RBI fantasy stud.

2014 Projection:

AB       AVG    R         HR      RBI     SB       OPS     OBP

440      .270     59        24        81        1          .750     .320

 

Evan Gattis                Age on opening day: 27          B:R, T:R

Twitter handle: @BulldogBeing

No one knew who Evan Gattis was at the beginning of last season, and if he is currently on your fantasy baseball roster, it's because you were smart enough to have picked him up as a free agent off of your league’s waiver wire.  What makes Gattis so valuable as a fantasy player is his power numbers; he hit 21 HR and drove in 65 runs in only 354 at bats, and has potential eligibility at the positions of catcher, first base and outfield. He did slump in the second half, and even though he ended the season with a disappointing .243 batting average, he still managed to compile a fairly respectable .771 OPS.  The departure of Brian McCann should mean that Gattis will see more time behind the plate and get an increased number of at bats. Gattis may never be a .300 hitter, but his power potential, multi-position eligibility and bargain-basement keeper cost make him someone you will want to designate as a definite “keeper” for the upcoming season.

2014 Projection:

AB       AVG    R         HR      RBI     SB       OPS     OBP

465      .252     54        27        77        1          .790     .310

 

Yan Gomes                 Age on opening day: 26          B:R, T:R

Twitter handle: @Yan_AGomes

Yan Gomes is another player who most likely wasn’t drafted in your league last season, but if you were diligently working your league's waiver wire, you may have been lucky enough to have picked him up as a free agent. He is certainly a fine player whom you will want to keep on your roster for the upcoming season.  Gomes provides you with lineup flexibility, since you will not only be able to start him at the catcher position, but also at both infield corner positions. His .294 batting average and 11 HR in just 293 at bats last season should ensure that the Indians will find him more playing time in 2014. His batting average could level off as Gomes looks to improve upon his walk-to-strikeout ratio, but given the fact that he is only 26 years old, you should expect his power numbers to continue to improve.

2014 Projection:

AB       AVG    R         HR      RBI     SB       OPS     OBP

485      .276     67        18        70        2          .780     .325

 

Jason Castro              Age on opening day: 26          B:L, T:R

Twitter handle: @J_Castro15

Jason Castro finally enjoyed the kind of breakout season that was expected from the player who was the 10th overall pick in the 2008 draft. Chances are that you waited until the last few rounds of your draft to pick up Castro, and he rewarded you with his first full season in which he slugged 18 HR, mashed 35 doubles, batted .276  and compiled a very respectable .835 OPS. Castro needs to cut down on his strikeouts, but he still has a lot of upside and should have another fine season within the friendly confines of Houston’s Minute Maid Park, where he compiled an impressive .544 slugging average. Keep him!

2014 Projection:

AB       AVG    R         HR      RBI     SB       OPS     OBP

525      .262     66        21        72        2          .795     .325

 

Salvador Perez           Age on opening day: 23          B:R, T:R

Twitter handle: @SalvadorPerez15

If you were savvy enough to draft Salvador Perez in the later rounds of your draft last year, your fantasy team was rewarded with a solid season in which he batted .292, hit 13 HR and drove in 79 runs. At just 23 years old, Perez’s potential is tremendous. He is a budding talent who is capable of eventually hitting 20+ HR in a season, but for now he needs to become a more patient hitter and increase his walk totals while at the same time decreasing his strikeout totals. Keep Perez on your roster as a long-term option.

2014 Projection:

AB       AVG    R         HR      RBI     SB       OPS     OBP

495      .288     56        14        74        0          .750     .330

 

Wilin Rosario            Age on opening day: 25          B:R, T:R

Twitter handle: @WilinRosario

Chances are that you drafted Wilin Rosario in the middle rounds of your draft last season, and he certainly paid some big dividends for your fantasy team.  His .292 batting average,  21 HR, 79 RBI and .801 OPS solidified him as one of the best fantasy league catchers in baseball. He improved his batting average against right-handed pitchers by 40 points last season, but he only walked 15 times, and unless he becomes a more disciplined hitter, his overall batting average is likely to suffer. On the plus side, he is a young catcher who should help your fantasy lineup in the HR and RBI categories for the next several years.  Look for Rosario to continue to develop and hit 25 to 30 HR per year while playing in hitter-friendly Coors Field.

2014 Projection:

AB       AVG    R         HR      RBI     SB       OPS     OBP

485      .276     70        28        88        3          .810     .315

 

Jonathan Lucroy        Age on opening day: 27          B:R, T:R

Twitter handle: @JLucroy20

Jonathan Lucroy, whom you might not have drafted until well into the middle rounds last season, was once one of the most underrated catchers in baseball, but he changed all that with his a stellar 2013 season. He hit for a .280 batting average, improved his power numbers by knocking out 18 HR, and as an added bonus, he even stole nine bases. He did wear down a bit at the end of the season,  batting just .226 in the month of September, but as long as the Brewers do a better job of managing his time behind the plate, he should continue to be a dominant fantasy catcher for the foreseeable future.

2014 Projection:

AB       AVG    R         HR      RBI     SB       OPS     OBP

505      .286     56        17        78        6          .790     .345

 

For more on 2014 Fantasy Baseball Catchers, check out our Top 20 Catcher Rankings