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Catcher Waiver Wire Pickups For Week 15


As we patiently wait through the All-Star Break, you may have already found a dependable catcher that you roll with week-in and week-out, but as we know, backstops are the most volatile position in fantasy baseball. With that being said, we should always be aware of the landscape of the position just in case a few too many foul tips off the mask start adding up as the year wears on.

If you are not one of those fortunate souls who are privileged with a high-caliber catcher, we'll go through a few tiers of backstops who will fit your specific league format. Every season the waiver wire is full of potential league-winning gems and to be a successful fantasy player you need to be an active fantasy player. Some people may believe that catchers are next to worthless for your team, but if you find an unowned superior performer in your league, you'll wind up with a massive advantage over your opponents.

The catching position has the least amount of volume of any other spot on the diamond with the number of platoons utilized by teams, so understand that a part-time backstop can still be productive at the position. Whether you plan to stream this spot on your roster weekly or if you're looking to find a long term option, we'll go through a vast range of backstops who'll hopefully take you to the fantasy promise land.

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Top-Priority Adds

This tier is targeted towards single-catcher mixed leagues as they are likely to only be available in these formats. These backstops are also particularly serviceable and could return top-10 value in their respective lineups making it a mystery why they are unowned in the first place.

Christian Vazquez (C, BOS) - 58% Owned

Boston Red Sox catcher Christian Vazquez capped off an unreal first half this past week slugging three taters and seven RBI over a 10-for-26 tear. The 28-year-old is sitting pretty as a top-5 backstop and has already set new career-highs in HR (14), RBI (41), and his .299/.332/.520 slash line would also mark new personal bests. Vazquez' stellar season is no fluke either with his ability to barrel up the baseball and keep it elevated.

He's shattered his lifetime 3.4% Barrel% and 21.2% fly-ball rate to 7.2% and 26.4%, respectively, this season while also factoring in a 29.3% line drive rate, a number over 5% higher than his 2018 clip. With these gains at the plate, Vazquez will remain a contributor in the four main roto categories backed behind his ability to hit for power and average.

Danny Jansen (C, TOR) - 47% Owned

After being arguably the most disappointing catcher offensively through the first two and a half months of the season, Danny Jansen has turned his game around in a major way. Slashing a shoddy .164/.253/.243 with two homers through his first 46 games, Jansen has spun it around hitting .301/.338/.644 with six dingers over his last 21 contests. If we shrink the sample size down even further, he's hit .400 over the last two weeks as he's finally displaying the hit tool that many experts drooled over in the preseason.

His biggest gain lies in his improvement in the strikeout column. Jansen punched out at a worrisome 28.0% through the end of April, slowly shrinking this mark to 22.9% in May. He kept the trend going through June, posting a remarkable 14.1% clip in this month and he's now gone an impressive 13-straight games without a punchout. Look for the 24-year-old to keep swinging a hot bat in the second half when the Blue Jays come out of the All-Star break on Friday

 

Streamers/Players to Watch

The catchers in this group are either in waiver wire limbo as they are likely scooped up in two-catcher and league-specific formats or they are worth streaming for this week depending on your league size. They are not ideal single mixed league targets unless you have a deep bench to stash one of these backstops. These bats, however, have a shot at returning significant value if everything breaks right.

Chance Sisco (C, BAL) - 12% Owned

Another post-hype catcher tearing the cover off the ball recently is Orioles prospect, Chance Sisco. Since his arrival to the bigs on June 5, he's led all catchers in OBP (.394) and is second in SLG (.667) while hitting .283 with six homers and 17 RBI over his 19 games. Sisco has stolen the majority of playing time from Pedro Severino of late with the O's starting him in seven of their last nine games. He hasn't disappointed either, clubbing four bombs with a .333 average over this span as he aims to keep the timeshare in his favor.

The biggest knock against Sisco is his propensity to strike out as he's fanning in 32.4% of his plate appearances. He's still proving to be a dangerous hitter regardless, crushing the ball when he does make contact to a 43.2% Hard Hit% and 18.9% Barrel%. Baltimore would be wise to keep granting the second half playing time to their team's hottest hitter as he has the potential to be a difference-maker in the lineup. Spending half of his games in the hitter-friendly Camden Yards also boosts his outlook, and fantasy managers should be ready to pounce on this lefty swinger.

 

Two-Catcher League Options

This tier meshes catchers that may still be available in two-catcher leagues, as well as league specific setups. They may carry some single-catcher mixed league value at some point, but for now, they can stay on your watchlist. They aren’t necessarily going to win you a category, but they won’t hurt your overall production either.

Carson Kelly (C, ARI) - 6% Owned

Keeping the theme of youngsters taking over the catching position, we need to give attention to Carson Kelly of the Arizona Diamondbacks. The 24-year-old capped off his first half hitting .364 with a pair of long balls over his final 10 games, wrapping up an impressive start to the season. Kelly struggled out of the gate this year with a .196 batting average through the end of April, but his 13.9% walk rate and 43.9% Hard Hit% since then has planted him among the top hitting backstops in the game.

Since he began turning his season around at the start of May, Kelly's tremendous plate discipline has placed him as the front-runner at the position in OBP (.403), and as the second-best hitter for average (.309). Kelly is also leading the way among catchers with a .383 batting average against southpaws, which bodes well for him playing in the lefty-heavy NL West. Expect the former top catching prospect to continue to shine in the second half as he's showing no signs of letting up in 2019.

More Waiver Wire Pickups and Streamers


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