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Catcher Waiver Wire Pickups For Week 16


As we enter the second half of the season 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.

Roberto Perez (C, CLE) - 28% Owned

Roberto Perez is perhaps the most surprising catcher to bring forth some fantasy value this season. Over his last three seasons combined, he had hit just 13 round-trippers while also carrying a lifetime .205/.298/.340 slash line as he entered the 2019 campaign. Now in his age-30 season, Perez has awed his critics bashing 16 homers with 38 RBI, 29 runs, and a .257/.343/.519 slash line going into Monday's game.

Earning his first ever role as the bonafide number one option, Perez is thriving in his nearly everyday work with his Statcast metrics collecting all the thanks. He's set new highs this season in Barrel% (13.2%), Hard Hit% (45.8%) and fly-ball rate (24.3%), giving him the perfect recipe to keep launching balls out of the yard and maintaining a decent average. A bit of regression could come into play in the second half, but with his amount of playing time and expected stats all backing him up, Perez should remain a significant fantasy contributor the rest of the way.

Jorge Alfaro (C, MIA) - 23% - Owned

In his first year as a member of the Miami Marlins, Jorge Alfaro has been one of the most underrated producers at the position. His numbers show that he's undeterred by playing in the most pitcher-friendly home ballpark in the league slashing .273/.315/.438 with 10 long balls, 25 runs and 31 RBI. Alfaro's 48.4% Hard Hit% is the highest number among all backstops with 120 or more batted ball events, the only thing holding his power back is his below average fly-ball rate.

His 17.8% FB% is off his career pace by nearly 3% this year, but he is hitting the ball on a line more often, which is helping his batting average prosper. Despite his undesirable 33.1% K-rate, Alfaro is proving to be able to sustain hitting for a high average, and he's currently riding a seven-game hitting streak with four extra-base hits in this span. Look for the 26-year-old to keep improving in the second half, especially if he begins to elevate the ball more often.

 

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.

Kurt Suzuki (C, WSH) - 10% Owned

The ageless Kurt Suzuki is continuing to be an undervalued player at baseball's thinnest position. Although he's sharing the playing time with Yan Gomes, Suzuki has shined in his starts vastly outplaying his teammate with 11 dingers, 21 runs, 38 RBI and a .263 average through 53 games. If this hitting trend continues, it's possible the timeshare begins to favour Suzuki more with the Nationals suddenly sitting in a playoff spot.

The 35-year-old veteran is about as rock-solid as they come and deserves ownership in NL-only and two-catcher formats at a minimum. If playing time begins to shift more his way, he could prove to be a valuable asset in deeper single-catcher leagues as well. Suzuki won't lead in any single category, but his counting stats across the board are laudable with his potential for a higher batting average truly separating him from the rest of the player pool.

Tony Wolters (C, COL) - 3% Owned

With all of his games being played at Coors Field and Yankee Stadium this week, the top stream of the week is Rockies catcher Tony Wolters. The 27-year-old is having a career year in his fourth big league season as he enters Monday slashing .295/.363/.382 with 28 runs and 25 RBI. He's only managed to knock just one baseball out of the park, but he's in a good spot this week to produce versus a right-handed heavy lineup of starters in which he's hitting .309 off of this season.

Although Wolters plays half of his games in one of the league's most hitter-friendly parks, he's actually fared a tad better on the road, so his high batting average is certainly no fluke. He owns a remarkable 32.9% line-drive rate and hits the ball to all fields, making him difficult to shift against as a left-handed batter. Wolters doesn't hit the ball nearly as hard as some of his counterparts, but he's got the tools to maintain this current pace and to keep him near the top of the batting average leaderboard at the position.

 

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.

Travis d’Arnaud (C, TB) - 3% Owned

Travis 'd'Arnaud is somewhat resurrecting his career in the Tampa Bay Rays organization after getting discarded from both the Mets and Dodgers earlier this season. Originally scooped up by the Rays to fill-in for Mike Zunino who was on the injured list at the time, d'Arnaud has slowly usurped Zunino as the number one backstop. Entering Monday, he's swatted six bombs with 23 runs, 21 RBI and a .266/.319/.461 slash line in 38 games with the Rays. The team has even given him starts at first base and as the team's leadoff hitter against lefties to help boost the offense.

D'Arnaud is showing no signs of slowing down with multi-hit games in three of his last four outings and a .394 average over his last nine contests. Health has always been the Achilles heel for the 30-year-old, but he's displayed a tremendous skill set in his limited time at full health over his career. As long as d'Arnaud can remain on the field, he'll provide sneaky value, especially in the run column getting at-bats at the top of the order.

More Waiver Wire Pickups and Streamers


Check out RotoBaller's entire fantasy baseball waiver wire pickups and sleepers list, updated daily!




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