This year’s catching pool has a lot of enticing players-- players that make you think you know something more than other owners and that you are about to steal a sleeper. Mid-career players who you imagine are going to put it all together and break out ::cough:: Matt Wieters ::cough::. Young players who could bring down the old guard to become top-5 guys – Wilin Rosario ;). Older men that have name recognition and can trick you into thinking they have something left in the tank – Brian McCann ;). Then there’s the guy who is still cheap to draft, who you kind of have an eye on, but are nervous to draft too early because people will say you are trigger happy. But by the end of the year people will call you a fantasy genius!
Salvador Perez is that guy. After you draft Perez in the 10th or 11th round, that owner who drafted Yadier Molina in the 4th or 5th round will immediately question his entire drafting strategy. Salvador is the “it” guy-- he is young, he plays in a promising line-up, he is a big guy at 6’3 and 245 lbs, and he has a lifetime .311 batting average in 437 major league at-bats. And his minor league numbers are formidable as well, backing up a trend of consistent production.
Sure his OBP is kinda low at .328, but this guy just doesn't strike out. His K/AB ratio is 1:10 - the MLB average is about 1:5. In plain English, he is twice as hard to strike out as the average major league player. And did I mention yet that he’s only 22? To know the strike zone is to know baseball. Plate discipline is sexy. Put the ball in play and things happen. He has the power to bring in the stats – with 11 HR in 305 PA in 2012. Do that for a whole season and this guy is a top tier catcher by 2014.
Salvador Perez has major fantasy baseball sleeper potential for 2013. And most importantly he is not going nearly as high as guys like Miguel Montero or Mike Napoli, guys who I would call overrated name-droppers, with a side of injury history. Getting Perez in round 11 or 12 will bring you good fortune, and may wind up being one of the steals of this year's catchers' draft class.
Be sure to also check out RotoBaller's full fantasy baseball Catcher rankings for 2013.