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Week 15 Waiver Wire - Catcher


Entering Week 15 of the Fantasy Baseball season, catcher remains one of the toughest to handle. With only so many high-level backstops available, most players are scrambling to the waiver wire to find low-owned catchers in the middle of a hot streak.

If you're one of those people, this article is for you. The five players below are all less than 50% owned and could provide high value at the catcher position. They're ranked in tiers from players who should be picked up immediately, to players who could provide high value, but are a bit riskier.

When looking at adding a catcher off the waiver wire for Week 15, this article should be your guide.

Editor's Note: Get any full-season MLB Premium Pass for 50% off, with exclusive access to our season-long articles, 15 in-season lineup tools and over 200 days of expert DFS research/tools. Sign Up Now!

 

Tier One

If you're in need of catching help, these players are the ones to target. They hold the most season-long value and have an opportunity to help bring your team a championship. Tier One options are the safest and should be added before any other catcher off the waiver wire.

Max Stassi (C, HOU) 7% owned

Houston Astros catcher Max Stassi hasn't gotten much exposure in 2018, appearing in just 49 games. However, in those games he has hit .255 with seven home runs and 22 RBI. Stassi's low ownership comes due to his role as the backup to Brian McCann. However, McCann recently underwent arthroscopic knee surgery and is expected to be out until September. Stassi is expected to serve as the primary catcher for the defending World Champions for at least the next two months, making him a worthy pickup.

While Stassi will likely hit towards the bottom of the lineup, he is still seeing playing time for a team that currently ranks second in the MLB with 438 runs scored. Stassi will have an opportunity to produce with talented players like Evan Gattis and Josh Reddick in front of him and an opportunity to score runs with players like George Springer and Jose Altuve behind him. Stassi is in the middle of the best season of his career, already exceeding his highs in games played, home runs and RBI. He now gets an opportunity to start and see regular playing time in one of the best offenses in the MLB. He'll have an opportunity to shine during Week 15 and on, making him one of the best catcher pickups on the wire.

Yan Gomes (C, CLE) 33% owned

I covered Yan Gomes extensively last week, and for many of the same reasons, he is a premier pickup heading into Week 15. Gomes has run away with the starting role, appearing in 61 games compared to Roberto Perez' 29. In those 61 games, Gomes has hit .252 with 10 home runs and 28 RBI. He is on pace for a career year hitting in the middle of an Indians lineup that is currently fifth in the MLB in runs scored with 424. Gomes has a hit in seven of his last 10 games with three of his efforts being multi-hit outings. He's also coming off of a strong June that saw him hit .284 with three home runs and 11 RBI. Gomes is in the middle of one of the hottest streaks of his career. You aren't going to find many starting catchers who are producing, owned under 50%; Gomes is the rare case and if you're looking for catching help, there probably isn't a better season-long option than Yan Gomes.

 

Tier Two

These players are worthy of a pickup, but are not necessarily as "can't-miss" as the tier one options. These catchers are a bit riskier but could provide a potentially greater value. If you're willing to take a chance, or if the tier one players aren't available, then these are the catchers to target.

Robinson Chirinos (C, TEX) 25% owned

The Texas Rangers have not been a good team in 2018. They currently sit at 38-48, 17.5 games out of AL West contention and look to be on their way towards a rebuild. However, one silver lining to their poor season is the recent play of catcher Robinson Chirinos. Over his last 10 games, Chirinos has hit .273 with three home runs, 12 RBI and eight runs scored. Over the last 15 days, Chirinos has been second behind just Yadier Molina among catchers on ESPN's player rater.

As a whole, Chirinos is hitting just .209 with 91 strikeouts on the season, putting him into the Tier Two category. However, he does have 11 home runs and 34 RBI. His 11 homers rank tied for seventh among catchers while his 34 RBI are just six away from his career high. Chirinos needs to get more consistent at the plate to be an everyday option at catcher. However, his power numbers are the best of his career and he is in the middle of a hot streak. Taking a chance on the Rangers catcher comes with a big risk, but could potentially pay off if he continues to drive in runs.

Elias Diaz (C, PIT) 13% owned

When Francisco Cervelli went down with a concussion, it was expected that Elias Diaz would see the majority of starts behind the plate. However, no one truly expected just how good he would be. Diaz has started 10 straight games and looked like a stud for the Pirates. During that stretch, Diaz has hit .353 with two home runs, seven RBI and eight runs. He has a hit in eight of the 10 games and has scored a run in eight straight games. Unlike Chirinos, Diaz has solid season-long stats as well. Over 47 games, Diaz has hit .303 with seven home runs and 22 RBI. He has already surpassed his career highs in home runs and RBI and his .303 average is much greater than his career-best .223.

Diaz's problem is that he isn't guaranteed playing time. The Pirates have already said that they plan on being cautious with starter Francisco Cervelli, and he has already missed the allotted seven days on his original DL stint, meaning there's no current timetable for his return. Perhaps Diaz will get run until he cools down, but for now there's no telling how much longer he'll be the starter. Adding Diaz gives you a top-flight value who is performing as one of the best catchers in fantasy. You just have to be aware that his days as a starter could be numbered.

 

High Risk, High Reward

Willians Astudillo (C, MIN) 3% owned

Minnesota Twins catcher Willians Astudillo is one of the most interesting players in all of baseball. In nine minor league seasons, Astudillo struck up just 76 times and walked 80. He never had a season with more than 20 strikeouts or 19 walks. All Astudillo does is hit. For his career, Astudillo owns a .309 batting average with a .755 on-base percentage. He doesn't hit for much power with just 24 career home runs, however he does have a bit of speed at the catcher position with 39 stolen bases.

Astudillo was shining in Triple-A, hitting .290 with just nine strikeouts and five walks over 49 games. He even hit seven home runs prior to his call-up. Now with the Twins, he should have an opportunity to see some starts with just Mitch Garver and Bobby Wilson in his way. Astudillo has a game that is different from anything we've seen in a long time at the MLB level. He doesn't walk or strikeout, he just hits. There's a chance it doesn't pan out, however, he could also bring an entirely new style to the big leagues. That's what makes him high risk. He shined in the minors for how he played the game, will it translate in the MLB?

Astudillo isn't the most certain backstop on the waiver wire; we don't even know how long he's been up for. However, he's certainly the most intriguing player on this list, and with weak depth ahead of him, could get the chance to finally prove himself in the major leagues.

 

Waiver Order

This is the order by which the players in this article should be claimed. If the top guy is unavailable, it's recommended to take the next best option and so on.

1) Yan Gomes
2) Max Stassi
3) Elias Diaz
4) Robinson Chirinos
5) Willians Astudillo

 

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