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I was watching Hall of Fame catcher Johnny Bench be interviewed recently and he said something that piqued my interest: catchers are better now than in the past. Of course, he was quick to say that they aren't doing as well statistically, but they are much better athletes and are blocking balls better in the dirt.

Well, you know what I say to that, Johnny? A catcher can block a billion balls in the dirt. It's still not going to show up in fantasy scores. We need catchers who can hit. There are no catchers with double digits in homers. The closest is Gary Sanchez... and you're not getting him off waivers unless you're in a two-team league and even THAT'S iffy. Besides, who'd want to be in a two-team league?

Let's also congratulate Kurt Suzuki on getting off this list, since he's at 54% ownership. Awesome job, Kurt. You know... if you actually read this column.

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10-12 Team League Catcher Pickups

OK, I'm going to dig in, analyze some transaction trends and come up with the best catchers that you can snag off the waiver wire. At the last resort, I may just ask my cat. I mean, what else do I have to lose? Here are some catcher waiver wire pickups for Week 6, to consider adding to your teams. We'll show you three players to snag in 10-12 player leagues, and also three to look out for in two-catcher leagues. All of these players are just at or below 50% ownership in Yahoo! fantasy leagues:

Chris Iannetta (COL) - 34% owned

Once again, Colorado Rockies catcher Chris Iannetta is the first to drop below the 50% threshold. Sure, he's hitting .222 with three homers, but his home park is still one that can revive his bat VERY quickly. The weather will continue to get warmer and his bat should heat up some along with those temperatures. At least it's not going to snow again there, is it?

Robinson Chirinos (TEX) - 15% owned

Yes, Texas Rangers catcher Robinson Chirinos is battling a left-wrist injury, but he's also capable of recovering from that and giving you a lot of homers for the rest of the season. He's got six so far and could hit 30 if he stays in the lineup. This is a desperate time for catching owners who don't have Sanchez, so take a chance. This being the waiver wire, you can always cut bait if he gets hurt and find someone else.

Yan Gomes (CLE) - 10% owned

This was usually the domain of Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Francisco Cervelli , but he's off the list since MANY people drafted him. So we have Cleveland Indians backstop, Yan Gomes. There were some other catchers ahead of him, ownership-numbers-wise, but he's the only one in that group that's hitting above his weight. Gomes is not going to contend for a batting title, but .244 is a darn sight better than some of those other catchers. He's also got some pop, with four homers.

 

Two-Catcher League Pickups

 James McCann (DET) - 25% owned

This is how bad the state of catching is. People are getting Detroit Tigers catcher James McCann off the wires because he's raised his average to .276 - though he still only has two homers and 13 RBI and three of those runs were plated in May. Yeah. Still, you need warm bodies in there and he's just as good a choice as any other one.

Matt Wieters (WAS) - 7% owned

It hasn't been a good season for Scott Boras clients named Matt. New York Mets pitcher Matt Harvey wound up being traded to the Reds and Washington Nationals catcher Matt Wieters is not hitting the cover off the ball. He's been regulated to second-catcher status on here. Hitting .217 with three homers and seven RBI will do that. Maybe he'll turn it around. Take a chance here - it's not as if you're making him your starting catcher.

Austin Hedges (SD) - 7% owned

Like Chirinos, San Diego catcher Austin Hedges is battling injury and you're picking him up here for his power potential. Once he comes back from his elbow tendinitis, he could go on a homer tear. Then again, he could also strike out a ton. The chance for him to hit a lot of long balls is tempting though, but temper it by keeping him in a two-catcher league.

 

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