While the catcher position has been up and down in recent memory, 2013 promises to be kind to MLB catchers. There is a glut of young talent ready to shine and the old guard is still playing at a very high level. With all the depth at catcher, it’s hard to identify which to draft for your team. If you are looking for a sleeper catcher going into this year’s fantasy baseball season, look no further than Kansas City Royals backstop Salvador Perez.
Perez figures to be everything that a fantasy owner could want in a catcher. Despite starting his 2012 campaign late due to a meniscus issue, Perez still managed to post strong numbers. After his June 22 debut, Perez hit .301 with 11 homers and 39 RBI.
While Perez is still young, only 22 years old, he has already shown a lot of promise. To me, all signs lead towards a major breakout in 2013. His pitch selection is phenomenal. He only struck out 27 times in 289 at-bats. In addition to this, he also posted career high numbers in homers and is a solid defender behind the plate. Very soon, we will be talking about Perez in terms of the elite catchers in baseball, so if you want him on your team for cheap, this is your last chance.
The major knock on Perez is his health. He did miss the first part of last season with a knee injury, but he showed he was over that last season and was hitting well. He also has yet to show elite level power, but he is a big kid at 6’3, 245 pounds, so I suspect that the power will come.
By this time next year, I expect us to have Salvador Perez’s name near the top of our catcher draft board. My projected line for him is .305, 18 homers, and 88 runs batted in. That should easily put him inside the top-five among catchers, a spot I don’t expect him to vacate for many years.
Follow Jordan on Twitter for everything fantasy baseball.