Is it possible to avoid an entire position in one division in fantasy baseball? I certainly will be trying to do that with the catchers in the NL East.
The best draft option among the NL East catchers is the Philadelphia Phillies Carlos Ruiz who is coming off a career year where he hit .325, with 16 HR, 56 runs, and 68 RBI. The problem, he did this all in his age 33 season. You don’t see many catchers getting better in their mid 30’s. Additionally, expect Ruiz’s draft value to be inflated due to his big 2012 season. Look for him to put up 56 runs, 11 HR, 59 RBI, 2 SB, and a .280 AVG in 2013.
I would love to end my break down of the NL East catchers there, but hey, this is a look at the entire division. The rest of these catchers should only be considered in the deepest of leagues.
The New York Mets acquired John Buck from the Toronto Blue Jays who got him from the Miami Marlins who seemed to trade everyone with Major League experience not named Giancarlo Stanton. Buck is just keeping the seat warm for the other catcher the Mets acquired in the R.A. Dickey deal, Travis D’Arnaud, who could arrive to the majors as early as mid season in 2013. Look for Buck to put up 38 runs, 12 HR, 49 RBI, 0 SB, and a .225 AVG.
How bad do Montreal baseball fans wish the Washington Nationals were back in Montreal? The Nationals haven’t been this exciting of a team since they were the Expos with Larry Walker, Pedro Martinez, and Andres Galarraga in the early 90’s. Kurt Suzuki heads into the season as the starting catcher, but don’t look for him to keep the job for the entire 2013 season. Suzuki has a vesting option for 2014 at $9.25 million if he starts 113 games or appears in 120 games. Don’t look for the Nationals to let that happen. Wilson Ramos should return around the All Star break and most likely will take the starting job from Suzuki. Look for Suzuki to put up 35 runs, 6 HR, 35 RBI, 2 SB, and a .244 AVG.
For the past several years, the Atlanta Braves Brian McCann has been a fantasy stud at catcher. Then came 2012. McCann’s numbers dropped across the board in an injury plagued season. Will he be able to bounce back to one of fantasy baseball’s best options at catcher? Probably not in 2013, as McCann will start the season on the disabled list. Gerald Laird, yes, the same Laird that I think was in the witness protection program the last few years, as I couldn’t seem to find any relevant fantasy numbers for him over the past few years will handle the backstop duties until McCann returns. Look for McCann to put up 47 runs, 14 HR, 50 RBI, 2 SB, and a . 260 AVG.
Then comes the Marlins, and Rob Brantly. Who? Yes, I to said who. Brantly has put up modest numbers throughout his minor league career. Look for him to put up 43 runs, 8 HR, 45 RBI, 1 SB, and a .262 AVG. Ok, so for a late round flyer in a deep league, you could do worse.
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