The New York Mets catcher John Buck did not receive much attention in fantasy baseball drafts this spring. He is still available in 84% of Yahoo! leagues. There were several reasons for this. First, he batted only .192 for the Miami Marlins last season. Second, it is generally thought that he is just keeping the seat warm for prospect Travis D’Arnaud until he gets called up. And finally, the Mets really just wanted him to help out their young pitching staff.
The 32-year-old catcher is in his tenth major league season and with his fourth team. His best year was his All Star year in 2010 with the Toronto Blue Jays when he hit .281 and had 20 HR. In no other season has he batted above .250. The Marlins traded Buck back to the Blue Jays after last season, but then he came to the Mets in the deal involving Cy Young winner R. A. Dickey.
So his hot start this year in the first five games comes as somewhat of a surprise. He has gone 8 for 19, and has two HR and 9 RBI. He is currently batting fifth in the Mets’ lineup after David Wright and Ike Davis. It is hard to see how Buck could keep up this streak for a long time. Furthermore, the first five games were against the Marlins and the San Diego Padres and neither team has a pitching staff worthy of note.
Nonetheless, if you like to have a backup catcher on your roster to step in when your regular catcher gets a day off, Buck might fill that role nicely. At least for now.
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