Oftentimes in a fantasy baseball draft, owners will wait as long as they possibly can to choose a catcher considering the position has typically the most underwhelming offensive group of players in MLB of any spot on the field. While there are some who will reach down for the Buster Poseys and Yadier Molinas of the world, using those picks elsewhere on the diamond is a more effective strategy due to the fact that many catchers’ statistics are very similar between those who are picked pre-tenth round and those who go post.
One of the most intriguing and underrated late-round catching options this season is the Houston Astros‘ Jason Castro.
In 2013, his first season in which he played over 100 games (120), Castro batted .276 with 18 HRs and 56 RBIs. He walked 50 times in 491 plate appearances, helping him to a solid .350 on-base percentage. Perhaps his most impressive statistic of the season was his 35 doubles, which added to his aforementioned 18 HRs and one triple, gave the young backstop a total of 54 extra-base hits, an immensely important statistic in h2h points leagues. He would finish the season with 120 total hits and 63 runs scored on an Astros squad that struggled all season to muster virtually any rallies at all.
Currently, Castro is ranked as the 12th best catching option (197th overall) and carries a 203.0 average draft position (ADP) across many fantasy baseball host sites according to the fantasypros.com charts — meaning he is being selected right around the end of the 19th or beginning of 20th rounds in most drafts.
Castro provides great value to fantasy owners this season due to the fact that he is available so late into drafts. His .276 with 18 HRs and 56 RBIs are very similar to catchers going earlier in the draft (such as the Milwaukee Brewers‘ Jonathan Lucroy, who is currently ranked as the sixth best catcher and 97th overall while carrying a 104.2 ADP, but hit a similar .282 with 18 HRs and 82 RBIs). Lucroy is being drafted ten rounds earlier simply due to the fact that many people are unfamiliar with Castro and the Astros roster.
If you want to load up elsewhere on your roster, perhaps in the pitching department, rest assured knowing that Castro will be available very late yet will be a top-ten catcher providing you a tremendous lift to your roster all season.