Draft Day Decision: Does Devin Mesoraco Warrant Our Attention?

by Ray Kuhn

Devin Mesoraco, we hardly knew you… After having what appeared to be a breakout in 2014, the Reds catcher has fallen just about completely off our radars.  In the last two seasons he missed a combined 287 games and had three surgeries; two on his hip and one on his shoulder. He’s managed a combined 95 AB over the two years and is essentially a non-factor entering this season.

Given the state of the catcher position, and the fact that some leagues require you to start two, Mesoraco is still being drafted as a starter. With a little less than two weeks to go before the start of the season he is the 21st catcher coming off the board with an ADP of 297.

What can we expect from Mesoraco for 2017? If he is healthy, there is no reason for him not to exceed his ADP in terms of production. However, we also can’t expect a repeat of his 2014 season.

At the time it looked like Mesoraco would be a name to be found atop the catcher leader boards for years to come. In 383 AB he hit .273 with 25 HR and 80 RBI. He showed an impressive 23% line drive rate, 123 Hard Contact Rate (100 is league average) and 192 Power Rate with an Expected Power of 166.

Because he has been a non-factor the past two seasons, it is difficult to accurately project him until we see him truly return to, and stay, on the field that is. We can’t simply expect Mesoraco to evolve from 2014 as if the two previous years didn’t take place.

By all accounts he is healthy entering the 2017 season. This is despite the fact that he likely will open the campaign on the disabled list. However, that is in fact a positive development given the surrounding information.

After essentially missing the last two seasons we want Mesoraco to take it slow. The season is a 162 game marathon, and rushing the catcher will only hinder his outlook. Plus, if owners hear that he will be starting the season on the disabled list, it could help him fly under the radar even more.

On Monday hegot two AB in a spring training game and caught four innings. At this point there is simply not enough time for him to increase his stamina and become accustomed to catching a full game, and multiple games in a row.

If Mesoraco does start the season on the DL it likely will be a short stay. There will also be an adjustment period for the catcher once he is activated, and expecting even 90 games might be too much. As we saw in 2014, that could also be enough for Mesoraco to be effective and a Top 15 catcher.

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Make sure to check out our 2017 Rankings:

Position
Standard League
OBP League
Catcher03/20/1702/28/17
First Base01/16/1703/07/17
Second Base03/22/1703/09/17
Third Base02/06/1703/12/17
Shortstop02/13/1703/15/17
Outfield#1-20 |03/16/17

#21-40 |03/16/17
03/19/17
Starting Pitcher#1-20 |02/27/17

#21-40 |03/02/17
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Relief Pitcher01/02/17--

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