When you play in a two-catcher league, finding a suitable replacement should there be an injury (or lack of playing time) occur is a difficult feat. Sometimes you get lucky, stumbling upon a Miguel Montero, but that is rarely the case.
If you play in a two-catcher format, it’s likely that Carlos Santana and Buster Posey are already stashed away, owners anxiously awaiting their arrival. Chris Iannetta is also likely owned, with his Triple-A success likely bringing him close to a return (for more on him, click here).
Now, with Jorge Posada out possibly more then a month with a broken foot where else do you turn? Francisco Cervelli is an obvious choice. He’s proben he can produce and the Yankees have shown no inclination to bring Jesus Montero into the mix.
Of course, he’s got little power and his average has been buoyed by a .417 BABIP. Yes, playing in the Yankees lineup helps, but there have to be a few other usable options out there, don’t there? Here are a few options who are owned in less than 10% of both ESPN and CBS leagues (remember, the majority of leagues are one-catcher formats, so even someone who is owned in 50% of formats are likely owned in two-catcher leagues) who have a chance to become must owned options before long:
Alex Avila – Detroit Tigers
He has struggled mightily this season, hitting .140 with 2 HR, 2 RBI and 5 R. The home runs actually came in the same game on May 5, the last hits he’s had. He’s 0-17 since, striking out nine times.
He hasn’t been completely forgotten, however, thanks to Gerald Laird’s offensive struggles of his own (.153, 1 HR, 5 RBI). All it’ll take is one hot stretch and Avila will have the opportunity to grab hold of regular playing time. While he is striking out way too much (31.6%), he’s also been plagued by poor luck with a .162 BABIP.
It’s certainly not a given that he turns things around, but he has the opportunity to earn playing time, has realistic power and should start to hit for a better average. In a deep, two-catcher format, how much more can you ask for?
John Jaso – Tampa Bay Rays
Entering the season the Rays had Dioner Navarro and Kelly Shoppach behind the dish, so why would anyone even consider Jaso making a fantasy impact? Of course that means he’s going to hit .302 with 1 HR, 12 RBI and 8 R through his first 53 AB after Shoppach goes down to injury.
Don’t think his success has come courtesy of luck, either. His BABIP is at .319. His strikeout rate is at 11.3%, which is a little low, but he’s proven that he has a tremendous eye at the plate. He’s currently sporting a 16.7% walk rate. For his minor league career he had a strikeout rate of 14.1% and a walk rate of 12.1%. Yes, he may regress, but he’s got the chance for success.
He’s not going to hit for much power, with 57 HR in 2,155 career minor league AB, but he can hit and in the Rays lineup, that should lead to production.
Tyler Flowers – Chicago White Sox
We all know his name, but rumors of a potential A.J. Pierzynski trade would open up an opportunity for regular at bats. I have huge concerns, especially with his ability to hit for a high average. In the minor leagues he’s posted a strikeout of nearly 25%, meaning a mark over 30% could be extremely realistic.
I know, that’s what Avila has right now and I’m not voicing concerns about his average. Trust me, it’s there as well, but I actually feel like Flowers has a little less power. He’s never hit more than 17 HR in a season and has a career minor league fly ball rate of 36.8%.
In two-catcher formats he’s going to have value with regular at bats, but think Mike Napoli with a little less power. Just keep that in mind if he should get called up in the near future.
So, clearly there isn’t much sleeper depth at the catching position, huh? I’d love to say that one of the Rangers catchers could step up and make an impact, but with the number of options who knows who is going to get AB and for how long (throw in the additional trade rumors to cloud things up even more). All three of these players have the potential to be usable, but none are likely to be anything more than borderline options.
Do you like any of them? If you have lost out on Posada, who are you eying in your league off the waiver wire?
To view the previous article, click here.