2009 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers – Catchers
In the final segment of our fantasy baseball sleepers reports, Fantasy Baseball Dugout brings you its analysis of the catcher position.
Catcher is a position that many fantasy baseball managers neglect, but there’s a few sleepers that you can pick up in later rounds that could really have big seasons. Here’s a look at our catcher fantasy baseball sleeper picks.
National League Catchers Sleepers
Pablo Sandoval, C, Giants — Pablo Sandoval is a stocky Venezuelan who will be the Giants’ starting third baseman this season. Sandoval will likely get some innings behind the plate as well so we are listing him at catcher too. He hit .345 with 3 home runs and 24 RBI in 41 late season games last year. Sandoval could be a huge fantasy asset as he’ll likely qualify at both corner infield positions plus catcher.
Ryan Doumit, C, Pirates — Ryan Doumit played just 116 games last year, but managed to hit 15 homers with 69 RBI along with a .316 average. He’ll likely be backed up by a rookie, Jason Jaramillo, so Doumit should get most of the playing time.
John Baker, C, Marlins — Baker hit .299 with five homers in 61 games last year in his rookie season. He’ll be backed up by Mike Rabelo who hit just .202 last year and has a .234 career batting average.
American League Catchers Sleepers
Mike Napoli, C, Angels – Napoli has never got a lot of starts. He played in just 78 games last year, but blasted 20 homers. He hit 10 in 76 games in 2007 and 16 in 99 games in 2006. Napoli hit .453 in September last year. In the past two years, Napoli and Jeff Mathis have each caught 153 games. Napoli is the better hitter, but Mathis the stronger defensive catcher. This may be the year that Napoli’s better bat wins the job on a more full-time basis.
Kelly Shoppach, C, Indians – Shoppach replaced Victor Martinez last year and did a great job. The Indians are going to find more time for Shoppach this season while Martinez plays more at first base. Kelly Shoppach was profiled in a previous post by Fantasy Baseball Dugout.
Matt Wieters, C, Orioles – Gregg Zaun will be 38-years-old in April and has the job of getting Matt Wieters ready as the future Orioles’ starting catcher. Wieters was the fifth overall choice in the 2007 amateur draft so you know he can play. He hit 27 home runs and had 91 RBI to go with a .355 average last year in the minors last year. He’ll start the 2009 fantasy baseball season in the minors, but is still worth a late round pick as it won’t be long until he’s in The Show.
Kenji Johjima, C, Mariners — Kenji Johjima saw his home run totals drop off last season due to injury. Johjima hit just 7 home runs last year, but had 14 and 18 homers the previous two seasons. Johjima’s average dropped to .227, but he’s a lifetime .272 hitter so you know he’s better than what you saw last year.