Fantasy baseball is just over the horizon, and mock drafts have begun. Fantasy football is over, fantasy hockey is about to take a two-week break, fantasy basketball is in cruise control. That leaves one thing, and the most important few weeks of preparation of the year.
Fantasy baseball is not about taking Mike Trout over Miguel Cabrera, or getting Adam Jones in the second. What wins fantasy championships are the sleepers, and getting the best value late. Last season, Evan Gattis was the best sleeper we have seen in a long time at the catcher position, but it has proven once again that waiting on a catcher seems to be the right thing to do. That is a story for another day, here are this season’s sleepers behind the plate.
Evan Gattis, Atlanta Braves
Gattis is now a full-time player for the Braves, and will be eligible at catcher and outfield this season. It does not make much sense to start him in an outfield position, but he will be one of the better fantasy catching values this year. As per FantasyPros.com, Gattis’ average draft position (ADP) is 167 right now, and surely to rise. If your draft is coming soon, and he falls that low, consider him a steal. Gattis was able to amass 21 home runs and 65 runs batted in last season in just 354 at-bats. He will look to see about 500 this season, and will be one of the top five fantasy catchers by the ends of the season.
Wilson Ramos, Washington Nationals
Ramos has had other-worldly bad luck in the past few years in his personal life, but all is well (knock on wood) heading into this season. That cannot be taken lightly in terms of a player’s focus and ability to play a full season. Last year in just 287 at-bats, Ramos put together a staggering 15 home runs and 42 runs batted in while batting .272. That production pro-rated in 500 at-bats (what Ramos should see this year) puts him at just under 30 home runs as a catcher. Ramos will unlikely be able to repeat that torrid pace, but he will be close to it. Ramos is one of my targets on draft day, especially since his current ADP is at 192.
Jason Castro, Houston Astros
Playing for the Houston Astros will keep your name under the radar. But that is good for fantasy baseball players. Last season, Jason Castro was able to put together a solid line of .276 with 18 home runs and 56 runs batted in. This year, his ADP is at 221, which is almost undrafted in some leagues. Get Castro in your draft queue, as he is one of the more consistent catchers in fantasy baseball. Last season among catchers: Castro was 5th in batting average, 6th in home runs, and 13th in runs batted in. Not to mention he was fourth in runs scored. Currently, he is the 12th catcher being drafted.
Yan Gomes, Cleveland Indians
Last season, Gomes was one of the better producers at the catcher position, but he just did not play much. In just 293 at-bats, Gomes contributed 45 runs, 11 home runs, 38 runs batted in and hit for a solid .294. Gomes should see more time this season as Carlos Santana will be more of a DH or first baseman. This bodes well for Gomes, who currently is going as the 14th catcher drafted with an ADP of 246. The Indians have two players who are worth starting in the catcher slot, keep an eye out for Gomes.
Stay tuned for the rest of the Sleepers by Position series exclusively here on XN Sports.