Raise your hand if you love drafting a second catcher. Yeah, I doubt there was many hands up there. It’s like going to a old relatives house when you’re young. “Mom, do we have to? I will be good the rest of the day and even clean my room!”
Second catchers can be brutal to your team. Looking back at 2012, only nine qualified catchers hit over .252. So you know when your looking for a second catcher, he is going to bring your team average down.
Why draft a guy knowing that he’s going to hurt your team. I had a guy in one of my leagues who always drafted a catcher that hardly played. I always gave him a rough time about it, but I started thinking, “That may be a pretty solid idea.” Why have a guy hurting your team? I mean, there are guys out there like Ryan Hanigan and John Jaso who hit in the .270s last year. But Hanigan had just two home runs, and while Jaso did hit 10, do you really think he can hold off Derek Norris the whole year?
I drafted in four leagues this year, and only one of them is a two-catcher league. I drafted Jonathan Lucroy as my first catcher, and I had planned all along waiting until my last pick in the draft to select my backup. I also knew that he would be Evan Gattis of the Atlanta Braves, who wasn’t even in the Yahoo! system yet. What a steal, I thought.
In the spring, I was looking through box scores and saw “HR: Gattis (6).” That caught my eye, so I started scanning him. Position: outfield/catcher. I thought it was a typo. So I did some research on him, and the more I read and saw, the more I knew he was my backup catcher.
Then, in his first major league game, the man went yard. Too bad Yahoo! didn’t have him on my team yet. I did have him for his second start when he banged out three more hits, making him 4-for-8 in two games. Think this is maybe just a lucky start? Check out the man’s minor league seasons the past two years: in 2011, he hit .322 with 22 bombs and 71 RBIs, and in 2012, he hit .305 with 18 bombs and 67 RBIs, although he did only hit .258 in 182 at bats at Double-A last year.
Now, some say Brian McCann will be back at the end of the month and Gattis will be sent down. Well, that could happen, but McCann wasn’t very good last year and might not be rushed back. If Gattis continues to rake the way he knows how, why wouldn’t the Braves get rid of Gerald Laird?
To me, Gattis is a solid backup catcher. I know he’s not going to play everyday, but he doesn’t need to. He’s not going to hurt your team like most backup catchers, and he’s got some pop and can hit for average. I think we have a steal right here, fellas.
Brent Meyer is one of a growing number of fantasy experts who write for the Cafe. You can catch up with Brent in the Cafe's forums where he posts under the name of brentameyer.
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