You might not want to buy or draft these backstops in your leagues this spring.
On Monday, the BP Fantasy staff brought you a collection of catchers you’d be wise to target in your drafts this season. Because every internet column has an equal and opposite column, we shall now bring you the names of many backstops you should avoid.
Travis d’Arnaud, Mets
Dissing d’Arnaud, while certainly a catchy name for a cover band, isn’t something I jumped at. In long-term leagues, by all means, go crazy. But for the upcoming season, I’m not going out of my way for any Met not named David Wright (pitchers not included). The 24-year-old will be buried at the bottom of a New York lineup that finished 29th in terms of wOBA (.297) in 2013, and while the team might be marginally better with Curtis Granderson onboard, I’m not seeing an offensive revival of great significance. We have only 31 games of major-league data to go by, and that small sample size produced a lowly line of .202/.286/.263 and one home run. A full-time job doesn’t guarantee anything—even for a former no. 1 organizational prospect—and I’m afraid the name might outweigh d’Arnaud’s actual value on draft day. —Alex Kantecki
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Joe Nathan could be a fit for the Tigers, Carlos Ruiz could be headed to Colorado, and Rafael Furcal might be a fit for the Mets.
Tigers Looking for an Experienced Closer
Dave Dombrowski’s seemingly eternal search for a ninth-inning force continues this offseason, as Joaquin Benoit ponders his future in free agency. The 36-year-old Benoit performed well during the final season of his three-year, $16.5 million contract, recording 24 saves in 26 regular-season chances while amassing a 2.01 ERA and 2.90 FIP. Benoit is “in the mix,” but Dombrowski has a host of choices in this winter’s free-agent crop.
Scouts' quotes on Carlos Ruiz, CC Sabathia, Zack Wheeler, Julio Urias, and other interesting players.
Many of our authors make a habit of speaking to scouts and other talent evaluators in order to bring you the best baseball information available. Not all of the tidbits gleaned from those conversations make it into our articles, but we don't want them to go to waste. Instead, we'll be collecting them in a regular feature called "What Scouts Are Saying," which will be open to participation from the entire BP staff and include quotes about minor leaguers and major leaguers alike.
Due to a 25-game suspension and a hamstring injury, Ruiz hasn't had much of an opportunity to demonstrate whether or not his 2012 power breakout is even remotely sustainable. He should have a chance soon, though. Todd Zolecki of MLB.com reports that Ruiz hopes he'll be able to begin a rehab assignment next week, and then rejoin the Phillies on June 17.
Mike reviews the results of two of his auctions, one for each league.
Like most of my readers, I devour every scrap of expert-league auction data I can get my hands on before the season starts. However, while useful, expert auctions are almost always start-over. While this gives a decent baseline for raw values, it isn’t very instructive as to what might happen when you start dealing with keepers, reserve lists, and other twists on the rules that cater more to carryover leagues.
Below is a brief recap of what I did in my two longstanding keeper auctions this past weekend. While nearly all of us are done drafting or auctioning, looking back at what we did right as well as what we did wrong can be very instructive.
National League MVP Buster Posey leads off a deep crop of high-upside backstops this year.
In the coming weeks, the fantasy team here at Baseball Prospectus will be rolling out our positional rankings. Each team member assigned to cover a position will create an initial top 15 (more for outfielders and starting pitchers) on his own. He will then send that list to the rest of the team for discussion, at which point we will debate the rankings, both in terms of each player’s specific placement and the merits on which he was included in the top 15. This back-and-forth debate will yield the final list, which will be presented by the original author with notes on the pertinent players. We encourage you to bring your opinions into the fray using the comment section below.
Today we kick off the rankings with a look at our top 15 catchers.
Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz was suspended for 25 games after testing positive for Adderall. What was he thinking?
Let's talk about Adderall. For those who haven't heard, Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz has been suspended for the first 25 games of the regular season after testing positive for an amphetamine, widely reported to be the prescription drug Adderall. Adderall is commonly prescribed for the treatment of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and, less commonly, narcolepsy. As someone who has treated a number of kids and teens with ADHD, I want to talk a little bit about the medication and why someone might misuse it.
Max crunches the numbers and comes up with the top 10 catchers of the 2012 season based on overall value both at and behind the plate.
The season has reached its midpoint, so this seems like a good time to take a look at some rankings. I debuted here at Baseball Prospectus with a series on evaluating catchers defense, so catchers are the subject of the top-10 list that follows.
The catchers will be listed with four numbers beside their names. The first three cover batting, baserunning, and defense. The fourth is the sum of the numbers pertaining to each of those areas.
The tater trots for May 30 & 31: Barney's walkoff, Big Papi, and Curtis Granderson.
For some unknown reason, there were only three games in all of baseball on Thursday. Because of that, there were understandably very few home runs hit. Seven to be exact. Thankfully, the Tater Trot Tracker is a day behind, so we have Wednesday's 35 home runs to talk about as well. I planned it that way, I swear!
The tater trots for May 2: a wild, wild night for all of baseball, with Chipper Jones' walkoff home run the most memorable of the night.
An absolutely wild day in baseball for home runs (and everything else, really). Not only did we have two home runs helping Jered Weaver take a big 9-0 lead en route to his first career no-hitter, we also had wackiness everywhere. Four different players hit two home runs last night, including Chris Johnson and Kyle Seager. Three different players hit walkoff home runs, including ancientold guys like Chipper Jones and Jason Giambi. And then there was the tenth-inning go-ahead homer by Giancarlo Stanton, the sixth home run of the year for Adam Dunn, Edwin Encarnacion's league-leading ninth home run...
The series' first true pitcher's duel just barely goes the Phillies' way.
Neither Roy Halladay nor Cliff Lee quite lived up to his billing in the first two games of the Phillies-Cardinals Division Series—Halladay because he failed to throw a no-hitter, and Lee because he allowed a season-high 12 hits—but after two games in which runs weren't especially scarce, Game Three gave us the pitcher's duel that every Phillies playoff game has the potential to be. Both Cole Hamels and Jaime Garcia were completely in control far most of the game, with Garcia surrendering just three singles through the sixth, thanks in part to smooth fielding from Rafael Furcal and David Freese, and Hamels nearly as successful in keeping runners off base, though he allowed two doubles to Albert Pujols (which has been known to happen to the best of pitchers).