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  • Art Tornabene

Catcher and Stolen Base Streamers for the week 4/26-5/2

Happy Sunday and welcome to another week of catcher and stolen base steaming advice on the SP Streamer website. The catcher ownership pool is starting to consolidate, with this being the first week that there were no catchers owned in between 30 and 59 percent of NFBC roto leagues. With regards to stolen bases, it is not yet time to panic as it is still early, but it may be time to start to plan to up your stolen base output. As mentioned in an earlier article, an extra five stolen bases will catapult you dozens of spots up in that category, so hold on to the players that can provide you with those extra steals. I’ll keep finding new prospects.


On to the review of last week.


Last Week’s Recommendations

Rougned Odor: I was able to get Odor for $3 of FAAB in my TGFBI League last weekend. After Saturday’s game, Rougned Odor has four hits in thirteen at-bats (.308) for the week, with two runs, two home runs, and five runs batted in. Odor has not yet attempted to steal a base for New York. On the season, his hitting profile is not impressive. Odor’s line-drive percentage is the lowest of his career, and his home runs per fly ball are also down from career norms. Still, one must feel buoyed by his first good week, and the Yankees are still desperately in need of his offense. Hold him if you have him, and play him if you can.


Roman Quinn was one for 7 on the week (.143), with one run, no home runs, no runs batted in, and one stolen base in two attempts. On Saturday evening, Quinn had one walk and attempted one steal. Colorado catcher Elias Diaz had a good day throwing, however, as he stifled Quinn’s attempt and also picked Rhys Hoskins off of first base, grabbing two bonus outs for his team. Quinn is nothing more than a rabbit with limited plate appearances, but the green light is on for him. With a trip to St. Louis and Yadier Molina for four games next, however, there is little reason to start Quinn for at least the beginning of this week. A weekend set at home against New York is more promising as McCann has given up eight steals in twelve games already, and Quinn has attempted four in only eleven stolen base opportunities (simply, on-base with no one on the base in front of you).


There have been sixty-four stolen bases so far this week across Major League Baseball, with Oakland leading the way with six. The Red Sox, White Sox, Phillies, and Padres all have four stolen bases this week, as well. While ten teams have managed only zero or one stolen base.


Kurt Suzuki: Suzuki missed Friday with an elbow injury, but was back playing Saturday to get shellacked by Houston, 16 to 2. As of Saturday night, Suzuki was three for twelve (.250) on the week, with one run, one home run, zero stolen bases, and three runs batted in. A crude ranking of catchers last week (standard deviation of weekly statistics in the five classic roto categories) shows Kurt to have been the ninth most valuable catcher in Major League Baseball so far this week.


Luis Torrens: What an awful week for Luis! Torrens did not manage a hit in twelve at-bats. One run was the only positive outcome all week for the young Seattle backstop. The only positive information for the past week for Torrens owners is that Tom Murphy also did not manage a hit, and has been consistently worse all season. The leash remains long for Torrens, whereas the spot in the batting order is slipping. A run of eight straight games hitting in the 4th or 5th spot in the batting order was ended with this recent run of poor offense and has placed him back in the 7th hole.


With most of Saturday’s games completed, catchers on the week had 100 hits in 486 at-bats (.206), with 57 runs, 14 home runs, 54 runs batted in, with one stolen base (Realmuto).


Recommendations

Catchers

Kurt Suzuki, LAA (24% owned)

Kurt Suzuki’s ownership level actually decreased from last week to this, and I am going back to the Suzuki well again for this recommendation. Max Stassi remains sidelined with a left thumb injury and looks to be out until at least the end of April, meaning that Suzuki will once again be the primary catcher for the Angels. Six games next week, at Texas and at Seattle, give plenty of opportunity for Suzuki. He is batting down in the batting order, but the Angels have been a consistently good offense and Suzuki’s production should benefit from that goodness.


Mike Zunino, TBR (12% owned)

Zunino quietly put together a strong week from April 19th to today. Though only appearing in three games and receiving eight at-bats, Zunino was able to hit two home runs, score three runs and bat in three runs. On the season, Zunino and fellow Tampa Bay catcher Francisco Mejia have a roughly fifty-fifty split of the at bats. Zunino’s batting average issues are well-known, but the power is also well known and this season it has shown up. With a barrel rate in the 97th percentile and a max exit velocity in the 96th, he is making some good contact, and striking out less often than his poor 2020. Series against Oakland and Houston at home do not scream, “play me,” they are in Tampa where Zunino has historically performed better. With how often he is making good contact, it is a good gamble that he will run into one or two more home runs this week.


Stolen Bases

Nicky Lopez (2B/SS) KC (7% owned)

Over the course of the past week, Nicky Lopez has three hits in thirteen at-bats (.231), with three runs and four runs batted in. Lopez also has two stolen bases in thirty-four stolen base opportunities. With Adalberto Mondesi still ailing, Lopez has taken the bulk of the playing time at shortstop and that looks to continue. His profile does not portend power, or a high batting average, but Lopez’s contact skills are excellent. A strikeout percentage in the 95th percentile, a whiff percentage in the 99th percentile, and a near ten percent walk rate mean that he will be scrapping hard for more stolen base opportunities, and Kansas City runs when they get the opportunity as often as anyone.


Sam Haggerty (OF) SEA (0% owned)

Sam Haggerty’s last week of work has pushed Seattle to try to find him more playing time. With five hits in his nine at-bats (.555), including four runs, one home run, three runs batted in, two stolen bases, and Taylor Trammell and Jose Marmolejos struggling of late, Haggerty is knocking on the door. Haggerty’s minor league profile portends more stolen bases, as well. Consistent walk rates above ten percent help form a solid base for steals, and Haggerty is not shy to attempt a steal. A full season of 49 and partial seasons of 24 and 19 can be found. He has continued his aggressiveness thus far this season with two stolen bases in only twelve stolen base opportunities. With Jarred Kelenic still “needing to see more left-handed pitching at the alternate site,” the opportunity to earn plate appearances is there, and Haggerty is showing out the best in Seattle of late.