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  • Art Tornabene

Catcher and Stolen Base Streamers for the Week 5/17 - 5/23/2021

Catchers


From Monday until Friday of the current week (5/10-5/16), catchers had 100 hits in 454 at-bats, for a .220 batting average. The 59 catchers with at-bats also produced 15 home runs, scored 54 runs, batted in 60 runs, and attempted one stolen base (unsuccessfully). The most productive catcher in rotisserie leagues with at least ten at-bats during that time span was Willson Contreras, who despite hitting no home runs, saw his production carried by his seven hits in 13 at-bats, a .538 average. Yan Gomes, Sal Perez, Tucker Barnhart, and Yasmani Grandal round out the top five for the past week.


This past week also saw JT Realmuto claim the top spot in the season-long competition for the top catcher in rotisserie formats. Buster Posey, the leader after last week, turned in a one for 10 week to drop to the second spot. JT’s advantage in stolen bases (three to Posey’s zero) is the most crucial factor in this ranking as Posey’s batting average, home runs, and runs all best Realmuto’s production in the same category.


An interesting note, as this article outlines Catcher and Stolen Base streamers, is Catchers are 14 for 17 on stolen base attempts thus far on the season, an impressive 82% success rate. The pace of attempts over those five days slowed from the season-long pace, which is likely to maintain as the games and minor hurts do tend to mount. Christian Vazquez continues to lead the pack, however, already grabbing four.


Last Week’s Suggestions


William Contreras - Through Saturday’s games, Contreras has turned in an impressive .333 batting average (four hits in 12 at-bats), with two home runs, three runs, and two runs batted in. Saturday’s home run to straight-away center off of Milwaukee reliever Hoby Milner was a full extension blast, and showed off the rookies growth in power from the last extended look we saw of him in 2019.


Danny Jansen - Jansen showed the folly of recommending him on the heels of a power surge as he has turned in a rather uninspiring one for nine-week (.111) with one run and zero runs batted in. Backup Reese McGuire is the current hot bat in this rotation after turning in a three for eight weeks, though until more clarity comes on his playing time he is not a recommended play.


Recommendations


Martin Maldonado - Houston (20% rostered) - Maldonado has quietly begun to turn around what was a lackluster offensive season. Since May 3, Maldonado has eight hits in 29 at-bats (.276) with two home runs, three runs, and five runs batted in. The Astros have six games in the upcoming week, all on the road at Oakland and Texas, but there is a definite dearth of good options this week so Maldonado’s recent strong hitting will have to fight through the difficult ballparks. He is consistently hitting down in the lineup so crossed fingers for counting stats production. However, it has been two straight weeks of a decent batting average.


Sandy Leon - Miami (0% rostered) - Jorge Alfaro’s has been bothered by soreness on his left side, and on the last report was being held out of his most recent games on his rehab assignment. Given this uncertainty, Leon’s volume should maintain for at least a few more days, and this is a straight volume play. Leon has seen more run than other options, Luis Torrens of Seattle and Kurt Suzuki of the Los Angeles Angels with their poor performance of late, and there is not yet clarity on whether anyone will receive consistent volume in Cleveland with the injury to Roberto Perez. Since May 3, Leon has the same number of at-bats as Jacob Stallings and William Contreras, and more than higher rostered players like Tucker Barnhart, Carson Kelly, James McCann, Dom Nunez, Jose Trevino, and Buster Posey. At bats are at a premium at the catcher position, and anyone that can provide volume gives you the opportunity for production.



Stolen Bases


Since May 3, there have been 183 stolen base attempts, though we have seen none from expected contributors such as Trea Turner and Jose Ramirez. Other hopefuls to provide some chip-in steals, such as Jose Altuve, Jean Segura, and Juan Soto, have also not attempted a steal. On the season, players such as Dylan Carlson, Yoan Moncada, Charlie Blackmon, and Kyle Lewis have not attempted a stolen base. If you are rostering these players, you are not getting the expected production you had hoped for when they were acquired. If that’s the case, you may have to begin to stream for stolen bases, until these players start to provide the speed for which you’d hoped.


Last Week’s Suggestions


Harrison Bader - Bader has not stolen a base in the past week, but his hitting has remained strong. Since Monday, Bader has six hits in 18 at-bats for a .333 batting average. With one home run, two runs, and a run batted in, he has contributed in all non-steal categories. Also, Bader was caught stealing once, showing that he is remaining aggressive on the base paths. With his strong hitting and continued aggressiveness, he is a certain hold for the upcoming week.


Niko Goodrum - Goodrum’s strong stolen base performance continued last week, as he contributed two more stolen bases to his season total. On top of the speed, Goodrum had three hits in 14 at-bats, only a .214 batting average and all singles, and scored five runs. He had no home runs or runs batted in. Goodrum did earn three bases on balls, and his .333 on-base percentage over that time frame plays, when considering how aggressive Goodrum remains on the base paths. His playing time is solid, and he does provide some position versatility, so is a good hold for now.


Recommendations


Nicky Lopez - Kansas City (12% rostered) - Over the past week, Lopez is two for two on the base paths and has seven hits in 19 at-bats (.368 batting average). His steals are no accident as Lopez is strong in the sprint speed department, placing in the 78th percentile on statcast. Given the uncertainty over Adalberto Mondesi’s return and Lopez’s recent hot play, he is my top deep league option for speed for this week.


Leury Garcia - Chicago White Sox (24% rostered) - For the first time all season, both speed recommendations are being recommended the second time. However, when recommending speed, you can not do much better than recommending a very fast player (such as Garcia), and a player on a very aggressive team (Lopez). Garcia has not stolen a base in two weeks but has attempted one, has stolen two on the season and maintains a sprint speed in the 83rd percentile per statcast. On the season, Garcia’s statcast ratings would make Mr. Freeze cold, but his production has improved in recent weeks (.258 batting average with two bases on balls since May 3rd) and his playing time has been nearly every day. With the injury trouble that the White Sox have had, the playing time should continue. Combine that with Garcia’s positional versatility and Garcia provides a useful speed option in deep-league formats.


Best of luck to all with your teams this week!