Reds Tucker Barnhart: Deep catcher waiver add

CINCINNATI, OH - AUGUST 10: Tucker Barnhart
CINCINNATI, OH - AUGUST 10: Tucker Barnhart /

Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco landed on the DL with a fractured foot. With what could be a season-ending injury, Tucker Barnhart gets a boost in value.

The catcher position is scarce leading up to the final weeks of the fantasy baseball season. While Reds’ catcher Devin Mesoraco wasn’t an elite option, he had the upside to post double-digit home runs for those in deeper leagues. Unfortunately, he suffered a fractured foot on Monday and was placed on the 10-day DL.

When one player goes down, another one fills in his place. It’s been reported that Mesoraco is scheduled to miss three to six weeks. With the Reds sitting 13.0 games back, last in the National League Central, I expect Mesoraco to be shut down for the season. This gives Tucker Barnhart an opportunity for more playing time.

Mesoraco was owned in just 1.3 percent of ESPN leagues. He had six home runs, 14 RBI, 17 runs and a .213 average. Barnhart, on the other hand, has performed much better this season.

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In 274 at-bats, Barnhart has five home runs, 29 RBI, 22 runs scored and a .263 average. He also has a 49:28 K:BB ratio with a .331 on-base percentage. Barnhart hits in the eighth spot in this Reds lineup, giving him opportunity to drive in the top hitters like Adam Duvall and Eugenio Suarez.

Barnhart’s been the third-most added catcher over the last week, behind Alex Avila and James McCann. I talked about Avila gaining value here and, as a result of that trade, McCann has the Detroit catching job all to himself.

Catcher has been a very underwhelming position this season. Gary Sanchez and Salvador Perez lead the position in home runs and RBI, respectively.

Barnhart ranks eighth on the Player Rater amongh catchers over the last 15 and 30 days. With Buster Posey getting little support from his team to some of the other top catchers landing on the DL, the waiver wire is all but dried up.

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Fantasy owners are on board with Barnhart. He’s been added in 12.9 percent of leagues over the last week, bringing his ownership percentage to 16.1. He is a starting catcher available in many leagues. Any additional depth should be looked at seriously with just a few weeks left.