With some of the top catchers on the DL early in the season, here are three widely available replacements worth picking up.
Entering the 2018 fantasy draft, catching was not the deepest position. After the top three catchers, the ADP dropped significantly and everyone was grouped in a tier. But there were only 10 names worth drafting. If you missed out on one of them, you were best to wait until the final rounds.
Unfortunately, the season is off to a rocky start as there are three of the top 12 catchers on the DL. If you own either JT Realmuto, Sal Perez or Mike Zunino then you are in need of a replacement and need one now.
While you won’t be able to match their talent, these three catchers will perform well enough until your starting catcher returns. The three catchers listed are all owned in less than 15 percent of ESPN leagues and less than 40 percent in CBS leagues.
James McCann (DET)
McCann is the fourth-most added catcher in ESPN and third in CBS. He is hitting .238 with one run and four RBIs. The Detroit lineup isn’t the strongest but when the two power hitters, Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez, are firing on all cylinders, this could be a dangerous lineup.
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McCann has hit sixth in five of the Tigers first six games, behind Cabrera, V-Mart and Nick Castellanos. That should give him opportunities to drive in runs when they get on base. He is a low double-digit home run, .255 hitter.
Martin Maldonado (LAA)
The Angels did a lot to improve their offense this offseason. Everyone is hyped about Shohei Ohtani but the additions of Zack Cozart and Ian Kinsler (currently hurt) will help the stars in the lineup.
However, Maldonado is holding is own behind the plate for the Angels. In his first full season last year, he hit 14 home runs, 38 RBIs and .221. He isn’t known for being a high-average hitter but hitting at the bottom of the Angels’ lineup may have its benefits. He hits between Ohtani and Cozart, not a bad combination. He’ll score some runs with the top of that lineup after him.
Kevin Plawecki (NYM)
Plawecki has been a part-time catcher for the Mets over the last few years as they continue to try the Travis d’Arnaud experiment. In his playing time, though, Plawecki has amassed seven home runs, 46 RBIs, 39 runs scored and a .222 average over 162 games.
He has four starts to d’Arnaud’s two so far this season. With the added playing time for Plawecki, he could be in line for a boost in production and maybe have the best season of his career. He is owned in just 4.9 percent of ESPN leagues.
Depending on the league you’re in, these players may or may not be available. The catching pool is not deep so it’s better to add a backup catcher now and not two months from now. These three catchers have the upside to make a difference for your team.