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2008 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers: Catchers

Let's get back to basics and find undervalued players at each position.  I'm definitely interested to hear your sleepers in the comments.  We'll start with backstops today.

  • I have a feeling the word is fully out on the Cubs' Geovany Soto; hell, he's on the cover of the new Baseball Prospectus annual.  I have him at .279-18-68-58-0, an $11.98 value (sixth among catchers).  Soto's being picked in the 14th round, foolishly after Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
  • Playing in a smaller market, Houston's J.R. Towles gets less press than Soto.  I value him at only pennies less though, with a .271-11-57-60-11 line.  Russell Martin is the only other backstop projected to reach double digit swipes.  New Astros baserunning instructor Gary Redus will work one-on-one with him, which bodes well.  Towles is being drafted in the 17th round, foolishly after Ivan Rodriguez.   
  • Carlos Ruiz projects at .271-11-56-50-5, a $7.67 value.  That puts him 10th in my rankings, but he is being drafted in the 25th round as if he's the 20th best catcher.
  • I'm a Ryan Doumit fan; I have him at .271-13-51-48-2 in 350 ABs.  If he manages to find 450 ABs (maybe via an Xavier Nady trade), he's up there with Soto and Towles.
  • Michael Barrett and Ramon Hernandez were absolute studs in 2006; now they're chopped liver.  Barrett would need a trade or injury to find full-time duty.  A healthy Hernandez could work his way up the Orioles' batting order and post a 20-80 season.
  • Dioner Navarro is making some sleeper lists on the virtue of two fine months to close out his '07 season.  Here's something to consider: if he can replicate his August-September '07 performance for all of '08, he's the sixth best catcher in fantasy baseball at .294-18-69-75-0 (not far behind Jorge Posada).  Remember that as he goes undrafted in your mixed league.

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