2016 Fantasy Baseball Busts: Catchers
We are not suggesting a total collapse for these player just the strong possibility that their production will not justify their draft position.
Russell Martin – Blue Jays
Overall ADP: #123
Russell Martin was sensational last year. The All-Star hit a career-high 23 home runs and received MVP votes for the third straight year. He will turn 33 before the season starts, which is not the usual age to start putting up career numbers. Currently, the FantasyPros ECR™ (Expert Consensus Ranking) ranks Martin No. 6. Beware if you plan to draft him with expectations of a repeat performance of 2015. Compared to his career average, his strikeout rate increased while his walk rate decreased. Also, his batting average versus right-handed pitching plummeted by 65 points from .298 in 2014 to .233 in 2015. His second half production of 11 HR, 27 R, 36 RBI, .224 AVG looks very similar to the 12 HR, 22 R, 35 RBI, .242 AVG hit by Welington Castillo, who you can get 10 rounds later.
Stephen Vogt – Athletics
Overall ADP: #156
The FantasyPros ECR™ places Stephen Vogt as the eighth-best catcher. He was a shrewd pick in last year’s draft and provided excellent value early on with a 1.035 OPS in April and 1.013 OPS in May. The league caught up with him and he slumped to a .630 OPS in the second half with just four home runs and 15 RBI. The Oakland catcher’s OPS is 200 points lower versus left-handed pitching compared to right-handers, so it’s safe to presume he will lose playing time in 2016.
Matt Wieters – Orioles
Overall ADP: #160
Having endured two injury-shortened seasons and one Tommy John surgery, Matt Wieters will enter 2016 with the potential to be a top-five catcher again. The FantasyPros ECR™ ranks the Orioles’ catcher as the ninth best but there may be smarter picks available. The list of catchers who have undergone Tommy John surgery is not extensive but the small sample size suggests that they are never able to throw as well again. With the acquisition of Mark Trumbo and the re-signing of Chris Davis, there is reduced opportunity for Matt Wieters to hide out at DH. If drafted too early, there is significant bust potential here.
While we’d recommend not overreaching for these bust candidates, here are our 2016 sleeper candidates behind the plate.