Two-Catcher League Targets (2022 Fantasy Baseball)
The two-catcher league format brings with it quite a challenge: finding not just one but two options that can deliver something of value to your fantasy baseball roster. Only serving to increase this task’s difficulty is that catcher is arguably the shallowest position on draft boards.
This lineup setting has become increasingly popular around the industry, so even casual players may find themselves scratching their heads when deciding where to look for that serviceable second starting backstop. Below are a few options worth considering outside the current Top-12 Catchers in ADP that should be available in the late rounds.
Mike Zunino (TBR) ADP C: 15 | Overall: 254
Most would answer Salvador Perez without hesitation if asked which catcher had the highest slugging percentage at the position last year. They would be wrong, as it was indeed Zunino at .559.
Now, Zunino’s only true offensive asset is the long ball. The 2021 All-Star smacked 33 of them last season and required just 375 plate appearances to do so. Since his MLB debut in 2013, Zunino has produced four seasons of 20-plus homers and paced 20 deep drives per 400 plate appearances. The power is legit and makes him a great option for deeper leagues as the plate appearances should be there.
Zunino is a much tougher sell in a one-catcher format due to the drain he can be in batting average. Those homers last year came alongside a .216 batting average and 35% K-rate which continue to hold his draft status down. Still, a solid plan is to pair Zunino up with a more reliable AVG performer.
Elias Diaz (COL) ADP C: 17 | Overall: 268
Something clicked for Diaz at the plate after a horrendous first two months of the 2021 season. The now 31-year-old backstop was one of the top fantasy performers at the position from June forward.
Over 79 games from June 1 on, Diaz hammered his way to a strong .283/.346/.550 slash line with 17 homers, 40 RBI, and 45 runs. As is usually the case with any hitter, Diaz raked at Coors Field, posting an .874 OPS compared to a .678 mark on the road. However, half of his 18 home runs last year came away from Denver.
The Rockies wasted little time inking Diaz to a three-year, $14.5MM contract back on November 19, buying out his final year of arbitration as well as two additional seasons. He will get ample opportunity to follow up on his solid work with the bat from last summer. Always looks to Coors for an offensive boost.
Max Stassi (LAA) ADP C: 23 | Overall: 304
In 118 games since the start of the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, Stassi has turned in a decent .784 OPS with 20 home runs and 55 RBI across 424 plate appearances. If he can avoid the DL, he should be in line for that amount of time in the lineup this year.
Stassi was limited to a mere 11 games in April and May last year, but like Diaz above, he got it going and was a mainstay in the Angels batting order from June 1 on out. Over 57 games from June 1 through the end of August, Stassi slashed an excellent .280/.358/.503 with ten round-trippers, 11 doubles, and 28 RBI. Unfortunately, September saw him close things out with a deep slump.
Do not let the end of his 2021 campaign run you off; Stassi is a solid option in deeper mixed formats out there. He has shown pop, should not be a drain in batting average and is set to hit behind a powerful group in the middle of the Angels lineup.
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