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Can Travis d’Arnaud become an Elite Catcher?

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Starting this week, every week I will give out my top 5 of a position for fantasy baseball. I also will give you guys my breakout and sleeper for the 2016 season. This week we start with the catcher and next week we will have 1st base, so sit back and enjoy your Friday with a little position previews!! 1. Buster Posey I mean this one was kind of a no brainer. Buster has been solid for along time now and with him getting breaks here and there to play 1st base only helps his case. These were what he posted last year: G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS 150 623 557 74 177 28 0 19 95 2 0 56 52 .318 .379 .470 .849 It doesn’t look a whole lot different from what he does year in and year out. Posey actually had the largest gap in points between #1 and #2 in points between any positions. The guy is just a tremendous hitter and don’t look for a lot of the same production this year from the former MVP. 2. Kyle Schwarber A lot of people thought the Cubs were a littler to aggressive when they took Schwarbs 4th overall but it looks like they got the last laugh. I wasn’t one of those doubters as I just saw a pure hitter when he was at Indiana, you know because of my excellent scouting ability. The one thing I didn’t know are the other nicknames he goes by, like Hulk or Warbird. If you don’t think I’m going to scream “WARBIRD” on all 35 bombs this year your nuts. Yes, I said 35 dingers! In only 69 games he hit 16 bombs and has shown the league he has serious pop. The great thing about fantasy is that he will still be eligible to play catcher, usually a weak offensive position, but will play every day in LF and get everyday at bats. That’s where he really breaks away from the guys below him, is that he will get a ton more at bats. The one glaring issue though is his strikeout rate, which was crazy high. He wasn’t that type of K guy in college or the minors, so they is a chance that he can cut that down. Here is last years stats: G     PA    AB   R  H   2B  3B  HR RBI SB CS BB  SO   BA    OBP   SLG   OPS 69   273  232 52  57   6     1    16    43    3    3   36  77   .246  .355    .487 3. Jonathan Lucroy Lucroy had a down last year as you can see from the first stat line. G     PA    AB  R  H   2B  3B HR RBI SB CS BB  SO   BA    OBP   SLG   OPS 103 415   371 51 98  20   3    7    43     1   0    36   64  .264  .326   .391    .717 A lot had to do that the Brewers were crap and it didn’t look like he really wanted to be there. In fact, he has been asking for a trade but still a Brew Crew member. If he does get traded then I can see him hit right back into stride. The guy hit 53 doubles in 2014, which is pretty impressive from the catcher spot. Maybe with a better lineup that means some more rib eye steaks (RBIs). The problem right now is that he is still on the crappy Brewers so its all up to him and how motivated he is. 2011 25 MIL NL        136 468 430 45 114  16  1  12  59   2   1  29 99 .265 .313 .391 .703 90 168 7 2 4 3 0 *2 2012 26 MIL NL       96  346 316  46 101  17   4  12  58  4   1  22 44 .320 .368 .513 .881 132 162 12 4 1 3 1 2 2013 27 MIL NL       147 580 521  59 146  25  6  18  82  9  1  46 69 .280 .340 .455 .795 116 237 16 5 0 8 2 *23/D 2014 ★ 28 MIL NL  153 655 585  73 176  53  2  13  69   4  4  66 71 .301 .373 .465 .837 4. Travis d’Arnaud Travis had a mini breakout last year with the Mets and that was still with 2 big injuries. This year could be the year where he jumps into the top 2 or 3 of the position. The kid has always had a big stick but injuries always slowed him down. If he can just stay healthy for a whole year or at least miss that big lay off watch out Buster! You also have to remember that for more than half his games he played in were with a Eric Campbell and John Mayberry Jr. surrounding him. Travis is also my breakout player from the catcher position this year. I really do think he puts it all together and he stay on the field and jumps into the #2 spot for next year. 5. Devin Mesoraco Mesoraco like Travis had his breakout year but just a year earlier. 2014 ★ 26 CIN NL G     PA    AB  R  H   2B  3B HR RBI SB CS BB  SO   BA    OBP   SLG   OPS 114 440 384 54 105 25    0   25   80    1    3  41  103  .273  .359   .534   .893 He was a rising start behind the plate but had a hip problem derail his development last year. A hip injury isn’t anything to sneeze at, especially with guys that use their hips so much. We will have to see if the hip slows him down or will he get back to his 2014 ways, when he was the talk of the position? I say he comes back in full force and is a very shining spot on a pretty dull team. Sleeper: Nick Hundley G     PA    AB  R  H   2B  3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO  BA   OBP   SLG   OPS 103 389 366 45 110 21   5    10    43   5    6   21  76  .301  .339  .467   .807 I know he isn’t very sexy at all, but he had a decent year and Coors Field helps all hitters. The guy has always had pop and with him pretty much being the lone guy behind the plate now, I can totally see him smacking 15-20 homers this year. Getting those numbers from a guy that probably will go really late or maybe not go at all is worth the shot. This lineup won’t be the best, but the Rockies always seems to be top of the league in runs….hmmmm I wonder why??

Credit all authors of images used in both article and as cover image : George

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