Let’s examine the top rated catcher in fantasy baseball. For all fantasy catchers he is currently 8th in Runs at 21, 2nd in HR with 9, 1st in RBI with 32, 3rd in SB with 2, 5th in AVG at .289 and 1st in OPS with a whopping .893 mark. This slick, left hitting catcher in Detroit has great splits too. Whether he is hitting against lefties or righties, day games or night games, home or away he has been the model of consistency. This Tiger has surely earned his stripes.
Of course we are talking about the top rated fantasy catcher going into the drafts last March and the high priced free agent named Victor Martinez right? Nope. Its second year starter Alex Avila, the son of front office man Al Avila. Though Avila has only been behind the plate since his last year at Alabama he has blossomed into a great caller of games, a force against the SB, and for fantasy players a heck of a hitter at a weak position. I was lucky enough to pick him up in one league in the 2nd week of the season as he went undrafted in a vast majority of all leagues. Still amazingly he is available in leagues. Only owned in 83% of leagues to date.
Avila attributes his success this year to hard work and more time to work on his hitting. Last year he was given the full time catcher duties. He spent the season learning his pitching staff and the hitters in the American League during his 1st full year behind the plate. He feels he now knows his staff inside and out and has a great grasp on all the hitters in the American League so he has had much more time to concentrate on his hitting. That concentration has paid off. I feel his current numbers are sustainable too, as he could be a 20+ HR and 80+ RBI with a .275 AVG for years to come. Numbers like that at one of the thinnest positions in fantasy baseball look mighty good. Advice: Remember what can happen to your team when you draft a young, elite hitting catcher early in drafts next year…They could get Posey’d…out for the year. But selecting catchers early in drafts is a story for another post.