While profiling the Indians, I felt that a bit more could be said about their catching options and their fantasy value. The Tribe will actually have 2 viable catcher options in Yan Gomes and Carlos Santana.
It appears that the Cleveland Indians are beginning to transition Santana away from catcher, much like the Detroit Tigers did with Victor Martinez and the Minnesota Twins did with Joe Mauer over time. I think that 2014 is a make-or-break fantasy year for Carlos Santana — depending on whether or not he plays enough games at catcher to maintain eligibility going forward.
Perhaps Santana will catch just enough games to continue to qualify as a catcher into 2015. But if not, it could spell trouble for his fantasy value.
So unless moving to a more full time DH role will help him top 30 homers and break into the 90+ range in runs and RBI (like David Ortiz), Santana is in danger of being a below average fantasy producer once he loses catcher eligibility. This goes along the lines of a Twitter exchange that Dixon, Clave and I had about Joe Mauer moving permanently to first base. The reality is that as a 1B, Mauer doesn’t offer the ideal power production that fantasy owners expect from the position. So after this season, his value could take a hit.
Santana would be even worse as he isn’t a contender for the batting title like Mauer. So he really needs to make good on this position move by upping his his Run, HR, and RBI production as much as possible. Ultimately if the saved wear-and-tear on Santana’s legs does help his overall stat output, then his value will be at an all time high this upcoming season based solely on the fact that he will for sure qualify as a catcher without having to play too much catcher. Enjoy that while it lasts.
Based on what he did last season, I firmly believe that Yan Gomes is a fantasy sleeper at the catcher position.
Yan Gomes: 2013
Clearly the extrapolated numbers aren’t 100% guaranteed, but they do give you an idea of his rate of production last year. I believe
that production is good enough to consider Gomes a fantasy catching option — not just an injury fill in.
The only problem is that it is uncertain exactly how much time Yan will in fact see behind the plate. If he sees less than 450 at-bats, then it may be hard to roster him for a full season. However if he can eclipse 500 at bats, he should be a nice fantasy find.
The 2014 season should be an interesting season for both of these catchers, and I am high on both.
I suggest drafting Santana shortly after Buster Posey in hopes that he finds a little more power in those well rested legs. I also suggest to keep a close eye on Yan Gomes and his production. If he produces well early on, then I would assume Terry Francona will want to keep him in the lineup as much as possible. Patience will be the key with both of these fellas, as only time will tell on their fantasy impact for 2014.