Look, I won’t sugarcoat it: Catcher isn’t the prettiest position these days. Unless you were lucky enough to have drafted Adley Rutschman (and if so, please use this opportunity to take your victory lap), it seems like the most we can expect is around 20 homers that won’t torpedo your average, plus maybe a couple steals if we’re feeling frisky.
But that’s all the more reason to try and play the hot hand at the position, especially if you punted in drafts — you can’t get spectacular fantasy production from any one guy, but if you ride the streaming wave for a few hot weeks, you could cobble together something resembling an elite offensive player. With that mind, here are the widely-available targets who caught our eye over the past week.
Fantasy baseball waiver wire: Week 4 catcher targets
Jonah Heim, Texas Rangers
Roster percentage: 12%
I’m a little surprised Heim’s roster percentage is still so low. He was a pleasant surprise last year, with 16 homers and two steals in 127 games, and he’s been scalding the ball in 2023: .276/.300/.517 with two dingers already. Plus, the oft-injured Mitch Garver has landed on the IL once again, meaning Heim will see even more playing time in a competitive Rangers lineup. With above-average exit velocity numbers, the bat seems to be real, and he’s hot right now.
Shea Langeliers, Oakland Athletics
Roster percentage: 19%
Langeliers has started slowly, but have faith: He hit at every level of the Minors and posted very solid contact metrics as a rookie last year. Plus, he’s cut his strikeout rate drastically while upping his walk rate so far this season, so there’s reason to believe that he’s making strides and seeing the ball well. Now he just needs to start barreling the ball again, because when he does, he does damage: His max exit velocity is in the 89th percentile.
Langeliers is the A’s catcher of the present and future, so he’ll get plenty of run — even starting at DH when he’s not behind the plate, which is huge at a position where volume is so hard to come by.
Endy Rodriguez, Pittsburgh Pirates
Roster percentage: 3%
The second-ranked prospect in a solid Pittsburgh system, Rodriguez is among the more interesting player profiles you’ll find: a catcher who also has spend time at second base and in the outfield as he’s climbed the Minor League ranks.
Wherever he’s playing, though. the one common denominator has been that Rodriguez simply knows how to hit. He’s currently biding his time in Triple-A, but given that the surprisingly plucky Pirates have been relying on Jason Delay as their primary backstop, we’re guessing Rodriguez will be getting the call sooner rather than later. And once he does, he’ll be a priority add — both because of his bat and because of how rare it is to have a catcher with positional flexibility on your roster.