Carlos Ruiz is the best fantasy catcher thus far this season but things should be turning for him sooner than later.
Analysis: A catcher with a .349 batting average and 13 bombs before the All-Star break has to be named Joe Mauer, right? Wrong, that line belongs to lifetime .275 hitter Carlos Ruiz. This is definitely Ruiz’s career year, he has already broken his previous career high of nine home runs by four bombs and we aren’t even at the break yet. But, if we dig a little deeper we can see where his numbers should be at season’s end.
Ruiz’s BABIP this year is 63 points higher than his career average, resulting in the super inflated .349 batting average. His HR/FB rate of 19.4% this year is a career high while his career average HR/FB rate rests at 7.6%. To put it in perspective, Ruiz’s HR/FB rate this year is higher than Miguel Cabrera’s career average of 18.3%. With guys like Wilin Rosario and Jarrod Saltalamacchia available in many leagues nationwide it just may be the smart play here to flip the red hot catcher for a team need. Expect 2009-2011 Carlos Ruiz type numbers from here on out.
Ben Revere’s batting average is up to .331 at the moment as he continues to put together a solid 2012 season.
Analysis: Ben Revere may not have a home run this year but his slugging percentage is up over .90 points and his isolated power is up .33 points from last year. Revere has his strikeout rate down to 6.2% thus far this season, which is third lowest in all of baseball. The outfielder simply puts the ball in play and uses his speed. He stole thirty-four bags last year and is on pace to steal nearly thirty again this year. His batting average and speed numbers are enough to justify a roster spot on most squads in deeper leagues. Revere is hitting in the two spot in the Twins order in front of Joe Mauer which is always a good place to be for a solid run total.
There isn’t much to dislike about Revere aside from his lack of power. He puts the ball in play, steals bases and as long as his BABIP doesn’t dip below .320 he will remain a valuable outfielder. Revere is available in sixty percent of fantasy leagues and he is certainly worth a look.
With Joe Mauer on the 15 day disabled list with “bilateral weakness” in his legs it’s time to find a replacement.
Analysis: Obviously if JP Arencibia is available he is the premier power option on the wire. With Arencibia you’re looking at a guy that has hit 53 bombs in just 220 Triple A games. He seems to be a lock to hit 20 plus jacks this year and he’s available in about half of fantasy leagues. After Arencibia you’ve got the steady Carlos Ruiz. He may not be the best for batting average but he produces. The .263 lifetime hitter is coming off of a 53 RBI year on just 433 plate appearances. He’s not going to light the league on fire but he will get the job done, get his at-bats and put up some numbers that shouldn’t hurt you. He puts the ball in play a ton and that’s all you can ask from a lower tier catcher at this point in the season. The big concern has to be with Mauer though. Does this injury last more than the fifteen days or will he be fine? Will the injury come back and linger all year or will he win another batting title? Regardless, by this time next year JP Arencibia will be a top eight catcher so act now if he is available, if not Ruiz will keep trucking along.