Everybody loves blind resumes. Fans love testing their baseball knowledge and we also love surprises. One of the biggest surprises in terms of sleepers and busts last year came from the catcher position, and not coincidentally, that is the subject of the following blind resume: (ADPs taken from MockDraftCentral.com)
Clearly, Player B had the more successful season as he beat out Player A in almost every category, and with equal at-bats it would have been a clean sweep. Player A, Carlos Santana, failed to live up to his massive pre-draft expectations while Player B, Wilin Rosario, provided many fantasy owners with top-5 production off the waiver wire.
Looking ahead to 2013, it’s hard to view Santana as the top catcher overall, but he’s not garbage either. Taking a deeper look into his numbers, Santana hit .252, with a .278 BABIP. However, according to expected stats thanks to slash12 over at Beyond the Boxscore, Santana’s xAVG and xBABIP say that he should have really hit .278 with a .311 BABIP.
In terms of power, his HR/FB% fell from 16.0% to 11.5%, and his IFFB% is still above the league average (10%). His power outage is especially evident when you look at his home run splits. ESPN classifies home runs into three different types of dingers: Just Enough (barely over the wall), Plenty (comfortably over the wall) and No Doubt (you know it once it leaves the bat). Of Santana’s 18 home runs, a whopping 56% were classified as Just Enough, while only 11% were classified as No Doubt. We might have to temper expectations until we actually see that monster season from Santana, but he’s still a quality catcher with plenty of upside. Additionally, he gets a major boost in OBP leagues with his 14.9 BB%.
Rosario, on the other hand, screams Mike Napoli to me every time I look at his numbers. Coincidentally, Napoli and Rosario both had the exact same HR/FB last year (25.5%). Hitting 28 home runs in 396 at-bats will make fantasy owners drool at the potential that 23-year-old Rosario might have.
His HR/FB% does seem a little hard to match, but he does play half of his games in Coors Field, so I don’t see why he can’t put up another HR/FB around 22.0%. Classifying his home runs the same way I did with Santana, only 35% of his home runs classified as Just Enough while 18% of them were No Doubt. Rosario may not play every day, but with only Ramon Hernandez standing in his way it wouldn’t surprise me in the least bit to see him get close to 450 at-bats in 2013.