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Fantasy update: Who's hot, who's not in major league baseball

This week's focus is on catchers. Atlanta's Evan Gattis, Toronto's J.P. Arencibia look like good bets; Arizona's Miguel Montero and Detroit's Alex Avila don't.

June 01, 2013|By Tim Hubbard, Los Angeles Times
  • Toronto Blue Jays catcher J.P. Arencibia hits a run-scoring liner to center field against the San Francisco Giants.
Toronto Blue Jays catcher J.P. Arencibia hits a run-scoring liner to center… (Tom Szczerbowski / Getty…)

On a whole, this has been a good season offensively for catchers. Yet not every owner can have Yadier Molina or Buster Posey. Staff writer Tim Hubbard looks at two who are proving their worth, and two who are not.

BANG FOR BUCK

Evan Gattis

Atlanta

At the plate, Gattis may resemble a saloon owner wielding a broken table leg, but there's no arguing with the results. Gattis has received plenty of playing time due to a preseason shoulder injury to perennial All-Star Brian McCann, and had responded with a .281 average, 12 home runs and 32 RBIs before Saturday. But with McCann back from the disabled list, at-bats for Gattis may be harder to come by.

J.P. Arencibia

Toronto

A consummate feast-or-famine hitter, Arencibia is simply doing what he did last season — hitting home runs and striking out a lot — just a little more productively. Yes, his .231 batting average is a drag, but who wouldn't take 12 home runs by your catcher before June. Also his 54 combined runs and RBIs ranks second in the majors among catchers. Hitting in the middle of a powerful Blue Jays lineup also bolsters his value.

STICKER SHOCK

Miguel Montero

Arizona

The Venezuelan veteran has fallen on hard times in 2013. After hitting in the .280s and driving in 174 runs the previous two seasons, the lefty swinging Montero's average sits at .199, including a .185 mark against right-handed pitching. Whether it's bad luck or a lack of solid contact, Montero's batting average on balls in play is only .237, a huge drop from the .362 mark he posted last season.

Alex Avila

Detroit

It's looking more and more like Avila's breakout 2011 season, in which he hit 19 homers and knocked in 82 runs with a .389 on-base percentage, was an anomaly rather than the start of something big. Avila scuffled to a .243 mark last year, but still managed a solid .352 OBP. But this year the wheels have completely come off — a .172 average with 12 RBIs in 37 games. Meanwhile, backup Brayan Pena is hitting .307 and has knocked in 10 runs in about half as many at-bats.

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