As we officially say goodbye to the 2021-2022 fantasy football season, we look forward to the 2022 fantasy baseball season (hopefully.) Although the start of the season is in jeopardy at this time as the players and the league are in a stalemate on a new collective bargaining agreement, we will continue to believe that baseball and warmer weather are on the horizon.
Just as he has done in years past, Nate will bring his favorite sleepers per position of the upcoming fantasy baseball season. For each position he will offer three sleepers, with outfielders seeing five suggestions. He’ll take into consideration both points and category leagues in his suggestions.
We’ll kick it off with the catcher position. This is a position I refuse to draft early and use one of my last picks to fulfill. Catchers don’t play every day, so wasting an early pick on a player that isn’t seeing every-day-play is not the best strategy. On top of this, the recent trend has been that the year prior’s top catchers have not gone on to repeat their success the following year.
Anyhow, let’s start talking fantasy baseball. I hope you’re as excited as I am.
Mitch Garver - Minnesota Twins
Position Rank: 12th
2021 Stats: .256 BA, 207 AB, 29 R, 13 HR, 34 RBI, 1 SB & .875 OPS
In the three years I have been doing these fantasy baseball sleeper series, I believe Garver has been featured in every one of them. Last year I was definitely all over the Twins’ backstop after he had a poor shortened 2020 season. He returned to form in 2021 and I expect much of the same in 2022. Everyone knows Garver for his insane 2019 campaign where he hit 31 home runs and was that year’s Salvador Perez. Last season his power numbers weren’t as high but he hit for a good average and an OPS. Garver will also most likely hit fifth behind names such as Max Kepler, Josh Donaldson, Byron Buxton and Jorge Polanco. Not spending up for a catcher early, while still getting Garver in your league would be a win in my books.
Omar Narvaez - Milwaukee Brewers
Position Rank: 17th
2021 Stats: .266 BA, 391 AB, 54 R, 11 HR, 49 RBI & .743 OPS
Omar Narvaez is one of the most consistent catchers in the league. He plays a lot of games and therefore gets a lot of at bats, which is ideal when looking for a catcher. Narvaez hits for a good average and finds a way to get on base, despite having a low exit velocity. Some players have a knack for hitting the ball in the perfect places and that is Narvaez. He still hits a few homers and a decent amount of RBIs in a season. He’s better for category leagues than point leagues however.
Austin Nola - San Diego Padres
Position Rank: 26th
2021 Stats: .272 BA, 173 AB, 15 R, 2 HR, 29 RBI & .716 OPS
Austin Nola burst onto the scene during the shortened 2020 season. Injuries played a role in limiting the Padres’ catcher last season, as he missed the entire first month of the 2021 season with a hand injury, then missed time with a knee injury and ended up having hand surgery during the end of the season. He’s back to full health to start this 2022 season. Let’s not forget that the Padres gave up a big package to land Nola. He was unable to get into a groove last season being in-and-out with injuries. He still managed to hit for a great average. I expect him to bounce back here in 2022. Let’s also not forget that he’s hitting in a star-studded Padres’ lineup.