The popularity of fantasy baseball is growing every year. Whether you are a fantasy baseball veteran in multiple leagues each season, someone who plays casually or completely new to the game, there is a lot to know before creating your fantasy squad.
The New York Yankees often boast plenty of fantasy options, and this year is no different after some huge additions this winter. You can look at a player’s value on the field and how they help the Yankees a certain way, but should take a different approach when analyzing their fantasy value.
Fantasy players should take into account the size of their league, position eligibility, league scoring settings, position scarcity, injury history, playing time, ballpark and many other factors when determining whether a player is a prudent pick and when (or how much to spend) to draft them. As always, keep in mind who you are drafting with. If you are in a league with a ton of Yankee fans, you’re probably going to have to overpay for Yankee players.
When taking a look at the top Yankees, there are a few stark differences in fantasy values with some. A few years ago, guys like C.C. Sabathia and Carlos Beltran were some of the first few players taken in drafts. Now the two veterans can be had for cheaper, but can still provide plenty of value. Some players are more valuable than they ever have been thanks to new roles on the team, and some are making their debuts on the fantasy scene. Over the course of Spring Training we’ll take a look at the top 10 most valuable Yankees in fantasy baseball. Counting down from 10 to 1, we’ll take an in-depth look at each player, what they can provide this year and when you should add them to your team. We continue our list with the fourth most valuable Yankee in fantasy baseball:
Brian McCann, C (Auction Value – $15)
It’s no secret that the 2013 version of the Yankees were not your typical “Bronx Bombers.” As a team, they finished 16th in the league in runs scored and 24th in average (.242). One big reason for that was the hole they had in their lineup the entire season at the catcher position. Chris Stewart — a great defensive catcher in his, well, defense — was one of the worst hitters among starters around the league.
He played 109 games for the Yankees and had a .293 OBP and embarrassing .566 OPS. But he wasn’t the only one. A slew of other catchers contributed to Yankees’ catchers 26th ranked OPS+ of 70. Catchers had just one home run with anyone on base for the entire season, and the crew combined to rank dead last in home runs (8) and total bases (148).
So wisely, general manager Brian Cashman went out right away this winter and addressed the situation perfectly by signing Brian McCann. One of the best — if not the best — hitting catcher in the league since 2006. McCann has had at least 20 home runs in six straight seasons and has a career .823 OPS.
Fantasy-wise, McCann couldn’t have found a better landing spot. The veteran should have plenty of protection in the lineup as long as they’re healthy, and his lefty pull swing plays perfectly in Yankee Stadium. He should be the fifth catcher taken off the board, and will provide power production as good as or better than any other catcher in the league.
In standard 10-team snake drafts, owners should have the luxury of waiting until the mid-teen rounds to nab McCann, and those in auction leagues have a pretty decent value with an average price of $15. All auction leagues are different, of course, and you may get lucky and get him for cheaper. If you’re lucky enough to nab McCann, your only worry will be health. As long as he can give you 450-500 at-bats you’ll have the comfort of not having to worry about your catcher spot all season — something not many fantasy owners will have.