The Brewers sold Jonathan Lucroy at the trade deadline, and he responded with a brilliant stint for the Rangers. He almost matched his homer total in 338 Milwaukee at-bats (13) during his 152 with Texas (11), and Lucroy quickly erased any doubts following his injury-marred 2015 campaign. The Rangers picked up his option basically hours after the 2016 World Series ended, which will keep him in one of the best run-producing spots of any catcher. The biggest fantasy question, though, is whether the 30-year-old will come close to repeating his career high in home runs. At Rangers Ballpark, he smacked six of them - one for every 12.5 at-bats there. Staying in Arlington bolsters his potential to do that again, to go along with his elite batting average profile (career .284 clip, 85.8 contact percentage). In most draft rooms, Gary Sanchez and Buster Posey will wind up as slightly more expensive options, but Lucroy could be acquired for less and easily outperform them, yielding the best profit of the trio.
Lucroy has gone 3-for-11 with one RBI and two strikeouts in three WBC games. His playing time has been somewhat limited for Team USA, with Buster Posey taking on the larger share of the workload behind the plate, but the Rangers have not publicly expressed any concern about Lucroy not being up to speed for the start of the regular season. Lucroy went 5-for-12 in Cactus League play before leaving Rangers camp. The 30-year-old should be viewed as a top-three fantasy catcher for 2017.
GM Jon Daniels said Tuesday that the Rangers will pick up the team option on Lucroy's contract for the 2017 season, MLB.com's TR Sullivan reports. Tuesday's announcement comes as no surprise, given that he posted an .884 OPS after being acquired by the Rangers and will come at a major bargain in 2017 at $5.25 million. Lucroy will be the Rangers' primary catcher next year and one of the top backstop options in fantasy leagues.
Lucroy is out of the lineup Saturday against the Rays. With a win Friday, the Rangers clinched home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, so they can afford to rest some of their veterans Saturday. Lucroy posted just a .710 OPS in September, his lowest mark in any month this season, but he's still been the top fantasy catcher this season.
Lucroy is out of the lineup Saturday against the A's. The Rangers are resting most of their regulars after clinching the division Friday night. Robinson Chirinos will start at catcher and bat eighth Saturday.
Lucroy is out of the lineup Sunday against the A's, Stefan Stevenson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. With Lucroy out of the lineup, Robinson Chirinos will start behind the dish against Ross Detwiler and the Athletics. Lucroy has had a solid showing at the plate over the last seven games, as he's posted a .273/.304/.455 line with a home run and six RBI.