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Between William Contreras becoming an instrumental part of the Braves lineup, MJ Melendez picking up starts in right field with the return of Salvador Perez, and Mitch Garver coming back from a strained forearm to do Mitch Garver things, the catcher position is suddenly awash with potential impact bats.

The latest to enter the spotlight is Alejandro Kirk, a hitter whose profile has had me hopeful from the beginning. He spends half his time at DH, giving him the potential for more playing time than the average catcher. He's also striking out just 8.3 percent of the time, a lower rate than even Luis Arraez, and while his average exit velocity has slipped closer to the middle of the pack this year, he capped his May with a two-homer game Tuesday, tripling his season total and raising his batting average for the month to .324. 

TOR Toronto • #30 • Age: 23
2022 Stats
AVG
.304
HR
3
OPS
.814
AB
125
BB
17
K
12

He's a natural hitter who just so happens to play catcher. And if we're ready to count him among the desirables at the position based both on Tuesday's performance and the entire month-long trend (I personally never discounted him as such, but his roster rate is only 55 percent), then that brings the total number of desirable catchers up to 12 -- i.e., enough to go around in standard one-catcher leagues.

You may quibble about the order -- Yasmani Grandal's ranking being mostly a matter of track record and Adley Rutschman's being mostly a matter of pedigree -- but here's how I size it up:

Scott's top 12 catchers (rest of season)



Roster%


99


99


99


99


99


90


93


55
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Tyler Stephenson CIN C


97
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Mitch Garver TEX C


68


72


61

Notice I'm not counting Gary Sanchez, Keibert Ruiz or Travis d'Arnaud among them. I'm not even counting Sean Murphy, who entered the day as the No. 3 catcher in points leagues (though with some ghastly ratios). What it means is there's actual cushion before the cliff dive, sudden and steep though it is, which should encourage you to make an upside play for someone like Contreras, Melendez or, yes, Kirk. As you can see, Kirk would be my preference of the three.

And actually, despite my adherence to track record in my actual ranks, I did swap out Grandal for Kirk in a shallow 10-team league where I thought I could get away with it. With all the production to be had at the position now, I felt like I could no longer be left out. Grandal is a tougher choice, but if you're still frittering away with an Elias Diaz or Joey Bart, what are you even doing, man?

Let's see who else is available on the waiver wire ...

Possible waiver wire pickups
SEA Seattle • #68 • Age: 24
Rostered
80%
Tuesday at Orioles
INN
6
H
4
ER
0
BB
1
K
8
The top prospect has had a somewhat bumpy transition to the majors, but not enough to justify his roster rate dropping to 74 percent, as had happened prior to this two-start week. Hopefully, this first of those starts is enough to convince you he's good for more than just streaming. His slider, which earned high marks in the minors, finally showed signs of life, registering four of his 11 swinging strikes. Over his past two starts, he has 17 strikeouts compared to one walk in 11 innings, so his 80-grade control appears to be translating. Granted, those two starts came against the Orioles and Athletics, but his upside earns him the benefit of the doubt for now.
MIL Milwaukee • #26 • Age: 24
Rostered
77%
Monday at Cubs
INN
6
H
5
ER
1
BB
2
K
12
The bigger priority than George Kirby, though, in those shallow (or Yahoo) leagues where both remain available is Aaron Ashby, who showed us the full extent of his potential in his second turn replacing Freddy Peralta on Monday. What's crazy is the changeup was responsible for 10 of his 21 swinging strikes in this one, and it's not even his put-away pitch. How high is the upside? Imagine the ground ball-generating skills of a Framber Valdez, but with a top-12 swinging-strike rate to boot. The control has been suspect, but over his past four appearances, Ashby has 26 strikeouts compared to five walks in 16 2/3 innings.
ARI Arizona • #53 • Age: 31
Rostered
58%
2022 Stats
AVG
.208
HR
13
OPS
.781
AB
173
BB
22
K
38
With a 3-for-4 performance Tuesday, Christian Walker ended the month of May with a .255 batting average, nine home runs and .936 OPS. He's been generating premium exit velocities all year, albeit with extreme fly-ball tendencies, and they seem to be rewarding him more as the weather warms up. The season-long batting average might scare you away, but he's been a top 10 first baseman in Head-to-Head points leagues regardless. As it is, his BABIP is only .189, offering definite room for improvement even if it projects to be on the low side.
ATL Atlanta • #65 • Age: 23
Rostered
47%
Monday at Diamondbacks
INN
4.1
H
4
ER
5
BB
2
K
7
If you were already skeptical of Spencer Strider's transition from the bullpen to the starting rotation, the final line Monday may have scared you away entirely, but it's about as misleading as they come. Two non-errors were responsible for all of the runs: an unnecessary attempt at a sliding catch by Marcell Ozuna and a dropped throw on a should-be double play for Matt Olson. Otherwise, Strider piled up whiffs just like he did in the bullpen. He also showed the makings of a third pitch, a changeup, actually throwing it more than his well-established slider, and it was good for a 50 percent whiff rate.
MIN Minnesota • #13 • Age: 25
Rostered
14%
2022 Stats
AVG
.299
HR
3
OBP
.375
OPS
.890
AB
97
K
33
Trevor Larnach doubled in both games of a doubleheader Tuesday, continuing his impressive run since returning from a groin strain last week. Over his past eight games, he's batting .364 (8 for 22) with three homers and three doubles, actually walking more times (seven) than he's struck out (six). Meanwhile, his average exit velocity is in the 90th percentile, and his launch angle is optimized for power. Keeping the strikeouts down could be the key to his success. He also needs to prove he can play regularly against lefties. Still, now is the time to take a flier in five-outfielder leagues.
TEX Texas • #47 • Age: 25
Rostered
3%
2022 Minors
AVG
.273
HR
4
SB
8
BB
.382
OPS
.805
AB
161
The recent call-up went 3 for 4 in his debut Monday, then started a second consecutive game at third base Tuesday, getting hit by a pitch twice and stealing his first base. It's that willingness to run that might be the key to his Fantasy relevance. The 24-year-old consistently hit for average in the minors, keeping his strikeout rate down and making the sort of high-quality contact that tends to yield high BABIPs, but he didn't elevate well enough to be a major source of power. His best output came last year, when he homered 13 times in 78 games with a .309/.429/.535 slash line. Certainly, it helps that he'll be picking up eligibility at the weakest position in Fantasy.