Vogt for Stephen: Should You Add the Oakland Athletic Catcher in Fantasy Baseball?
If you're as big of a fan of Stephen Vogt as I am, you'll know that the title of this article is a play on words for his full name: Stephen Guy Vogt. He's soon to be catcher-eligible in ESPN fantasy baseball leagues, and is somebody who could provide consistent production with increased playing time at catcher this season.
Vogt is joined only by Josh Phegley on the Athletics' roster at catcher, and it looks like they'll have a platoon split for the season. Being a left-handed hitter will earn Vogt starts against right-handed pitchers, and Phegley should get the nod against lefties given his right-handed bat. Luckily for Vogt and fantasy owners, there are a lot more righties than lefties, so that will give him a boost in plate appearances (PAs).
Despite a limited amount of at-bats in 2014, Vogt was able to finish 29th among catchers in nERD. It's an extremely small sample size so far, but he's currently ranked as 30th in nERD scale with a score of 6.25.
Some other statistics we can look at that are encouraging for Vogt are his SwStr% (the amount of swings and misses in relation to the total number of pitches a player sees) and O-Swing% (the percentage of swings at pitches outside the zone in relation to the total number of pitches outside the zone), calculated through FanGraphs. His career SwStr% is 5.7%, and his career O-Swing% is 29.5%. The average, for the record, is 9.5% for SwStr%, and Vogt is well below that in his career. He's also within the average for the league with an O-Swing% of 30%. You wouldn’t want a player swinging at pitches outside the zone consistently or swinging and missing a lot because it probably says more about the hitter than it does about the pitchers he’s facing.
Vogt and Phegley Breakdown
The table below shows the splits for Vogt and Phegley.
|AVG vLHP||AVG vRHP||wOBA vLHP||wOBA vRHP||SLG vLHP||SLG vRHP||wRC vLHP||wRC vRHP||wRC+ vLHP||wRC+ vRHP|
Clearly, the A's are trying to capitalize on this platoon by using the two batters. Vogt and Phegley. It’s evident that Vogt will be the starting catcher to face right-handed pitchers, and should be given serious consideration in deeper fantasy baseball leagues. As of now, he’s only 9.2% owned in ESPN leagues, but that’s due to the fact that he’s strictly first base eligible. As mentioned earlier, he’ll be catcher eligible within the next week and half, as he only needs eight more games to achieve catcher status.
Vogt for Stephen to be your catcher, and I promise you won’t regret it.