Dynasty Baseball

2021 Dynasty Baseball Profile: Diego Cartaya

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Welcome back for the next article in my year-long 2021 Dynasty Baseball Profile series. Today we focus our attention on Diego Cartaya.

I have been chronicling some lesser-known prospects that, depending on your league size, you might want to target in a trade or pick up off the waiver wire.

It seems like in these early articles for the series I have been covering prospects from my favorite player development organizations. I suppose it is not a coincidence.

Makes sense that the teams consistently doing the best job in developing young players will churn out more than their fair share of quality players.

I view, in no particular order, the Los Angeles Dodgers, Tampa Bay Rays and Cleveland Indians as three of the best teams at developing talent.

I have already written about Alexfri Planez and Brayan Rocchio from Cleveland.

Now that I am doing a Dodger, I suppose that means next week the Tampa Bay Rays are up!

2021 Dynasty Baseball Profile: Diego Cartaya

Profile

Diego Cartaya is a 19-year-old Catcher from Venezuela in the Los Angeles Dodgers Minor League system. He was J2 signee from the 2018 class. He comes in at 380 in my Dynasty Baseball Rankings, 20th overall at the Catching position just behind Austin Wells (New York Yankees) and just ahead of Francisco Alvarez (New York Mets).

Catchers are not highly coveted assets in Dynasty Baseball. This stems from the fact that they get far less at bats than the best players from every other position. With that being said, if you can get your hands on the best hitting catchers in the game you can gain quite an advantage at the position over your opponents.

If you are looking for a Catcher to target in Dynasty then you are quite simply looking for one that has or could have an impact bat. In that regard, Diego Cartaya is a guy that should be on your radar, if he isn’t already.

Let’s take a look at each of his tools, where they are now, and where I project them to be at his prime.

Hit

This is going to be the right-handed Cartaya’s calling card. With a very simple, yet effective, approach to the plate, he maximizes contact over power. His bat quickly enters the zone and maintains a vertical path while staying there for a good stretch of time. This helps him to limit some swing and miss, though it is still a bit of a concern. Granted, it is hard-pressed to find a young player that doesn’t have some swing and miss concerns.

Cartaya demonstrates an above-average strike-zone awareness. His ability to recognize pitches isn’t as good as you would expect for someone that relies so heavily on his hit tool. That is not to say it is a weakness. He falls right about average for his age in this regard. While Cartaya doesn’t have the same upside of a lot of the bats that you will see me profile, he does grade out very well compared to other catchers.

Current Grade: 50 Prime Grade: 60

Power

His swing is geared toward generating contact more than power, as previously mentioned. He does however have a lot of upside he could unlock in this department if he so desired.  He shows great weight transfer during his swing and with a powerful frame could add some loft to his swing and generate plus power.

The potential for a 25 home run bat exists.  That would make for a fantastic fantasy attribute.  It would be reckless to think he could produce that kind of power without sacrificing a lot of the hit tool though.  Maybe he will end up settling on a happy medium or maybe he will stick with what has been working for him.  Only time will tell.

Current Grade:40 Prime Grade: 50

Speed

As with most Catchers, Cartaya is not going to provide you with any value from stolen bases. While he is quite athletic this is not a portion of his game that is or will be noteworthy.

Current Grade:30 Prime Grade: 30

Field

More than any other position I think fielding is crucial for Catchers. Like all other positions, defense can often be overlooked when it comes to Dynasty. While you do not get any stats, in most leagues, from defense it does allow a player more opportunities to play and get at bats.

Thankfully, Cartaya is proving to be more than a serviceable player behind the dish. As I mentioned, he is surprisingly athletic. That does not translate for him to the bases but it certainly helps him defensively. He has the upside to be a plus defender, which would be helpful in Dynasty. This would allow you to get the maximum out of a position that can tend to be scarce for at bats unless you own the top-tier guys.

Current Grade: 55 Prime Grade 60

Arm

Part of what makes Cartaya an above-average defender is his arm. Pitchers will love his strong arm with good pop times, helping to stymie the running game. He has a fairly accurate arm that should get better in time. Which leaves some room on the bone for his prime grade to rise from his current grade. Needless to say, Cartaya’s defense shouldn’t hold him back from becoming the type of Dynasty producer we are hoping he can be.

Current Grade: 60 Prime Grade 65

Overall

All in all, Diego Cartaya has what you are looking for in a young Dynasty Catcher asset. He possesses a solid bat with room to improve. Defensively he will not be a liability and cause the need for a larger than normal platoon.

Other than Pitching prospects I would argue that Catching prospects are the next most volatile. With catchers being the least important position to a lot of Dynasty owners you could argue that going out of your way to target one is a fool’s errand. I would counter that argument by pointing out the advantages you can gain if you end up with one of the best hitters at the position.

With Cartaya, he is still young enough that acquiring him shouldn’t be cost-prohibitive. Another sneaky factor is that he seems to be quite well blocked at the position right now. With the Big League club having one of the best up-and-coming Catcher in Will Smith and a highly touted prospect in Keibert Ruiz that is ahead of him developmentally. That being said I expect that someone will fizzle out. Or, more likely, the Dodgers will end trading someone as they help to improve their Big League roster.

If Cartaya ends up being the player they move it would be a bitter sweet happening. On one hand, that means the team acquiring him clearly likes him and sees him as a vital player to their future. On the other side of the coin, he would be leaving one of the best developmental systems in the game. So it would be likely that he lands in a spot that is less desirable on that front. All of this is speculation of course.

What matters most is that Cartaya should come fairly cheaply on the trade market. If you can afford to sit on him for two or three years your patience and foresight could be highly rewarded. He has the profile that you look for at the Catching position. I would highly suggest you target him before it is too late.


Current Grade: 50 Future Grade: 55


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About Dave Eddy

Dave is the Director of Dynasty Baseball here at Fantasy Six Pack. He is also author of the Dynasty Baseball Rankings. Feel free to reach out to him anytime on twitter @CorporalEddy

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