I'm trying to hold back my optimism about Mitch Garver. The Mariners largest and longest free agent signing handed out to a hitter now belongs to Garver, and he is going to potentially see the most ABs he has ever seen in his career. The previous high came in 2019 with the Twins, when Garver would blast 31 homers in just 311 ABs across 93 games.
As the Mariners likely leading Designated Hitter and backup catcher, it would be easy and expected for Garver to break into the 400 AB realm this season, especially if he is able to stay healthy. Garver should see at least half the season at DH, and then 20-30 games behind the plate as well.
Mitch Garver should see enough ABs to be a solid late round flyer in your drafts
This is one of the things that hurt Crawford, but that same reason actually helps Mitch Garver. He has catcher eligibility, which is a great boon to have for someone who is going to see a large amount of ABs. We talked about Cal Raleigh coming in around the 5th best catcher in fantasy, but Garver needs to be thought of if you want to wait to fill the position.
Here's the reason why. Garver has a good bat, with batting averages of .268, .273, .256 and .270. He also has HR rates of 8.6%, 5.4%, 4.7%, and 5.5%, and those numbers correspond to each other. With four seasons of exit velo of 90+ as well, it's a great combo for success for someone who puts the ball in play and hits it hard.
With the Mariners possibly putting Garver into the 4/5/6 range in the lineup, there could be a lot of opportunities for RBI for Garver. He could easily slot into your lineup late and fill a UTIL or C spot. IF he does get around 400 AB while keeping up those prior averages from his good seasons, it wouldn't be outlandish to expect a .255 BA with 25 HR and 70 RBI. I think you take that all day from your catcher.
A Bench flyer or late Catcher off the board is a perfect place for Garver, and he could be a nice surprise value at that spot. The great thing is that if he struggles, you didn't waste a big pick on him. The risk is worth the reward here, and Garver should be a target late in your draft.