Joe’s Top 30 Catcher Rankings

  • Catcher stinks, and we all know it. It might be deeper this year than in previous years thanks to an influx of young talent, but that doesn’t mean that the player pool is deep by any means. There are varying opinions on catcher strategy, but for my money, it makes the most sense to secure someone that you think will be able to last the entire year at the position, as opposed to taking a back-end catcher or streaming the spot and hoping for the best. Once you exit the top-15 (and arguably earlier) it starts to look pretty rough, with playing time and production becoming more and more of a question mark as each name goes by.

    Let’s get into it!

    1 JT Realmuto
    2 Daulton Varsho
    3 Will Smith
    4 Alejandro Kirk
    5 Adley Rutschman
    6 Salvador Perez
    7 Willson Contreras
    8 Tyler Stephenson
    9 MJ Melendez
    10 Sean Murphy
    11 William Contreras
    12 Danny Jansen
    13 Yasmani Grandal
    14 Cal Raleigh
    15 Keibert Ruiz
    16 Eric Haase
    17 Travis D’Arnaud
    18 Gabriel Moreno
    19 Logan O’Hoppe
    20 Christian Bethancourt
    21 Jonah Heim
    22 Christian Vazquez
    23 Elias Diaz
    24 Bo Naylor
    25 Jose Trevino
    26 Nick Fortes
    27 Austin Nola
    28 Gary Sanchez
    29 Omar Narvaez
    30 Joey Bart

    Realmuto is still the king. The security that you get with him across all five standard roto categories is very rare since he is the only catcher who truly helps you across the board. Varsho isn’t too far behind but the lack of a positive batting average for him is what separates those two at the top of the pyramid

    Will Smith still seems to be slightly underrated. The Dodgers didn’t exactly improve their lineup this offseason, but there is no reason to think that he can’t get back to the 25 HR mark with solid counting stats and a strong batting average for the position (he’s projected to be top-5 in that regard from ATC Projections on Fangraphs).

    I’m generally a little bit higher on Alejandro Kirk than most in the industry, but he is likely the only catcher with a real shot to hit .300 this year. He should also be around the 20 HR range and excellent counting stats can be expected in the middle of a very potent Blue Jays lineup. I’m willing to reach a round or two for him this year. He generally goes outside the top-100 in two-catcher leagues, which is a steal.

    Tyler Stephenson has the potential to do great things for fantasy managers if he can stay on the field this year. We know that he is a legit .280-.290 hitter that should reach the mid-teens in HR considering he plays in Cincinnati at the most power-friendly park in the majors. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if he ended the year as a top-5 option at the position.

    These rankings really don’t stray too far from the early ADP data we have, with one notable exception: Yasmani Grandal. He’s going off the board as roughly the 20th catcher and despite his down 2022 season, that feels too low for me. Projections are also pretty low on him, but I think a lot of that comes down to the games played projections, typically in the 90 range. His power was non-existent last year, but he is certainly still capable of a 20 HR season with great counting stats. He’s a big target of mine considering the price.

    My ranking of Gabriel Moreno is assuming that he will take over the everyday role from Carson Kelly at some point sooner rather than later. His lack of power was lamented by fantasy players last year, but he only had 73 plate appearances in the bigs while trying to find a job in the crowded Blue Jays lineup. Oh, and he also batted .319 in the bigs. The highly touted prospect could absolutely eat if he is given the playing time, and I’m really hoping Arizona doesn’t take too long to realize that he is their catcher of the present and future.

    Bo Naylor is in a similar boat to Moreno. He is absolutely big-league-ready, it’s just a matter of how much the Guardians will use him, and when. He has dominated in the minors, showing a power-speed combo that is rare for catchers and has fantasy managers (and dynasty players in particular) salivating at the thought of him getting regular ABs. If Cleveland has any sense in their heads (and the past indicates that they do), we shouldn’t have to wait long to see Naylor thrive at the big-league level.

    Gary Sanchez is a tough player to rank because he is still currently unsigned. By the time this list gets updated before the season starts, there is a chance that he doesn’t make the top-30. If he signs somewhere before the season, he will likely get pretty regular playing time and be able to be roughly a top-25 asset behind the dish. Admittedly, there are a lot of “ifs” involved.

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