Fantasy Baseball Rankings: Catchers

When I prepare for any fantasy draft, I always rank players into tiers. This way, you will have a better understanding while drafting of when there is a big drop-off in talent. Using this type of drafting strategy should lead to an increase in overall value for your team.

When compiling my rankings, I focus on a couple of major factors. First, I look at last year’s statistics. That is obviously a great place to start because it is the most recent data to project how a player might perform this year.

Then, I look into any circumstantial changes a player might have going into this year. For example, was this player traded? Did this trade lead to a new ballpark that may be more/less favorable to hitters/pitchers? Is this player surrounded by new players in the lineup? Is this player going into a contract year? Is this player injury-prone of currently injured? All of these questions can give you a better idea of who might have the biggest jump or drop from last year’s performance.

Next, I look into the player’s history. This is less important in my opinion than the first two steps of analysis because a lot can change in two or three years. What it does help me with is it shows me which players I can feel confident and safe in drafting due to a consistent run of seasons of similar statistics.

Finally, the last factor that I use in my rankings is the team that the player plays for. I mean this in a couple of different ways. I personally believe that first and foremost, fantasy sports is supposed to be enjoyable. So, if you are deciding between a few players who on paper have similar values, go ahead and be a homer and take your favorite team’s player ahead of the others. But more importantly, I look for teams that I believe will still be playing competitive baseball towards the end of the season. I have been burned many times by having my top player get a minor injury come fantasy playoff time, only to be rested for the remainder of the season due to their actual team not having any chance of making the real playoffs. If you are deciding between two players close in every other category, my advice is lean towards the player that you are confident will be in a playoff push towards the end of the year. This will give you the best chance of them playing competitive baseball when it matters most in your fantasy season.

Here are my Catcher rankings going into this season:

  1. Buster Posey, Giants
  2. Gary Sanchez, Yankees
  3. Jonathan Lucroy, Rangers
  4. Evan Gattis, Astros
  5. Willson Contreras, Cubs
  6. Salvador Perez,Royals
  7. Yasmani Grandal, Dodgers
  8. J.T. Realmuto, Marlins
  9. Russell Martin, Blue Jays
  10. Yadier Molina, Cardinals
  11. Brian McCann, Astros
  12. Wellington Castillo, Orioles
  13. Stephen Vogt, Athletics
  14. Matt Wieters, Nationals
  15. Tom Murphy, Rockies
  16. Cameron Rupp, Phillies
  17. Wilson Ramos, Rays
  18. Travis D’Arnaud, Mets
  19. Devin Mesoraco, Reds
  20. Mike Zunino, Mariners
  21. Yan Gomes, Indians
  22. Jason Castro, Twins
  23. Sandy Leon, Red Sox
  24. James McCann, Tigers
  25. Austin Hedges, Padres
  26. Francisco Cervelli, Pirates
  27. Derek Norris, Nationals
  28. Jeff Bandy,Brewers
  29. Tom Wolters, Rockies
  30. Tucker Barnhart, Reds

Catcher is always a tough position in fantasy. At least this year it is not just Buster Posey and then everyone else. Sanchez and Lucroy both could arguably be drafted ahead of Posey simply based on a higher ceiling for both of them. Regardless, these three players should all be drafted somewhere in rounds 4-5 of standard 12-team drafts.

Gary Sanchez.jpg
Gary Sanchez bursted onto the fantasy scene towards the end of last season. He is primed for a huge year in his first full year in the big leagues.

After that, Gattis and Contreras are both high-quality options, but both have question marks that make them tough to draft before the 8th round.

If you miss out on one of the top five catchers out there, you better do what you can to draft someone from the third tier before a big drop-off. After that, you will be picking from people with either big flaws or big question marks regarding their situations.

 

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