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Catcher - Early Points League Rankings and Tiers


It’s never too early to start looking toward the fantasy baseball season, and I’m here to continue RotoBaller’s position-by-position rankings analysis series for points league and head-to-head (H2H) formats with the increasingly scant catcher position. Traditionally a thin position to begin with, catcher seems to be growing thinner every year as far as fantasy production is concerned. We advise that you either grab one of the surefire studs early, or go ahead and wait awhile during drafts.

Our mixed-league points staff rankings come straight from the minds of myself (a.k.a. the fourth-most accurate MLB expert for 2017 on FantasyPros), JB Branson and Nick Mariano , and we’ve got them broken down into tiers for both the sake of digestible content and because your rankings should always be tiered. For this exercise, hitters get a bump for total bases, walks and take a hit for strikeouts.

Keep an eye out for all other positions to follow! In the meantime, you can also see all of our preliminary 2019 fantasy baseball rankings for mixed leagues here. Bookmark that page and come back for updates throughout the coming months as you prepare to dominate on draft day. Without any more delay, let's take a look at the 2019 catcher points league rankings for January.

Editor's Note: Get any full-season MLB Premium Pass for 50% off. Exclusive access to our Draft Kit, premium rankings, projections, player outlooks, top prospects, dynasty rankings, 15 in-season lineup tools, and over 200 days of expert DFS research. Sign Up Now!

 

2019 Fantasy Baseball Points League Rankings: Catcher

Rank Tier Player Name Position Nick JB Bill
1 1 J.T. Realmuto C/1B 105 130 114
2 1 Gary Sanchez C 121 114 123
3 2 Buster Posey C/1B 143 138 153
4 2 Yadier Molina C 166 164 170
5 2 Wilson Ramos C 175 170 176
6 2 Yasmani Grandal C 185 177 185
7 3 Willson Contreras C 201 188 200
8 3 Salvador Perez C 216 186 213
9 4 Danny Jansen C 244 309 326
10 4 Isiah Kiner-Falefa C/2B/3B 327 326 323
11 4 Francisco Cervelli C 328 338 324
12 4 Francisco Mejia C 334 331 330
13 4 Jorge Alfaro C 345 327 335
14 5 Austin Barnes C 372 360 352
15 5 Willians Astudillo C 404 356 337
16 5 Yan Gomes C 376 362 #N/A
17 5 Mike Zunino C 416 420 #N/A
18 5 Welington Castillo C 417 422 #N/A
19 5 Tucker Barnhart C/1B 430 440 #N/A
20 5 Robinson Chirinos C 435 442 #N/A
21 5 Tom Murphy C 473 469 #N/A
22 5 Tyler Flowers C 490 471 #N/A
23 5 Kurt Suzuki C 497 474 #N/A

 

Catcher Points League Rankings: Upper Tiers

J.T. Realmuto was one of my higher-ranked catchers coming into last year, and I'm happy to see him fulfill his destiny as a poor man's peak Buster Posey. That sexy combination of batting average and moderate power out of the catcher slot gives you a significant advantage right out of the gate, especially considering the state of the catcher position in 2019. I wouldn't quite consider him a top 100 player, but I could see myself edging him just inside that mark if he gets traded to a team that will help boost his run and RBI totals.

Gary Sanchez's 2018=barf emoji. After an All-Star 2017 campaign in which he hit .278 and dropped 33 bombs, he dropped off a cliff last year, finishing with just 89 games played and a miserable .186 batting average. He still hit 18 homers in that time, but in a points league that subtracts for strikeouts he was a curse--he whiffed 94 times, or more than a strikeout every game. I thought I was being aggressive by predicting a bounce-back for El Gary, but my colleagues are even more bullish than I am apparently. Keep an eye on him during drafts, and if he falls outside the top 120 pull the trigger. His place in a frightening lineup and his power potential is too good to pass up there.

Buster Posey is well-removed from his 2012 MVP season, but he is still well above average for the catcher position. His .284 average last year tied for his lowest in a season, and at age 32 Posey still represents a top option from a points perspective--and he'll come much cheaper than Sanchez/Realmuto.

I'm lowest on Yadier Molina so far, and I think by the time we get into draft season I'll have him in Tier 3. He's simply hitting that wall that comes with age, and it isn't going to get any better. Interestingly, he's posted two of the highest homer totals of his career in the last two seasons, but that makes him a better option for roto than points for me.

Wilson Ramos and Yasmani Grandal both carry very similar potential heading into 2019--top five ceiling with some injury risk. If you draft them right around where we've all got them, you won't be putting yourself at too much risk.

 

Catcher Points League Rankings: Middle Tiers

I'm very interested to see what Danny Jansen brings to the table as a full-time player this season. He earned a late-season call-up at the AAA level last year, hitting .275 with 12 homers across 88 games and even chipping in five steals. I'm most interested in his nearly 1:1 walk-strikeout ratio at that level, as he collected 44 bases on balls compared to just 49 strikeouts--if that ratio is sustainable at the next level, Jansen could profile as a J.T. Realmuto-lite with the potential to blossom into the genuine article as soon as this year. I'll own him in plenty of places this year.

We are all afraid of Francisco Cervelli it seems, and with good reason. Elias Diaz emerged as a legitimate offensive threat for the Pirates in limited duty last season, hitting .286 with 10 bombs across 82 games. While I don't feel strongly enough about Diaz's ability to repeat that to rank him this early, he has me raising my eyebrows about Cervelli.

I'll likely end up owning Francisco Mejia in a bunch of spots this year as a stash for later. He hasn't adjusted to major league pitching enough in his limited MLB action to indicate he's a fantasy asset yet, but the pedigree is there and the Padres will either give him a shot to win the majority of time behind the plate or they'll trade him to a team that will do so. I'm taking the chance with one of my later picks in a bunch of drafts.

 

Catcher Points League Rankings: Lowest Tier

If you're not down with Willians Astudillo, you're not down with me. The big dude drops big boy bombs and...well he doesn't have a starting job right now probably, but he can certainly win one with a big spring. He raked in limited time in the majors last year, hitting .355 across 29 games, and while that isn't sustainable if he can keep his average above .270 or so there will be enough thump to justify a roster spot in points leagues. Just a name to keep on your watch list for the time being.

Mike Zunino has traded in his Mariners grays for Tampa Bay Rays navy blue, and while that doesn't necessarily improve his value, it doesn't kill it either. We pretty much know what Zunino is at this point--a guy who's going to float around the Mendoza Line but hit 20 moonshots while he does it. Another one for the watch list, and you'll want to pounce if he goes on a power binge.

I really want Tom Murphy to take the reins on the catcher position in Colorado, because there is fantasy value to be had there. I'm just not positive this is the year he takes a leap forward--or if there is a leap to be taken at all. His plate discipline is atrocious, and that's simply not easy to overcome at the professional level. Here's hoping he spent some time with the Jugs machine this offseason--rooting for you, Tom!

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