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Dynasty Catcher Rankings for Fantasy Baseball

Catchers are still a necessary evil in the fantasy realm. For that reason, we will finish our analysis of the dynasty positional rankings with those that wield the tools of ignorance.

We've already reviewed the rest of the positions around the diamond. Check out analysis on my dynasty rankings with a look at first base, second base, third base, shortstop, outfield, and starting pitcher.

As we prepare for the first pitch of the 2021 MLB season, make sure your dynasty squad is prepared with our in-depth prospect analysis.

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers received five total writing awards and 13 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association, tops in the industry! Congrats to all the award winners and nominees including Best MLB Series, NFL Series, NBA Writer, PGA Writer and Player Notes writer of the year. Be sure to follow their analysis, rankings and advice all year long, and win big with RotoBaller! Read More!

 

Dynasty Catcher Rankings

Ranking Tier Player Positions
1 1 J.T. Realmuto C
2 1 Will Smith C
3 1 Salvador Perez C
4 2 Willson Contreras C
5 2 Sean Murphy C
6 2 Adley Rutschman C
7 3 Gary Sanchez C
8 3 Alejandro Kirk C
9 3 Daulton Varsho C,OF
10 3 Joey Bart C
11 3 Yasmani Grandal C,1B
12 3 Travis d'Arnaud C,1B
13 4 Carson Kelly C
14 4 Ryan Jeffers C
15 4 Austin Nola C
16 4 Isiah Kiner-Falefa C,3B,SS
17 4 Keibert Ruiz C,1B,2B
18 4 Christian Vazquez C,1B
19 4 James McCann C
20 5 Tyler Stephenson C
21 5 Mitch Garver C
22 5 Danny Jansen C
23 5 Jorge Alfaro C
24 5 Yan Gomes C
25 5 Buster Posey C,1B
26 6 Heriberto Hernandez C,OF
27 6 Yadier Molina C
28 6 Sam Huff C
29 6 Victor Caratini C,1B
30 6 Elias Diaz C
31 6 Francisco Mejia C
32 7 Zack Collins C
33 7 Shea Langeliers C
34 7 Mike Zunino C
35 7 Austin Barnes C
36 7 Roberto Perez C
37 7 Tom Murphy C
38 7 Chance Sisco C
39 7 Jacob Stallings C
40 7 Kurt Suzuki C
41 7 Cal Raleigh C
42 7 William Contreras C
43 8 Omar Narvaez C
44 8 Max Stassi C
45 8 Pedro Severino C
46 8 Bo Naylor C
47 8 Martin Maldonado C
48 8 Luis Torrens C
49 8 Wilson Ramos C
50 8 Andrew Knizner C
51 8 Kyle Higashioka C
52 9 Grayson Greiner C
53 9 Jonah Heim C
54 9 Jose Trevino C
55 9 Tucker Barnhart C
56 9 MJ Melendez C
57 9 Austin Hedges C
58 9 Willians Astudillo C,1B,3B
59 9 Ronaldo Hernandez C
60 9 Jacob Nottingham C
61 9 Manny Pina C
62 9 Alex Jackson C
63 9 Chad Wallach C
64 9 Luis Campusano C
65 9 Jason Castro C
66 9 Stephen Vogt C,OF
67 10 Austin Wells C
68 10 Andrew Knapp C
69 10 Curt Casali C
70 10 Austin Romine C
71 10 Austin Allen C
72 10 Kyle Farmer C,1B,2B,3B,SS
73 10 Jake Rogers C
74 10 Alex Avila C
75 10 Diego Cartaya C
76 10 Kyle Overstreet C
77 10 Chadwick Tromp C
78 10 Francisco Alvarez C
79 10 Miguel Amaya C
80 10 Tyler Soderstrom C

 

Preseason Thoughts

I've gone on record saying that the Dodgers' Will Smith is vastly overvalued in 2021 redraft leagues. That doesn't do anything to affect my opinion of him in dynasty/keeper leagues, though. Smith may only start around 90 games this year but there's no way Dave Roberts keeps him on the pine in favor of Austin Barnes beyond 2021. He boasts an impressive 1.5% K-BB% from last season along with a .306 ISO that hints at his power potential over a full season. I wouldn't overpay this season but he's well worth the cost in dynasty.

If Sean Murphy stays healthy, he could replace the type of value many are expecting from Smith this season. Murphy suffered a scare when he had to undergo surgery for a collapsed lung just weeks ago but seems to be fully recovered and has already jacked a pair of homers this spring. He is projected for a .240 average and 16 HR but there could be more power ready to be unlocked. His strong defense behind the plate and lack of true competition for playing time make him a high-floor player that could hold down the catcher spot for years to come.

It might seem premature to put Adley Rutschman so high when he hasn't played a game above Single-A ball but that's how good he can be. There simply aren't many players, if any, who can match his upside. The former top overall pick could come along quicker than expected and make an appearance in late 2021 before competing for a job the following season.

Alejandro Kirk has won a spot on the Jays' roster, although most of his time won't be behind the plate initially. Kirk is expected to serve as the DH on the weak side of a platoon with Rowdy Tellez while giving Danny Jansen the occasional breather. This is a loaded lineup so even if he slots in at the bottom of the order, there could be plentiful RBI opportunities. Kirk has a plus hit tool with an extremely low propensity to strike out, so there's little risk to his profile. He could ascend toward the top-five catcher ranks by year's end. Unfortunately, the buy-low window in dynasty closed several weeks ago.

As far as the Twins' position battle at catcher, it might be obvious which way I'm leaning. While Mitch Garver had a breakout season in 2019 with 31 HR and he, along with many others, might be excused for a down 2020, it still stands as a clear outlier on his resume. He did retain his 50% hard-hit rate last year and battled injuries but he also struck out at an absurd 45.7% clip and looked lost at the plate. Now 30 years old, Garver isn't a player I'm interested in for redraft and especially keeper leagues. Jeffers has similar upside with his 60-grade raw power and should take over the starting gig full-time by next season.

It would be nice to see Tyler Stephenson assume control behind the plate this season but he is still searching for consistency. Tucker Barnhart will again see more at-bats than we'd like but his offense has been on the decline with a batting average that has dropped three straight seasons down to .204 in 2020. After a rough spring, the ball may soon be in Stephenson's court and the transition to their future backstop could come by midseason. Stephenson is a player to consider highly in dynasty but also should be watched in NL-only and two-catcher redraft leagues.

 

Deeper Options to Watch

I haven't given up on Francisco Mejia just yet but this is clearly a make-or-break year. Best known for his epic 50-game hitting streak in the minors, he has struggled to a .225 average in the majors since first appearing in 2017 with Cleveland. It should be noted that a) he has all of 334 Major League at-bats under his belt and b) he was 21 years old when he first got the call. Moving to a third team already can't help his progression but so far it looks like a smooth transition. "We're excited, thrilled with where he's at," Rays manager Kevin Cash said in early March. Mejia doesn't have to do much to outperform Mike Zunino on offense so his handling of the pitching staff will be key. He is one of my favorite "buy low" trade targets entering 2021.

Zack Collins was a prolific hitter at the University of Miami and wound up as a top-10 pick in the 2016 amateur draft. His adeptness behind the plate is questionable but he could be a natural fit at DH. With Eloy Jimenez out for the year and Adam Engel injured, there are rumblings that the team will ask top prospect Andrew Vaughn to try out left field which might leave DH open for Collins. His initial 120-PA sample of Major League action has left an unappealing .167/.286/.314 slash line but he could finally be ready to contribute with regular playing time.

Cal Raleigh is a favorite prospect of former catcher and RotoBaller analyst Eric Samulski, so much so that he even made a bold prediction about him. His 60-grade power could make an impact in the latter half of the 2021 season, so be prepared to move him up your board or stash him now.

If you've ever accidentally added William Contreras to your draft queue thinking it was his brother Willson, you aren't alone. Despite a strong spring in which he hit .333 with a homer and six RBI over 18 at-bats and showed great patience with a 6-7 BB-K rate, he didn't make the Braves' Opening Day roster. The younger Contreras is just 23 and was deprived of a minor league season in 2020, so he only has 60 games of experience at Double-A and 10 plate appearances in the majors. He'll take another year of seasoning while more experienced Alex Jackson handles backup duties in Atlanta but the power ceiling is high and he should be kept on dynasty radars.

Cleveland has Roberto Perez and Austin Hedges on one-year deals for the time being but Bo Naylor is the future at the position. At least he will be if he can prove capable defensively. What he possesses in offensive skill is what Perez and Hedges lack and vice versa. Naylor has plus power but needs at least two years of seasoning before he makes an impact in the majors.

An interesting name that came to Texas in the Elvis Andrus trade is Jonah Heim. He has made the team's Opening Day roster and could split duties with Jose Trevino throughout the season. Although he doesn't have extraordinary tools, he could wrestle away the starting job and offer enough pop to be of interest in two-catcher or deep dynasty leagues.



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