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Top 10 Catcher Dynasty Prospects - Fantasy Baseball Rankings

Francisco Alvarez - Fantasy Baseball Prospects, Catcher Rankings, Draft Sleepers

Believe it or not, the catcher position is getting more and more exciting every season. We've witnessed several young catchers debut over the last few seasons and we're going to see several more debut this season.

In fact, as many as six or seven of my Top 10 catching prospects below could realistically see time at the Major League level this season.

This current crop of catching prospects might have the most overall talent we've ever seen. I've never ranked this many catchers inside my top 100 overall before, and that's a testament to how this position is evolving into an impact offensive position.

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Catcher Prospect Rankings for Fantasy Baseball

10. Kevin Parada, New York Mets

If you're a Mets fan, you have to be awfully excited about the catcher position in Queens for the foreseeable future. We already discussed Francisco Alvarez, arguably the top catcher in the game, and now we have Kevin Parada who fell into the Mets' laps at pick 11 this past summer.

Parada absolutely dominated in his final collegiate season at Georgia Tech, blasting 26 home runs in just 60 games while hitting .361 with nearly as many walks (30) as strikeouts (32).

Remember the hype surrounding Joey Bart several years ago after he was taken in the top-5 of the 2018 draft out of Georgia Tech? Well, Parada is a better hitter now than Bart was back then. Parada projects as an above-average hitter with plus power that can get on base at a high clip as well. It's going to be interesting to see how the catcher situation with the Mets shakes out over the next few seasons.


9. Henry Davis, Pittsburgh Pirates

After Cartaya is where the list drops off a bit, roughly 30-40 spots in my overall rankings. With Davis, there are questions about whether or not he can stick behind the plate long-term. He has the arm to stick at catcher, but it remains to be seen if he has the overall defensive skills to stick.

Offensively, he's an average to above-average hitter with above-average power, but neither tool projects to stand out. And don't be fooled by Davis' .380 OBP last season as that was fueled largely by a whopping 20 HBP. Davis' walk rate was only a modest 8.2%. Overall, Davis could develop into a .260/20 bat, but his upside doesn't reach the level that the names ahead of him provide.

8. Diego Cartaya, Los Angeles Dodgers

With Diego Cartaya, the name of the game is strength. Behind the plate, Cartaya has a rocket arm and has shown the makings of a player that can stick behind the dish long-term. At the plate, Cartaya's double-plus raw power leads the way.

Everything about Cartaya and his 6'3/220 frame screams strength, and that strength and raw power have been on full display for the last two seasons in the low minors. After posting a .614 SLG and .316 ISO in Lo-A back in 2021, Cartaya followed that up with a .503 SLG and .249 ISO last season with 22 doubles and 22 home runs in 95 games combined between Lo-A and Hi-A.

There's zero doubt in my mind that Cartaya could be a 30-homer bat over a full season. But the big question is where does he fit into the Dodgers' long-term plans. Luckily, we won't see Cartaya until at least 2024, so it's not a pressing issue yet.

However, the Dodgers have Will Smith under contract through at least 2025, and he's established himself as one of the five best catchers in baseball. For now, don't worry about Cartaya being blocked, and focus on the immense talent. Plenty can happen between now and the time Cartaya debuts.


7. Bo Naylor, Cleveland Guardians

If you play in an OBP format, Bo Naylor could be considered a top 5 prospect at this position. In 2022, Naylor posted a 16.1% walk rate and a .392 OBP across 510 plate appearances between Double-A and Triple-A.

Oh yeah, did I mention he also hit 21 home runs and stole 20 bases? Naylor had shown a nice power/speed blend before while walking around 10% of the time, but he took his offensive game to new heights in 2022 nearly across the board.

This is the Naylor we were hoping would show up, so I'm not going to write off his performance as a fluke. Will he go 20/20 every season? No, probably not. But Naylor possesses above-average to plus raw power and solid speed that could keep him in the 15-20 homer range while flirting with double-digit steals annually. It's only a matter of time before he takes over in Cleveland behind the plate.


6. Tyler Soderstrom, Oakland Athletics

Out of all the prospects on this list, Tyler Soderstrom is my pick for two superlatives...

  1. The most likely to move off the position (likely to first base)
  2. The prospect that I'd be the most willing to sell in dynasty leagues

In regards to his position, Soderstrom is likely going to move over to first base long-term due to the presence of Shea Langeliers and his gold-glove caliber defense. Soderstrom would still have value as a first baseman, but obviously, his profile would provide more impact from behind the plate.

Speaking of his profile, I have some concerns. Soderstrom possesses plus power and could flirt with 30 dingers annually, but the concerns I have surround his hit tool, approach, future home park, and the organization that he's in. The Oakland Athletics don't have a great track record with developing hitting prospects recently, especially when it comes to plate approach.

With Soderstrom, he's already striking out at a 26.1% clip while only walking 7.2% of the time. Neither of these rates are terrible, but I'm concerned that they trend in the wrong direction as he faces more advanced pitching. As more of a .240-.250 hitter with power that will likely be limited to a degree by Oakland's spacious park, I'd be more willing to sell than buy Soderstrom in dynasty leagues right now.


5. Logan O'Hoppe, Los Angeles Angels

There's no denying that Logan O'Hoppe's name isn't quite as sexy as the four above him in the fantasy world. But remember, sexy doesn't always lead to fantasy success.

After a decent offensive showing in 2021, O'Hoppe's breakout really began in the 2021 Arizona Fall League where he slashed .299/.440/.520 with eight doubles and a trio of taters over 100 plate appearances. O'Hoppe carried that momentum over into 2022, cranking 26 home runs in 104 games with a .283/.416/.544 slash line.

But do you know what was just as impressive as all of that, or maybe even more impressive? O'Hoppe also walked nearly as much as he struck out, finishing 2022 with an impressive 15.7% walk rate and 16.6% strikeout rate.

His performance earned him a promotion to Los Angeles for a cup of coffee late in the season after he was acquired from Philadelphia for Brandon Marsh at the trade deadline. O'Hoppe's blend of contact skills, approach, power, and proximity makes him an attractive target for both redraft and dynasty leagues.


4. Harry Ford, Seattle Mariners

Out of every catcher on this list, Harry Ford likely has the best combination of pure upside and affordable price tag in dynasty leagues. And in OBP leagues, he's pretty damn close to that trio above him.

Through his first 123 games as a prep bat selected in the first round of the 2021 draft, Ford has posted a lofty .422 OBP. Having an OBP north of .400 is impressive for anyone, but to do so as a teenage catching prospect is even more impressive.

In 2022 alone, Ford slashed, .274/.425/.439 with 23 doubles, 11 home runs, and 23 steals in 28 attempts. Ford's ability to work counts and draw walks at a career 17.2% while also keeping his strikeout rate in check at 22.9% is incredibly encouraging.

But Ford is more than just a pretty OBP ya know. He's also a plus runner with above-average raw power that is still learning how to tap into that consistently in games. Once he does, there's no cap on how high Ford can rise in prospect rankings.


3. Francisco Alvarez, New York Mets

Before you clench your fist or cuss me out for having Francisco Alvarez third, this ranking is not a slight to Alvarez in any way, shape, or form. I've seen Alvarez live several times and there's no doubt in my mind that he's going to have a long and productive career and probably make a few All-Star teams along the way.

Alvarez possesses more raw power than anyone on this list and could easily flirt with 25-30 home runs annually if he plays more than 130 games or so. However, he doesn't provide the speed that Wells does and doesn't have the same AVG upside to rival Rodriguez.

In the long run, Alvarez projects as a .260/25 type in my eyes with a high OBP to go along with it. You could make a stronger case for him to be #1 in OBP formats, although, Wells is #1 for me there too. Expect Alvarez to return to Queens early this season and the power should immediately translate for fantasy managers.


2. Endy Rodriguez, Pittsburgh Pirates

Pittsburgh Pirates' prospects always seem to get undervalued a bit, and that's exactly the case here with Endy Rodriguez. All Rodriguez has done in the minor leagues is consistently hit for a high average, exceeding .290 in each of the last three seasons including a .323 mark last season.

In addition to the high averages, Rodriguez posted an 11.3% walk rate, 19% strikeout rate, .590 SLG, and .267 ISO last season along with 39 doubles and 25 home runs in 125 games.

Rodriguez is pretty much everything we hoped Gabriel Moreno was going to be right now. Rodriguez might not have the AVG ceiling that Moreno does, but he's an above-average or better hitter with similar power upside and a rock-solid plate approach as well.

We'll likely see Rodriguez debut for Pittsburgh before the all-star break and don't be surprised if he's a top 10 fantasy catcher within the next few years.


1. Austin Wells, New York Yankees

While Austin Wells is a highly-ranked catching prospect everywhere, you're probably not going to see him #1 on many lists. That honor usually is handed to Francisco Alvarez.

There's really no clear-cut answer or right choice here, but Wells is the top dog for me as he provides the most well-rounded offensive profile for fantasy purposes. Why? Wells brings speed. That's why.

In each of the last two seasons, Wells has exceeded 15 home runs, 15 steals, and a .380 OBP. The only other person to do this is Minnesota's Edouard Julien. This wasn't just Single-A influenced either as Wells is around an average runner and has yet to be caught in any of his 32 career stolen base attempts.

Even if he can add just 10-15 steals annually early on, that will be huge for his fantasy value. On top of that, Wells is an average to above-average hitter with elite OBP skills and plus left-handed raw power that should play extremely well in Yankee Stadium. Don't let his fractured rib scare you away. Wells has Top-5 fantasy catcher upside.


You can read more of Eric's analysis on his Toolshed Fantasy Patreon page.

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