Don't have an account?
Join the Best Live Fantasy Chat Community!

Lost password? [X]

Receive free daily analysis:

NFL    NBA    MLB

Already have an account? Log in here.

[X]

Forgot Password


[X]

Updated Catcher Rankings - 2018 Fantasy Baseball


One final time before regular season baseball returns and our lives are, at last, complete, RotoBaller's staff writers are updating their 2018 fantasy baseball rankings. Today, we'll be taking a look at the shallowest position - catcher.

As usual, after the few elite options are off the board, it's probably best to leave filling this slot for the back half of the draft if you're playing a standard one-catcher format. You can find my analysis below, breaking down each tier of our staff's consensus catcher rankings.

Don't forget to bookmark our famous Rankings Wizard where you can see all of our rankings for mixed leagues, points leagues, AL/NL only leagues, dynasty leagues, top 2018 prospects, dynasty prospects and more. You will also find our tiers, auction values, player news, stats, projections and more. You can easily download everything - oh, and it's all free! We hope you enjoy...

Editor's Note: Get any full-season MLB Premium Pass for 50% off, with exclusive access to our season-long articles, 15 in-season lineup tools and over 200 days of expert DFS research/tools. Sign Up Now!

 

2018 Fantasy Baseball Tiered Rankings: Catcher (March)

Ranking Tier Player Position Auction $
1 1 Gary Sanchez C 26
2 2 Buster Posey C/1B 18
3 2 Willson Contreras C 15
4 2 Salvador Perez C 9
5 2 Evan Gattis C 9
6 3 J.T. Realmuto C 6
7 3 Yadier Molina C 3
8 3 Mike Zunino C 2
9 3 Yasmani Grandal C 2
10 3 Wilson Ramos C 2
11 4 Brian McCann C 2
12 4 Welington Castillo C 2
13 4 Jonathan Lucroy C 1
14 5 Robinson Chirinos C 1
15 5 Austin Barnes C 1
16 5 Austin Hedges C 1
17 5 Matt Wieters C 1
18 5 Alex Avila C 1
19 5 Russell Martin C 1
20 6 Jorge Alfaro C 1
21 6 Tom Murphy C 1
22 6 Cameron Rupp C 1
23 6 Travis d'Arnaud C 1
24 6 Stephen Vogt C 1
25 6 Tyler Flowers C 1
26 6 Francisco Mejia C 1
27 7 Yan Gomes C 1
28 7 Devin Mesoraco C 1
29 7 James McCann C 1
30 7 Bruce Maxwell C 1
31 7 Chris Iannetta C 1
32 7 Blake Swihart C/OF 1
33 7 Tucker Barnhart C 1
34 7 Christian Vazquez C 1
35 7 Chance Sisco C 1

 
 
Tier 1

Gary Sanchez has assumed the throne at the catcher position. He followed up his spectacular debut performance with a .278-33-79-90-2 line in 2017. The 25-year-old has everything going for him. Great lineup, in which he'll hit in a prime run production spot? Check. Fantastic home park? Check. Volume? Check - despite missing a few weeks with a biceps injury last year, Sanchez was one of just four catchers to log at least 525 plate appearances. He's being drafted in the second round in mixed leagues, and given the paucity of talent at catcher, it's hard to argue with that valuation.

Tier 2

12 home runs barely even register these days, but Buster Posey is still one of the best fantasy backstops in the game. The veteran hit .320 last year, making him the only catcher to hit above .290. He also played in 140 games for the sixth straight season, trailing only J.T. Realmuto at the position in 2017. If it's volume you're after, but you want a bit more pop, Salvador Perez is your man. He failed to clear 500 plate appearances for the first time last year, but he still blasted 27 homers (second among catchers behind Sanchez) and drove in 80 runs while hitting a respectable .268. Or you could go with Evan Gattis, who should offer similar production and appears to be penciled in as the primary Astros DH. Perhaps you'd prefer a guy with fewer miles on the odometer; if so, Willson Contreras is a worthy option. He hit .276 with 21 homers and 74 RBI despite missing a month with a hamstring injury.

Tier 3

This tier encompasses the rest of the top 10 at the position. As mentioned above, Realmuto led all catchers in games played a year ago. Over the past two seasons, he’s hit .290, scored 128 runs, and stolen 20 bases, putting him in the top-five at the position in all three categories. He’s also avoided being a complete zero in HR and RBI. However, the Marlins’ talent purge is likely to take a chunk out of his value in 2018. Yadier Molina hasn’t hit below .270 this decade, and last season’s 18 home runs, 82 RBI, and nine (!) stolen bases were among the leaders at the position. It is, however, tough to bet on a repeat of this performance. After all, he’ll be 36 this year, and those homer and steal totals were both higher than his three previous seasons combined. Mike Zunino finally stuck at the major-league level for a full season, and finished third among catchers with 25 home runs. He also ranked in the top seven at the position in runs scored and RBI. That’s the good news. The bad news is that even with a .355 BABIP, he hit just .251 thanks to an absurd 36.8% strikeout rate. Only three hitters with at least 400 plate appearances made less contact than Zunino did. Yasmani Grandal still seems to be the primary option behind the plate for the Dodgers, and ranks in the top five among catchers in homers (49) and RBI (130) over the past two seasons. He's authored second-half swoons in each of the last two years, though, and you'll have to deal with a lousy batting average. Wilson Ramos actually played pretty great in the final two months of 2017: .296/.324/.496 with eight homers and 35 R+RBI in 39 games. It’s not hard to imagine him turning in a full season on that level if he can stay healthy, but that's always been his problem.

Tier 4

Brian McCann has been a steady contributor for over a decade, but he’s also entering his age-34 season with more question marks than usual. Last season was the first time he failed to play in 100 games since becoming a full-time player. He’s hit above .242 just once in the last six years, and his 18 homers in 2017 broke a streak of nine straight seasons with at least 20. McCann’s also likely to find himself batting eighth or ninth most of the year, which will keep his run production suppressed even in the Astros’ potent lineup. Despite playing in only 96 games last season, Welington Castillo set career highs in home runs (20), runs scored (44), and batting average (.282). He should get the bulk of starts behind the plate for the White Sox. Betting on another .280 average is probably a bad idea given his contact issues and lack of foot speed, but Castillo is among the better catchers available in the middle-to-late rounds. As for Jonathan Lucroy, he finally has a team, but he's also been a total bust in two of the last three years and is entering his age-32 season. If a deadline trade to Colorado couldn't help him find his vanished power, how's Oakland going to work out?

Tier 5

The most (only?) interesting names in this group are the top two.  Robinson Chirinos has been solid in a timeshare over the last few years, and in 2017 he hit a career-high 17 homers and totaled 84 R+RBI in just 88 games while batting a passable .255. Over the last four seasons, Chirinos is a top-5 catcher by OPS (minimum 1,000 plate appearances). Now that he's finally the starter in Texas, he could be a bargain. If Austin Barnes ends up with the lion’s share of the playing time behind the plate in L.A., you can go ahead and bump him up this list substantially. The profile is great – essentially J.T. Realmuto with more walks - and he can credibly play second base as well. The other options here are, uh, not great. Alex Avila could be okay, if you buy the age-30 breakout. But Austin Hedges hit .214, Russell Martin is 8,000 years old, and Matt Wieters is trash.

Tier 6

Jorge Alfaro didn’t exactly light the world on fire at Triple-A last year, with just seven homers, a .649 OPS, and a strikeout rate north of 30 percent. He's out of minor league options, though, so he's virtually assured of playing time. The power is very real, I’m just not confident that he’ll get to it in games often enough to be a starter in standard mixed leagues. Tom Murphy, pretty much the same deal. Francisco Meija would be a lot more interesting if we knew he was going to play much. I'd bet all the money in my wallet that Travis d'Arnaud will miss at least two months of the season.

Tier 7

Hey, Chris Iannetta is still hanging around! How about that? Devin Mesoraco should've been a star, but his body just keeps betraying him. Keep an eye on Chance Sisco's playing time; he'll become interesting if the Orioles ever realize how terrible Caleb Joseph is.

 

More MLB Rankings and ADP Analysis




More Recent Articles

 

Week 8 Defense (DEF) Streamers and Starts - 2019 Fantasy Tiers, Rankings

This was a REALLY difficult week to rank, because there are so many usable DSTs this week. There are usable options all the way down to Tier 4 this week, and you're going to have something available to you on the waiver wire in even the deepest of leagues. Below are RotoBaller's Week 8 defense... Read More


Week 8 Waiver Wire Pickups & Adds

It's Chase Edmonds' world, we're just living in it. Wait, what? Hopefully you added him, as suggested in this column the past two weeks, because even if David Johnson is deemed healthy enough to actually play, it's likely Edmonds continues to see action. In QB news, by the halfway point of Thursday night, we already had... Read More


FAAB Bidding - Week 8 Waiver Wire Targets

Assisting our famous waiver wire pickups list, and our weekly waiver wire columns by position, this column focuses on suggested waiver wire bidding percentages for fantasy football owners in leagues using a Free Agent Acquisition Budget (FAAB). As a caveat, these prices do not by any means indicate how much these free agent players will... Read More


We Must Overreact Immediately! Week 7 Outliers

Week 7 seemed extremely fluky for fantasy football purposes. Devonta Freeman was ejected, and players like Will Fuller, Adam Thielen and Kerryon Johnson were both forced from their games very early on which hurt a lot of fantasy owners. The Rams wide receivers were supposed to light the world on fire against a Falcons secondary that... Read More


Deeper League Free Agent Pickups for Week 8

We're past the halfway point of the regular fantasy football season, which means you'd better start making some serious moves if you have any weaknesses in your roster. Unfortunately, this is also the time of the year when the waiver wire is at its most desolate. But that's why I'm here. To navigate you through... Read More


The Cut List - Players on the Chopping Block (Week 8)

This is your weekly list of players to drop. I will do my best to limit this list to injured players and players you might consider holding. If you roster pure handcuffs or backups, obviously you can let them go at any time. The players on this list will, ideally, be guys that aren't clearly... Read More


Week 8 Kicker Streamers and Starts - 2019 Fantasy Tiers, Rankings

Week 7 is over, and a few things have changed. The Los Angeles Rams learned how to play offense again, and the New York Jets came back to Earth, among other things. Week 7 was an especially quiet week for kickers across the NFL. A lot of kickers weren't able to get on the field... Read More


Running Back Waiver Wire Pickups - Week 8

The regular season continues to advance at a relentless pace as we have now entered planning for Week 8. Some of you are ecstatic with the level of production that has been delivered by your running backs. But many of you have been contending with unwanted developments at this position including injuries, inconsistent usage, and... Read More


Wide Receiver Waiver Wire Pickups - Week 8

We're heading into Week 8 of the NFL season. By now, some of y'all are getting a good sense of where you're at fantasy-wise, if you're heading to the postseason or playing for fun or, in a dynasty league, building for the future. This look at wide receivers is for all of you. As we... Read More


Week 8 Tight End Waiver Wire Picks and Streamers

A two-team bye week is a lot easier for fantasy football players to navigate than a four-team bye week. Fantasy owners are going to have to live without Dallas’ Jason Witten and Baltimore’s Mark Andrews in Week 8. If you have one of the those players as your starting tight end, the problem is that... Read More


Quarterback Waiver Wire Pickups and Streamers - Week 8

Tragedy struck a few top quarterbacks this week, as both Patrick Mahomes and Matt Ryan left games with injuries. We already know Mahomes will miss 3-6 weeks, while more will be revealed about Ryan's status later today. Either way, owners of these quarterbacks will need a backup plan in place, and this week the waiver... Read More


Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Pickups List

Back by popular demand in 2019... RotoBaller has brought back for the NFL season our Ultimate 2019 Fantasy Football Sleepers and Waiver Wire Pickups List.  Be sure to also try our other lineup tools below. Using your phone? Be sure to also download our free app which includes news, notifications, injury alerts & articles.   Rankings WizardWeekly... Read More


Fantasy Football News and Injuries - Running Updates

Below is a quick-hit list of running notes on relevant injuries and player news, including pre-game reports and live in-game updates. Stay tuned for updates all throughout the week and on Sunday morning game day:   Week 7 Will Fuller (hamstring) is expected to miss several weeks. Matt Ryan is out for the game with an... Read More


Waiver Wire Express - Week 8 Lightning Round

The better part of seven weeks is in the fantasy football books, making those early trends very real -- for better or worse. One must still consider the matchups played thus far and those to come, but usage and volume are becoming reliable. Week 8 sees the Ravens and Cowboys hit their bye week. To... Read More


Week 7 Start/Sit: Monday Night Football Matchups Analysis

Even if this doesn’t turn out to be great MNF game, at least it's a divisional game with some importance. This is what Jets fans need to tell themselves heading into their second Monday Night Football game of the season. With the New England Patriots coming to town off their annual semi-bye in which they... Read More