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Rest of Season Catcher Rankings - May Update


We wrap up our midseason rankings update for mixed leagues with the catcher position. RotoBaller writers Nick Mariano, Pierre Camus, Bill Dubiel and Scott Engel recently updated their rest-of-season ranks and we're here to break it all down.

Unfortunately, catcher is still an utter cesspool when it comes to fantasy production, so don't convince yourself otherwise. If you're in any two-catcher league, please petition the commish for a change.

Check out our fantasy baseball rankings dashboard for the latest and greatest ranks at any time. When you're done reading about catchers, you can catch up on our analysis on some of the other positions here: first base, second base, third baseshortstop, outfield, starting pitcher, and relief pitcher.

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!

 

Catcher Tiered Ranks - 5x5 Mixed Leagues (May)

In case you missed it, our very own "Big Pick Nick" Mariano was recently named the #1 overall most accurate industry expert ranker for the 2018 season. You can see his secret sauce below! Additionally, industry legend Scott Engel recently joined the RotoBaller team and provides his insights as well. Scott is an FSWA Hall Of Famer and award winner.

Ranking Tier Player Position Nick Pierre Bill Scott Composite
1 1 Gary Sanchez C 76 67 73 66 70.50
2 1 J.T. Realmuto C/1B 119 83 94 58 88.50
3 2 Willson Contreras C 95 162 228 158 160.75
4 2 Yasmani Grandal C 188 153 226 184 187.75
5 2 Wilson Ramos C 287 191 137 162 194.25
6 2 Yadier Molina C 224 220 188 190 205.50
7 2 Buster Posey C/1B 342 319 264 273 299.50
8 3 Jorge Alfaro C 346 244 380 292 315.50
9 3 Willians Astudillo C 411 347 261 #N/A 339.67
10 3 Francisco Cervelli C 335 398 325 #N/A 352.67
11 3 Mike Zunino C 372 357 343 #N/A 357.33
12 3 Tucker Barnhart C/1B 433 373 344 300 362.50
13 3 Omar Narvaez C 337 348 493 293 367.75
14 3 Christian Vazquez C 371 #N/A #N/A #N/A 371.00
15 3 Welington Castillo C #N/A 367 379 #N/A 373.00
16 3 Robinson Chirinos C 465 343 323 #N/A 377.00
17 3 Yan Gomes C #N/A 379 384 #N/A 381.50
18 4 James McCann C 383 #N/A #N/A #N/A 383.00
19 4 Mitch Garver C 413 380 #N/A #N/A 396.50
20 4 Josh Phegley C 396 416 #N/A #N/A 406.00
21 4 Kurt Suzuki C #N/A 417 410 #N/A 413.50
22 4 Danny Jansen C 472 465 330 #N/A 422.33
23 4 Austin Hedges C 446 381 464 #N/A 430.33
24 4 Tyler Flowers C #N/A 435 #N/A #N/A 435.00
25 4 Austin Barnes C 347 443 522 #N/A 437.33
26 4 Carson Kelly C #N/A 452 #N/A #N/A 452.00
27 5 John Hicks C/1B #N/A 429 488 #N/A 458.50
28 5 Francisco Mejia C 496 464 430 #N/A 463.33
29 5 Isiah Kiner-Falefa C/2B/3B 490 445 501 #N/A 478.67
30 5 Grayson Greiner C 491 476 #N/A #N/A 483.50
31 5 Jonathan Lucroy C #N/A 446 546 #N/A 496.00

 

Rankings Analysis - Top Tiers

Tier One

The resurgence of Gary Sanchez has been spectacular and honestly wasn't that hard to see coming. Sanchez was limited to just 374 plate appearances in 2018, and I think it's fair to assume that the injuries that caused him to miss time can also be blamed for his ghastly numbers. After hitting just 18 homers in 89 games last season, Sanchez is already up to 12 in 26 games in 2019. He's also improved his batting average almost 80 points, partially as a result of a more aggressive approach at the plate (his walk rate is down to just 8.4% this year). I believe that the Gary Sanchez from this year and 2017 is the "real" Gary Sanchez, and he should be treated as such moving forward.

Tier Two

Just as the veteran backstop was written off by fantasy experts everywhere, Yadier Molina has burst back onto the scene and is having maybe the best fantasy season of any catcher so far. Yadi is already almost halfway to last year's RBI total, he's hitting a healthy .276 and he's shaved nearly five percentage points off his strikeout rate to get to his current (and best mark since 2011) 8.5%. Another 20-HR season is well within his grasp, and I don't see any reason to doubt Molina's performance. At 36, he's likely not going to finish as the top fantasy catcher this season. But in the top five? I don't see why not.

Tier Three

I fully admit that prior to this year, Omar Narvaez barely registered with me as an actual fantasy option. He was that empty jersey that sometimes played catcher for the White Sox and wasn't the worst hitter ever--nothing exceptional about him. A change of scenery has proven otherwise. Narvaez has always made above-average contact for a catcher, but that word "empty" rings true again. In 2018 with the White Sox, he hit .275 over 322 plate appearances, but registered just 30 runs scored, 30 RBI, and nine homers. He's almost matched all of those totals in just 137 plate appearances this year: .308 BA, 24 runs scored, 18 RBI and seven homers here in mid-May. Narvaez is getting more loft on the ball this year, and he's barreling the ball up more than he ever has before--his 33.7% hard-hit rate is easily the best of his career. Narvaez has shown the potential to finish in the top seven at the position this year, and he's an extremely valid starting option right now in any format.

La Tortuga is here to save the game of baseball. Willians Astudillo is the heir-apparent to Bartolo's heavy-set throne, and he has the resume to back up the demigod status he's earned among the intelligent and initiated. The man just does not strike out--but he doesn't walk either. So far in 167 major league plate appearances, Astudillo has a total of three walks and five strikeouts. No typos there. He's got as much power as you'd expect for a guy swinging with a lot of weight behind him, but it's the batting average that's the main factor here. Catcher is a black hole where your batting average goes to die, so a guy like Astudillo who puts the ball in play consistently can be a big boost there. He's never hit below .267 at any stop in professional ball, and I think we can expect that to continue as long as he keeps making contact as often as he does. Right now he's a C2 in most formats, but the ceiling is there for C1 status if he continues to see more consistent playing time (likely away from the catcher position).

 

Rankings Analysis - Lower Tiers

Tiers Four and Five

Mitch Garver is MAH DUDE right now. A shame about his recent injury, but it's looking like it will cost him no more than two or three weeks at most. Prior to that unfortunate Shohei Ohtani slide, Garver was absolutely mashing. In just 91 plate appearances he had already popped nine homers, and was holding strong with a .329 batting average as well. Perhaps more impressively than those numbers is the improvement he's shown with one of his already-strong traits--his plate discipline. Garver was posting a 12.1% walk rate when he went on the IL, which is phenomenal for a catcher in any format. The 28-year-old has earned regular playing time, and he's a terrific option in any format right now, but especially in OBP leagues.

Danny Jansen, what's going on, bro? After tearing up the minor leagues over the last two years, everyone (myself very much included) had Jansen pegged as one of the best non-elite catchers in fantasy for 2019. Above-average plate discipline, little bit of pop, little bit of speed--it all seemed like it was going to line up for the player I had taken to calling "BabyMuto" in the preseason (shout out to the real five-tool catcher, J.T. Realmuto).  But Jansen simply hasn't adjusted to big league pitching yet. He's hitting a miserable .163, he's not yet put a ball over the fence or stolen a bag, and he's striking out at a higher rate than he has at any stop in the minors (26.9%). As of right now he's unrosterable, and there are no signs of a turnaround any time soon. I still believe that we'll be talking about Jansen in a positive light in the near future, but this might not be the year it happens.

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