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2024 Fantasy Baseball: 3 Late-Round Catchers Who Could Break Out

We want to draw in everyone here. Even if you play in a league that requires you to start just one catcher, there is value here as well. While a popular strategy in those situations would be to wait on the catcher position, you likely will still have turnover at the position and need to have options at the ready. And for the leagues in which you have to start two catchers, finding breakout players takes on a much greater importance. Let’s try and identify three late-round catchers with breakout potential.

Targeting one of the catchers listed below in that second starting spot is a solid plan of action. This allows you to focus on one strong catcher along with other areas of your team. The importance here is to let the draft coming to you while finding value. Now, let’s dig into some names to target. Each option is being drafted after the top-20 catchers are off the board, so availability is not an issue. At the same time though, nobody is perfect.

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3 Late Round Catchers Who Could Break Out

Ryan Jeffers, Minnesota Twins

Despite hitting .276 last season, Ryan Jeffers is a career .233 hitter. That batting average is sure to get your attention, but when mixed with a .359 BABIP and .232 xBA, some of that optimism begins to fade. The fact that Jeffers strikes out 27.8% of the time doesn’t help things, but for those in OBP leagues, he does see a boost in value thanks to his 9.9% walk rate.

We did bury the lede though, as power is where it’s at. In 96 games last year, Jeffers hit 14 home runs to go along with 43 RBI and 46 runs scored. Jeffers’ ISO increased from .156 to .213, and that part of his game is not going anywhere. With a 17.2-degree average launch angle to go along with an 11.6% barrel rate and 42.7% hard-hit rate, Jeffers is going to continue driving the ball and hitting it well.

Last year, Jeffers did see his O-Swing increase from 29% to 32.1%, so seeing his batting average regress closer to his career mark is very likely. However, if he stays healthy and finds his way into playing 120 to 130 games, Jeffers can be a strong source of power and run production.

Jake Rogers, Detroit Tigers

By the time we get to the later rounds in a draft, especially at the catching position, sacrifices must be made. In the case of Jake Rogers, it is very much in the batting average department. The hope though, is that when it is time to draft Rogers, your roster construction has already given you a strong statistical base there.

Last year, Rogers hit .221 while striking out 32.3% of the time. If you are looking for some measure of optimism, Rogers did improve his batting average from .201 to .238 from the first half to the second half of last year. But unless there is a clear change in approach, there isn’t much upside here.

Let’s be honest though, we are really after the power here. And that part of Rogers’ game is real. In 107 games last year, he hit 21 home runs to go along with 49 RBI and it is supported by strong batted ball metrics. Rogers had a 14.7-degree average launch angle to go along with a 12% barrel rate, 45% hard-hit rate, and 109.1 max exit velocity. As long as Rogers continues to drive the ball, and there is no reason why he wouldn’t, he will get playing time in Detroit.

Rene Pinto, Tampa Bay Rays

Get in line here on Rene Pinto. There is a piece of this that is indicative of the overall state of the catching position. It has led to Pinto becoming a very popular player this draft season. His price has been on the rise, and while it is still reasonable, we don’t want to get into the danger zone of overpaying. At this point though, Pinto is still a strong late-round catching option. However, we do need to put it in proper perspective.

Pinto has been in the minor league system for Tampa Bay since 2014, but he didn’t make his major league debut until 2022. Last year, Pinto appeared in 39 games for the Rays and hit .252 with six home runs and 16 RBI. The sample size is small, and it is extreme, but Pinto had a 32.4% strikeout rate compared to a 1.9% walk rate. Previously in his minor league career, Pinto’s performance was never that defined.

Over the past few years, Pinto did start to flash 15-to-20 home run upside, and we are working with a solid hitter. Granted he had just 69 batted balls last year, but Pinto had a .204 ISO and 15.9% barrel rate. With a 16.9-degree average launch angle, Pinto did drive the ball as well. Right now, Alex Jackson is all that is standing in the way of Pinto’s playing time, so the at-bats should be there.

For more of the great fantasy baseball rankings and analysis you’ve come to expect from FantraxHQ, check out our full 2024 Fantasy Baseball Draft Kit! We’re here for you all the way up until Opening Day and then on into your championship run.

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