The Home of Fantasy Sports Analysis

2024 Fantasy Baseball Injury Risk – Catchers

When assessing the future stats of a player, it’s imperative to consider player health when speculating on playing time. After all, getting onto the field and being given a chance to succeed only happens if the player is healthy enough. That’s why looking at a player’s track record of health gives credence to whether someone is worth drafting. A fantasy team could have all the talent in the world, but if multiple players are on the Injured List or bench, they lose a ton of value.

We are moving toward draft season, and all eyes will be on the top players at each position. Knowing of any inherent injury risk to drafting someone can help teams in the long run. That’s why today will be a part of positional examinations of injury risk. I will be going through the Injury History of the top players at every position and making notes of their healthy or troubled pasts. Seeing trends in their health could help determine any future problems.

The players listed below will be separated into one of three categories: red light, yellow light, green light. The timeframe that will be examined will primarily be from 2021 to 2023, though looking into the distant past might also take place.

Red Light: any players listed here have an extensive and/or concerning injury history that seems likely to come into play in the future. The potential for injury outweighs their production on the field and their selection could lead to roster problems down the line. The reoccurrence of a particular injury or multiple injuries also creates the need for a red light. Fantasy owners should be wary of drafting these players because the risk for injury is high.

Yellow Light: any players listed here have had their injury problems before, but they’re not necessarily prone to injury. These players here have situations to monitor, especially during the off-season and Spring Training, but it’s not necessarily as bleak as it could be. The types of injuries could also be freakish or due to bad luck with events leading to it being out of the ordinary. Fantasy owners should be aware of the injury history, but know the possibility for health is there too.

Green Light: any players listed here have had minimal problems and their future doesn’t appear to be in any jeopardy. There is nothing from their past that would indicate an injury-prone future. While injuries could happen at any time, there are no red flags in this player’s history to suggest it will lead to another one. Fantasy owners can feel safe in drafting these players.

Things to remember:

  1. The players listed are in the general order of how they’re being drafted.
  2. The level of confidence has to do with their health and nothing to do with their abilities on the field.
Ready to make the 2024 MLB season the best yet? Fantrax offers a fantasy baseball league for everyone. Want to get started right away? Then jump into a Best Ball League or a Draft and Hold. Maybe you have an existing league but want the most customizable fantasy baseball platform in existence? Then you definitely need to check out the Fantrax Commissioner! And of course, whether you play roto or points, you can head to the Fantrax Mock Draft Lobby to start your draft prep for the 2024 fantasy baseball season.

Injury Risk at the Catcher Position in 2024

1. Adley Rutschman – Baltimore Orioles

Rutschman is this position’s crème de la crème, having led all catchers with 687 plate appearances in 2023. He is a fixture in the Baltimore lineup and will likely be used as their designated hitter when he doesn’t catch. Draft with confidence.

2. J.T. Realmuto – Philadelphia Phillies

Realmuto has been a fixture behind the plate for years, with minimal injuries to report. He did break his hand in 2021, but that’s not the type of injury that threatens to repeat itself. He does get days off for rest, as evidenced by his 135 games played last season. The Phillies’ lineup is so strong that he doesn’t need to be their designated hitter. Draft with confidence.

3. William Contreras – Milwaukee Brewers

Moving to Milwaukee was great for the career of Contreras, as his playing time shot up in 2023. He has no injury history to speak of and his 611 plate appearances last season were second among catchers. He will play every day when healthy. Draft with confidence.

4. Will Smith – Los Angeles Dodgers

Smith is a mainstay in an already-loaded Dodgers’ lineup. His only injury of mention is a concussion that he suffered in the early stages of the 2023 season. Otherwise, he’s been relatively healthy throughout his career. He gets a routine-based resting every few days, and he may lose at-bats because Shohei Ohtani is a permanent designated hitter. Draft with confidence.

5. Yainer Diaz – Houston Astros

Diaz split times with Martin Maldanado last season, but going forward, he will be the team’s number-one catcher in 2024. How that designation translates to health remains to be seen, as he will see more time crouched behind the plate. That said, he did well to stay healthy when given the opportunity to play in 2023, though he played 57% of his games at the catcher position. Draft with confidence.

6. Cal Raleigh – Seattle Mariners

Raleigh broke out in a big way in 2023, leading all catchers with 30 home runs. A major part of his success was the playing time he was given due to a fully healed thumb. Before last season, he had surgery to fix a broken bone and a torn ligament in his left hand and came back as strong as ever. Draft with confidence.

7. Salvador Perez – Kansas City Royals

Perez finished third among catchers with 580 plate appearances in 2023, but this was largely due to his change in position. He finished with 65% of his games as the team’s catcher and will carry first-base eligibility with him in 2024. While he only went to the Injured List once, he had several DTD designations with him for various ailments all over his body. He will be in his age-34 season next year, and those DTD designations may turn into trips to the Injured List. Draft with attention.

8. Sean Murphy – Atlanta Braves

Murphy broke out in 2022, and after being traded to Atlanta, continued his upward surge. He struggled in the second half of the 2023 season, and the reasons could be injury-related. After injuring his hamstring in June, he came back quicker than expected, all while avoiding the Injured List. Upon his return in a matter of days, he hit .208 the rest of the season after that point and wasn’t the same player. A full offseason to recover and clear his mind might do the trick to regain his prior form. The team continued to platoon him and Travis d’Arnaud last year, but that could have been due to his struggles as well. Draft with confidence.

9. Francisco Álvarez – New York Mets

Álvarez should be a fixture in the Mets’ lineup in 2024, as evidenced by his 123 games played this past season. He did get hit by a pitch six times which led to some departures, but those aren’t anything to worry about going forward. Draft with confidence.

10. Gabriel Moreno – Arizona Diamondbacks

Moreno broke out in a big way during the 2023 playoffs. His future with the team as their primary backstop should be solidified in 2024 if he can remain healthy. He had a three-week trip to the Injured List for shoulder inflammation late in the season, a month after being handed the everyday job. While that’s not nothing, it’s likely not enough to warrant too much trepidation when drafting. Draft with confidence.

11. Willson Contreras – St. Louis Cardinals

Contreras has missed a significant amount of time over the past three seasons, while not posting more than 500 plate appearances in any of those years. He has missed time with somewhat worrisome injuries, and three of them have required a trip to the Injured List. This all leads to the question of his durability as a catcher. And while some of the talk surrounding him possibly being their designated hitter revolved around his defensive metrics, it’s still worth noting that his days as a catcher are being watched closely. From a health perspective, it’s hard to imagine him not going on the Injured List again. Draft with caution.

12. Bo Naylor – Cleveland Guardians

The only real injury of note for Naylor was a thumb contusion that kept him on the bench for three days at the end of the 2023 season. Otherwise, Naylor hasn’t much of a track record in the major leagues. He figures to be in a platoon role alongside Austin Hedges. From an injury perspective, it’s too early to choose how to draft, as playing time and talent should be the main indicators. Draft with confidence.

13. Jonah Heim – Texas Rangers

Heim comes with a relatively clean bill of health outside of a left wrist tendon strain from this past summer. There was a fear that he would require surgery either at the time or in the offseason, but all of that worry was alleviated when he came back weeks later. He did struggle upon his surprisingly quick return, and he never quite recaptured his groove in the extended playoffs. It remains to be seen if there are some lingering effects from the injury, but a full offseason should be good for him. Draft with confidence.

14. Logan O’Hoppe – Los Angeles Angels

O’Hoppe came into the season with high hopes, but a torn labrum in his left shoulder sidelined him for most of the 2023 season. He returned on time and was able to hit ten home runs to finish off the season. He’s a talented hitter when healthy and should benefit from a full offseason to get himself ready for next year. It remains to be seen if his injury was the result of who he is or a fluky swing, but for now, he seems like a safe bet. Draft with confidence.

15. Keibert Ruiz – Washington Nationals

Ruiz has had a relatively safe track record of health. His biggest injury came in 2022 when he took a foul ball and suffered a testicular contusion that required hospitalization. Otherwise, he has been healthy enough to play and has avoided the Injured List. He did have a potential concussion this past summer after taking a foul tip off of his helmet but was able to return quickly enough. Draft with confidence.

16. Luis Campusano – San Diego Padres

Campusano has always been highly regarded for his potential. The problem for him has been his inability to get onto the field. His injury history is filled with three different injuries that required trips to the Injured List. For someone with only 266 career plate appearances over four seasons, he needs to find a way to stay healthy. His 2023 campaign, while impressive over a short period, was riddled with a sprained thumb and a sprained ankle. Draft with caution.

17. Mitch Garver – Seattle Mariners

Garver has always had the talent when he is on the field. Unfortunately for him, he’s never been able to avoid the Injured List. Since the beginning of the 2021 season, he has had two separate surgeries for five different Injured List designations. And while he’s hit 42 home runs in that timeframe, he’s only amassed 209 games and been limited to being the designated hitter in 96 of those games. It remains to be seen how he will be used in Seattle. Draft with caution.

18. Tyler Stephenson – Cincinnati Reds

Stephenson is a tough player to decipher. On the one hand, his recent injury history is concerning due to the amount of injuries and time missed. On the other hand, most of them took place in a disastrous 2022 season where he seemingly hurt himself from head to toe. He bounced back in a big way this past season, but that may have been in part due to the team’s decision to use him sparingly. It remains to be seen how he will be used in 2024, as 43 of his appearances last season came as the team’s designated hitter. Draft with attention.

19. Elías Díaz – Colorado Rockies

Díaz is a workhorse who benefits from playing half of his games at Coors Field. His recent injury history looks relatively clean with no real concerns. Draft with confidence.

20. Shea Langeliers – Oakland Athletics

Langeliers has nothing in his Major or Minor League Injury History to consider going forward. He figures to be the team’s primary catcher in 2024, with the hopes of playing almost every day. Draft with confidence.

21. Ryan Jeffers – Minnesota Twins

Jeffers had a mini-breakout season in 2023, despite the fact he only played in 96 games. He is no stranger to bumps and bruises, as his injuries not only take away time but also repeat themselves. In his rookie year, he battled knee injuries, possibly stemming from his new stance behind the plate. In 2022, he fractured his thumb and missed an extended amount of time. Last season he did well to stay healthy, so perhaps he’s turning over a new leaf. He’ll still split time, but being physically ready to play can only help his stock. Draft with attention.

22. Danny Jansen – Toronto Blue Jays

Jansen has been in the league for six seasons, and in that time he has been on the Injured List six separate times. He has missed time for injuries all over his body, including fracturing a bone in both hands at different times. He has already missed 186 days of playing time and it’s all been within the last three seasons. He is a major injury risk. Draft with caution.

23. Alejandro Kirk – Toronto Blue Jays

Kirk struggled in 2023, but it may not have been because of injuries. His inconsistent playing time alongside his short and stalky nature might have contributed to his decline. He saw his playing time decrease from 541 plate appearances to 422 last season, and most of his stats suffered as a result. This offseason he has been working out and lost some weight while toning up. There’s the cliché of him being in the best shape of his life, but I am admittedly a big fan of players that do this. It’s worked in the past with the likes of Ohtani and Guerrero, and while I’m not saying this will make him one of the league’s best players, it certainly can’t hurt. Draft with confidence.

24. Austin Wells – New York Yankees

Wells has a short track record of being in the Major Leagues. That said, he did suffer a cracked rib earlier in the 2023 Minor League season that cost him months of playing time and development. Still, he should be the team’s everyday catcher with a chance to hit even when he’s not catching. Draft with confidence.

25. Jake Rogers – Detroit Tigers

Rogers has played in 180 career games, yet has missed 263 days due to two serious injuries. Twice he has been placed on the 60-day Injured List and he has yet to top 400 plate appearances. For all of the gains he made at the plate in 2023, he needs to prove that he can stay healthy. Draft with attention.

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.

Fantrax was one of the fastest-growing fantasy sites over the last few years, and we’re not stopping now. We are the most customizable, easy-to-use, and feature-rich platform in the industry, offering the greatest fantasy experience for your dynasty, keeper, redraft, and best ball leagues. Fantasy sports doesn’t sleep, and neither does Fantrax, with seasons running 365 days a year. Take your fantasy leagues to the next level now at!
Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.