We’ve covered every offensive position so far in our midseason dynasty rankings besides catchers. Yay catchers! I know you can’t really tell, but that was said with a lot of sarcasm. Trying to find reliable catchers in fantasy these days is about as much fun as watching the Hallmark channel with my in-laws. Most catchers are only on fantasy rosters because they need to be. If we ignored position and solely looked at stats, how many would still warrant being owned? Maybe five?
Regardless if we want them or not, catchers are a part of our lives when we’re in the fantasy world. If you don’t have a top-five catcher, I suggest going after guys that either A) won’t hurt you, or B) can help you in one particular category.
If you missed any of the other rankings, they can be found below.
Reminder: The below rankings are a blend of recent performance, current performance, and future potential.
#1 Gary Sanchez –We haven’t seen a catcher with this much fantasy upside since the steroid era. Even Buster Posey at his peak a few years ago didn’t quite have this upside. Sanchez made his presence felt during his electrifying rookie season last year. In just 201 at-bats, he slugged 20 home runs to go along with 42 RBI and a .299 average.
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) July 15, 2017
To say fantasy owners were salivating over Sanchez this spring would be a major understatement. He hasn’t quite lived up to those lofty expectations, but what he’s doing this year still makes him the No. 1 dynasty catcher moving forward. If you take his current pace and project it out over 550 at-bats, you’d have a .265 average with 30 home runs, 100 RBI, 90 runs, and five steals. That could just be his floor too. Sanchez looks poised to dominate this position for a while.
#2 Buster Posey – It was an incredibly close call for the No. 2 spot on this list. Posey might only be 30 years old, but that’s basically 36 for fantasy catchers. The shelf life for catchers is shorter than with other positions. That being said, until Posey starts showing signs of decline, we need to continue to value him as an elite option.
Year after year he cranks out the hits and ends up with an average north of .300. The power has dropped off a little, but he’s still on pace for 18 home runs and 74 RBI this season. The Giants’ lineup around him is pathetic, which explains the lower RBI pace.
#3 Willson Contreras – With all the star power on the Chicago Cubs, Contreras often flies under the radar. Since his call-up last season, he’s played approximately a full season (545 at-bats) and produced quite well. Over those at-bats, he’s put up a .277 average with 28 home runs and 91 RBI.
Going forward, those stats are a solid baseline for what Contreras can do each season. He’s always been an offensively gifted catcher and should hit in the middle of a potent Chicago lineup for years to come. If you wanted to make an argument for him to be No. 1 on this list, I wouldn’t blame you.
#4 Salvador Perez – There haven’t been many better consistently good fantasy catchers than Perez over the past couple of seasons. He just keeps plugging along with mostly decent batting averages and strong power totals. This year is shaping up to be his best offensive season yet. Through 335 at-bats, Perez is on pace for a .284 average, 32 home runs, and 100 RBI. All of which would blow his numbers last year out of the water. An argument could even be made to have him as high as second on this list. He’s one of the few catchers you can rely on year in and year out in fantasy.
— Kansas City Royals (@Royals) July 25, 2017
#5 J.T. Realmuto – The upside here isn’t huge, but Realmuto might be one of the safest options at the position. He’s a plus hitter that can contribute double-digit home runs and steals. Unless you have one of the few elite fantasy catchers, you just hope that the catcher you have doesn’t do more negative than positive for your team. That’s exactly why Realmuto is a top-five option. He contributes something across the board and isn’t a black hole in the batting average department like most catchers.
#6 Yasmani Grandal – Now we’re getting to the players that probably wouldn’t be on fantasy rosters if they weren’t catchers. Grandal has plus-power, but that’s about it. He’s on pace for another 20-plus home run season and has even kept the average respectable at .272. However, when his batting averages have been between .216 and .234 each of the last four seasons, it doesn’t make his current average seem sustainable. His .325 BABIP, which is 42 points higher than his career mark, also signals that the average should drop.
#7 Francisco Mejia – To the surprise of basically no one, there aren’t a lot of offensive catcher dynamos in the minors. Honestly, there’s only one that inspires a lot of confidence, and that’s Mejia. He can hit for both power and average, which is a rarity amongst today’s catchers. Currently hitting .322 with 10 home runs in Double-A, it won’t be long before Mejia replaces Yan Gomes behind the plate in Cleveland.
#8 Mike Zunino – If you cloned Grandal and took away a little batting average, you’d have Zunino. When he’s on one of his hot streaks, he can be one of the best fantasy catchers for a month. However, those hot streaks are always followed by even longer cold streaks where he’s absolutely atrocious.
#9 Evan Gattis – Having a full-time role would move Gattis a few spots up this list. However, his playing time is so sporadic it’s hard to fully rely on him. He still puts up solid stats when he’s out there, especially in the power department, but his numbers will be continue to be suppressed by the lack of an everyday role.
#10 Tom Murphy – Whenever he gets the chance to start, Murphy is going to become a highly sought-after fantasy catcher. He has plus power and will play at Coors Field. What else really needs to be said? All he needs is for Colorado to figure out that he’s the best catcher they have in the system.
#11 Wilson Ramos – It’s going to take more than one good season (for a catcher) to make me a believer in Ramos as a top option. Yes, his 22 home runs and 81 RBI last year were nice, but he’s approaching 30 and coming off a major leg injury. There’s some potential here, but don’t get too carried away.
#14 Jonathan Lucroy – It wasn’t too long ago that Lucroy was Robin to Posey’s Batman. Now, he’s become an afterthought. In 423 at-bats with the Rangers since being acquired at the deadline last season, Lucroy has a .253 average, 15 home runs, and a .723 OPS. Most of those stats were from the end of the 2016 season. This year has been a disaster for Lucroy with only four home runs and a paltry .240 average. The Rangers are even looking to ship him out of town now. You can do much better.
#17 Carson Kelly – It’s unfortunate that one of the best catching prospects in the minors is thoroughly blocked at the major league level. His upside is a .280, 20-plus home run hitter, but it might take a change of scenery to get a chance.
#19 Yadier Molina – When you look at the complete package, Molina has to be in the discussion for one of the best catchers of all time. However, in fantasy, his contributions are dwindling with each passing season. He’s still able to provide a solid average, but not much else.
#20 Chance Sisco – With Matt Wieters out of town, Sisco is now the best catching option in Baltimore. He possesses a plus hit tool and could flirt with some .300-plus batting averages, but he has minimal power potential.
#22 Victor Catarini – With the Cubs’ farm system now depleted, Catarini is one of their top prospects. He has a plus hit tool that should allow him to hit in the .270-.280 range in the majors. His power potential is average but is showing signs of life this season with eight home runs so far.
#27 Zack Collins – Collins does two things very well. He hits a lot of home runs and strikes out enough to make Joey Votto blush. IF you’re looking for the next low-average power hitting catcher, Collins is your guy.
#30 Devin Mesoraco – Just a few short years ago, Mesoraco was the hot name in the dynasty catcher world. His .273-25-80 season in 2014 vaulted him up into the catching top-five on a lot of dynasty lists. Unfortunately, he’s had only 217 at-bats since then and has been terrible in his limited time on the field. He’s not worth rostering at the moment, but he is worth watching in case he finds rekindles some magic from 2014.
#39 Blake Swihart – There are two reasons why Swihart sneaks onto this list. Firstly, there’s still some offensive talent hidden in his bat. Secondly, finding 40 catchers to include on this list can be difficult. Like I’ve mentioned time and time again, there aren’t many good catching options. If you’re looking to add a guy from the 30s on this list, I wish you the best of luck.
Thank you for reading another edition of Dynasty Dugout on Fantrax. I hope you can use this article to your advantage and get a leg up on your fellow league members. Check back next week for pitcher rankings, both starters and relievers. Got a question about a player not covered here? Ask in the comments below or follow me on Twitter @EricCross04 and ask there.