2019 Fantasy Baseball: AL-Only Catcher Rankings with Tiers and Projections Updated 1/15
If you have a weak stomach you may want to pop a handful of Tums before you go any further. Yeah, it’s that bad. If you thought the catcher pool for mixed leagues was bad, my 2019 AL-Only Catcher Rankings will not help with your mental state. But then, if you clicked on this article you’ve probably braced yourself for the worst. Let’s trudge on through and try to make the best of it.
About My Rankings
All my rankings are derived straight from my projections. Like everyone else I have my biases and opinions on every player. Those biases may be expressed in my projections, but once my projections are on paper (or hard drive) it’s all automated. Every once in awhile I might slide a player up or down a notch, but as much as possible I want them to be a result of math and not my surface perception on a player.
For my projections I use a modified version of the Projecting X system created by Mike Podhorzer of FanGraphs and made even better by the excel magic of Tanner Bell of SmartFantasyBaseball.com. The projections are still all me, but this system helps you see exactly what metrics really affect the fantasy stats and what it takes to reach high levels of production. This system helps reign in those biases I mentioned earlier and helps me resist any crazy urges to value Ronald Acuna any higher than he already is.
Once the projections are done (they never are really done) I use a prototype excel sheet developed by Tanner Bell to rank the players. His sheet saves me a ton of time in ranking the players in a scientific way. In the past, every year I had to relearn how to set up my SGP (Standings Gain Points) rankings. Now I just plug in my projections. I know I linked to the site above, but I can’t stress strongly enough how much a savvy fantasy baseball player can learn from Smart Fantasy Baseball. If you want to be your own expert head on over there… after you finish here.
Enjoying these NL-Only Catcher Rankings? For more great rankings, strategy, and analysis check out the 2019 FantraxHQ Fantasy Baseball Draft Kit. We’ll be adding more content from now right up until Opening Day!
About the Tiers
It is a bit of a challenge laying out tiers in a position as week as this. We want the rankings to be linear and go from highest value to lowest. While my rankings follow that path, the differences in value after the top two catchers are almost negligible. It’s almost a case of pick your poison. Do you want some of the catchers who can pop 15 to 20 homers, but come with a .220 average. Or do you want the handful of catchers who won’t hurt your average, but offer little else. I’ve grouped them as logically as possible, but my feeling won’t be hurt if you diverge from my tiers in a draft… Just don’t tell me.
Drafting Catchers in AL-Only Leagues in 2019
So how should you approach catchers in your AL-Only drafts? Good question and as usual there’s no one right answer. If you want Gary Sanchez you’re going to have to reach further than you think. Even after a pretty forgetful year, his potential is obvious. I’m not a fan of reaching for specific players, but if Sanchez plays up to his potential he offers a huge advantage in AL-Only leagues. I might reach a round earlier than what you think it will take to get him. Right now he’s going off the boards in the late fourth or early fifth rounds according to Fantrax ADP.
Once you get past Sanchez upside is really hard to find. Salvador Perez is a notch above the rest, but he’s no explosion waiting to happen. Maybe the best strategy is to pair one of Castillo/Chirinos/Zunino with one of of Jansen/Astudillo/Narvaez/Kiner-Falefa. Cobined they will give you close to 30 HRs and hopefully an average over .250. It doesn’t seem like much, but at the catcher position it’s about as good as you can expect.
If you’re like us you can’t wait until spring to get the 2019 fantasy baseball season started? Well, you don’t have to. Leagues are already forming at Fantrax.com, so head on over and start or join a league today.
2019 AL-Only Catcher Rankings
These rankings are a work in progress. There is still a lot of player movement likely to happen. Maybe AL-Only owners can get lucky and J.T. Realmuto gets dealt to the American League. We can dream right? Anyway I’ll be updating my AL-Only catcher rankings as news comes out and roles change. I’ll re-publish with each update so you can stay up with the latest. BTW if you also do the NL,my NL-Only Catcher Rankings will be out shortly.
Got a beef with my rankings? Did I miss someone? Let me hear it in the comments below or call me out on Twitter (@rotodaddy). Just be gentle. Dealing with this AL catcher pool has taken a toll.
Doug Anderson is a 10-year veteran of the Fantasy Sports industry. His work has appeared on RotoExperts.com, Yahoo.com, SI.com, and NFL.com, as well as in the pages of USA Today’s Fantasy Baseball Weekly and various other magazines. Doug has participated in both LABR and Tout Wars, the two preeminent expert fantasy baseball leagues in existence. Doug was formerly the Executive Editor at RotoExperts and is now Managing Editor here at FantraxHQ. You can follow him on Twitter @RotoDaddy.
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