NL-Only Catcher Rankings with Tiers & Projections (Updated 2/20)
Update of my NL-Only Catcher Rankings for Feb. 20: I bumped Yasmani Grandal up after his signing in Milwaukee. I can’t imagine a better combination of lineup and ballpark to boost his value. I also looked back at the season Francisco Cervelli had last year and upgraded his projections. I still worry about his health, but he’s in a tier by himself; not as good as those above him, but still a better bet than the cesspool that follows him. I also gave Buster Posey a bit of a bump with generally positive news regarding his health.
If you just clicked on over here from my AL-Only Catcher Rankings I apologize. The catching scene in the American League is a dank, dark, scary place. While the NL-Only Catcher Rankings aren’t exactly deep, you do get down to No. 15 or 16 before you get too nauseous. Of course that could change a little if J.T. Realmuto gets dealt to an American league team.
As with my my AL rankings linked to above, My NL-Only Catcher Rankings are strictly based on projections. You can read more about how I do my rankings and projections in the AL piece, but the basic idea is to do my projections as logically as possible, and then use an automated system to rank the players by those projections. This gets rid of some of the biases that I have and builds my rankings on math instead of my surface perceptions. And believe me, it can be a battle between my perceptions and what the math tells me these players are worth. I’ll occasionally shift a player a slot or two in my rankings based on a “gut” perception, but this isn’t voodoo. If my projections aren’t mostly in line with my perceived values, then one of them has to change.
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!
Drafting catchers in 2019 NL-Only Leagues
Though the catcher pool isn’t as bleak as in the AL, things will get ugly if you go with the zero-catcher strategy. If people are down on Willson Contreras for his ugly 2018 season or wary of Buster Posey because of his injury concerns, I would love to grab them at a discount. This may be the first season in a long time Posey represents a possible value. More than likely though I’ll chase upside at other positions and miss out on these two.
If that happens my likely strategy would involve drafting one catcher with 15-to-20 homer potential and then another more likely to hit for a decent average. Think Jorge Alfaro and Francisco Cervelli. Ideally the two will combine to form one a half decent catchers… Sadly that’s about all you can hope for unless you grab 2 catchers in the first 10 rounds.
How these rankings work…
For each player I’ve included their rank at the position, the stats I project them to end the season with, and I’ve tried to group them into tiers as logically as possible. While the end of the second tier may bleed into the start of the third, these tiers are a lot more solid than the ugliness in the AL. I’ll be updating these rankings every Sunday, so check back if Realmuto gets traded or maybe Yasmani Grandal signs with an NL team. Other than that it looks like the starting jobs are pretty cut and dried. I will be keeping an eye on the situation in San Diego. If it looks like Francisco Mejia is going to get consistent at-bats I would consider moving him to the top of tier two on upside alone.
Enough of the chatter. On to the rankings!
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 NL-Only Catcher Rankings
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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 kind. Dealing with the 2019 catcher pool has a taken a toll on my psyche I may never recover from.
Doug Anderson is an 11-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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