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Top-30 Dynasty Catcher Prospect Rankings

Over the last several years, the catcher position has enjoyed an influx of talent, both in the Majors and the minors as well. In my recently posted top-400 overall dynasty prospect rankings, a whopping nine prospects landed inside my top-100 and 10 in my top-120. That’s unprecedented in my prospect rankings. But when you see all the intriguing talent at this position, you’ll quickly see why I ranked them so high. With a potential MVP leading the way, here are my current top-30 catcher prospect rankings for dynasty leagues.

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Top-30 Dynasty Catcher Prospect Rankings

Tier 1

1. Adley Rutschman, BAL

2021 (AA/AAA): 123 G, 543 PA, .285/.397/.502, 25 2B, 23 HR, 3 SB, 14.5 BB%, 16.6 K%, .217 ISO

It’s rare when a prospect is alone in a tier by himself at the top, but that’s the case here with Adley Rutschman. The Baltimore backstop is arguably the best catching prospect to come through the minors since Joe Mauer 15+ years ago. Rutschman combines a plus hit tool, plus power, and a veteran approach into a high-ceiling/high-floor package that no other catching prospect can match. After dominating the upper minors to the tune of a .285/.397/.502 slash line with 25 doubles, 23 home runs, and a 14.5% walk rate, Rutschman is knocking on the door to Baltimore as we enter 2022. There’s a solid chance Rutschman is the top fantasy catcher within the next few years.

Tier 2

2. Tyler Soderstrom, OAK

2021 (Lo-A): 57 G, 254 PA, .306/.390/.568, 20 2B, 12 HR, 2 SB, 10.6 BB%, 24.0 K%, .262 ISO

Even though his long-term position is likely not at catcher, Tyler Soderstrom still qualifies for now and possesses all-star caliber offensive upside. He was one of the more talented bats in the 2020 draft class and those offensive abilities shined brightly in 2021. Soderstrom flashed his plus raw power with a .262 ISO, .568 SLG, and 12 HR in 57 games while also hitting .306 with a 10.6% walk rate. He might not have the huge power that most of the top first baseman have if he moves over there, but Soderstrom possesses .275+/25+ upside as a middle-of-the-order caliber bat. There are no platoon splits here either as Soderstrom hit .283 vs RHP and .375 vs LHP.

3. Gabriel Moreno, TOR

2021 (RK/AA/AAA): 37 G, 159 PA, .367/.434/.626, 10 2B, 8 HR, 1 SB, 8.8 BB%, 15.7 K%, .259 ISO

Simply put, Gabriel Moreno is one of the best pure hitters in the minors. During the summer of 2021, I saw Moreno live several times and he impressed me each and every time. His ability to control the zone like a 10-year veteran and barrel up pitches consistently was astonishing. Pitchers could rarely fool Moreno, and his overall production reflected that, hitting for a high average and solid power as well. The only thing that could slow him down was a mid-season thumb fracture, but he made up for lost time in the AFL, hitting .329 in 14 G.

I’ve gone on the record as saying that Moreno is basically 90-95% of Adley Rutschman offensively and he has a similarly high floor thanks to his contact skills and exceptional plate approach. The Blue Jays currently already have Danny Jansen and Alejandro Kirk at the Major League level, but Kirk is the subject of trade rumors which would open up a clearer path for the stud backstop prospect.

4. Francisco Alvarez, NYM

2021 (Lo-A/Hi-A): 99 G, 400 PA, .272/.388/.554, 18 2B, 24 HR, 8 SB, 13.8 BB%, 22.3 K%, .282 ISO

Francisco Alvarez came out of the gates en fuego to start 2021, hitting .417 in his 15 Lo-A games. That earned him a promotion to Double-A where he still hit for power (22 HR, .538 SLG, .291 ISO in 84 G) and got on-base at a solid .351 clip, but the AVG dropped to .247. That’s not something that concerns me in the long run though as Alvarez was incredibly young for the level. While he might not have the ceiling of Rutschman (who does?), Alvarez fits firmly in this 2nd tier as an all-star caliber catcher with an above-average to plus hit tool, plus power, and strong defensive skills. He’s the unquestioned catcher of the future in Queens and could develop into a top-10 or even top-5 fantasy catcher.

5. Henry Davis, PIT

2021 (RK/Hi-A): 8 G, 31 PA, .308/.387/.808, 2 2B, 3 HR, 1 SB, 12.9 BB%, 32.3 K%, .500 ISO

The 2021 #1 overall pick immediately slots into this talented 2nd tier. After a dominant final season at Louisville, Davis hit .308 with a trio of homers in eight minor league games after the draft. Davis dominated opposing pitching for the entire 2021 calendar year and has one of the highest offensive ceilings at this position thanks to an above-average hit tool and plus or better power. He also has a cannon for an arm behind the plate, adding to his all-around value. The Pirates don’t currently have a long-term catching option leaving the door wide open for Davis when he’s ready in 2023 or 2024.

6. Austin Wells, NYY

2021 (Lo-A/Hi-A): 103 G, 469 PA, .264/.390/.476, 23 2B, 16 HR, 16 SB, 15.1 BB%, 24.9 K%, .212 ISO

As someone that plays, loves, and writes about fantasy baseball and prospects, I loved the landing spot in the draft for Austin Wells. As a Red Sox fan, it stung. Wells is a perfect fit for Yankee Stadium and their 163-foot right-field fence. I kid! Well, only a little. The former University of Arizona standout quietly put together a productive 2021 season, hitting 16 home runs and swiping 16 bags with a .264/.390/.476 slash line in 103 games between Lo-A and Hi-A. He might not quite have the hit tool as most of the names above him, but Wells projects as a .270+ hitter and his plus raw power from the left side could allow him to flirt with 30 homers annually at Yankee Stadium.

Wells is far from a standout defensively, but he could still see some time behind the plate at the Major League level with Gary Sanchez falling out of favor in the Bronx. But still, Wells’ primary position is likely not going to be at catcher. Who cares. Wells’ bat will play anywhere.

7. MJ Melendez, KCR

2021 (AA/AAA): 123 G, 531 PA, .288/.386/.625, 22 2B, 41 HR, 3 SB, 14.1 BB%, 21.7 K%, .337 ISO

After a 2019 season to forget, MJ Melendez stormed back and imposed his will in the upper minors in 2021. In 123 games, Melendez cranked a whopping 41 home runs while increasing his AVG from .163 to .288. Just as impressive as the 41 homers was the improved strikeout rate. After sitting above 30% in each of his first three seasons including a disgusting 39.4% in 2019, Meledez cut that rate down to a respectable 21.7% in 2021. Will it stick? Probably not at that level, but even a 25% rate would suffice with Melendez’s power and walk rate.

The Royals have some fellow named Salvador Perez at the Major League level already, but they could use Melendez in a back-up catcher/DH role and maybe even give him some time at the hot corner where he started nine games in Triple-A. Trust me, they’ll find a way to get this .250+/25+ profile into their lineup early on in 2022.

Tier 3

8. Harry Ford, SEA

2021 (RK): 19 G, 65 PA, .291/.400/.582, 7 2B, 3 HR, 3 SB, 13.8 BB%, 21.5 K%, .291 ISO

You, yes you, should be extremely excited about Harry Ford. The Mariners selected the uber-talented backstop with the 12th overall pick and he immediately showcased that lofty offensive profile with three homers and three steals in 19 games. As is the case with Soderstrom and Wells, there’s a decent chance that Ford moves out from behind the plate, but with this offensive profile, it doesn’t really matter. At 5’10/200, Ford packs a punch at the plate with an above-average hit tool, plus raw power, and plus speed as well. There’s legit 20/20 upside with Ford, so don’t skip over him in your FYPDs just because he’s got that C next to his name currently. This is a potential fantasy star if everything clicks.

9. Joey Bart, SFG

2021 (AAA): 67 G, 279 PA, .294/.358/.472, 15 2B, 10 HR, 0 SB, 7.5 BB%, 29.4 K%, .178 ISO | MLB: 2/6

Prospect fatigue is a serious condition that affects thousands of fantasy baseball players across the world. If a prospect doesn’t come up and light the world on fire, their star immediately dims in the eyes of many. That’s unfair, but at the same time, it creates an opportune buy-low window in dynasty leagues. That’s exactly the situation we have with Joey Bart entering the 2022 season.

The former #2 overall selection has consistently hit for power as a professional, but the AVG and approach haven’t quite lived up to expectations and he’s hit only .239 with zero homers through his first 117 PA in the Majors. But with that said, he’s still a 25-homer bat in the making which could make him a back-end top-10 fantasy catcher, even if the AVG and OBP are only around .250 and .320 respectively. In 2022, he’ll have a shot to fill the vacated starting catcher role vacated by the now-retired Buster Posey. Buy-low if possible.

10. Diego Cartaya, LAD

2021 (Lo-A): 31 G, 137 PA, .298/.409/.614, 6 2B, 10 HR, 0 SB, 13.1 BB%, 27.0 K%, .316 ISO

Although he’s further away than most of the top-10 here, Diego Cartaya’s offensive profile makes him an outstanding dynasty target right now. The 19-year-old Venezuelan native tore apart Lo-A pitching in 31 games before a hamstring injury ended his season in early August. While that’s unfortunate, it also helps suppress his dynasty price right now as he was on pace for a monsterous statistical season. Cartaya’s plus to double-plus raw power was clearly evident this season, and he’s made strides with his contact skills and approach at the plate as well. Although, I’d still like to see that 27% strikeout rate tick down a bit more. With the Dodgers loaded everywhere, including Will Smith at catcher, and Cartaya’s inability to play elsewhere, his path to MLB at-bats isn’t exactly clear. However, the NL adopting the DH could change the narrative and Cartaya is still a few years away anyway.

Tier 4

This is the tier where the offensive talent drops from “Elite” to “good”

11. Dillon Dingler, DET: His 20-homer pop makes him enticing, but Dingler’s contact skills and approach need refinement. Still, there’s a relatively clear path to Detroit for him as the newly-acquired Tucker Barnhart is a free agent after the 2022 season.

12. Shea Langeliers, ATL: The highest floor in this tier belongs to Shea Langeliers thanks to his gold-glove caliber defense and strong throwing arm. Those tools will carry him to Atlanta and he’s improved his offensive outlook as well, potentially settling in as a .260/15+ bat.

13. Drew Romo, COL: One of the better all-around catching prospects in the minors with above-average defensive skills. Romo enjoyed a solid first season offensively as well, slashing .314/.345/.439 in 79 Lo-A games. There’s a potential 50-grade hit tool here that could be elevated by Coors Field, but how much power Romo develops is the X-Factor. Don’t read too much into those 23 steals either as stolen bases were exponentially up in Single-A this year.

14. Joe Mack, MIA: I’m a bit higher on Mack than most, but I see a future where Mack is a 50/55-hit, 55-power bat from the left side of the plate. He struggled mightily in his first 19 professional games, hitting .132 with one home run, but also walked a whopping 20 times. Don’t overlook him in the mid to late rounds of your FYPDs.

15. Luis Campusano, SDP: Campusano has been considered a top catching prospect for several years now but is blocked at the Major League level and profiles more as a .270/15 type than one that can hang with the studs in the three tiers above.

16. Patrick Bailey, SFG: Bailey put up a decent .265/9/7 line in 82 games this season, but doesn’t stand out offensively. There’s a path to 50-hit, 50-power here, but I’m not seeing much more than that.

Tier 5

17. Jeferson Quero, MIL | 18. Cooper Hummel, ARI | 19. Ivan Herrera, STL | 20. Sam Huff, TEX | 21. Logan O’Hoppe, PHI | 22. Miguel Amaya, CHC | 23. Korey Lee, HOU | 24. Antonio Gomez, NYY | 25. Bryan Lavastida, CLE | 26. Endy Rodriguez, PIT | 27. Bo Naylor, CLE | 28. Ronnier Quintero, CHC | 29. Samuel Basallo, BAL | 30. Adrian Del Castillo, ARI

This is an interesting mix of prospects. Yadier Molina can’t play forever, so Ivan Herrera should take over in St. Louis in the near future. However, he’s a solid but not great power bat that saw his AVG plummet in 2021. Speaking of power, Sam Huff has plenty of it, but the contact skills and strikeout issues limit his longterm potential. The best-case scenario is likely Mike Zunino 2.0. Three that could really rise up rankings here in 2022 and beyond are Jeferson Quero, Antonio Gomez, and Ronnier Quintero. Two that did just that in 2021 were Logan O’Hoppe, who really impressed in the ADL, and Bryan Lavastida. At this point, I’m wondering if Miguel Amaya is even a starting catcher at the Major League level.

Media Credit: Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire, Josh Norris (@jnorris427), Eli Fishman (@elijfishman), Mariners Player Development/Seattle Mariners,

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  1. abangs says

    No Keibert Ruiz? He still has rookie status and you had him above Soderstrom in your latest dynasty rankings.

    1. Eric Cross says

      Ruiz graduated due to service time. And my dynasty rankings factor in proximity a bit more. Ruiz would be in tier 2 if eligible.

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