by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
With the 2016 Draft Guide less than two weeks away from being released (click here to pre-order today!), these are no longer early rankings. Instead these are the real deal, as we begin our preparation for draft day. Catcher is one of those positions that can often be frustrating for fantasy owners. While there are generally obvious top options to target, the wear and tear of the position can generally lead to injuries (as well as frequent days off). That’s why catchers who spend time at other positions are always more valuable, like Buster Posey.
This year is a little bit different, however, as there’s a new group of young catchers who are emerging onto the scene. Players like J.T. Realmuto and Blake Swihart help to lengthen the rankings and further help justifying waiting to select a catcher.
Who are the players worth targeting? Who should we avoid? Let’s take a look at our Top 15 Catchers for the coming season:
1. Buster Posey – San Francisco Giants
2. Kyle Schwarber – Chicago Cubs
3. Jonathan Lucroy – Milwaukee Brewers
4. Salvador Perez – Kansas City Royals
5. Matt Wieters – Baltimore Orioles
6. Russell Martin – Toronto Blue Jays
7. J.T. Realmuto – Miami Marlins
8. Brian McCann – New York Yankees
9. Travis d’Arnaud – New York Mets
10. Yasmani Grandal – Los Angeles Dodgers
11. Blake Swihart – Boston Red Sox
12. Derek Norris – San Diego Padres
13. Welington Castillo – Arizona Diamondbacks
14. Stephen Vogt – Oakland Athletics
15. Wilson Ramos – Washington Nationals
For deeper rankings make sure to order Rotoprofessor’s 2016 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide by clicking here!
- There are two significant questions facing Kyle Schwarber. The first is going to be if he can make enough contact and the second is if he can play good enough defense to stay on the field. Given his power the first may not matter and if he’s producing gaudy numbers the Cubs will be willing to overlook some of the defensive woes.
- The Padres have actually imported a few young catchers this offseason, including Josmil Pinto and Christian Bethancourt, so you have to wonder what the future holds for Derek Norris. That said he’s still the best option the team has and should get enough AB to go 10/5 with a solid average. From a catcher, there’s value in that.
- Welington Castillo as a borderline Top 12 option?! While the average is never going to be there he hit 17 HR in 274 AB as a member of the Diamondbacks, courtesy of an average distance on non-groundballs of 284.413. The power has been growing in recent seasons and he is certainly in a prime location to continue his growth. There’s actually a lot to like and he’s a player we’ll be taking a closer look at in the near future.
- Blake Swihart was impressive after being forced into action last season, including hitting .303 with 4 HR in the second half. The power isn’t there, at least not yet, and he also needs to adjust against breaking balls and offspeed pitches if he wants to continue hitting for a strong average. There’s upside, but it is a bit limited.
- Can Jonathan Lucroy stay healthy and recoup his overall value? Time will tell, but there’s enough upside that we’d be willing to gamble on him.
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Make sure to check out all of our Top 10 Prospect Lists: