Dynasty Catcher Rankings: December 2018

by Connor Henry

Welcome to the offseason dynasty rankings for the catcher position. Below you will find 30 names ranked in the order of how effective I believe they can be and for how many seasons. It does not directly represent the trade value of certain players, but I hope it enlightens you to the value of current production vs. age. Compared to other rankings I may be a bit higher on currently contributing players as opposed to prospects, but who doesn’t want to be in “win-now” mode in a dynasty league? Below the rankings are some of my thoughts about how the rankings were sorted out:

1 JT Realmuto – 27 Tier 1: Elite
2 Gary Sanchez – 26
3 Buster Posey – 31 Tier 2: Next Best
4 Francisco Mejia – 23
5 Wilson Ramos – 31
6 Willson Contreras – 26
7 Danny Jansen – 23 Tier 3: Solid Options
8 Salvador Perez – 28
9 Yasmani Grandal – 30
10 Willians Astudillo – 27
11 Yadier Molina – 36
12 Keibert Ruiz (P) – 20 Tier 4: Thrive or Flop
13 Joey Bart (P) – 21
14 Daulton Varsho (P) – 22
15 Welington Castillo – 31
16 Francisco Cervelli – 32
17 Mike Zunino – 27
18 Sean Murphy (P) – 24 Tier 5: Willing to take a Chance
19 Omar Narvaez – 26
20 Austin Allen (P) – 24
21 Carson Kelly – 24
22 Austin Barnes – 28
23 Elias Diaz – 28
24 Kurt Suzuki – 35
25 Ronaldo Hernandez (P) – 21
26 Jorge Alfaro – 25
27 Victor Caratini – 25
28 Zack Collins (P) – 23
29 Will Smith (P) – 23
30 Andrew Knizner (P) – 23
Other Options:
Austin Hedges – 26
Isaiah Kiner-Falefa – 23
Robinson Chirinos – 34
Tom Murphy – 27
Kevan Smith – 30

Thoughts:

Tier 1: Realmuto and Sanchez are quite interchangeable as the top two dynasty catchers. If Sanchez can return to 2016 form and manage to hit .250 I see no reason for him to not finish as the #1 catcher for many years to come. However, Realmuto does take the top spot for me with his consistency, ability to get some stolen bases and the hope that he’ll be on a different team come Spring Training 2019.

Tier 2: While Posey is 31 and on a decline, he still figures to be one of the most productive catchers. In 2018 his contact rate and hard contact rate rose yet his HR/FB% fell below 5%. I expect him to hit .290+ again with 10 home runs while playing close to everyday. Mejia is not far off from being labeled as a bust, however I believe with a sizable chunk of the catching duties coming his way 2019 could be his breakout. Ramos and Contreras round out this tier due to the upside they possess, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t concerned about Contreras going into his 3rd full season whereas Ramos should be more consistent even if it’s for a couple of fewer years.

Tier 3: I may be higher on Danny Jansen then most, however his underlying stats are awesome as he’s an impressive contact hitter with improving power and enough defensive chops to play every day. Conversely, Salvador Perez slots in lower than most would have him due to his lack of on-base ability. Now 28 with a declining walk rate, Perez just doesn’t stand out from the pack as much as he used to. Yasmani Grandal continues to provide power with plenty of counting stats. Now 30, it’s hard to rank him any higher than #9 but he should provide plenty of years of solid production. Astudillo could be the breakout player of 2019. He’s one of the most intriguing players in the MLB due to his lack of strikeouts and developing power so keep an eye on him in all formats. Molina, coming off arguably his best season, is now 36 but has shown no signs of slowing down. A year or two more of impressive production keeps him in this tier.

Tier 4: This tier begins with three top catching prospects. Ruiz sits at #12 due to his incredible plate discipline and proximity to the Majors but I wouldn’t be surprised if the superior power bat of Joey Bart takes over this spot with an impressive start to 2019. I’m high on Varsho compared to most but a catcher who can hit for solid average, power AND steals bases should peak your interest. The last three guys in this tier, Castillo, Cervelli and Zunino, are all relatively boring options but should be owned in all leagues and provide solid value for at least a couple of more seasons.

Tier 5: This group could be rearranged 1,000 different times and I wouldn’t argue with any of the rankings to be honest. Outside of shallow leagues all of these guys deserve to be owned because they have the ability to contribute if they pan out. Guys like Narvaez and Kurt Suzuki are intriguing and put up solid numbers in the past couple of years while prospects such as Sean Murphy, Ronaldo Hernandez and Zack Collins could be key players on your team in a few seasons. The five “Other Options” were in consideration for the last tier but didn’t possess the possible upside I saw in the 13 names above.

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Make sure to check out all of our 2019 projections:

Player
Date Posted
Dylan Bundy10/22/18
Foltynewicz, Mike10/09/18
Gibson, Kyle10/29/18
Hoskins, Rhys10/16/18
Hosmer, Eric11/05/18
Wheeler, Zack10/02/18

2 comments

  1. Sean Donovan says:

    Is Matt Chapman on the list to review this offseason? Thanks!

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