The landscape is slowly changing at Catcher with Keibert Ruiz, Adley Rutschman, Joey Bart, MJ Melendez, Gabriel Moreno, Luis Campusano and a host of other top-flight young talent knocking on the door. Until their arrival, we’re left with an elite four at the top of the catcher rankings, a handful of palatable mid-tier type options, the young guns with the huge upside potential, and the rest. Rostering too much of “the rest” will not prove to be a recipe for success.

  1. Will Smith, LAD – Toss in a hundred or so additional at-bats with the DH coming to the NL, and a 30-90 season could be just around the corner and with that, Smith could rank as the best catcher in the game. I’ll gladly pay the current ADP of 64 and bet on the upside coming to fruition.  
  2. Salvador Perez, KCR – Perez is coming off a monstrous 2021 where he tied Vladimir Guerrero for the home run lead with 48 and led all players with 121 RBI. All that being said, prior to last year his previous high in homeruns was 27, a feat he accomplished in both 2017 and 2018. Remember, come Draft Day, we’re investing in 2022, not 2021.
  3. J.T. Realmuto, PHI – Realmuto will provide you with the safest floor of the elite-level catching corps. Pencil in 15-to-20 homers, 70 RBI, 8-to-10 thefts and a .260 BA/.340 OBP and enjoy the ride.
  4. Yasmani Grandal, CWS – In an injury shortened campaign, Grandal still found a way to smack 23 home runs and drive in 62 runs in only 279 at-bats. He also knows how to find his way to first via the free pass, amassing 87 base-on-balls last season. For a little context, only six players in all of baseball got to first via the free pass more times than Grandal last year. Bump him up a round in Leagues that use OBP.
  5. Willson Contreras, CHC – A new home, which would seem highly likely as Free Agency draws near, could provide a boost in his already solid production.
  6. Daulton Varsho, ARZ – If Varsho can hold onto the center field gig and get in a full season’s worth of at-bats with that catcher eligibility, the potential for a 20-15 season and possibly more exits. He could also find himself riding the pine if it doesn’t. There’s both serious risk and serious potential rewards. OF-44
  7. Keibert Ruiz, WAS – The Nationals paid a steep price to acquire Ruiz, yet in the long-run Ruiz could prove to be more than worthy of that investment. The 23-year-old is on the verge of demonstrating the skills that should have him ranked as a Top-10 Catcher in our game for many years.
  8. Adley Rutschman, BAL – Between Double and Triple-A, Rutschman hit 23 homers, drove in 75 runs, and posted an outstanding K/BB ratio of 90/79. He’s the total package and those lofty Minor League numbers and sky-high potential warrant a high placing in our Catcher ranks this season. It’s only a matter of time before he arrives and we’re betting that time is now.
  9. Sean Murphy, OAK – Should 17 home runs and 59 RBI production in his first full season be considered disappointing? It is when accompanied by a .216 BA. Based on his Minor League history and ability to demonstrate decent command of the strike zone, anticipating an improved BA/OBP in 2022 is a distinct possibility.
  10. Tyler Stephenson, CIN – Now that Tucker Barnhart has moved on to the Tigers, Stephenson gets his first shot at being the principal catcher for the Reds. He should be up for the task and provide a spark on O out of the catcher position that hasn’t been witnessed for a few years in Cincinnati. 1B-23 
  11. Carson Kelly, ARZ – Kelly was on his way to besting that 2019 breakout campaign until a late-June fractured wrist cost him a five-and-a-half-week stint on the IL. He still found a way to hit 13 homers, drive in 46 runs, and post a solid .754 OPS. In 2022 he will best that 2019 breakout.
  12. Omar Narvaez, MIL – 2019 was so good. 2020 was nightmarishly bad. We met in the middle in 2021. A repeat of that middle ground is a solid bet in 2022.
  13. Christian Vazquez, BOS – The 23-homer 2019 is looking like an outlier, but 10 homers, high single digit stolen bases, and an above average BA are all warranting of our attention. Vazquez is currently sporting an ADP of 211 and should prove to be a solid acquisition at that cost.  
  14. Travis d’Arnaud, ATL – If only d’Arnaud could find a way to stay healthy he’d be a Top-10 catcher. Unfortunately, he hasn’t and with only three seasons in his career that have bested 300 at-bats, anticipating more is a challenge.
  15. Yadier Molina, STL – Last year, in his age-39 season, Molina posted the 4’th highest RBI total amongst his peers. He no longer is what he once was, but he’s still got a little left in the tank before he heads to Cooperstown.
  16. Joey Bart, SFG – Buster Posey has retired leaving the door wide open for young Joey Bart to commence his run as the heir apparent. The power is very real. The contact skills are not quite to that same level as the power. Learn to live with what will probably be a mediocre BA.  
  17. Gary Sanchez, NYY – If 20-to-25 bombs, a Mendoza line BA, and mediocre D is to your fancy, Gary Sanchez is your guy. What you see is all there is to get.
  18. Mike Zunino, TBR – If 20-to-25 bombs, a Mendoza line BA, and great D is to your fancy, Mike Zunino is your guy. What you see is all there is to get.
  19. James McCann, NYM – Like so many Mets, 2021 wasn’t a good introduction to the Mets faithful. The question that 2022 should go a long way in answering, is the 2019 season an outlier? Maybe the 2017 campaign is the bar? 2022 should go a long way in providing that answer and you won’t have to overpay to find out.
  20. Yan Gomes, CHC – Willson Contreras is heading into Free Agency in 2023 so what are the odds of him remaining a Cub through 2022? I’ll go with slim-to-none. Even if Contreras remains a Cub, the DH is coming to the NL and Gomes should find his way into plenty of at-bats and another season of mid-teen power.
  21. Luis Torrens, SEA – Torrens proved to be a pleasant surprise for the young Mariners. A 15 HR, 47 RBI debut will do exactly that. Now, can he sustain that strong debut? He’s currently sporting an ADP of 387 so the cost as a second catcher in two-catcher sets won’t break the bank.
  22. Mitch Garver, MIN – We’re still waiting for a repeat of that stellar 2019 campaign and I’m not going to be holding my breath anticipating that occurring. The question now is how long it will be before Garver relinquishes the #1 Catcher gig to Ryan Jeffers.
  23. Elias Diaz, COL – Plan on 10-to-12 homers with a .240 BA and treat anything over and above that as a bonus.
  24. MJ Melendez, KCR – We constantly talk about how prospects were negatively affected by the loss of the 2020 season, but Melendez defied the odds and broke out in a big way. How big? 41 homers worth of big. Toss in his ability to control the strike zone (115/75 K/BB) and you have a recipe for success. He won’t be stealing at-bats from Sal Perez, but the Royals will find room in that lineup somewhere for a bat of Melendez caliber. 
  25. Alejandro Kirk, TOR – He had better get off to a good start, as Gabriel Moreno is charging hard and there isn’t a lot of extra at-bats as a DH in that loaded Jays lineup.
  26. Ryan Jeffers, MIN – The 14 homers in 267 at-bats last year is reason for optimism. The .199 BA, not so much. He’s still young (turning 25 in June), and a return to the contact skills he flashed while coming through the Twins system could be cause for a rapid move up the catcher ranks.
  27. Jacob Stallings, MIA – The defense, and the ability to work with the Marlins young pitchers was the principal reason for the Marlins acquiring him from Pittsburgh, but the late bloomer shouldn’t hurt you with the bat either. The joy in escaping Pittsburgh could be cause for the late bloomer to continue to blossom in his new home.
  28. Eric Haase, DET – Another all-power low BA option who will likely lose at-bats to the defensive chops of newly acquired Tucker Barnhart. Some of that loss will be made up in his ability to play the outfield, but not enough. OF-20
  29. Max Stassi, LAA – He’s a backup catcher thrust into a #1 catcher role. How often does that work out well?                            
  30. Austin Nola, SDP – We all remember the unbridled optimism when the Padres acquired Nola from the Mariners early in the 2020 season. Four homers in 236 at-bats later and the optimism isn’t quite so strong. 2022 could prove to be the last opportunity for Nola to be an everyday regular, as Luis Campusano has been smoking hot down on the farm and is chomping at the bit to assume the #1 spot for the “Friars”.
  31. Luis Campusano, SDP
  32. Gabriel Moreno, TOR
  33. Francisco Mejia, TBR
  34. Jonah Heim, TEX
  35. Tucker Barnhart, DET
  36. Danny Jansen, TOR
  37. Austin Hedges, CLE
  38. Martin Maldonado, HOU
  39. Kyle Higashioka, NYY
  40. Zack Collins, CWS 
  41. Austin Barnes, LAD
  42. Cal Raleigh, SEA
  43. Victor Caratini, SDP
  44. Roberto Perez, PIT
  45. Kevin Plawecki, BOS 
  46. Jose Trevino, TEX
  47. Andrew Knapp, CIN
  48. Andrew Knizer, STL 
  49. Jorge Alfaro, SD OF-21 
  50. Tom Murphy, SEA 
  51. Riley Adams, WAS
  52. Pedro Severino, MIL
  53. Tomas Nido, NYM
  54. Stephen Vogt, FA
  55. Matt Thaiss, LAA
  56. Manny Pina, ATL
  57. Cam Gallagher, KCR 
  58. Austin Allen, OAK
  59. Dom Nunez, COL
  60. Seby Zavala, CWS 
  61. Sandy Leon, CLE
  62. Alex Jackson, MIA
  63. Jason Castro, HOU
  64. William Contreras, ATL 
  65. Shea Langeliers, ATL 
  66. Wilson Ramos, FA 
  67. Curt Casali, SFG 
  68. Michael Perez, PIT
  69. Nick Fortes, MIA
  70. Dustin Garneau, DET
  71. Kurt Suzuki, FA
  72. Robinson Chirinos, FA 
  73. Garrett Stubbs, PHI
  74. Reese McGuire, TOR
  75. John Hicks. TEX
  76. Austin Wynns, FA
  77. Aramis Garcia, CIN
  78. Jake Rogers, DET
  79. Grayson Greiner, FA
  80. Austin Romine, FA
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