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Catchers

Below are our rankings of catchers entering the 2018 season.  The list was last updated on January 14, 2018.

The Elite

1. Gary Sanchez (NYY) How many catchers have 40 home run potential. One.
2. Willson Contreras (CHC) He mashed 21 homers and drove in 74 runs in his sophomore season, while missing four weeks with a strained hamstring. He’s ready to take the next step.

The Next Best

 3. Salvador Perez (KC) Perez posted career-high numbers in both home runs and RBI in 2017. Expect more of the same solid power production in 2018.
 4. Buster Posey (SF, 1B) The power is fading, but the contact skills remain strong. Flip him with Sal Perez in OBP Leagues.
 5. Wilson Ramos (TAM)   11 homers in 208 at-bats bodes well for a full season reminiscent of that 2016 campaign.
 6.  Yadier Molina (STL) The veteran arguably had his best season in 2017. Surprisingly, he led all catchers with nine thefts. To expect a repeat is asking a lot, but even with a moderate regression in the countable stats, this workhorse will still be one of the better catchers in the game.
 7. J. T. Realmuto (MIA) He has everything that the Marlins want in a player. He’s under team control and won’t be a huge salary burden. Pray for a trade. We know Realmuto is.

The Middle-Tier

 8. Brian McCann (HOU) The string of nine 20 or more home run seasons concluded. The inevitable decline has commenced.
 9. Welington Castillo (CWS) Solid, consistent production on a young exciting team.
 10. Evan Gattis (HOU) In the past five years, Gattis has hit 21, 22, 27, 32, and 12 homers. One of these results is not like the others. In a year where home run records were shattered, Gattis was not a contributor. A bounce back into the 20 HR range can’t and shouldn’t be ruled out.
 11. Austin Hedges (SD) The power numbers were solid last year, the BA not so much. The strikeouts should come down. Is it unreasonable to expect a .240 BA?
 12. Austin Barnes (LAD, 2B) The weaker of the two Dodger catchers, from a power perspective, posted a .408 OBP. That counts, and should continue to count moving forward.
 13. Mike Zunino (SEA) You can’t strike out 40 plus per cent of the time and maintain a decent BA. The mid-twenties power is great, but he’ll return to a Mendoza line type BA in 2018.
 14. Travis d’Arnaud (NYM) He finally stayed healthy and posted his best results to-date. A repeat of that good health and even a marginal improvement in the BA and he could vault up the catching ranks very quickly.
 15. Jonathan Lucroy (FA) He really can’t be 2017 bad again….can he?
 16. Yasmani Grandal (LAD) He raised his BA to .247, the best in the past five years, and it wasn’t enough to retain the title as the #1 catcher for the “Trolley Dodgers.” There is still twenty-homer potential in that bat. Will he get the at-bats?
 17. Jorge Alfaro (PHI) The 2017 debut bred excitement for the Philly faithful. Just remember, a 33/3 K/BB ratio will not equal a .318 BA. Steady, but slow growth, is in the forecast.
 18. Tyler Flowers (ATL) Double-digit power and a solid BA. Those two commodities are rarely found in a catcher.
 19. Russell Martin (TOR) He’ll be 35 years-old in February and is coming off a hugely disappointing 2017 campaign. Some semblance of a bounce-back is a reasonable expectation.
 20. Chris Iannetta (COL) The move to Coors will definitely help.

The Rest

 21. Robinson Chirinos (TEX) Mid-teens power potential.
 22. Yan Gomes (CLE) The memories of that .167 BA in 2016 have now faded.
 23. James McCann (DET) The fact that he shouldn’t hurt you in any category is an asset.
 24. Christian Vazquez (BOS) The seven stolen bases was a nice bonus.
 25. Matt Wieters (WAS) The power numbers are down. The BA is in freefall. He’s earned his #25 ranking.
 26. Stephen Vogt (MIL)
 27. Tucker Barnhart (CIN)
 28. Manny Pina (MIL)
 29. Chance Cisco (BAL)
 30. Jason Castro (MIN)
 31. Kurt Suzuki (ATL)
 32. Francisco Mejia (CLE)
 33. Caleb Joseph (BAL)
 34. Bruce Maxwell (OAK)
 35. Sandy Leon (BOS)
 36. Nick Hundley (SF)
 37. Francisco Cervelli (PIT)
 38. Rene Rivera (LAA)
 39. Carson Kelly (STL)
 40. Cameron Rupp (PHI)
 41. Tony Wolters (COL)
 42. Chris Herrmann (ARZ, OF)
 43. Jesus Sucre (TAM)
 44. Omar Narvaez (CWS)
 45. Victor Caratini (CHC)
 46. Derek Norris (DET)
 47. Austin Romine (NYY)
 48. Kevin Plawecki (NYM)
 49. Martin Maldonado (LAA)
 50. Tom Murphy (COL)
 51. Mitch Garver (MIN)
 52. Brett Nicholas (TEX)
 53. Danny Jansen (TOR)
 54. Roberto Perez (CLE)
 55. Alex Avila (FA)
 56. Devin Mesoraco (CIN)
 57. Carlos Ruiz (FA)
 58. Josh Phegley (OAK)
 59. Andrew Knapp (PHI)

 

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