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Updated Catcher Rankings - 5x5 Roto (Mixed Leagues)


We continue our fantasy baseball tiered rankings analysis with everyone's favorite - the catcher position.

With the 2019 season beginning in a matter of days, RotoBaller writers Nick Mariano, JB Branson, Bill Dubiel, Pierre Camus, and Scott Engel have given their preseason rankings a final update. Check out our fantasy baseball rankings dashboard for a current list any time.

The catcher position is the most polarizing lineup slot in fantasy baseball. Many players wince when they see league rules that require two catchers, yet many standard formats still require the use of two starters. There are hordes of frustrated fantasy owners who want their commissioners to reduce the number of starters to one, because the position is ultra-thin and devoid of quality hitters even when one player is a required starter. This season’s fantasy class lacks a true superstar, even though one guy clearly is above the rest of the field.

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Catcher Tiered Ranks - 5x5 Mixed Leagues (March)

In case you missed it, our very own "Big Pick Nick" Mariano was recently named the #1 overall most accurate industry expert ranker for the 2018 season. You can see his secret sauce below! Additionally, industry legend Scott Engel recently joined the RotoBaller team and provides his insights as well. Scott is an FSWA Hall Of Famer and award winner.

Rank Tier Player Position Nick Pierre Bill JB Scott Auction $
1 1 J.T. Realmuto C/1B 97 64 91 67 50 14
2 1 Gary Sanchez C 94 88 86 91 94 9
3 2 Wilson Ramos C 132 160 133 144 187 8
4 2 Willson Contreras C 196 153 174 153 170 8
5 2 Yadier Molina C 173 178 179 178 142 6
6 2 Yasmani Grandal C 195 154 205 161 151 6
7 2 Buster Posey C/1B 221 173 197 186 237 5
8 3 Danny Jansen C 250 322 255 229 260 3
9 3 Francisco Mejia C 382 196 272 261 251 3
10 3 Welington Castillo C 264 335 264 271 238 2
11 3 Yan Gomes C 324 218 273 266 292 1
12 3 Mike Zunino C 318 191 322 276 #N/A 1
13 3 Jorge Alfaro C 319 306 318 285 #N/A 1
14 3 Francisco Cervelli C 279 353 406 300 272 1
15 3 Willians Astudillo C 478 295 301 259 #N/A 1
16 3 Robinson Chirinos C 412 308 391 304 #N/A 1
17 3 Tucker Barnhart C/1B 280 458 426 297 #N/A 1
18 4 Austin Barnes C 486 367 319 352 #N/A 1
19 4 Kurt Suzuki C 361 368 465 364 #N/A 1
20 4 Omar Narvaez C 453 377 #N/A 350 #N/A 1
21 4 Isiah Kiner-Falefa C/2B/3B 465 499 344 320 #N/A 1
22 4 Austin Hedges C 430 340 562 312 #N/A 1
23 4 Jonathan Lucroy C 512 363 537 370 #N/A 1
24 4 Brian McCann C #N/A 324 588 443 #N/A 1
25 4 Grayson Greiner C #N/A #N/A #N/A 454 #N/A 1
26 4 John Hicks C/1B 449 522 504 367 #N/A 1
27 5 Tyler Flowers C 551 514 462 340 #N/A 1
28 5 Russell Martin C #N/A 521 #N/A 446 #N/A 1
29 5 Chris Iannetta C 565 531 #N/A 373 #N/A 1
30 5 Elias Diaz C 553 539 #N/A 377 #N/A 1
31 5 Blake Swihart C/OF #N/A #N/A 511 483 #N/A 1
32 5 Carson Kelly C 591 #N/A #N/A 411 #N/A 1
33 5 Tom Murphy C #N/A 588 428 541 #N/A 1
34 5 Mitch Garver C 623 524 #N/A 420 #N/A 1
35 5 Christian Vazquez C 603 543 #N/A 442 #N/A 1
36 5 Austin Romine C #N/A #N/A #N/A 535 #N/A 1
37 5 Kevin Plawecki C #N/A #N/A #N/A 540 #N/A 1
38 6 Manny Pina C #N/A 584 #N/A 509 #N/A 1
39 6 Chance Sisco C 614 576 #N/A 457 #N/A 1
40 6 Jason Castro C #N/A 596 #N/A 508 #N/A 1
41 6 Martin Maldonado C 568 599 #N/A 511 #N/A 1
42 6 Max Stassi C #N/A 589 #N/A 531 #N/A 1
43 6 James McCann C #N/A 583 #N/A 544 #N/A 1
44 6 Nick Hundley C #N/A #N/A #N/A 567 #N/A 1
45 6 Austin Wynns C #N/A #N/A #N/A 574 #N/A 1
46 6 Matt Wieters C #N/A 598 #N/A 556 #N/A 1
47 6 Cam Gallagher C 586 #N/A #N/A #N/A #N/A 1
48 6 Tony Wolters C #N/A 591 #N/A #N/A #N/A 1
49 6 Travis D'Arnaud C #N/A 632 #N/A 564 #N/A 1
50 6 Victor Caratini C/1B #N/A 624 #N/A 573 #N/A 1
51 6 Kevan Smith C #N/A #N/A #N/A 619 #N/A 1
52 6 Taylor Ward C 597 #N/A #N/A 654 #N/A 1
53 6 Sean Murphy C #N/A #N/A #N/A 640 #N/A 1
54 6 Roberto Perez C #N/A #N/A #N/A 649 #N/A 1
55 6 Chris Herrmann C #N/A 641 #N/A 661 #N/A 1
56 6 Alex Avila C #N/A 621 #N/A 686 #N/A 1
57 6 Keibert Ruiz C #N/A 655 #N/A #N/A #N/A 1
58 6 Sandy Leon C #N/A 656 #N/A #N/A #N/A 1
59 6 Devin Mesoraco C #N/A #N/A #N/A 664 #N/A 1
60 6 Josh Phegley C #N/A #N/A #N/A 678 #N/A 1
61 6 Aramis Garcia C #N/A #N/A #N/A 679 #N/A 1
62 6 Andrew Knizner C #N/A #N/A #N/A 681 #N/A 1
63 6 Curt Casali C #N/A #N/A #N/A 683 #N/A 1

 

Rankings Analysis – Top Tiers

Tier One

The top tier consists of just two players, although you could make a case that No. 1 catcher J.T. Realmuto belongs in a tier by himself. Last season, his 17 homers, 65 runs scored and 68 RBI were all career highs, and he should be able to set new personal standards in the latter two categories with the move to a better lineup and ballpark in Philadelphia. Of course, he is good for eight to a dozen steals every year, a nice bonus that further assures him of his place atop the position.

Injuries and a .197 BABIP were among the factors that made Gary Sanchez’s 2018 season a big disappointment. Yet he still hit 18 homers in 323 at-bats and remains the ultimate source of power at the position. He should be closer to a .250 hitter this year and will approach 30 homers again. Realmuto is easily the better choice for all-around dependable production. Nick and Bill slightly prefer the power promise of Sanchez. For JB and myself, it’s not even close in terms of Realmuto being the clear top player at catcher. He’s not a health or batting average risk.

Tier Two

Wilson Ramos just has to stay healthy to keep his top-five status, but that has often been an issue for him. He had an ISO over .180 in each of the past two seasons and will be good for 15 to 20 homers if he is able to play most of the season. Almost in confusing fashion, Willson Contreras saw his average drop by 27 points and his HR total was halved. The HR/FB rate tumbled to an astonishing 9.3 percent. He should rebound in the homer department, but it is logical to remain skeptical if he can get back to a .275 BA.

Age is not deterring 36-year-old Yadier Molina from remaining elite. He has sacrificed some average for power over the last two seasons and has totaled 38 home runs. Nick and I prefer Molina the most in this tier.  Yasmani Grandal will always drag down a team BA a bit, but a move to Milwaukee could see him soar past the 25 HR mark again. I personally don’t think Buster Posey belongs in this tier with lingering concerns about his hip likely leading to more declining production. Pierre has Ramos behind both Molina and Grandal while Bill has Grandal ranked the lowest in the grouping.

 

Rankings Analysis - Middle Tiers

Tier Three

The drop-off in quality immediately becomes apparent at the position once the tier two catchers go off the board. Toronto rookie Danny Jansen certainly is promising for a respectable average, double-digit homers and a respectable OBP for those who play in such formats. Padres prospect Francisco Mejia has the potential to contribute a lot offensively, but he looked overmatched in his first exposure to the majors last year and will have to battle for playing time.

Nick does not see it going well for Mejia. Wellington Castillo played under 50 games last year, but if he can steer clear of injury issues you can get 15 home runs from him. Yan Gomes has double figure pop but you never know just how much his BA can hurt you. No such worries on Mike Zunino, as you know you will get the HRs, but the batting average will always be ugly. Pierre still puts him inside his Top 200 overall. Jorge Alfaro will be the top regression candidate after fashioning a .405 BABIP last year, but you can still get a good amount of at-bats and double figures in homers as he starts regularly for Miami.

Francisco Cervelli can be more of an asset in OBP leagues, Willians Astudillo is a source of fantasy fascination to all but Nick Mariano, who has him over 170 total spots behind anyone else on our rankings team. He only struck out three times in 93 at-bats last year and was tough to whiff in the minors, too. There is not a clear path to playing time for him yet, but his plate discipline may demand he plays often enough to use him as a fantasy starter at some point this year. Robinson Chirinos is a power specialist who hurts your team elsewhere. Tucker Barnhardt has zero upside but will play regularly and is an adequate second starter at the position.

Tier Four

There are some respectable plays in this grouping for those in two-catcher leagues. Austin Barnes will try to rebound after a very disappointing 2018 campaign, and he will have to fight off Russell Martin to claim the starting job. He is Bill’s favorite in this tier. Kurt Suzuki is a safe second catcher for a quality combination of power and average. Omar Narvaez appears set to be the starter in Seattle and is capable of providing a respectable batting average with double-figure pop. Utilityman Isiah Kiner-Falefa has a name that draws chuckles and bad jokes in the draft room, but more importantly, he has rare speed for a qualifier at the position.

The power is apparent for Austin Hedges, but he will have to hit for a decent average to hold Mejia off in San Diego. Pierre and JB believe he will maintain a healthy amount of at-bats. Some may believe Brian McCann may not have much left at this point, but Pierre still seems to have faith in him.  Grayson Greiner has shown decent plate discipline and pop in the minors and is ticketed for the starting job in Detroit. Teammate John Hicks played 21 games at catcher last year, enough to qualify there and provide an adequate BA with some power in two-catcher leagues.

 

Rankings Analysis – Lower Tiers

Tier Five

At this point, you are sifting through the clearance rack, hoping to find a decent discount. When you get here, you realize why so many fantasy players want to do away with two-catcher formats. Tyler Flowers will platoon with McCann in Atlanta, and he is always a threat to hurt your BA. Russell Martin already has a spring back problem and could lose out to Barnes in L.A. Chris Iannetta is better utilized in OBP leagues. Bill still has a glimmer of hope for Tom Murphy. Elias Diaz took advantage of limited playing time last year but will open the season on the DL with a virus. Mitch Garver could be the gem from this group, as he has promising on-base skills and the ability to hit for adequate power. JB prefers Flowers, Diaz and Iannetta more than the rest here.

Tier Six

Now you are simply looking for hope among the fantasy hopeless. If you still don’t have a catcher by this point, then your personal breaking news bulletin is that you have waited way too long. Chance Sisco is the one guy that gets a better amount of respect from JB and also draw nods from Pierre and Nick. He may be able to emerge from a platoon situation to be a longer-term starter, but he has looked overmatched in the majors so far. Martin Maldonado will be worth a very late flier, and does get minor recognition from Nick, Pierre and JB. Don’t completely forget about Jason Castro, who may get a lot of starts for Minnesota. Manny Pina could have some occasional quality outings as a backup to Grandal.

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It's been a month since the last time we took a look at our beloved quarterbacks. Numbers are numbers, and numbers don't lie. You can twist them, but looking at them objectively, numbers say that no matter what, rushing the ball is almost always a worse option than passing it in today's game. That's why... Read More


Fantasy Football Risers and Fallers - Week 7

Whether due to their own play, the play of others, or injuries, players' stock increases and decreases on a weekly basis. Perhaps more than any other, the NFL is a league that experiences ups and downs at a rapid pace. With only 16 games, there’s little room for error and seemingly endless opportunities for improvement.... Read More


Coaching Matters: Offenses That Will Improve From Week 6

This series continues into its sixth week of where I dive into offensive areas that will improve or decline based on coaching in order to glean insight as to fantasy football value. In Week 6, we saw performances such as Ryan Tannehill throwing for 364 passing yards, the Houston Texans running backs combining for 66 rushing yards, and the New... Read More


Tape Tells All: D'Andre Swift's Week 6 Performance

Welcome to another edition of Tape Tells All. I've been thinking of rebranding as just TAPE. All-Caps like that. Probably wouldn't be a good idea for SEO purposes, right? Anyways, this week we'll be discussing Detroit Lions rookie running back D'Andre Swift. Swift set a lot of career highs this week, with bests in carries... Read More


Week 7 Waiver Wire Pickups & Adds

Week 6 was like the 2020 of fantasy football weeks. All those great matchups meant nothing, those studs let you down, and your bench likely went crazy. The good news is that we didn't have any season-ending injuries to running backs or games canceled due to COVID, so in retrospect maybe we shouldn't complain. The... Read More


FAB Bidding - Week 7 Waiver Wire Targets

Whether it's injuries, bye-week blues, or simply poor performance, we've got the waiver-wire cure...but it just might cost you! Alongside our famous waiver wire pickups list and our weekly waiver wire columns by position, this column focuses on suggested waiver wire bidding percentages for fantasy football owners in leagues using a Free Agent Budget (FAB). In... Read More


Waiver Wire Express - Week 7 Lightning Round

Week 6 was relatively healthy and had no coronavirus delays, so let's just take a moment to bask in that. That said, we still saw Miles Sanders (knee) and Zach Ertz (ankle) go down, while Mark Ingram (ankle) has a bye to get healthy. Week 7 byes are Baltimore, Indianapolis, Miami, and Minnesota. Let's get... Read More


Running Back Waiver Wire Pickups - Week 7

Fantasy GMs are to be commended for rising to the unique challenges that have unfolded during this regular season. Injuries to critical players is an unwelcome reality that occurs every year. This is also the case for backs that were expected to operate as RB1s, but have been relegated to committees. However, this season has... Read More


Wide Receiver Waiver Wire Pickups - Week 7

Six weeks of NFL football are behind us, aside from a pair of Monday games, including a late afternoon game between the Bills and the Chiefs. In terms of wide receiver production this week, we didn't have the huge breakouts like we had in Week 5. Chase Claypool didn't score four touchdowns. In fact, only... Read More


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Dissecting Contact Quality In Search Of Fantasy Bargains

Of the 1,015 hitters sampled(1) between 2015 and 2019, there were only 14 instances of hitters making more productive contact against pitches outside of the strike zone than against pitches inside of the strike zone based on xwOBAcon. Based on the same sample, the average hitter was a whopping .116 points better against pitches inside... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 23rd, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 23rd, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Lineup Order Risers and Fallers: AL West 2020 Review

It’s the offseason and there are about to be a bunch of moving parts. This allows for speculation in terms of players gaining or losing playing time, moving up or down a batting order and much more. The idea here is to highlight some lineup situations for each team and some potential winners or losers... Read More


2021 1st & 2nd Year Players with James Anderson - Benched with Bubba (Episode 317)

Bubba (@bdentrek) is joined by James Anderson (@RealJRAnderson) on episode 317. The guys will go over 30+ first and second-year players. They will discuss their current ADP's in the 2 Early Mocks, what to expect of the players in 2021, and much more. They also go over some listener questions, compare Juan Soto to Mike... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 21st, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 21st, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 20th, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 20th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Bubba and Bat Flip 54: 2 Early Mocks APD Player Debates - Benched with Bubba (Episode 316)

Bubba (@bdentrek) is joined by Bat Flip Crazy (@BatFlipCrazy) to take a deeper look at the 2 Early Mocks ADP. They go over some of the positions and look at players with similar ADPs and debate. Going around the diamond discussing some players people are high on and some they are down on with a... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 18th, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 18th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 17th, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 17th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


2021 Early Mock ADP Values & Reaches: WPC+ Videocast

Pierre Camus and Nicklaus Gaut prepare for the 2021 fantasy baseball season with a look at early mock draft results from the RotoBaller Expert mock. Like and subscribe to the RotoBaller channel on Youtube to get all our latest podcasts and catch us on iTunes and BlogTalkRadio as well! Be sure to also tune into RotoBaller... Read More


Statcast Season Review: 2020 Barrel Leaders (Hitters)

The 2020 MLB season will always be one for the record books, even if everything that took place will have multiple asterisks attached to it. Evaluating Statcast numbers is a nice way to find hot and cold hitters, as well as underachievers and overachievers. Now that the regular season is over, let's reflect on the... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 16th, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 16th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 15th, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 15th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 14th, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 14th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Bubba and Bat Flip 53: 2 Early Mocks APD Trends & More - Benched with Bubba (Episode 315)

Bubba (@bdentrek) is joined by Bat Flip Crazy (@BatFlipCrazy) to take a deeper look at the 2 Early Mocks ADP. They dig into trends, some interesting risers/fallers, and much more. They also go over some listener questions at the end to keep the Fantasy Baseball information coming even in the offseason. Be sure to subscribe... Read More