Well, the 2020 Fantasy Baseball season is already upon us. It doesn’t seem that long ago that the Nationals were winning the World Series. NFBC, Fantrax and other sites have already started their Draft and Hold leagues. Here at FSD myself and Lucas will go position by position and give you our Top 20 rankings and other thoughts on the position. Per usual we’ll start with the lovely catcher position. If you have any thoughts or questions feel free to reach out to us on Twitter or join the FSD Slack Chat. Let’s get started with out top 20.
|Lucas (@BieryPlox33)||Bubba (@bdentrek)|
|1- J.T. Realmuto||1- Yasmani Grandal|
|2- Gary Sanchez||2- J.T. Realmuto|
|3- Yasmani Grandal||3- Gary Sanchez|
|4- Willson Contreras||4- Mitch Garver|
|5- Mitch Garver||5- Willson Contreras|
|6-Will Smith||6- Salvador Perez|
|7- Wilson Ramos||7- Wilson Ramos|
|8- Salvador Perez||8- Will Smith|
|9- Sean Murphy||9- Yadier Molina|
|10- Carson Kelly||10- Omar Narvaez|
|11- Omar Narvaez||11- Christian Vazquez|
|12- Christian Vazquez||12- Carson Kelly|
|13- Jorge Alfaro||13- Jorge Alfaro|
|14- Yadier Molina||14- Sean Murphy|
|15- Kurt Suzuki||15- Robinson Chirinos|
|16- Danny Jansen||16- Travis d’Arnaud|
|17- Buster Posey||17- Kurt Suzuki|
|18- Roberto Perez||18- Buster Posey|
|19- Travis d’Arnaud||19- Francisco Mejia|
|20- Robinson Chirinos||20- Tom Murphy|
Overall Thoughts on the Position-
Lucas- Catcher is a position that greatly is affected by league size/format (know your rules and what catchers typically available on the wire). In 2 catcher formats, there is even more emphasis on avoiding the bottom of the pool, as the backups who have poor rate stats and little playing time can absolutely crush you. It’s also a dangerous game to buy high on last years’ stud performers, such as Christian Vazquez. I usually avoid the top tier unless it’s a shallow league, as the investment cost in an NFBC Style (2 C, 12 to 15 teams) is usually higher than I’m comfortable with (Realmuto’s ADP is 60, Sanchez’s ADP is 86). Instead of aiming for the studs near the top, I try to aim for 2 guys that play full-time or close to it.
Bubba- First off I’ve always been a believer that the catcher position in Fantasy Baseball should only be 1 catcher, but a lot of us play in 2 catcher leagues so I will acknowledge it does exist. If you are playing in a 1 catcher league then punt punt punt. Just make sure you can snag one of your catchers ranked 12-15 or so. In a 2 catcher league I try to get at least 1 catcher I can really rely on and then piece together the 2nd. I understand going but with both, if you can make it work that’s great, but the draft cost of those picks for other positions usually stings. The position has the big dogs up top but then a lot of heavy end of a platoon options and a lot of catchers they will play over 100 games. The amount of games played makes the position deeper than normal but definitely not in a sexy way.
Potential 2020 Busts-
Lucas- Christian Vazquez (199 ADP) will be a very popular bust call, as he had a very clear outlier year in the power department. After hitting 5 & 3 HR in 2017 & 2018 respectively, Vazquez crushed 23 bombs in 2019. Quite an outlier. I think he will be decent for catcher standards, given the team context and park, but I would rather take Danny Jansen (293 ADP) about 100 picks later.
Bubba- I am 100% on board with the Vazquez call by Lucas. Vazquez is my top bust. To give you lovely readers a second option I’ll give you Mitch Garver. According to NFBC ADP, Garver is the 4th catcher off the board and going around pick 114. But let’s be real, Garver hit 31 home runs in only 93 games. Garver hit 31 home runs after never hitting more than 17 in any season of the bigs or minors. Garver may hit for say 20 or even 25 home runs, but in the era of the bouncy ball that isn’t great. He’s never played more than 103 games in the bigs and the Twins will always platoon at catcher. I won’t be paying the price for Garver when I can load up at another position.
Top Catching Targets for 2020-
Lucas- I’ve found good success targeting a C1 who is boringly stable (think Molina/Posey types) and then targeting another guy with playing time due to good defense or lack of a backup option (think Roberto Perez). Ultimately you want to either buy in on one of the top guys, or just wait for good value later with someone you feel comfortable with and avoid the guys who only play occasionally.
Bubba- If I am paying up at catcher, and I usually don’t, then I want all the Yasmani Grandal. Grandal is coming off a monster 2019 season and now plays for the White Sox which won’t hurt him at all. Grandal plays extra games at 1B & can now DH which will increase his stats as well. Grandal has hit 22 or more home runs in 4 straight seasons, is a counting stats machine and in OBP leagues is a beast. For some later targets give me Jorge Alfaro and Omar Narvaez.
Top Catching Sleeper Targets for 2020-
Lucas- In terms of consistent production, Robinson Chirinos is the guy, despite the age (turns 36 mid-summer). He’s produced at least 17 HR the past 3 seasons. Omar Narvaez is another guy who’s just a really good hitter (career .361 OBP), that is somehow discounted at ADP 235. Pure profit to the pocket.
Bubba- Tom Murphy is my sneaky deep sleeper for 2020. He was a platoon monster with Narvaez last season. He mashed LHP but really struggled vs RHP. He was always a heralded prospect with the Rockies but never got his chance. Now he’s the everyday catcher for the Mariners and if he can figure out how to hit RHP just a little bit will be a steal as the 22nd catcher off the board around pick 297 according to NFBC ADP.
Dynasty Catching Targets-
Lucas- Catcher is a very fickle position to invest in, especially for dynasty purposes as catchers peak later and don’t produce as well as position players for a variety of reasons, including health concerns & pitching staff/defense responsibilities. Simply put, catcher is a very taxing position on the body. Typically I prefer to invest in older, boring vets, but Daulton Varsho is a bit of a different beast, as he can steal bases and play OF, which can lead to more PA’s. Another guy to consider is Alejandro Kirk, he put up a 56:39 BB:K ratio, walking far more than he struck out, despite being about 2 years younger than the average player at High-A Dunedin. He’ll come much cheaper than Varsho and could be a nice catcher option if he continues to demonstrate the patient approach.
Bubba- Obviously Adley Rutschman & Joey Bart are major targets but are likely gone unless you are in a first year dynasty draft. Daulton Varsho is my guy as well. Lucas nailed it that Varsho is a different player. He’s a power/speed monster. He’s everything you want in a prospect and even more for a catching prospect.