There are many ways to attack the catcher position in fantasy baseball. One very popular approach is waiting till late in your draft to draft a catcher. In single catcher leagues I will preach just wait all day long. In 2 catcher leagues I like 1 solid option if not 2, but some still punt. If you are the one that likes to wait, don’t worry as there are a lot of intriguing options after pick 200 or Round 13 in 15 team leagues. Here are 3 catchers I’ll be targeting later in drafts as well as a deeper sleeper as we enter the 2020 Fantasy Baseball Draft season. Side note….they all have a trend of having some nice prospect pedigree.

Jorge Alfaro, MIA- (NFBC ADP 222, 11th C)

Alfaro was an up and coming prospect in the Phillies system and looked to finally have his chance to be the man in Philly. Well, not so fast. After playing 100+ games in 2018 for the Phillies, he was traded to the Marlins in the J.T. Realmuto trade. Alfaro truthers were immediately bummed as he made the shift from hitter friendly Citizens Bank Park to pitcher friendly Marlins Park. Good for us Alfaro truthers was the fact Alfaro wasn’t bummed as he broke out with the Fish. Alfaro played in 130 games hitting a career high 18 home runs and hit .262 for the second straight season. Alfaro has seen his barrel rate increase in each of the last 3 seasons from 9.5% to 10.6% to 11.5%. But weirdly while hitting 18 home runs Alfaro saw his launch angle dropped from 8.3 to 4.7, so a return towards the 8 level could lead to a 20+ home run season. We’ve also seen Alfaro have an xWOBacon of .441, .449 and .452 in each of the last 3 seasons, which is outstanding considering he strikes out over 30% of the time. If Alfaro could improve that launch angle and reduce the strikeouts he could take a major step in the fantasy categories we desire. The 26 year old Alfaro even steals a few bases each season and should be a later round draft day target.

Francisco Mejia, SD- (NFBC ADP 248, 14th C)

Mejia has crushed in the minors year after year, but hasn’t been able to break through in the bigs just yet. Even last year was a downer to many as he finished with 8 home runs and a .265 average in his 79 games with the Padres. But the stat line doesn’t tell the whole story. Mejia saw much more consistent playing time as the Padres starting catcher in the 2H of the season and his bat warmed up at the same time. In the 2H of the season Mejia hit .305 with 14 extra base hits (6 home runs) in 44 games. If Mejia can carry that 2H over, he could be in for a big 2020. A few other tweaks Mejia could make is improving his barrel rate back to the 8% level compared to the 4.7% in 2019. He also had an insane launch angle of 19 degrees that resulted in over a 12% pop up rate. Turn those pop ups into more line drives or quality fly balls would help a ton. Mejia has that prospect pedigree we love, but has some young flaws as well. He’s still only 24 years old and could definitely take another step in the right direction for a solid 2020 season.

Tom Murphy, SEA- (NFBC ADP 295, 22nd C)

Well, we have a trend here. Murphy was also a nice catching prospect who is finally getting his chance to make a fantasy impact. Murphy has always shown 20+ home run upside in the minors and last season Murphy hit 18 home runs in just 76 games. It was only 76 games because Murphy was the backup to Omar Narvaez and was mainly stuck in a platoon. Well, Narvaez has been traded to the Brewers and the starting job looks to belong to Murphy. As mentioned, Murphy was apart of a platoon because he mashed LHP. He hit .347 with 11 of his 18 home runs vs lefties. The down side was the fact he only hit .211 with 7 home runs vs righties. I say he was in a platoon because he was the main bat vs LHP, but he actually played in and had more at bats last season vs RHP than LHP. Murphy’s statcast page is also filled with good and bad. His barrel rate, launch angle and hard hit rates are all outstanding. While, his xBA, xSLG and xWOBA are a bit of a deterrent. In the end I see a catcher with 20+ home run upside who has a starting role. If he increases his ability to hit RHP he could be in for a monster season. Murphy’s draft price should continue to rise and he’s a solid target for me this 2020 draft season.

Victor Caratini, CHC- (366, 26th C)

This is a DEEP league, NL only, DC/Best Ball or 2 catcher option. Caratini had a solid 2019 season as he filled in for an injured Willson Contreras as well as play some 1B when Rizzo was banged up. Caratini managed to play in 95 games and rack up 279 at bats. He flexed his muscle hitting 11 home runs with a .266 average and a sneaky nice .348 OBP. Lost on many was Caratini’s ability to draw a walk 10.4% of the time. As many leagues change to OBP, Caratini could be really nice in the later rounds. The other reason I wanted to bring up Caratini besides his solid offensive skills is the fact Willson Contreras is rumored in trades. If Contreras is dealt then Caratini could walk into a really nice everyday catching job with a solid Cubs offense. He would leap up my catcher rankings and be a major target of mine. His dual position eligibility doesn’t suck either.