Fantasy Baseball: Drafting Top Catchers

It was evident going into the Fantasy Baseball season that the catcher position was going to be bad. In leagues with two starting catchers, it was even worse. I made the decision to invest very little in the position and it appears to be the right decision more than two months into the season. 

Buster Posey, Jonathan Lucroy and Gary Sanchez were the catchers that went early or for the highest prices in most drafts. Based on CBS Sports rankings for a 5×5 on-base percentage league, no catchers are in the Top 100. Only five are in the Top 200.

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The top catcher is Posey, but he hasn’t been a difference maker, especially for the cost. He’s batting .348 with 26 runs, eight home runs, 18 RBIs and a .440 on-base percentage. While the average and OBP is great, the other categories are nothing special. Lucroy has been atrocious. He is batting .256 with 11 runs, three home runs, 13 RBIs and a .297 on-base percentage. 

Many believed Sanchez was a lock for 30 home runs after the power he displayed in two months last season with 20 home runs in 201 at-bats. He has already spent a stint on the disabled list but even with the time missed, he’s failed to deliver on his draft price. Sanchez is batting .248 with 18 runs, six home runs, 16 RBIs and a .333 on-base percentage in 117 at-bats.

Many had Willson Contreras as a Top 5 catcher and he hasn’t delivered. He is batting .248 with 18 runs, five home runs and 24 RBIs in 157 at-bats.

Only two catchers have double-digit home runs. Salvador Perez has 11 home runs and 32 RBIs with a .268 average and 24 runs and is the second ranked catcher and one that is not giving you ulcers. He’s the lone catcher with at least 30 RBIs. Austin Hedges has 11 home runs and 28 RBIs, but it comes with a .210 average.

The third ranked catcher is someone people are still not buying into. Alex Avila is 58-percent owned in CBS leagues and is batting .324 with 18 runs, 9 home runs, 24 RBIs and a .640 slugging percentage in 111 at-bats. He’s someone you got off the waiver wire.

Brian McCann has been fine, but is not playing every day so the at-bats are low at 133. He is batting .271 with 19 runs, eight home runs, 29 RBIs and a .372 on-base percentage. J.T. Realmuto was expected to provide average and he’s done it with a .288 mark, 25 runs, five home runs and 22 RBIs.

Surprisingly, one of the better catchers is Tyler Flowers. He is batting .350 with 18 runs, three home runs and 16 RBIs in 123 at-bats and was a waiver wire pick.

Catchers aren’t worth paying for in drafts and certainly not worth the price in auctions. There are few elite catchers in baseball and they bring risk from the grind of the position and the games they sit out due to rest. If you paid up for the top catchers this season, let this be a lesson.


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