clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Fantasy Baseball 2017: Top 20 Catcher Rankings

New, comments

Ray takes an early look at his top 20 catcher rankings for 2017. Yeah. It's early.

Hey, I'm back. Remember me?  I want to apologize for not writing much of late. My new consulting job, and soon to be full-time job, has prevented me from writing over the last several weeks. I have been working 12 hour days, and combining that with a 1.5 hour commute each way, there has been little time for writing here. But, it's the weekend, and I have some free time this morning, so I decided to begin taking a look at some early position rankings, starting with the catcher position.

The perennial #1 fantasy catcher over the last few seasons has been Giants catcher Buster Posey. That will change in 2017, at least for me. I have been saying for a few years now that the Giants should consider moving him to first base to keep him healthy and keep his bat in the lineup every day. That hasn't been the case this season. He has put up his worst power totals of his career this season while playing through a few injuries. His .433 SLG and .148 ISO are the lowest of his career and one has to wonder if his 2016 performance is his new production level.

Taking over the top spot at the catcher position is Rangers catcher Jonathan Lucroy, who hit .289-.352-.492 with 23 home runs, 66 runs scored, 80 RBI and 5 stolen bases. 2017 will be his walk year, so we could see Lucroy put up his best season ever, especially since he will be hitting in a hitters park and in a very good Rangers lineup.

What to make of Yankees catcher Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez? He is one of the favorites to win the American League Rookie of the Year award after hitting ..298-.373-.662 with 20 home run, 33 runs scored and 42 RBI in 225 plate appearances. Some will rank him higher, but I am not ready to project him repeating his 2016 performance. He makes a ton of hard contact as his 41% hard hit rate reflects, but he only hit 35% of his batted balls in the air, and 40% of those fly balls left the park. His 40% HR/FB rate is NOT repeatable. Can he hit 25-30 home runs in 2017? I think he could. Expecting more is too optimistic for my blood.

Of all the catchers to make an appearance this season, only 16 made 400 or more plate appearances, and only 8 made 500+ plate appearances. so there aren't many full time catchers out there. Phillies catcher Cameron Rupp had a bit of a breakout season, hitting .255 with 16 home runs and 55 RBI in 2016, ranking 9th in home runs and 13th in RBI among all fantasy catchers. The Phillies front office really likes him as he has produced on the field and has been a clubhouse leader, something a young team like the Phillies need in their rebuild.

I will rank my early Top 20 first baseman over the next day or two.

Rank

Name

Team

League

1

Jonathan Lucroy

Rangers

AL

2

Buster Posey

Giants

NL

3

Yasmani Grandal

Dodgers

NL

4

Gary Sanchez

Yankees

AL

5

Salvador Perez

Royals

AL

6

J.T. Realmuto

Marlins

NL

7

Evan Gattis

Astros

AL

8

Russell Martin

Blue Jays

AL

9

Willson Contreras

Cubs

NL

10

Cameron Rupp

Phillies

NL

11

Brian McCann

Yankees

AL

12

Wilson Ramos

FA

NL

13

Yadier Molina

Cardinals

NL

14

Welington Castillo

Diamondbacks

NL

15

Matt Wieters

FA

AL

16

Sandy Leon

Red Sox

AL

17

Tom Murphy

Rockies

NL

18

Derek Norris

Padres

NL

19

Mike Zunino

Mariners

AL

20

Stephen Vogt

Athletics

AL

Fantasy Rundown

If you are looking for more fantasy football and baseball coverage, make sure you check out Fantasy Rundown, where you can find links to all of the best fantasy coverage on the internet.