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Staff Post: Catchers to Target in 2019

The Fake Teams writers round out the week with their favorite catcher targets. Hold your nose, folks.

MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at Los Angeles Dodgers Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

In case you’ve been living under a rock, I’m here to tell you that it’s Catcher Week! Well, it was catcher week. After today’s targets and avoids, it will all be over. Everyone be sure to check back in for First Base Week starting on Monday.

If you missed anything this week, no worries. You can find every bit of catcher propaganda by following this link. Or, you can click on “Catcher Week!” on our homepage and it will take you to all the goodness.

Without further ado, welcome to the culmination of our research. We each are naming our primary targets at this funky position. As always, bring your discussion into the comments. Note: We offered up an obvious target and some slightly less obvious ones. As has been much discussed, there’s a clear-cut, sturdy group of eight catchers that we prefer here at Fake Teams. After that, you’re just trying to see what sticks to the proverbial wall, if you catch my drift...

MLB: Detroit Tigers at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Wilson Ramos, Mets (Zack Waxman)

NFBC ADP: 136

Anybody named Wilson and spells it like glove – that is Wilson Ramos, not Willson Contreras. When I’m drafting a catcher, I keep it simple and look at three criteria: batting average, homers, and playing time. Ramos hits all three and can typically be had somewhere between the third and seventh catcher off the board. There is a big gap in draft cost between the top two catchers and the next five or six off the board. Ramos has just as much batting average floor and ceiling as any other catcher. He has 20-homer power and is set to see a healthy dose of playing time. From this week, you can read more about Ramos vs. Contreras by clicking here.

MLB: Washington Nationals at Philadelphia Phillies Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Jorge Alfaro, Phillies (Heath Capps)

NFBC ADP: 252

Jorge Alfaro can be a steal if he can continue trimming what began as a gargantuan walk rate in 2018. Here are Alfaro’s strikeout rates by month: 42.4%, 37.5%, 36.4%, 34.3%, 33.9%, 33.3%. So he’s moving in the right direction, after posting a 28.9% mark in 2017. His .270 batting average is promising despite the strikeout rates, as he’s shown a consistent ability to hit for average despite his swing-and-miss tendencies. The high BABIP is supported by his sprint speed (28.3 ft/sec) and his ability to hit the ball hard. Right now he’s the 11th catcher off the boards per NFBC data, but in most redraft leagues I think he’ll come a little cheaper. Alfaro made the State of the Position article early in the week due to his potential.

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Danny Jansen, Blue Jays (Punk Is Dead)

NFBC ADP: 267

After the Russell Martin trade, Danny Jansen is the man in Toronto. At a position with little excitement from a prospect standpoint, Jansen has a shot at being a mainstay among the top tier of catchers for years to come. That could be realized as soon as this season. From this week, Jansen made Joe’s list of sleepers and was the ninth-ranked backstop in our consensus rankings.

MLB: Chicago Cubs at Pittsburgh Pirates Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Elias Diaz, Pirates (Joe Gentile)

NFBC ADP: 357

Elias Diaz has always been viewed as a contact-first hitter, but last season he proved he also has the ability to hit for power. With a 40.5% hard contact rate (according to Statcast) and an improved fly ball rate, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Diaz on pace to put up 25 home runs next season. He will be in a platoon with Francisco Cervelli, but I believe he will be on the strong side of that platoon as he proved that he is the better catcher last season. Diaz got some love on Episode 11 of the Double Switch podcast.

That’s it for targets, ladies and gents. Be sure to circle back around later today for staff avoids, which will conclude Catcher Week. Let’s all rejoice at moving on to first basemen come Monday, right?!?