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Staff Post: Catchers to target in 2020

The lads discuss some targets at backstop...really!

Getty Images/Pete Rogers Illustrations

It’s the end of Catcher Week, and if I said it was bittersweet I’d be lying. Next week we’ll move on to first base, and it should be exponentially more exciting. For now, a couple of the Fake Teams staff have humbly offered their primary target at the catcher position. Enjoy, and please circle back around on Monday morning as we’ll start the week off with our Top 30 at the first base position.

Colorado Rockies v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Will Smith, Dodgers (Jonathan Butler)

NFBC ADP: 160

2019 wasn’t a fluke, as he has always been known for his bat during his time in the minor leagues. He posted double digit walk rates at every single level and had a 9.2% walk rate during his 196 plate appearances in the big leagues—which allows him to have value even during cold streaks. Smith has the ability to hit for 25+ home runs on a great offense while posting a .250-.260 batting average and providing non-zero speed. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him putting up stats that would make him the No. 1 overall catcher for the next few years.

Detroit Tigers v Kansas City Royals Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

Salvador Perez, Royals (Heath Capps)

NFBC ADP: 173

He missed 2019 due to Tommy John, so the fantasy populace at large was robbed of seeing what the power-hitting catcher could have done with the bouncy ball. The Royals are expected to try him some at first base this spring, so we’re looking at a situation where the team is going to try to ease him back into the heavy catching duties by using him at first base and in the DH spot. So we get a power-hitting catcher who isn’t ALWAYS having to catch, which is what we should be looking for. Prior to his 2019 injury, Perez managed 114 homers from 2014-2018, which ranked second in the MLB (Evan Gattis had 118). He slashed .254/.285/.438 over that stretch, too. He won’t walk at all, with a career 3.5% rate. So he’ll take a hit in OBP leagues. But a .250 average is reasonable to project, as well as 25+ homer power. In leagues where I’m just looking for power from my backstop, Perez is my primary target if I miss out on J.T. Realmuto.

Seattle Mariners v Oakland Athletics Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Omar Narvaez, Brewers (Garrett Atkins)

NFBC ADP: 211

Our own Heath Capps wrote an entire article on why you should target Narvaez on draft day. I’m on the bandwagon as well. Narvaez could easily finish as a top five catcher in 2020. If he can repeat his 2019 hitting ratios, the counting stats will improve drastically with a much better lineup around him in Milwaukee.

That’s it. That’s the end of the week, ladies and gentlemen! Feel free to check out the week’s highlights!