Day 2 of Catcher week continues with a look at who to target at the position.
2020 seemed poised to be a breakout year for catchers. Mitch Garver, Omar Narvaez, Danny Jansen, and Francisco Mejia all looked like solid bets to break out. Alas, they were all busts. The shortened season and overall madness of 2020 can certainly be cited as a reason many players struggled. Only time will tell. All the uncertainty leaves fantasy managers pessimistic about the state of the catcher position in 2021. Aside from J.T. Realmuto, the clear No. 1, catcher has never been more of a crapshoot. My advice for the 2021 season is simple...wait.
Here are some of my favorite catchers to target on draft day in 2021.
Austin Nola, San Diego Padres
My Rank: 8
Expert Consensus Rank: 9
NFBC ADP: 166.34
If I'm in a one-catcher league I'm waiting to be one of last to draft them. Nola has often been the guy I'm grabbing. He had a solid, under-the-radar 2019 and followed it up with a similar 2020 effort. Over the two seasons he's hit .271 with an .808 OPS, 17 home runs, 59 RBI, and 61 runs. This all in just 127 games and 399 at-bats. The expected stats back up his performance. He'll get a full season with a loaded Padres lineup in 2021. He's a great get at catcher going past the top 150 overall in drafts.
Max Stassi, Los Angeles Angels
My Rank: 15
Expert Consensus Rank: 31
NFBC ADP: 370.67
Over the past three seasons, Stassi has a hard hit rate of 43.1%. That is better than both J.T. Realmuto (41.1%) and even Gary Sanchez (43%) over the same time frame. In fact, it's 66th in all of baseball among hitters with at least 500 at-bats.
Sam Huff, Texas Rangers
My Rank: 16
Expert Consensus Rank: 32
NFBC ADP: 356.57
Holy small sample size, Batman! Sam Huff came up late in 2020 and knocked three homers with a .742 SLG in 33 at-bats. Good for a 49-homer pace! Huff has the potential to be the Rangers’ primary catcher in 2021. The 23-year-old had 28 home runs with a .845 OPS during the 2019 minor league season. He is the #2 prospect in the Rangers organization and was a top 100 overall prospect by both Baseball America and MLB Pipeline in their pre-2020 lists. He has 60-grade power and could easily hit 25+ home runs if the Rangers give him 400 at-bats in 2021.