Anyway, everyone has to wade in sometime, whether it’s in Round 3 (Salvador Perez) or Round 43 (Martin Maldonado?). You have to draft at least one. And if you’re nosing around over at the NFBC, you’re starting two of these guys, and drafting four or five in your draft and holds.
So how do Steamer and the last month’s worth of NFBC ADP line up? We are talking NFBC50 ADP since November 13th. I’ll offer a few takeaways at the bottom. This will be a simple exercise, not much digging into individual players. I’d like to see what the projections (which are smarter than me) have to say...
Top 25 catchers per NFBC50 ADP
First among the takeaways is that Salvador Perez bashed his way into a league of his own in 2021. You’d expect the statistics in each loose tier to be somewhat similar, but if you’re looking at Perez alongside Realmuto and Will Smith, there’s really no comparison. Perez is giving up speed (obviously) but I was mildly surprised to see him projected to best JTR in batting average. Perez is a career .270 hitter, while Realmuto sits at .275. However, JTR is without the high-water marks of Perez. Anyway...a catcher who can blast 30+ bombs is just stellar, and Perez makes a nice target for those who begin their drafts from the 1.01 with one Trea Turner. I’d say that’s a nice way to make up some power.
Willson Contreras is a target of mine in 2022, at least as it stands now. The .239 BA feels a bit low for a career .259 hitter, especially one with a career .314 BABIP and 64th percentile sprint speed. He’s also posted career best hard hit rates in each of his last two years, and he even decreased his swinging strike rate a bit last year (15.2% to 14.5%) so I’m not sure I’m buying the career-high strikeout rate in 2021. He also swung a bit less and chased less a year ago. Add in the chip-in steals, and I’m buyin’.
Christian Vazquez sticks out as someone who is being drafted based on name recognition. His backup, Kevin Plawecki, should see a solid amount of usage—and 24 backstops are projected to see more plate appearances than Vazquez in 2022. For a guy whose main value lies with the ability to compile stats, not getting a lot of at-bats seems like a death knell.
Alejandro Kirk seems like a nice pivot off of batting average asset Tyler Stephenson. For some 85 picks or so after Stephenson, you give up three runs and four RBI, and can potentially gain elsewhere? Always seems like a logjam in Toronto with their catchers, but Kirk’s projection is enticing, as are the home park hitting environs.
Carson Kelly and Max Stassi look like nice C2 options farther down the list. Kelly’s given us nice seasons before, and he’s projected to finish 17th in plate appearances, which isn’t bad (or illogical, given Varsho’s ability to move around the diamond). Stassi is projected to finish 15th in plate appearances, and that jives as it’s only Matt Thaiss backing him up on the roster currently.
What sticks out to you at this crummy position, gamers?