2016 Fantasy BaseballFantasy Baseball

2017 Fantasy Baseball: Fantasy Catchers M-Z

Welcome to the second edition of fantasy catchers for the 2017 season. If you read the first article, you know we are profiling the top 24 returning fantasy players at each position. Naturally, there are some young players that will be left out and we will profile them at a later date, but this is a pretty exhaustive list otherwise. We are profiling them in alphabetical order as we pick up the list in the middle of the alphabet.

We will be providing rankings for five and six category leagues in three and five year increments. We also will provide composite numbers for the six categories and our own rankings based on where they are now. As you might suspect, circumstances could change these rankings, but it’s a good starting off point.

James McCann—Detroit Tigers (.243, 9.5 HR, 31.5 Runs, 44.5 RBI, 0.0 SB, 19.5 BB)

3 Year 5 Category- 23

3 Year 6 Category- 24

5 Year 5 Category- 22

5 Year 6 Category- 23

McCann had a spurt there where he seemed to be coming out of his shell as a hitter, but he returned by the end of the season. McCann will likely get more playing time next season as the Tigers embark on a youth movement. The Jarrod Saltalamacchia experiment is essentially over even before it began. Ranking: 23rd

Yadier Molina—St. Louis Cardinals (.286, 6.3 HR, 53.7 Runs, 53.0 RBI, 2.3 SB, 33.0 BB)

3 Year 5 Category- 12

3 Year 6 Category- 10

5 Year 5 Category- 4

5 Year 6 Category- 5

There is nothing quite as incendiary as the memory of a great player. Molina was a Hall of Fame level catcher if only briefly at the beginning of the decade. His 2012 season was brilliant and it is working in his favor on the five year rankings. The three year rankings are more appropriate. He’ll keep your batting average up and he’ll get numbers simply by being in the lineup most days. He might not be a fantasy regular anymore, but he grades out there for the time being. Ranking: 11th

Derek Norris—San Diego Padres (.231, 10.8 HR, 44.2 Runs, 44.6 RBI, 5.0 SB, 36.6 BB)

3 Year 5 Category- 10

3 Year 6 Category- 7

5 Year 5 Category- 11

5 Year 6 Category- 12

John Dewan’s Fielding Bible rated Norris as +22 defensive runs saved this past season. Sure, defense might have nothing to do with fantasy directly, but it will get you in the lineup when it otherwise shouldn’t. In particular, Norris suffered through a brutal 2016 where his batting average on balls in play fell below .200. Someone will give him a chance next season and he should do better if that isn’t San Diego. Ranking: 10th

Salvador Perez—Kansas City Royals (.256, 20.0 HR, 55.3 Runs, 68.0 RBI, 0.7 SB, 19.0 BB)

3 Year 5 Category- 6

3 Year 6 Category- 8

5 Year 5 Category- 8

5 Year 6 Category- 10

Perez is almost the whole package when it comes to a five category league. His batting average has improved in recent seasons and his power is omnipresent. The problem comes in six category leagues. There isn’t a regular catcher out there that has a worse walk rate. Even Yan Gomes would walk more often if given the plate appearances that Perez has had in the last three seasons. Ranking: 8th

Buster Posey—San Francisco Giants (.306, 18.3 HR, 76.0 Runs, 88.0 RBI, 2.7 SB, 37.7 BB)

3 Year 5 Category- 1

3 Year 6 Category- 1

5 Year 5 Category- 1

5 Year 6 Category- 1

We’ve seen this before and we’ll see it again. We saw it with Joe Mauer and we saw it with Mike Piazza before him. There is that point where you have to move a star from behind the plate to preserve his offensive game. The Twins did it and have lived to regret it. The Mets and the rest waited too long on Piazza. How much longer will Posey continue to be the best offensive catcher in the game? Ranking: 1st

Wilson Ramos—Free Agent (.268, 16.0 HR, 43.7 Runs, 65.0 RBI, 0.0 SB, 24.3 BB)

3 Year 5 Category- 11

3 Year 6 Category- 13

5 Year 5 Category- 12

5 Year 6 Category- 17

Supposedly, Ramos is seeking a five year deal for nearly 100 million dollars. Unfortunately, he won’t be back until May because of ACL surgery. He’s not getting that kind of money, so it will be interesting to see how long he and his agent are willing to hold out. He is definitely worth a starter spot once he is healthy, but most fantasy players won’t be patient enough to wait. Ranking: 13th

J.T. Realmuto—Miami Marlins (.281, 10.5 HR, 54.5 Runs, 47.5 RBI, 10.0 SB, 23.5 BB)

3 Year 5 Category- 6

3 Year 6 Category- 9

5 Year 5 Category- 5

5 Year 6 Category- 8

Realmuto took another giant step forward last season. He came into the season as a novelty fantasy option. He is the best stolen base threat at a position without stolen base threats. Last season, he hit over .300 to go along with that speed. He also saw a jump in home run production. If he takes another leap next season he will be a top five fantasy catcher. Ranking: 7th

Cameron Rupp—Philadelphia Phillies (.243, 12.5 HR, 30.0 Runs, 36.7 RBI, 0.5 SB, 24.0 BB)

3 Year 5 Category- 22

3 Year 6 Category- 20

5 Year 5 Category- 20

5 Year 6 Category- 20 

The problem with Rupp is not so much Rupp, but what is coming behind him. The Phillies moved Tommy Joseph to first base largely because of the development of Jorge Alfaro. That makes Rupp a place holder for the top prospect. So, his overall ranking is dependent on when Alfaro will finally take over. As is stands, he is a decent enough fantasy backup, but that comes with the usual caveats. Ranking: 20th

Gary Sanchez—New York Yankees (.299, 20.0 HR, 34.0 Runs, 42.0 RBI, 1.0 SB, 24.0 BB)

3 Year 5 Category- 8

3 Year 6 Category- 11

5 Year 5 Category- 9

5 Year 6 Category- 9

Let the guessing games begin. Sure, he’s not really going to hit 50 home runs like he was on a pace to do this season. Maybe 30 home runs with the runs and RBI to match is more realistic. I’m also doubting he will hit .299 next season. So, maybe a .270/30/70/80 line is a little more realistic. That definitely makes him a top five fantasy catcher. Ranking: 4th 

Kurt Suzuki—Free Agent (.262, 5.3 HR, 35.7 Runs, 53.3 RBI, 0.0 SB, 27.0 BB)

3 Year 5 Category- 20

3 Year 6 Category- 18

5 Year 5 Category- 18

5 Year 6 Category- 19

Suzuki has been around forever and he has seemingly come out on the other side. He is a regular catcher that will produce some basic numbers because he gets in 100 or more games every season. In the long tradition of Bob Boone, Brad Ausmus, and A.J. Pierzynski. He may not be Ivan Rodriguez defensively, but he is better than average and he is nearly average offensively. That makes him a decent fantasy backup. Ranking: 19th

Stephen Vogt—Oakland Athletics (.261, 11.3 HR, 41.5 Runs, 40.7 RBI, 0.3 SB, 29.0 BB)

3 Year 5 Category- 14

3 Year 6 Category- 12

5 Year 5 Category- 19

5 Year 6 Category- 18

Looking at Vogt’s numbers are always a bit of a surprise. True, he has only been a regular for two seasons out of the three year average, but even then it would seem he should be better. He is not a fantasy regular, but he is a heck of a fantasy backup catcher. The Athletics have been rumored to be shopping him, so his fantasy profile could improve. Ranking: 15th

Matt Wieters—Free Agent (.260, 15.0 HR, 42.2 Runs, 54.2 RBI, 1.2 SB, 32.4 BB)

3 Year 5 Category- 21

3 Year 6 Category- 22

5 Year 5 Category- 10

5 Year 6 Category- 7

Imagine that when you look at these five year numbers that the Orioles are seriously debating paying him 17.2 million for one more season. He lost much of two seasons to rotator cuff surgery, but he was healthy in 2016. So, the three rankings and averages aren’t really appropriate or compelling as a predictor of the future. He is definitely a borderline fantasy regular depending on playing time. Ranking: 12th

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