2018 Fantasy Baseball: 5 and 6 Category Rankings– Catchers P-Z
It might seem a little early to start looking at next year, but as someone wise once said, “past is prologue.” When players start changing uniforms it can be easy to get caught up in the moment of dreaming about how this player will help that player get to the next level. Usually guys perform the same across the board. There are notable exceptions, but we will get to those players individually when those changes are made.
Five and six category formats are still the baseline of the fantasy baseball industry. We are completing our look at the top 30 catchers today with the end of the alphabet. Players are ranked according to their composite rankings in the five traditional categories and when we add walks as a sixth category. Feel free to cross-reference these articles with the total points series as well.
Buster Posey—San Francisco Giants
5 Category: 1
6 Category: 1
The 2012 NL MVP has steadily slipped in each of the past five seasons. 2018 will be his age 31 season. He likely will end up having only two or three more seasons as a top flight catcher in fantasy baseball. Fantasy players will focus on the vanishing power, but he is still hitting for a better average than the other catchers and producing more runs than them. Add in the steals and walks and he is still the best catcher on the board.
Wilson Ramos—Tampa Bay Rays
5 Category: 13
6 Category: 18
Sometimes the composite is not as important as looking at each season individually. 2016 skews everything up. If you remove that season then you see his average dip to .250 overall. Sure, it might be a little better than that, but some will see him healthy and hope for those 2016 numbers again. He is a good five category catcher, but marginal when you include the on base element.
J.T. Realmuto—Miami Marlins
5 Category: 4
6 Category: 6
Again, the composite means less than what we are seeing happening season by season. Realmuto is getting better and probably has one more season of growth before he settles in as the player he will likely be for several seasons. We don’t know how long the speed will last and that is the one reason he ranks as high as he does.
Cameron Rupp—Philadelphia Phillies
5 Category: 24
6 Category: 23
Jorge Alfaro is all but assured of being the regular catcher in 2018. He finished the season as the regular and played well. Players like Rupp are placeholders until the farm system develops something better. As the manager in Bull Durham said, he can keep going to the ballpark and get paid to do it. Having backup catchers that can produce something is valuable as the Phillies inch their way to contention. Sadly, that means nothing for you though.
Gary Sanchez—New York Yankees
5 Category: 2
6 Category: 3
Sanchez is the future of the position. He profiles as more of a traditional hitter as a catcher than Buster Posey. Obviously, the 2017 numbers are more in line with what we might expect from him in the future. The question won’t be where to select him among catchers, but where to select him in the rest of the ML universe. You have to decide if you want the best player available or the biggest gap between the best and second-best performer.
Kevan Smith—Chicago White Sox
5 Category: 26
6 Category: 28
Normally when you look at numbers for a young catcher you try to extrapolate to what he would do over 120 games. Unfortunately for Smith, he’s competing with Omar Narvaez for the starting job. This is something that likely will be decided during the season, so Smith is more of a candidate for daily fantasy leagues than season long duties. If he develops power or patience he could be a dark horse pick.
Kurt Suzuki—Atlanta Braves
5 Category: 21
6 Category: 20
Suzuki was a rookie in 2007 and immediately got everyday duty because of his defensive ability. He has been more or less medicore offensively until last season. The odds of him repeating that performance is probably between slim and none. However, we should stand and recognize a player that has been a regular for more than a decade, but won’t get anywhere near the Hall of Fame. The Jim Sundbergs and Bob Boones would be proud.
Stephen Vogt—Milwaukee Brewers
5 Category: 16
6 Category: 17
Someone has to be the embodiment of the average player and Vogt is that player. You can’t have great players at every position in the real game or in the fantasy game. Vogt is a decent bet in those circumstances to give you some level of production for an affordable price. Vogt returned to form once he moved to Milwaukee last season, so the hope is that he cane return to the form he showed in 2016.
Matt Wieters—Washington Nationals
5 Category: 14
6 Category: 15
Wieters is the other half of the mediocre equation along with Vogt. He had the option to opt out, but surprised everyone when he opted back in to the final year of his contract. Boras usually tests free agency every time with his clients, but he is reading the tea leaves correctly this time. His client just doesn’t have the cache he had before his shoulder injury in 2014. He should be good for mediocre numbers and if you can get someone better as a regular he should be a decent fantasy backup.
Mike Zunino—Seattle Mariners
5 Category: 23
6 Category: 24
The rankings mean nothing when we consider what happened last season. Zunino is certainly not perfect, but you could argue that he has arrived. He changed his approach at the plate late in 2016 and has never looked back. He still strikes out a lot, but he has focused what contact he does make into utilizing his natural power. In other words, he may never hit for a high average, but he will at least hit home runs.