The offseason is almost underway. All that is left is for two of the best pitching staffs in recent baseball history to go head to head in the World Series. Before free agency and trade season gets underway, we will take a look at the season that just passed and rank players according to six categories and total points. However, that’s not all that we will bring. Additionally, we will compare each of the top 15 players at each position with the average player at that position in each of the six categories.
The rules were simple. We took every player that had at least 300 plate appearances at each position and developed an average in each category. If the player’s mark exceeds the average it will be in green font. If the average falls below the average it will be in red font. Obviously, players that exceed the average across the board come at a premium, but you should also look how important some categories are. For instance, if you have zero steals at a position where one is the average, how important is that category really.
Average Catcher: .246, 16 home runs, 48 Runs, 53 RBI, 1 SB, 36 Walks
Total Points= Total Bases + Runs + RBI + SB + BB + HBP – SO – CS – GDP
J.T. Realmuto—Philadelphia Phillies
Six Category: .275/25/92/83/9/41 (1st)
Total Points: 359 (1st)
Points Per Game: 2.48 (4th)
Attendance is a key part of the grade. Realmuto played more than any other catcher and the results can be seen in the counting numbers. He wasn’t the best catcher necessarily in terms of per game production, but being out there nearly every day made a huge difference. The question wlll be how long he can do it for.
Mitch Garver—Minnesota Twins
Six Categories: .273/31/70/62/0/41 (4th)
Total Points: 287 (3rd)
Points Per Game: 3.09 (1st)
Again, how important is it really that Garver did not generate any steals? This is why I like total points as a category. We don’t particularly care about any category more than another. We just want to take the totality of what a player does. Whether he gets consistent playing time moving forward is a question.
Yasmani Grandal—Free Agent
Six Categories: .246/28/79/77/5/109 (2nd)
Total Points: 359 (1st)
Points Per Game: 2.35 (6th)
Grandal flew under the radar last offseason, but that shouldn’t happen again. The question comes in how long any team is willing to go on a catcher approaching his early thirties. When you count defense he is likely the best catcher available. How much is that worth on the open market and how will his destination affect his value?
Christian Vazquez—Boston Red Sox
Six Categories: .276/23/66/72/4/33 (3rd)
Total Points: 285 (5th)
Points Per Game: 2.07 (8th)
Talk about flying underneath the radar. You have to decide how important each category is before ranking any player. He is deficient in walks, but if you play in a standard format you really don’t care about that. You also have to look at how likely he is to repeat his performance from this year.
Willson Contreras—Chicago Cubs
Six Categories: .272/24/57/64/1/38 (5th)
Total Points: 253 (8th)
Points Per Game: 2.41 (4th)
Contreras missed some time with various ailments that ended up zapping about a month’s worth of production away. If you give him that month back he might end up being the number one catcher on the board. If ifs and buts were candy and nuts we would all have a merry Christmas.
Wilson Ramos—New York Mets
Six Categories: .288/14/52/73/1/44 (6th)
Total Points: 286 (4th)
Points Per Game: 2.03 (10th)
Every fantasy player has to consider their personal needs and when you get to this point on the catcher list you have to weigh the advantages of drafting a compiler like Ramos or someone that puts up better rate statistics. Ramos plays a lot, so he gets the counting numbers, but as the total points demonstrate, he is not particularly dominant on a per game basis.
Omar Narvaez—Seattle Mariners
Total Points: 269 (6th)
Points Per Game: 2.04 (9th)
It’s hard to quantify trades when you are talking about different positions. I would always take a good position player over a closer any day, but some people might feel differently. In point of fact, it largely depends on the individual team. The Mariners really didn’t need a capable closer, but the White Sox may have taken another step with Alex Colome and his 30 saves.
Gary Sanchez—New York Yankees
Six Categories:.232/34/62/77/0/40 (8th)
Total Points: 267 (7th)
Points Per Game: 2.52 (2nd)
So much of our perception of guys is based on the last thing we see. Sanchez struggled in the ALCS, but he did so in 2017 and that didn’t affect him long-term. The biggest issue appears to be his ability to stay on the field. If we could guarantee 120 games he would jump into the top five.
James McCann—Chicago White Sox
Six Categories: .273/18/62/60/4/30(9th)
Total Points: 216 (11th)
Points Per Game: 1.83 (13th)
McCann is one of the best examples of how the waiver wire is the real key to a fantasy baseball season. Coming into the season he wasn’t even supposed to be the regular catcher in Chicago, but he claimed the job with an early burst. The overall ranks aren’t great, but he was a top five catcher in the first half. If you paired him with a hot second half catcher you were golden.
Travis d’Arnaud—Free Agent
Six Categories: .251/16/52/69/0/32 (12th)
Total Points: 217 (10th)
Points Per Game: 2.11 (7th)
Once upon a time d’Arnaud was the top catching prospect in baseball. He has had moments before, but injuries always seemed to get in the way. The Mets finally gave up on him and the Rays ended up benefitting. D’Arnaud is officially a free agent, but he probably won’t get many lucrative offers until he proves he can stay healthy.
Roberto Perez—Cleveland Indians
Six Categories: .239/24/46/63/0/45(10th)
Total Points: 195 (15th)
Points Per Game: 1.64 (19th)
Time is the dimension most people overlook in fantasy sports. Perez hit 16 home runs before the all-star break. If you paired him with even a mediocre catcher in the second half you had overall top ten production for the course of the whole season and you probably didn’t even need to surrender a pick before the 20thround.
Robinson Chirinos—Free Agent
Six Categories: .238/17/57/58/1/51 (11th)
Total Points: 204 (13th)
Points Per Game: 1.79 (16th)
When you look up mean and median in the dictionary you see a picture of Chirinos. Yes, he is technically at or above the mean in five of six categories, but most of these he is either right at it or just above it. The same is true defensively. That usually gets you pretty good money on the open market, but considering he is in his mid-thirties, he might not get many offers.
Yadier Molina—St. Louis Cardinals
Six Categories: .270/10/45/57/6/23(15th)
Total Points: 231 (9th)
Points Per Game: 2.04 (9th)
Molina defies the actuary tables on catchers. When you look at him on a per season level you’d have to assume he falls short of Cooperstown, but given the number of games he has caught and the length of time at or near the top of his profession defensively you’d have to give him another look.
Carson Kelly—Arizona Diamondbacks
Six Categories: .245/18/46/47/0/48(13th)
Total Points: 203 (14th)
Points Per Game: 1.83 (12th)
Kelly might be the mirror image of Chirinos. Sure, he is below average in most categories, but he is barely below average. Unlike Chirinos, he is young and likely to grow. He is a guy you could take late and hope for development. If you pair him with a steady veteran you could be in really good shape.
Jorge Alfaro—Miami Marlins
Six Categories: .262/18/44/57/4/22(14th)
Total Points: 150 (23rd)
Points Per Game: 1.15 (26th)
Even conventional players have to pay attention to walks and total points. Yes, Alfaro put up some basic numbers that five category people would live with, but the other numbers point to issues moving forward. Sure, there is always a chance he could improve, but the lack of patience and plate discipline is glaring.