Before we get into these 2016 Fantasy Baseball Catchers Rankings, I thought I’d share my personal point of view about this position. Catchers hold a very special place in my heart. I was a mediocre high school catcher and now I’m a mediocre Fantasy writer! Everyone wants to hate on both groups! Well, I can live with hating on the latter, but the former? I won’t have it!
There are Fantasy Baseball writers and fans that want to get rid of two-catcher leagues! They refer to catchers as the “kickers” of the Fantasy Baseball world. You draft one because you have to, but you won’t like it! But let’s think bigger about this position, in order to truly appreciate it.
Catchers are usually the pudgy kids with athleticism in the schoolyard. They’re usually the ones that can take a beating and just keep going. They anonymously crouch down behind the plate as the only baseball players wearing a mask, hiding their existence. Yet, they have to work the hardest! In practice, they’re practicing blockinig balls, which is essentially a pitching gun aimed a few feet short of where you’re crouching, denting your body on every blocked ball. They have to learn how to call a game, manage a pitching staff, manage the team on the field defensively, throw runners out, how to frame pitchers – and how to hit the ball.
They’re not the kickers – they’re the quarterbacks. They are the only players seeing the entire field ahead of them, and they play through injuries, like foul tips off their fingers, because they are too important to sit longer than one day for rest.
There’s a reason why nearly half of all the managers in Major League Baseball are former catchers, like Brad Ausmus, Bruce Bochy, Kevin Cash, John Gibbons, Fredi Gonzalez, Joe Girardi, A.J. Hinch, Joe Maddon, Mike Matheny, Bob Melvin, Mike Scioscia and Ned Yost. They know offense. They know defense. They know pitching.
5 Rules to Live By When Drafting Fantasy Catchers
Now, a great baseball mind doesn’t necessarily make for a great Fantasy Baseball hitter. I know this, but that doesn’t make them kickers (closers are actually more like kickers). So follow a few of these tips on drafting Fantasy catchers to be successful.
- Don’t draft the best catchers.
- Don’t draft young catchers.
- Know that there’s not a huge difference between the fourth and 10th catchers in most seasons.
- Know that there’s not a huge difference between the 11th and 20th catchers in most seasons.
- Don’t draft two catchers at the end of your draft.
By following those basic tenets, you can land on the right side of owning Fantasy Baseball catchers. You can avoid great disappointment if your high-round catcher is forced to play through some injuries, killing his Fantasy value. You’ll dodge young catchers that suddenly find themselves struggling in the batter’s box because of their behind-the-plate duties. (Schwarber has catcher eligibility, but he’ll likely play left field for the Cubs again.) You’ll also avoid drafting a .210-hitting catcher or one that gets replaced midseason.
Late Spring Update
Catchers often find themselves banged up even before the exhibition season ends! So I thought we’d take an earnest look back at the Fantasy Baseball catchers that are moving up (or down) the rankings for whatever reason. It could be partly due to an injury, a roster change – or just the overall feeling that this player is a better Fantasy value than we originally deemed.
Matt Wieters/Caleb Joseph, Baltimore Orioles
Wieters continues his return from an elbow injury, and while he’s able to hit OK, the Orioles aren’t ready to use him behind the plate just yet. Even though he’s OK to hit, Fantasy owners at last week’s 15-team Tout Wars Mixed League auction were still a little leery, as there were 11 catchers that went at a higher price tag than Wieters ($7), and two others (Derek Norris and Devin Mesoraco) that went for the same price.
Meanwhile, Joseph was a reserve draft pick, since he should see more at-bats as the Orioles catcher early on.
Devin Mesoraco, Cincinnati Reds
Speaking of Mesoraco, he was a huge bargain at Tout Wars – one I didn’t capitalize on because I spent too much on Salvador Perez ($12). The 27-year-old is returning from a hip injury, and he’s expected to be ready for Opening Day. While he’s still a boom-or-bust Fantasy player, it’s worth noting that NFBC drafts show him going off the boards at Pick No. 159 (Round 13), with his ADP on CBS/ESPN/Yahoo drafts set at Pick No. 195 (Round 17).
J.R. Murphy, Minnesota Twins
The young fella won’t be surpassing Kurt Suzuki on the Twins roster any time soon, as he’s batting .080 this spring, with just two hits in 25 at-bats. (That’s just two more than me!) But this is the exact thing I warn Fantasy owners about – as a catcher, he’s dealing with a lot more in Spring Training than his 24-year-old counterparts at other positions.
2016 Fantasy Baseball Catchers Rankings
These Fantasy rankings are mainly for Rotisserie leagues that use home runs, RBI, runs scored, stolen bases and batting averages.
We didn’t just stop at our 2016 Fantasy Baseball Catchers rankings, though, so check out some of our other position rankings!
[su_box title=”SCFE 2016 Fantasy Baseball Position Rankings” box_color=”#d75c37″] Overall Top 300 | Catcher | First Base | Second Base | Shortstop | Third Base | Outfield | Starting Pitchers | Relief Pitchers[/su_box]
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