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2020 Fantasy Baseball: Eisner's Catchers Rankings

Fantasy baseball expert Jaime Eisner ranks and projects each of the relevant catchers heading into the 2020 MLB season.

Catcher is always the most scarce position on the fantasy diamond. Many choose to punt the position entirely in formats where you only need to start one. But there is an advantage to getting quality production from a position most don’t. Which catchers should you target in 2020?

Players are ranked based on Standings Gain Points (SGP) for their projected stats relative to every other player’s projections. You can read more about the idea of SGP here. For these rankings, SGP is calculated assuming a 12-team, 5x5 mixed league with default positions and is based on information from leagues of that type from the last two seasons. My projections are derived from a composite of several projection systems weighted by their accuracy in previous seasons.

1. J.T. Realmuto (C - PHI) — ADP: 59.0

I can’t make the argument for any other catcher at the top. I’m not sure he’ll play in as many games as he did last season, but expect a statline close to his 2018 All-Star season.

2020 Projection: 77R - 23HR - 77RBI - 6SB - .272 (492 ABs)

2. Gary Sanchez (C - NYY) — ADP: 74.2

Tremendous power, but you’ll probably never get the 471 at-bats out of him that he had in 2017. Still, expect improvement in the runs and average categories this season.

2020 Projection: 79R - 32HR - 67RBI - 1SB - .240 (404 ABs)

3. Yasmani Grandal (C - CHW) — ADP: 98.8

This is the end of the premier tier of caching options. Look at Grandal as a nice consolation prize if you miss out on Sanchez. He’s essentially giving you the same value minus a few home runs.

2020 Projection: 73R - 25HR - 74RBI - 3SB - .239 (452 ABs)

4. Willson Contreras (C - CHC) — ADP: 112.2

At-bats could be a problem, but when he plays he’ll put up high-quality numbers. Just don’t overpay for him in hopes he’ll spike back up to 474 at-bats.

2020 Projection: 63R - 23HR - 69RBI - 2SB - .258 (426 ABs)

5. Salvador Perez (C - KC) — ADP: 181.4

Health is obviously the big concern for Perez. He missed the 2019 season due to Tommy John surgery. He said he’s feeling almost 100%. If he’s healthy, there’s no reason to believe he can’t put up the numbers he always has.

2020 Projection: 60R - 25HR - 76RBI - 1SB - .249 (515 ABs)

6. Christian Vazquez (C - BOS) — ADP: 226.8

I expect a bit of a drop off from last season’s breakout, but he should still put up solid numbers. He’s more of a lock for 400+ at-bats than the next few names on this list.

2020 Projections: 54R - 15HR - 58RBI - 5SB - .266 (412 ABs)

7. Wilson Ramos (C - NYM) — ADP: 189.4

Solid player. A rare batting average boost at the position. Hitting seventh or eighth will keep his runs down.

2020 Projection: 49R - 15HR - 60RBI - 1SB - .279 (408 ABs)

8. Mitch Garver (C - MIN) — ADP: 125.4

He can’t repeat what he did last season, right? Right? I don’t think so, but he’s still a Top 10 player at the position. Keep in mind his path to playing time when not behind the plate will rarely include 1B or DH with Josh Donaldson now in the fold at 3B.

2020 Projections: 55R - 19HR - 58RBI - 1SB - .256 (332 ABs)

9. Will Smith (C - LAD) — ADP: 155.0

There’s a lot of hype around the young Dodgers catcher that’s pushing up his value. He has solid upside, but don’t reach for a catcher in formats where you only play one. He’s the last player of this tier. If you haven’t snagged anyone on this list yet, you can wait awhile.

2020 Projections: 53R - 21HR - 61RBI - 3 SB - .234 (351 ABs)

10. Yadier Molina (C - STL) — ADP: 284.4

Is it over or should we bet on a bounce-back? The 20-HR days are probably gone, but the position lacks the depth to push Molina completely out of C1 territory. Consistent at-bats with a decent average is a rare commodity for the rest of this list.

2020 Projections: 46R - 12 HR - 53RBI - 5SB - .264 (394 ABs)

11. Buster Posey (C - SF) — ADP: 284.4

Just copy most of what I wrote for Molina and put it here. You’re likely getting a really solid batting average and counting stats on par with everyone else from this point forward.

2020 Projections: 52R - 10HR - 53RBI - 2SB - .270 (460 ABs)

12. Jorge Alfaro (C - MIA) — ADP: 231.6

Maybe you prefer the chance of upside that the last two veterans simply don’t provide. Alfaro was a significant part of the Realmuto trade and showed some promise last season with 18 HRs. He hits the ball hard, but he’s still just potential at this point.

2020 Projections: 45R - 16HR - 53RBI - 4SB - .247 (400 ABs)

13. Carson Kelly (C - ARI) — ADP: 219.2

Despite his batting average plumitting in the second half, I’m still intrigued by Kelly’s upside. Still, it’s hard to imagine him getting 400 at-bats so he falls just outside of C1 range in 12-team formats.

2020 Projections: 47R - 16HR - 53RBI - 1SB - .250 (359 ABs)

14. Omar Navarez (C - MIL) — ADP: 201.2

Grandal’s replacement in Milwaukee could have a solid season if he plays in 100+ games. But a more conservative at-bats projection lands him here.

2020 Projection: 45R - 13HR - 50RBI - 1SB - .267 (328 ABs)

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15. Francisco Mejia (C - SD) — ADP: 271.6

Last year’s trendy catching sleeper only had 226 at-bats. Playing time is a concern again in 2020, but he should add another 100-120 at-bats to last season’s total.

2020 Projection: 43R - 14HR - 49RBI - 2SB - .262 (343 ABs)

16. Kurt Suzuki (C -WSH) — ADP: 314.6

2020 Projection: 40R - 14HR - 49RBI - 1SB - .267 (285 ABs)

17. Sean Murphy (C - OAK) — ADP: 248.2

2020 Projection: 45R - 15HR - 47RBI - 2SB - .252 (322 ABs)

18. T. d’Arnaud (C - ATL) — ADP: 291.0

2020 Projection: 43R - 14HR - 48RBI - 2SB - .254 (319 ABs)

19. Tom Murphy (C - SEA) — ADP: 263.6

2020 Projection: 46R - 19HR - 54RBI - 3SB - .224 (438 ABs)

20. Robinson Chirinos (C - TEX) — ADP: 299.2

2020 Projection: 46R - 15HR - 48RBI - 2SB - .228 (307 ABs)

21. Danny Jansen (C - TOR) — ADP: 306.8

2020 Projection: 41R - 13HR - 42RBI - 2SB - .248 (350 ABs)

22. Roberto Perez (C - CLE) — ADP: 282.0

2020 Projection: 41R - 15HR - 48RBI - 1SB - .221 (312 ABs)

23. Stephen Vogt (C - ARI) — ADP: 376.7

2020 Projection: 32R - 11HR - 38RBI - 3SB - .247 (267 ABs)

24. Chance Sisco (C - BAL) — ADP: 437.3

2020 Projection: 36R - 11HR - 37RBI - 2SB - .232 (254 ABs)

25. Jason Castro (C - LAA) — ADP: 394.7

2020 Projection: 41R - 12HR - 42RBI - 1SB - .221 (315 ABs)

26. Jacob Stallings (C - PIT) — ADP: 481.0

2020 Projection: 32R - 8HR - 36RBI - 2SB - .258 (287 ABs)

27. Mike Zunino (C - TB) — ADP: 428.3

2020 Projection: 41R - 16HR - 46RBI - 1SB - .204 (348 ABs)

28. Tucker Barnhart (C - CIN) — ADP: 393.0

2020 Projection: 36R - 9HR - 39RBI - 2SB - .240 (292 ABs)

29. Yan Gomes (C - WSH) — ADP: 411.3

2020 Projection: 33R - 11HR - 39RBI - 1SB - .235 (234 ABs)

30. Austin Romine (C - DET) — ADP: 417.0

2020 Projection: 30R - 9HR - 33RBI - 2SB - .256 (230 ABs)

31. Victor Caratini (C - CHC) — ADP: 376.0

2020 Projection: 32R - 8HR - 34RBI - 1SB - .261 (241 ABs)

32. Pedro Severino (C - BAL) — ADP: 408.5

2020 Projection: 30R - 10HR - 33RBI - 2SB - .243 (247 ABs)

33. Tony Wolters (C - COL) — ADP: 499.5

2020 Projection: 38R - 4HR - 38RBI - 2SB - .250 (320 ABs)

34. Martin Maldonado (C - HOU) — ADP: 559.0

2020 Projection: 39R - 11HR - 41RBI - 0SB - .221 (299 ABs)

35. Reese McGuire (C - TOR) — ADP: 466.5

2020 Projection: 33R - 8HR - 34RBI - 2SB - .239 (268 ABs)

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