2018 Prospect Rankings: Catcher

Back by popular demand, Paul Hartman and Andy Germani return to bring you their prospect rankings for the 2018 season. In addition to the rankings, we pose a number of questions to each of our “experts” to give you an idea of who they are targeting and avoiding. While these rankings are primarily for those of you in keeper and dynasty leagues, some of the players could make a potential impact in 2018.

Note that players marked N/R were not ranked by that particular person. Players are also ranked using their primary position, so those that played multiple positions will not be duplicated elsewhere in our rankings.

Rank Player Team Age ETA Andy Paul
1 Francisco Mejia Indians 22 2017 1 1
2 Zack Collins White Sox 23 2019 2 2
T3 Keibert Ruiz Dodgers 19 2020  3 4
T3 Jorge Alfaro Phillies 24 2017 4 3
5 Andy Yerzy Diamondbacks 19 2021  5 6
6 Danny Jansen Blue Jays 22 2018  7 9
7 Alex Jackson Braves 22 2020  10 7
T8 Daulton Varsho Diamondbacks 21 2020 8 10
T8 Carson Kelly Cardinals 23 2017 13 5
10 Chance Sisco Orioles 23 2017 15 8
T11 Jake Rogers Tigers 22 2020 11 13
T11 William Contreras Braves 20 2021 12 12
T13 Austin Allen Padres 24 2019  9 16
T13 Andrew Knizner Cardinals 23 2019  14 11
15 Tom Murphy Rockies 26 2016 6 N/R
16 Victor Caratini Cubs 24 2017 19 15
T17 Chase Vallot Royals 21 2020  18 17
T17 Will Smith Dodgers 23 2019  N/R 14
19 Brett Cumberland Braves 22 2020 16 N/R
20 Ronaldo Hernandez Rays 20 2021  17 N/R
Honorable Mentions
21 Tyler Stephenson Reds 21 2020 N/R 18
T22 Garrett Stubbs Astros 24 2018 N/R 19
T22 Yermin Mercedes White Sox 25 2018 20 20




Who is your favorite prospect to break out in 2018?

Andy: I am going to go with someone with a really nice name in Andy Yerzy. He had a bit of a breakout year last year with a .298 average and 13 homers in the Rookie League. This year tends to be the show me year as he advances to A-Ball. If he can do anything even close to what he did last year he is going to shoot up rankings.

Paul: It’s hard to call the #2 ranked guy a breakout candidate, but I expect big things from Zack Collins in 2018. He hits for big-time power and draws a ton of walks; he had nearly a .900 OPS in limited AA at-bats late last season. If he can do that again this year he’d be a top-5 hitter in all of AA at 23 years old – and at a premium position. Sure, he may never catch, but if the White Sox are willing to go with Welington Castillo for the next 1.5-2 years, perhaps they won’t mind a similar defensively challenged backstop after that. 

What prospect (if any) could make a surprising Contribution to fantasy teams in 2018?

AndyYermin Mercedes was selected by the White Sox in the Rule 5 draft, and with the depth behind Castillo I think he should stick on the bench. He is just a super deep league flier, nothing more. Chance Sisco is in line right now for a lot of at bats in Baltimore so he is an option by default, I just think what you’re getting is a hollow average.

Paul: There’s little optimism for Carson Kelly in 2018, with Yadier Molina having played 135+ games in each of the past 50 seasons. I think at 65 years old (approximately), the odds are no longer in his favor. Kelly has some pop and should hit for a decent average. If Molina misses significant time, Kelly should be serviceable in two-catcher or deep leagues. He’s no top-ten option, but I can see him being an asset moving forward, even starting in 2018. 

What lesser-known prospect should fantasy owners put on their radars now?

AndyI admittedly didn’t know much of anything about Andrew Knizner before Paul put him on my radar so I feel bad stealing his guy, but I am going to anyway.

He has a .308 average over 148 games.  The power is exciting too for a catcher as he would pace out to be about a 20 homer player.

Paul: I’m going with the baby brother of Willson, William Contreras of the Atlanta Braves. Like his brother, he has a good approach and strong athleticism. He just turned 20 and hasn’t seen full-season ball yet, so there’s plenty of time – just keep an eye on his performance as he may not last long on the wire in deep leagues. 

What prospect can you see slipping down the rankings owners may want to avoid/trade?

Andy: I wouldn’t be surprised if Carson Kelly gets passed up by the guy I just mentioned. Kelly has a little power but not much. Hits for a decent average but not great. He also has Molina in front of him for a few years. He feels like the type that won’t get drafted every year but will have a few hot stretches that gets him on a fantasy roster randomly throughout the year. But he won’t be a dynasty league asset.

Paul: I really want to believe in Victor Caratini – I like the plate discipline and the overall offensive package. What I don’t like is the lack of opportunity and the fact he’ll surely lose his minors eligibility in 2018. I’m just not sure there will be any fantasy value to him at that point. 

*****

2018 Prospect Rankings
First BaseSecond Base – Third Base – Shortstop – Outfield – Starting Pitcher – Top 100

 

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Paul Hartman

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Fantasy Baseball player since 1987. Creator of Fantasy Assembly, yet just fortunate enough to be a part of it.

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