2018 Catcher Rankings: Top 20

We wrap up each week of positional coverage with our 2018 rankings. In addition to the rankings we will pose a number of questions to our panel covering topics such as reaches and targets, players to avoid and late round impact players.

Taking part in our rankings will be Kevin Jebens, Jim Finch, Kenny Garvey, Josh Coleman, Dan Marcus, Mike Sheehan and Mike (the cop) Levin. Our seven “experts” each ranked their top 20 catchers for the 2018 season.

Players marked N/R were not ranked inside the top 20 by that particular person. We used a 10 games started minimum requirement for eligibility, but everyone listed here should qualify for catcher regardless of where you play.

If you feel we overlooked someone or would like to debate a player’s ranking, feel free to do so in the comment section below.

Rank Player Team Jim Mike S Josh Kevin Mike L Kenny Dan
1 Gary Sanchez Yankees 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
2 Willson Contreras Cubs 3 3 2 2 2 3 3
3 Buster Posey Giants 2 2 3 3 4 4 2
4 Salvador Perez Royals 5 4 5 4 5 2 4
5 J.T. Realmuto Marlins 4 6 4 5 3 6 5
6 Yadier Molina Cardinals 6 12 12 9 6 7 6
7 Wilson Ramos Rays 8 9 7 10 8 16 8
8 Evan Gattis Astros 16 5 9 7 10 20 10
T9 Jonathan Lucroy Free Agent 7 10 8 6 7 12 N/R
T9 Welington Castillo White Sox 10 N/R 6 8 9 8 9
11 Brian McCann Astros 11 8 18 13 12 9 13
12 Mike Zunino Mariners 9 N/R 11 12 15 5 12
13 Yasmani Grandal Dodgers N/R 7 10 11 20 10 7
14 Austin Hedges Padres 12 16 16 19 18 11 11
15 Robinson Chirinos Rangers 15 11 N/R N/R 14 15 17
T16 Russell Martin Blue Jays 14 13 N/R 14 19 N/R 15
T16 Travis d’Arnaud Mets 19 14 13 N/R 13 N/R 16
18 Matt Wieters Nationals 20 19 N/R N/R 17 14 14
19 James McCann Tigers N/R 15 N/R 17 16 N/R 18
T20 Tyler Flowers Free Agent N/R N/R 14 16 N/R 19 N/R
T20 Chris Iannetta Rockies 13 N/R 19 N/R N/R 17 N/R
Honorable Mentions: Stephen Vogt, Austin Barnes, Martin Maldonado, Francisco Mejia, Christian Vazquez (2 of 7, Kurt Suzuki, Alex Avila, Jorge Alfaro, Chance Sisco, Jason Castro, Francisco Cervelli (1 of 7)

Which catcher do you plan on owning the most stock of?

Kevin: I thought 2017 was going to be a strong class of new blood, but many of my sleepers (like Rupp) stumbled. For 2018, give me Sanchez or Contreras.

Jim: Anyone ranked in my top-6. More than likely I’ll get priced out of Sanchez and Posey (still has name value), but Realmuto, Contreras, Perez and Molina could all be had at a reasonable draft price/range. If I don’t get one of them I’ll probably wait until the end of the draft.

Kenny: It’s tough not to want to own a lot of Willson Contreras. He’s surrounded by talent in that Cubs lineup and he’s starting to show that power potential. He could be a 25/90 type of guy in 2018! I don’t love him as a player,, but it’s hard to not want him as your starting catcher in any fantasy format.

Dan: I’ll own a lot of Wilson Ramos. He is flying too far under the radar after a 2017 season that was mostly wasted due to a knee injury. If he remains with the Rays, he should have consistent at bats and showed upside as a top-5 catcher in 2016.

Josh: I tend to sample the talent pool at Catcher among my leagues. With that being said: I’ll own multiple shares of Contreras as I’m confident he’ll earn his lofty draft price. In the middle tiers I’ll be higher on Ramos than most. In 2 Catcher formats, Tyler Flowers will have multiple ownership. I’m fine with part-time duty with that type of solid production.

Mike S: This will likely be a split for me between Wilson Ramos and Evan Gattis.  I will say Gattis since he is set to slot back into the DH spot this year in a very productive lineup.  He hit 32 bombs in a similar situation back in 2016.  Ramos is not far behind for me, though.

Mike L: Realmuto if I can get him. My #3 Catcher ahead of Posey. Numbers and approach have gotten better every season. Someone needs to hit in Miami, and hopefully he can add a couple more swipes.

Which catcher(s) do you plan on avoiding in the draft?

Kevin: Chirinos and Martin are pretty old, as is Yadi. But catcher is weak, and I’d still take Yadi if needed. If Chirinos starts going in the top-12 because of 2017’s breakout, then it’s too high a price to pay.

Jim: Any catcher that appears to be in a platoon to start the season. As of now the Brewers, Indians, Phillies, Reds, Red Sox, A’s, Diamondbacks, and even the Dodgers (Austin Barnes stepped up) all could use two catchers. Take a wait and see with all these teams/players.

Kenny: With everything going on in Miami I don’t want anything to do with J.T. Realmuto this year. You don’t need any additional info to help cement that. Yeah, he wants out, but there’s no way that’s happening. If he somehow finds a new home before the start of the season completely ignore this.

Dan: The pair of catchers in Houston is a headache I want to avoid. Even with a DH, the Astros have too many good hitters to rely on consistent at bats for both Gattis and McCann.

Josh: The Draft day price of Molina will steer me clear. 2017 will be his final ride in the sunset. I’m not expecting a free fall, but I see him returning to the minimal power decent AVG option he’d established himself to be prior to 2017.

Mike S: I’m not touching Yadier Molina.  Not sure if his draft stock will be inflated after his best season in a long time, but he’s old as dirt and I’m just not going to go there.  

Mike L: Mike Zunino is too unpredictable. When he’s bad, he’s REALLY bad. I’m not willing to take that risk.

Who is the lowest ranked catcher you would feel comfortable with as your starter?

Kevin: I’m less comfortable rolling the dice on an unknown/inconsistent track record, especially in 2-catcher leagues. I want someone who has a strong track record in at least one category (i.e., HR). So Brian McCann (#13 on my list) is as low as I’ll go, but I’d rather be in my top-8 to be safe.

Jim: The lowest catcher on my rankings would be Brian McCann and Welington Castillo. Both are adequate options, but I don’t see either sticking on my team with all the other potential options that could be available on waivers during the season.

Kenny: Martin Maldonado at #13 for me is the lowest I’d go. He, like Contreras, has a lot of talent around him that will help make him fantasy relevant throughout the entire season. It’s tough to go forward with any of the guys below him as your main guy for the entire 2018 campaign.

Dan: Austin Hedges, which basically means nobody outside my top-11.

Josh: Comfort has varying levels. If comfort is feeling confident with what you’re getting then my comfort level would end with my Top 5 of Sanchez, Wilson, Posey, Realmuto, and Sal. Knowing others are in the same boat as you has it’s own way of providing comfort. With that being said I see little deviation in value among the remaining Top 20.

Mike S: I would be happy with any catcher in my top-10 or so in a one-catcher league.  In a two-catcher league I really want two guys from the top-15.  Catcher is just so bad and I can’t stomach the idea of having to roster someone like Martin Maldonado (barf). 

Mike L: As far as comfortable goes, my cut-off is Castillo. He will be a centerpiece in that lineup during the White Sox rebuild.


That Wraps up our catcher rankings. Check back next week as we bring you our Top 30 First Base options for the 2018 season.

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