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2020 Catcher Ranking Tiers (Fantasy Baseball)

Jul 3, 2020

With a shortened season, Gary Sanchez could easily be the top-ranked catcher.

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As we quickly ramp up our fantasy baseball content in preparation for this condensed season, we are revisiting the tiers at each position. Today we will take a refresher look at the catcher position.

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Short Season Update

Catcher may be the offensive position that is most affected by the 60 game season. This is related to playing time. With 162 games to cover, teams will be very conservative with their backstops, only running them out there three out of four games or so. Now, with a quick 60 game push to the postseason, I imagine we see a team’s #1 catcher play much closer to 100% of their games.

It would not surprise me one bit to see more than 20 catchers play 50 games this season, which levels the playing field a bit. To me, this bumps a handful of guys up a tier form our first look at the position because we can feel good about their playing time being similar to the tiers above. Let’s break it down.

Tier One

These two were lapping the field before the season was reconfigured. They still sit in a tier all alone in my opinion, but the gap between tier one and two has shrunk. I think it’s perfectly reasonable to rank Sanchez at the #1 catcher now since his fragility is less of an issue since he will only have to stay healthy for 10 weeks rather than 24. However you order those two, these two will almost certainly be the first two catchers off the board in your draft.

Tier Two 

Given what we have seen from these three hitters in recent years,  you could make a case for any or all of them actually being in tier one. They all have the ability to finish the year as the number one catcher, especially in a short season.

The separator between tier one is the fact that they have all had seasons where they didn’t help your fantasy team very much. Catchers are very volatile, so it wouldn’t be very surprising to see these guys fall on their face a bit in 2020. Because of that, they sit in tier two – but they are very attractive options if they go significantly behind Realmuto and Sanchez.

Tier Three

The added share of playing time for Ramos and Perez is a big deal, as both of these guys were mainly hampered by the fact that they were likely to be rested quite a bit in 2020. Now they will have a chance to reach that 50 game mark, being in there nearly every day.

These are the last three catchers that we can feel pretty good about posting at least solid offensive numbers, as they have all shown that ability for multiple seasons now. This might be my favorite group of catchers when considering ADP – I think they are much too cheap for the upside they bring.

Tier Four

I’m boosting Jansen here the whole way up to being alone in the fourth tier. He got absolutely scorching hot for a period last year and looked like a guy who could be one of the best hitting catchers in the league. This would not have meant much to me if not for his reputation as a prospect, where he profiled to be a very strong offensive contributor. The Blue Jays offense should make big improvements, and Jansen has the ability to post some big numbers in a short season.

Tier Five

This is a mixed bag of options here. Vazquez, Kelly, Alfaro, and Tom Murphy have enough raw power to do enough damage during one hot streak to matter in such a short season. You can see all of those guys having a three or four-homer week, which would go a long way this season.

As for Sean Murphy, Posey and Molina, you can at least rely on them for playing time and a not-horrible batting average, which is something you can’t say for the other guys in this group. I think the value for these six guys as a whole is pretty close to even, but who you select is based on your overall strategy.

 Tier Six

No guarantee of playing time for any of these guys besides maybe Mejia, but he just does not do enough consistently with the bat to make me interested regardless of that. These are your punt options. One interesting strategy this year could be rostering a catching duo like Kurt Suzuki and Yan Gomes just to get 60 games worth of production from the position.

Key Takeaways

The position feels a bit deeper now with the 60 game season. I will always encourage fantasy players to wait on catcher, never biting on the first tier. I think this is even more true now, as you can find a full-time catcher much later in the draft now. I’m a big fan of tiers three and four, and I think I will be getting my catchers from those groups in 2020 and just hoping for the best.

No matter what, it’s unlikely that the catcher position is going to make or break your season.

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Jon Anderson is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Jon, check out his archive and follow him@JonPgh.

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