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Catchers to Target & Avoid (2023 Fantasy Baseball)

Catchers to Target & Avoid (2023 Fantasy Baseball)

The player pool at catcher in fantasy baseball drafts might just be the shallowest of them all. The scarcity of reliable producers at the position leads some to reach too high. Others prefer to wait but end up with a major hole at the C spot in their lineups. This article will try to help out with landing a solid option at a reasonable point in the draft based on current ADP trends at the time of writing.

Fantasy Baseball Draft Kit

Catchers to Target and Avoid at ADP

Target

Sean Murphy (ATL): ADP – Overall 126 | Catcher 9

Dealt to Atlanta in an offseason blockbuster then inked to a big contract extension a few weeks later, Murphy is locked in as the backstop of the Braves for the next several years. Finally, out of the spacious confines of Oakland Coliseum, the Gold Glover may be ready to take the next step with the bat.

Murphy has belted 17 and 18 homers, respectively, over the last two seasons. In 2922, he saw a year-over-year increase in AVG from .216 to .250 while cutting his K% from 25.4 to 20.3. Since debuting for the A’s in 2019, Murphy has recorded just a .684 OPS at home and a .820 mark on the road. A new home stadium is exactly what he needed. Joining a lineup like the Braves feature enhances his offensive potential even further.

William Contreras (MIL): ADP – Overall 132 | Catcher 10

Contreras was also involved in the three-team deal that sent Murphy to Atlanta. In that trade, Contreras was sent from Atlanta to Milwaukee, where he will take over as the everyday catcher. The 25-year-old backstop will also likely line up around the middle of the Brewers’ batting order after the power he displayed for the Braves last season.

With pop that rivals that of older brother Willson, Contreras broke out in a big way at the plate in 2022. Over 97 games split between catcher and DH, he hammered his way to a .278/.354/.506 slash line with 20 long balls. Contreras is in line for a notable uptick over his 376 plate appearances from last year, so his 45 RBI should rise significantly as well. It would also not be a shock to see him lead the position in homers in 2023.

Avoid

Alejandro Kirk (TOR): ADP – Overall 107 | Catcher 7

Kirk more than proved he can handle big-league pitching both behind the plate and in the box during his first full MLB campaign last year. He actually walked (63) more than he struck out (58) while delivering a solid .285 AVG and .372 OBP en route to a Silver Slugger award.

Still, given the lack of power, Kirk showed with just 14 home runs and 19 doubles across 541 plate appearances, he seems to be going a little earlier in drafts than necessary. Both Murphy and Contreras arguably have more upside than Kirk in terms of overall fantasy production for 2023.

Christian Vazquez (MIN): ADP – Overall 261 | Catcher 17

Granted, Vazquez is not carrying a large draft risk in standard-depth formats, given his ADP. However, for the consideration of those in deeper or two-catcher leagues, there are several options that have more offensive potential regularly going after him in drafts.

Vazquez is steady, but aside from maybe a decent batting average, he really does not bring much to the table in terms of fantasy value. He has turned in just a .685 OPS with only 15 homers in 257 games since the start of the 2021 season. Take a chance on a name such as Shea Langeliers (C-20), Logan O’Hoppe (C-21), or Eric Haase (C-23) instead.


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Nate Miller is a featured writer at FantasyPros and a 9-year veteran of the fantasy sports industry. For more from Nate, check out his archive and follow him on Twitter @Miller_RotoDad.

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