2021 Fantasy Baseball Rankings (AL)
Expert Consensus Ranking (56 of 56 Experts) -
|Rank||Player (Team, Position)||Overall||Notes|
|1||Salvador Perez (KC - C,DH)||49||39.0||-10.0||
Perez returned from missing all of the 2019 season to put up monstrous numbers. He batted .333 with 11 home runs in just 37 games. Sure, his meager walk rate became even worst and he struck out more than ever, but his strong numbers were absolutely earned. He had an expected batting average of .325, an expected slugging percentage of .624, and barreled baseballs at a significantly higher rate than he ever had before. Perez will be 31 years old this year this year but considering that he's had just 156 plate appearances combined over the past two years (after having one of the heaviest workloads for a catcher over the previous six seasons), he should have some gas left in the tank. Draft him as a top-three catcher without hesitation.
|2||Yasmani Grandal (CWS - C,1B) IL10||68||58.0||-10.0||
Grandal is getting up there in age for a catcher, and there were a few warning signs for the veteran. He struck out nearly 30% of the time last season, well above his typical rate, and his expected batting average, slugging percentage, and wOBA were some of the worst of his career. At the same time, he continued to walk at a near-elite clip, and again provided plenty of power from a position where pop is hard to find. The good news for Grandal is that both his large contract and his elite pitch framing skills should keep him in the lineup as often as possible, which will help to pad his counting stats, though his recovery from a knee injury may cause Chicago to take it easy with him at the outset. He's just a tad outside of the elite range at the position, but he's a locked in fantasy starter.
|3||Gary Sanchez (NYY - C)||85||63.0||-22.0||
If you want to credit last season's numbers, then you're going to avoid Sanchez like the plague. He batted a ridiculous .147 and struck out 36% of the time. When Sanchez did hit the ball, he still hit it really, really hard, like he always has. But he just simply can't stop himself from swinging (13.8% swinging strike rate), and especially from swinging outside the zone (31.5% O-Swing%, which was actually better than his career rate). It wasn't that long ago that Sanchez was one of the top catchers drafted, and he's still just 28 years old. If he can just cut down on his whiffs, he can easily be a top-five catcher, so buy him for his upside, while also making sure to focus on batting average elsewhere.
|4||Christian Vazquez (BOS - C,1B)||90||79.0||-11.0||
Vazquez was a late bloomer, but he's developed into one of the more reliable catchers in the game. Not only does he provide 20-homer power, but he's one of the best assets at catcher in both batting average and stolen bases. Entering his age-31 season, there's certainly the possibility for a major decline in his numbers, but there is little in his underlying metrics to suggest it is imminent. Draft Vazquez as a strong starter in single-catcher formats, and you won't need to do so before the double-digit rounds.
|5||Sean Murphy (OAK - C)||105||96.0||-9.0||
Murphy has pretty quietly put together two quality seasons in a row, albeit in limited samples. Over his past 63 games, he's put up 11 home runs, 35 runs scored, and 22 RBI, a pace that is more than respectable, even if it comes with a sub-par batting average. Murphy is dealing with a collapsed lung and may not be ready for the start of the season, but it doesn't sound like it will keep him out of action for long. He's a borderline starter in most mixed leagues, but he offers a decent floor if you miss our on more quality options.
|6||Mitch Garver (MIN - C) DTD||122||102.0||-20.0||
As quickly as Garver exploded onto the scene in 2019 with 31 home runs in just 93 games, he disappeared last year, to the tune of a .167 batting average and two home runs with a 45.7% strikeout rate. An intercostal strain led to his shortened season and almost certainly affected his performance. He's been red hot in the spring thus far, and should be slowly moving up your draft board. If you're looking for a catcher who has the potential to finish within the top-5 but is being drafted only as a low-end starter, this is your guy.
|7||Isiah Kiner-Falefa (TEX - C,3B,SS)||151||147.0||-4.0|
|8||Wilson Ramos (CLE - C,DH) MiLB||167||141.0||-26.0|
|9||Alejandro Kirk (TOR - C)||172||154.0||-18.0||
Kirk has the bat to to be a fantasy asset if he can stay in the lineup, particularly with catcher eligibility. He is a career .315 hitter with a .918 OPS in the minors, and had a strong, albeit short, stint in the majors last year during when he had a .983 OPS in nine games. The biggest obstacle for Kirk is that the Blue Jays have two solid defensive catchers in Danny Jansen and Reese McGuire, and although they could put Kirk at DH, they have plenty of other options for that position. In other words, Kirk needs to hit and hit early to cement a lineup spot. If he does, he's got top-10 catcher potential pretty easily.
|10||Danny Jansen (TOR - C) IL10||188||165.0||-23.0||
Jansen's playing time is uncertain this year with the presence of both Reese McGuire and Alejandro Kirk, but his defense is likely to keep him in the mix as a starter most games. He hasn't developed into the offensive force most thought he would become, and his average has been downright dreadful. But he's put up 19 home runs and 59 RBI over 150 games in the last two seasons, and the Toronto lineup is incredibly strong. If he wins the job outright out of spring training, he should be considered a fairly strong second catcher.
|11||Yan Gomes (OAK - C)||203||189.0||-14.0|
|12||Tom Murphy (SEA - C)||218||180.0||-38.0|
|13||Ryan Jeffers (MIN - C)||236||220.0||-16.0|
|14||Pedro Severino (BAL - C,DH)||204||166.0||-38.0|
|15||Max Stassi (LAA - C)||202||209.0||+7.0|
|16||Kurt Suzuki (LAA - C)||210||194.0||-16.0|
|17||Francisco Mejia (TB - C)||233||256.0||+23.0|
|18||Sam Huff (TEX - C) MiLB||223||207.0||-16.0|
|19||Roberto Perez (CLE - C)||260||250.0||-10.0|
|20||Martin Maldonado (HOU - C)||224||204.0||-20.0|
|21||Luis Torrens (SEA - C,DH)||281||260.0||-21.0|
|22||Mike Zunino (TB - C)||262||304.0||+42.0|
|23||Jose Trevino (TEX - C)||310||282.0||-28.0|
|24||Adley Rutschman (BAL - C) MiLB||368||184.0||-184.0|
|25||Jason Castro (HOU - C)||334||306.0||-28.0|
|26||Willians Astudillo (MIN - C,1B,3B)||465||214.0||-251.0|
|27||Austin Hedges (CLE - C)||318||371.0||+53.0|
|28||Jonah Heim (TEX - C)||352||338.0||-14.0|
|29||Kyle Higashioka (NYY - C)||388||246.0||-142.0|
|30||Aramis Garcia (OAK - C) MiLB||420|
|31||Kevin Plawecki (BOS - C)||405||341.0||-64.0|
|32||Reese McGuire (TOR - C)||473|
|33||Zack Collins (CWS - C,DH)||472||279.0||-193.0|
|34||Grayson Greiner (DET - C)||440|
|35||Jacob Nottingham (SEA - C) MiLB||457||378.0||-79.0|
|36||John Hicks (TEX - C,1B) MiLB|
|37||Austin Allen (OAK - C) MiLB||487||404.0||-83.0|
|38||Cam Gallagher (KC - C)||467||384.0||-83.0|
|39||Jake Rogers (DET - C) IL10||474|
|40||Meibrys Viloria (KC - C) MiLB||488|