Fantasy Baseball 2020: Catchers - Consistency Preview

Blake Sullivan shares the most consistent catchers of 2019 and his rankings for 2020. Follow him @blakesullivanff on Twitter

The catcher position has always been seen as the most important player on the field, but it’s also regarded as the least important position on fantasy baseball rosters. There are plenty of young players developing into stars. There are also a fair amount of older catchers that are in the twilight years of their careers. Sometimes it can be hard to make decisions between these two categories of catchers, but there is often great value to be had in the back end of drafts. The best way to make the most of your pick is to get a consistent player. We’ll look at a few tiers of catchers based on their total scoring and consistency factors from previous seasons as well as their outlook for this season.

In 2019 there were five players over 400 fantasy points. Only one catcher scored more than 500 fantasy points last season, Philadelphia Phillies’ J.T. Realmuto. Those over 400 were Chicago Cubs’ Willson Contreras, Minnesota Twins’ Mitchell Garver, Boston Red Sox’s Christian Vazquez, and Chicago White Sox’s Yasmani Grandal. 

Below I will sort through the position giving my 2020 rankings and highlight a standout, consistent player in each tier. Keep in mind our scoring system is as follows:

Hit

0.5pts

HR

4pts

Run

2pts

RBI

2pts

SB

2pts

If you want to see who are the most consistent players in your league, go here and enter in your own scoring methods: https://www.bigguyfantasysports.com/phpcalcs/mlb/index.php


Tier One

These are the truly elite of the position. They produce at the highest level with the most consistency, making them your ideal choice for catcher. You will pay up for them on draft day, but they provide worry-free production.

Player Name

Total Pts

Rank

Total CW

Total WP

CR

2019 Rank

2020 Tier

2020 Rank

J.T. Realmuto

544.00

1

20

24

83%

1

C1A

1

Gary Sanchez

459.50

3

14

21

67%

7

C1A

2


You can’t go wrong with either of these guys. Realmuto was the first overall scorer and the most consistent catcher in 2019. His ability to steal bases and hit for a high average boost his consistency much higher than the others at the position. He’s the clear favorite as consistency goes. An argument can be made for Gary Sanchez as the best overall scorer for the 2020 season. He’s in the middle of the most dangerous lineup in all of baseball. One added benefit is his ability to stay in the lineup as a DH on his “off-days”. If you decide to pay up in your draft you will be rewarded, but you will have to sacrifice depth at other positions due to their high ADP. It’s worth noting that Sanchez only played in 106 games last season so while his numbers don’t appear as good as some in tier two we must assume a full season from all players.

Tier Two

Here you will find a group just barely below the elite. These catchers will still provide high point totals perhaps at a slightly lower level of consistency, or vice versa.

Player Name

Total Pts

Rank

Total CW

Total WP

CR

2019 Rank

2020 Tier

2020 Rank

Yasmani Grandal

475.50

2

17

24

71%

5

C1B

3

Willson Contreras

381.00

7

16

20

80%

2

C1B

4

Mitchell Garver

435.50

4

18

23

78%

3

C1B

5

Christian Vazquez

424.50

5

18

24

75%

4

C1B

6


Yasmani Grandal is the favorite of mine in this tier of catchers. He provides a high upside and he was ranked as a top five consistency scorer last season. Willson Contreras was second as far as consistency goes in 2019, but was only 7th in total scoring. Contreras played in just 105 games last season which is why I have his outlook a little higher. Mitchell Garver falls into the middle of this group on all categories. He offers you the most value from an ADP standpoint, as you can probably get him latter than the household name catchers. Christian Vazquez had similar numbers to Garver, but if anything the Sox’s lineup will be worse this year if they do move Mookie Betts which could have a trickle-down effect on Vazquez.

Tier Three

Many fantasy owners find themselves drafting catchers from this tier. There is plenty of value left here, and you can wait until pretty late into your draft. This is where a lot of veteran catchers come into play.  

Player Name

Total Pts

Rank

Total CW

Total WP

CR

2019 Rank

2020 Tier

2020 Rank

Omar Narvaez

   383.00

6

13

24

54%

10

C1C

7

James McCann

369.50

9

13

24

54%

11

C1C

8

Travis d’Arnaud

344.50

11

11

23

48%

16

C1C

9

Wilson Ramos

371.00

8

12

24

 50%

12

C1D

10

Robinson Chirinos

343.50

12

12

24

50%

13

C1D

11

Yadier Molina

289.00

16

9

19

47%

17

C1D

12


There are opportunities for all of these guys to have great seasons, but there is a clear divide from them and previous tiers. Omar Narvaez had an impressive season last year and I’d like to see that continue this year. I look for Travis d’Arnaud to have a solid year as the Tampa Bay Rays continue to improve each year. Yadier Molina is at the bottom of the list and you could make an argument he needs to be lower. However, with Marcell Ozuna out of the picture it’s possible Molina will be batting higher in the order. Ozuna often cleared the bases which also hurt Molina to an extent.

Off the list

Here are three guys that didn’t make the cut that you could stream or add after the draft. These guys are either very consistent or score a lot of points. You don’t always need a consistent player, but you have to understand when to use those players (if someone is on a hot streak).

Player Name

Total Pts

Rank

Total CW

Total WP

CR

2019 Rank

2020 Tier

2020 Rank

Jorge Alfaro

300.00

13

10

24

42%

19

NA

13

Carson Kelly

287.00

17

12

24

50%

15

NA

14

Kurt Suzuki

290.00

15

13

23

57%

8

NA

15


These three guys are all a bit different. Kurt Suzuki deserves to be in an upper tier based on his consistency, but time share has hurt his total fantasy production. He’s great to have for filling in but you can’t always rely on him to be playing. Jorge Alfaro is the opposite of that. He gives you high production but also can give you nothing just as easily. I like Alfaro in certain situations that our other consistency data provides for daily purposes but not so much as your everyday starter. Carson Kelly is a young catcher with a lot of potential on a team that can score quite a few runs. I expect him to continue to improve on both his production and consistency. He’s a great sleeper pick this season.

Here is a scatter plot to give you a better visual of the consistent and inconsistent catchers in the league in 2019:

That wraps up my 2020 preview of the catcher position and review of the 2019 consistency results. As you can see, the top overall point scoring catchers were also amongst the most consistent. For 2020 I expect more of the same. The position is evolving and I expect to see new names on the list this time next year. This article will give you a good start, and I look forward to weekly updates throughout the season to help you win your leagues. Be sure to check out all of our consistency reports and weekly updates as well as our 2020 outlooks.

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