Sep 20, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Milwaukee Brewers relief pitcher Francisco Rodriguez (57) and catcher Jonathan Lucroy (R) high-five after defeating the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park. The Brewers won 1-0. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
The number before each catcher’s name represents their overall rank in the 2015 Fantasy Baseball Rankings.
1. #40 Buster Posey San Francisco Giants (also 1B eligible)
Posey is the virtual consensus as the top backstop in the game, but the question simply comes down to his price. My guess is that Buster Posey will go as a third rounder in the majority of fantasy leagues, but I value him a little lower than that because I prefer not to pay a premium behind the plate. However, I am still wildly impressed with Posey’s skills as you can read in this article.
Even with Posey playing more games at first base in 2015, he is still a riskier investment than the average hitter due to the wear and tear of playing catcher. I still think Posey goes for 20 homers and a near .300 average, but I like other options down the list better.
2. #79 Yan Gomes Cleveland Indians
My favorite upper tier catcher is the best AL catcher because he can hit for both power and average. Yan Gomes should be right around Posey’s level in terms of power numbers, but the Giants’ star will hit for a slightly better average. Gomes could go 20/80 quite easily in 2015, and I am willing to wait quite a few rounds after Posey for the slight drop in production.
3. #85 Devin Mesoraco Cincinnati Reds
Devin Mesoraco put up monster numbers in 2014 on a dismal Reds’ team, but his 20.5% HR/FB rate screams regression on next year’s power potential. However, manager Bryan Price supposedly wants Mesoraco to catch 145 games in 2015. That means he could either put up great counting stats or earn frequent flyer miles to the disabled list. I prefer Gomes at a similar price tag.
4. #91 Jonathan Lucroy Milwaukee Brewers
While many fantasy baseball sites may have Lucroy as their second best catcher, I prefer a little more pop whenever possible. Power numbers are more stability than averages, but Lucroy is a very polished hitter and should bat upwards of .290. While he is still one of the premier catchers in the game, Lucroy has to overcome a hamstring injury before returning to 100% by Opening Day.
5. #105 Evan Gattis Houston Astros
There is one huge reason to be excited about Evan Gattis heading to Houston. He is a righty with pretty big power moving to Minute Maid Park with their short porch in left field. Gattis more or less averaged a homer every fifth game in his last two seasons with the Braves. I expect that number to rise as he blasts pitches into the Crawford boxes. A 30+ HR total is quite possible, and I would even consider Gattis as a dark horse to lead the AL in bombs.
6. #111 Brian McCann New York Yankees
There seems to be a common theme among the catchers I am targeting. I want power. Who better to own at a weak position than a virtual lock for 20 homers? In his previous seasons, Brian McCann epitomizes consistent power with two seasons of 20, 21, 23, and 24 homers apiece. I feel like it has to be unlikely that McCann hits for a .231 BABIP again, but it seems like he has no idea that defenses are shifting on him.
7. #141 Wilin Rosario Colorado Rockies
I mentioned that I would drop Rosario if he was not expected to receive enough at-bats in 2015 in the Catcher Rankings. I would put him out of the top 200 easily if Rosario becomes a part-time player for the Rockies. However, if you could guarantee me 400+ plate appearances (if he stays healthy), then Rosario is in the right spot as the #7 C.
8. #190 Salvador Perez Kansas City Royals
I really dislike a lot about Salvador Perez’s fantasy prospects in 2015, despite his great game-calling ability. Perez has caught a ridiculous 288 games in the last two years plus the 2014 Postseason run. Beyond receiving a reduced workload, Perez swings at literally everything. Salvador Perez chased the second highest percentage of pitches outside of the zone in 2014. I will not own Perez in 2015.
9. #196 Travis d’Arnaud New York Mets
I have been hyping Travis d’Arnaud for awhile on here, and I am not the only person to do so. Luckily, the former top prospect has not received the Carlos Carrasco over-hype treatment yet, so I would completely invest in the potentially budding star as your C.
10. #198 Yadier Molina St. Louis Cardinals
I feel like I am apologizing to Cards fans every time that I bash Yadier Molina in fantasy baseball. Here is my article on the gigantic disparity between his real life and fantasy value. Out of the three catchers in the tier ranked just inside the top 200, I would go with Travis d’Arnaud by a mile for his big time upside.