Feb 25, 2015; Dunedin, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays catcher Russell Martin (55) work out during spring training at Bobby Mattick Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
The number before each catcher’s name represents their overall rank in the 2015 Fantasy Baseball Rankings.
11. #207 Derek Norris San Diego Padres
Derek Norris is one of my favorite cheaper options at catcher because of his great plate discipline, and I loved him last year in this article. He has a career 11.4% walk rate and posted a really nice .361 OBP in 2014 with the A’s. While San Diego is another terrible park to hit in, I still think Derek Norris has enough power to hit a dozen homers. I am really hoping that the Padres recognize his ability to get on base and slot Derek Norris in front of the new meat of the order.
12. #214 Wilson Ramos Washington Nationals
Ramos is a serviceable fantasy catcher if you are looking for a .270 average and roughly a dozen homers. However, Ramos seems to be wildly averse to scoring runs. His career high of 46 runs seems unnaturally low even if he never steals. (He is 0-3 in career stolen base attempts). I would think that some of his teammates would drive him in a little more frequently.
13. #229 Matt Wieters* Baltimore Orioles
Wieters will supposedly be ready for Opening Day, which would make him a great value at this juncture. He is already catching and hitting, so I could realistically bump him up 50 or more spots if he is truly healthy and ready to catch at least 130 games like he did from 2010 to 2013.
Despite never fully blossoming into the next incredible catcher as he was once heralded, Matt Wieters is still a great defensive backstop with solid pop. His 67 homers from 2011 to 2013 are among the best at his position. Ultimately, the draft value of Matt Wieters is marked by his health. My opinions on him are still fluctuating.
14. #242 Yasmani Grandal Los Angeles Dodgers (also 1B eligible)
If you play in an OBP or OPS league, then Yasmani Grandal could be the man for you behind the plate. While Dodger Stadium is not exactly home run alley, it is better than San Diego where Grandal sent 15 over the fence despite a reported lack of strength in his knees due to surgery. His career 13.8% BB% is phenomenal, and I fully expect all of his numbers to improve in 2015 (not including steals).
15. #248 Mike Zunino Seattle Mariners
If you are dead set on power from your catcher, then Mike Zunino is a potential option. Yes, Zunino only hit .199 last year with a .254 OBP and his BB/K was horrifying, but he was only 23 years old.
The former third overall draft is a blue chip prospect who flew through the Minors for his game-calling abilities as well as his noticeable power. In fact, Zunino had more extra base hits (44) than singles (43) in 2014. There are still a lot of holes in Mike Zunino’s offensive game, but he has plenty time to develop, and I think that the potential prodigy could progress sooner rather than later.
16. #271 Russell Martin Toronto Blue Jays
Zunino is probably the last catcher I am interested in, and he is even a very weak option because he will seriously harm your team in the rate stat. On the other hand, Martin had a stunning .402 OBP in 2014, but he had not approached that number in years despite always taking walks. While Russell Martin’s offensive stats impressed me a lot more than I remembered, I am afraid he will be over drafted coming off of a big year and moving to Toronto.
17. #273 Miguel Montero Chicago Cubs
I used to be anti-Montero from a fantasy perspective when he was routinely drafted inside the top 10 at his position. I am still not buying Miguel Montero for my fantasy team because he was brought to Chicago mostly for his catching abilities (just like Martin to Toronto).
18. Not ranked Tyler Flowers Chicago White Sox
Flowers has 20 home run upside, but his average is bound to regress. He hit .241 in 2014 with a .355 BABIP. With a career BABIP of .308, Tyler Flowers will probably find his average just north of the Mendoza line in 2015. His career strikeout rate of 34.8% will also help me stay away.
19. Not ranked John Jaso Tampa Bay Rays
I really liked all of the Oakland catchers in 2014 because they hit around 10 bombs with an OBP around .350. Jaso is now in Tampa where his 2014 line of 42/9/40/2/.264 is entirely repeatable. In fact, I expect a few more runs and RBI’s with more time in the lineup, but those types of numbers are only worth it in very deep leagues.
20. Not ranked Chris Iannetta Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
I saved the best for last. Well, I at least saved my favorite. While I am not even sure that Chris Iannetta will be a top 20 catcher, I always find a way to roster him at least one time every season just like I found a way to sneak him in on here. His career 14.8% walk rate is just awesome and his career slash line of .236/.357/.414 is great outside of the bulk of leagues that use average. I even wrote a tribute post to him back in October that you can read here.
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