Dynasty Discussion: The Catching Position
In dynasty baseball, the are two ‘rules’ you constantly hear in podcasts or read in articles. Number 1: There is no such thing as a pitching prospect (“TINSTAPP”). Number 2: Never draft catchers. As with most things, these should not be viewed as absolutes. While I was working on updating my ranks recently, I noticed that there are a lot more catchers in my top 400 than I have ever seen before, and it got me thinking. If most people still have the mindset of “Don’t draft catchers”, could you use this to your advantage and draft or trade for some of the top-end guys? I’ll pick out a few of my favorite prospects to target in FYPD or trades, as listed in my personal catcher rankings.
#4 – Luis Campusano – San Diego Padres
The Padres picked Campusano in the second round of the 2017 draft after his amazing senior season in high school. He failed to make the USA Baseball national team the summer before his senior year and it fueled him to get in better shape. He struggled to stay on the field in his first two seasons but was able to play the entire year in High-A last year. In his 110 games at Lake Elsinore, Campusano hit .325/.396/.509 with an 11.7 K% and a 10.7 BB%. The bat control and batting eye are impressive for someone this young. He has excellent bat speed and blasts line drives around the park. He needs to work on elevating the ball and if he does that he should be an above-average hitter with above-average power.
#6 – Ivan Herrera – St. Louis Cardinals
Herrera might be one of my favorite guys to target as he is sitting on dynasty league waiver wires. Herrera signed with the Cardinals in 2016 and has quickly moved up the Cardinals system. He split his time between Low-A and High-A, where he was the third-youngest player in the league. Herrera has a smooth, compact swing that has an impressive 109 MPH max exit velocity. He was one of the youngest players in the Arizona Fall League and performed well in what had to be the longest season of his career. He is only 19 years old and was, most likely, going to reach Double-A this year before COVID-19.
#8 – Francisco Alvarez – New York Mets
Alvarez is the youngest catcher in this list but his first professional season was impressive enough to take a gamble on. He spent seven games in the Gulf Coast League, where he hit .462/.548/.846, and his manager requested him to be promoted to the Appy League. He played in 35 games and as the youngest player in the league, hit an impressive .282/.377/.443 with an 11.3 BB%. He has excellent bat-to-ball skills and above-average power and has shown the ability to lift the ball, which could easily translate to double-digit home run power once he reaches the majors.
#9 – Ryan Jeffers – Minnesota Twins
The Twins have a young lineup with some exciting bats in the upper minors and Ryan Jeffers is one on them. Jeffers was selected in the second round of the 2018 draft and all he has done is perform. He split his time between High-A and Double-A and showed an increase in his plate discipline after the promotion. He has good bat-to-ball skills, above-average power, and can get the ball in the air consistently. The Twins have been teaching their catchers a unique setup (they keep one knee on the ground) which not only helps with framing but also limits passed balls.
#16 – Cal Raleigh – Seattle Mariners
Raleigh was drafted by the Mariners in the third round in 2018 after an excellent three years at Florida State. Last year, he spent most of the year in High-A before a late-season call up to Double-A. While he was in Modesto, he .261/.336/.535 with an impressive 22 home runs in 82 games. While his overall hit tool might be the lowest on this list, his ability to catch up to higher velocity is promising and hopefully, he will not be a power only play. That being said, the Mariners should have a great lineup in a few years and Raleigh should drive in many runs.
Its great to see Jeffers in here – I’m a big fan of his. (And of all of these excepting Raleigh to be totally honest).
Curious is you considered Heriberto Hernandez, from Texas. He likely won’t stick at catcher, but his hit tool is impressive, from what I’ve seen.
I love Hernandez and I agree that he will probably not stick at catcher. That being said, the hit and power tool is something to gamble on.