2023 Dynasty Baseball RankingsDynasty BaseballGeneral


Continuing with our highlights of the league’s top Catcher, as judged by our collection of industry experts, below are the players ranked #1-10.

1. Adley Rutschman, Baltimore Orioles (Age: 25, Previous Rank: 2)

Well, it took less than three years for Adley Rutschman to go from the first overall selection in the 2019 FYPD, to being the starting catcher for the Orioles and almost instantly the #1 catcher in dynasty baseball. At the ripe old age of 24 Adley made his debut in late May, and by the end of the season was already a 5+ WAR player according to both Fangraphs and Baseball-Reference in only 113 games. Ruschman managed 13 home runs and 70 runs scored, but also maintained his walk (13.8%) and strikeout (18.3%) rates which were incredibly consistent with his minor league rates. Set to become the face of the rebuilt Orioles franchise, and with the baseball world at his feet, Adley seems ready and eager for all that’s in front of him, as is everyone who’s been lucky enough to roster him. (Ken Balderston)

2. Will Smith, Los Angeles Dodgers (Age: 28, Previous Rank: 1)

Oh how the mighty have fallen, last year’s number-one-ranked dynasty catcher has fallen to number two. The rank had little to do with Will Smith’s performance, as his still a 4 WAR player who swatted 24 home runs with a .343 OBP and 87 RBI. It seemed to only be a matter of time before Adley to claim the top spot but Will Smith has proven to be a solid and consistent contributor who easily fits in behind. Smith should maintain the cleanup spot in the Dodgers lineup, or settle into the three-hole, as he spent nearly 85% of his playing time in those spots last year. The team may not be the offensive juggernaut they have been in recent seasons but will lean even more on their franchise catcher, who’s proven more than capable of the job. (Ken Balderston)

3. J.T. Realmuto, Philadelphia Phillies (Age: 32, Previous Rank: 3)

Realmuto has long been one of the top catchers in baseball, consistently being one of the top at the position for 7 seasons now. His 2022 was perhaps his best, with 75 runs scored and 84 RBI backed by one of the rarest feats in baseball, a 20/20 season at catcher. But it almost was not so… as J.T. began the season very slowly, managing only 5 home runs and a .317 OBP by the end of June. A second-half surge certainly convinced the dynasty world he wasn’t through, but maybe set expectations a bit high for the 32-year-old. For example, J.T. is a SB contributor at catcher, but his 21 steals last year far exceeded his previous career high of 13. The 22 home runs he hit last year was only the third time he managed to top 20. While these aren’t huge red flags they simply point out why Realmuto is not ranked higher, and also caution against expecting a repeat of his 2022 season. (Ken Balderston)

4. Daulton Varsho, Toronto Blue Jays (Age: 26, Previous Rank: 8)

Let’s take advantage of a good thing while we can… Varsho is not long for qualifying at catcher. Having won a gold glove in the outfield and being among the lead leaders in defensive runs saved at the position, Varsho’s catching days are likely over. But that shouldn’t damper his 2023 season as he’ll still qualify there for the year, and will enjoy playing in a much more favorable home ballpark for power. Varsho hit 27 home runs last year playing his home games in the worst park for power according to ESPN park factors. He’ll now call Rogers Center home which was the 8th best park for power, though we’ll have to wait to see who the changes to the outfield walls will favor. Varsho has been vocal about continuing to use his speed on the basepaths, after stealing 16 bags last year. The detractor for Varsho is his poor splits against same-side pitching, but the Jays went out of their way to add left-handed bats this offseason and should pose no threat to Daulton’s playing time. Look for elite power and speed production at the position, even if it is likely the last time he’ll qualify at catcher going forward. (Ken Balderston)

5. Alejandro Kirk, Toronto Blue Jays (Age: 24, Previous Rank: 9)

It seemed to be past due, but Kirk finally got his chance to play regularly last season and he didn’t disappoint. Despite being a strong defender, Kirk split time behind the plate with Danny Jansen which he’s expected to continue in 2023 but also finds time at DH. Not your traditional build, Kirk’s 5’8” 245 lbs body looks to be built for power, but is instead a contact approach as he walked (11.6%) more than he struck out (10.7%) on route to a .372 OBP at the age of 23. Power is not devoid in Kirk’s game, as he can manage enough power (14 HR) to be useful at the position, with hopes for more as he matures. Kirk is in the enviable position for catchers to play enough to qualify there but hit well enough to spend his days off from catching in the DH slot. Look for close to 600 plate appearances here in his 3rd full season and some of the best rate stats at the position as well. (Ken Balderston)

6. Willson Contreras, St. Louis Cardinals (Age: 30, Previous Rank: 7)

Contreras has long been a favorite in dynasty baseball, consistently hitting 20 or more home runs and appearing in the orbit of 120 games a year. He also offers plus plate discipline as well, consistently walking around 10% of the time with OBPs in the .350 range and now a career-low 21.1% strikeout rate. Willson represents consistency amongst a young, and generally unproven group of catchers in our dynasty rankings, and there’s something to be said for consistency. Catcher is a position that many players will easily return a negative value, and only 12 catchers hit as many as 15 home runs last year, 5 of which had OBPs below .300. Willson provides adequate production at 4 categories and has a long history of being consistent and healthy, which goes a long way in the world of backstops. (Ken Balderston)

7. MJ Melendez, Kansas City Royals (Age: 24, Previous Rank: 17)

MJ Melendez was riding a hype train entering 2022, having just hit 41 home runs across two minor league levels the previous season, with a 14% walk rate and enough positional diversity to demand regular playing time in Kansas City. I don’t know what people were expecting but MJ did manage to appear in 129 major league games, hit 18 home runs, and manage similar walk (12.4%) and strikeout (24.5%) rates as he did through the minors. Maybe people expected the power he showed in the PCL to translate directly to the major leagues? Maybe people see the .217 batting average but look past the .258 BABIP and >20% line drive rate? It just feels like people were generally disappointed in MJ’s season. There should be no disappointment, as Melendez has quickly established himself as a young power hitter at the major league level, and a big part of the catching renaissance we’re seeing graduate right before our eyes. (Ken Balderston)

8. William Contreras, Milwaukee Brewers (Age: 25, Previous Rank: NR)

What an incredible ride it was for William Contreras, who began the year unranked by TDG and most other dynasty touts, but managed to earn a spot on the All-Star team after hitting 9 home runs and getting on base at a .343 clip before the end of June. There was some doubt as to why he made the team, but backed up and even improved his play in the second half, dropping 11 more home runs and a .360 OBP from July 2nd onward, even hitting a timely home run when Mets announcers seemed unimpressed with his game. Now with a new team in Milwaukee, William should maintain a similar spot in the lineup and play in a similar offensive environment if not slightly better for power. Things are looking up for the bat-first backstop, and you should feel quite comfortable with him as your #1 option in dynasty formats. (Ken Balderston)

9. Francisco Alvarez, New York Mets (Age: 21, Previous Rank: 6)

How does last year’s #6 ranked catcher fall to #9 after dominating AA, making his major league debut, and appear destined to take over as the primary catcher in Flushing at some point in 2023? Well, it’s in part because of the renaissance that we appear to be experiencing at the position, as 5 of the catchers ahead of Francisco got their first chance at regular playing time last season and ran with it. That’s not to say Alvarez doesn’t have the ability to outperform any of those five in any one season, but they have the advantage of having already done it once. As much as it seems destiny to become a major league regular this year, it also feels like Alvarez is destined to move up this list, but he’ll have to prove what he’s capable of at the big league level first. (Ken Balderston)

10. Sean Murphy, Atlanta Braves (Age: 28, Previous Rank: 16)

It all came together for Sean Murphy in 2022, having long been hampered by injuries, the A’s backstop managed to get into a career-high 148 games and lead major league catchers with 537 at-bats. He rode a career-best BABIP of .290 to a much improved .332 OBP though his walk rates were down from earlier in his career. Sean’s power maintained steady, only hitting one more home run than he did in 2021 despite coming to the plate 162 times more than in said season. Now with the Braves, there is hope those power numbers will rise, as Truist Park is not a hitter’s haven, it is an improvement to RingCentral Coliseum which is consistently one of the worst parks in the league for power. Now signed to a long-term deal, look for Murphy to continue to be reliable and productive for the foreseeable future. (Ken Balderston)

The Author

Ken Balderston

Ken Balderston

20+ years of fantasy baseball experience & currently only playing in dynasty leagues. Christian, proud father of 3, husband to the strongest woman in the world, accountant, golfer, cook.


  1. Stu Jackson
    February 8, 2023 at 4:26 pm

    How should I feel if William C is my 4th option in dynasty? Have (1) Adley, (2) Will S, (7) MJ, (8) William C & also (9) Frank A but is Util only in Yahoo.

    • February 10, 2023 at 7:36 am

      Crack open a beverage of choice, sit back, and enjoy the catching empire you’ve built! Then put them all on the block and see what offers roll in. Look to keep two of the bunch at most but make sure to have your roster needs/upgrades identified before moving any. But it’s time to spread that catching wealth to the rest of the roster via trade.

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