2024 Dynasty Baseball RankingsDynasty Baseball

TDG’S 2024 TOP 50 CONSENSUS CATCHERS: #11-#20

Here are our 2024 #11-#20 Catchers!!

#11-#20

Wow, this is a fun group of catchers!  Might as well jump right in . . .

First off, we have the prodigy, Ethan Salas.  Signed for $5.6 million out of Venezuela, Salas isn’t just aboard an express train to San Diego, he’s conducting it.  Starting last season at 16 years old, he rose all the way to Double-A, hitting nine homers over his first 66 games with a .752 OPS, putting himself in line for a cup of coffee in 2025.  Future hit of 55, future game power of 60, and a dynamite backstop too (Link), Salas is already a consensus Top 10 prospect in baseball.  If he lives up to the hype, we could be looking at a generational player and the future top catcher in baseball.

We go from a teenager with 290 plate appearances to the active catcher with the second most plate appearances (3,354), Willson Contreras.  Contreras had the near-impossible role of stepping into the shoes formerly filled by Cardinals legend Yadier Molina.  He responded with the second-worst defensive season of his career (per defensive fWAR) and the second-best offensive season of his career (per wRC+).  After stumbling out of the gate, including losing the starting catching gig for a bit, Contreras ended the season on a tear, batting .339 over his last 51 games with 25 runs, 12 home runs, and 36 RBI.  Contreras is a reliable four-category contributor for dynasty managers.

Our next two catchers were born only a week apart.  Going into their age 24 season, they are both holding down full-time positions with bright presents and even brighter futures.  I’m talking about Bo Naylor and Gabriel Moreno.  Naylor excelled in his first significant time in the majors putting up a 124 wRC+ with a .232 ISO.  His plate discipline was strong (13% walk rate and 23% strikeout rate) and he even sprinkled in a little speed (7 total steals in 2023).  This is a five-category monster in the making who should slot nicely in a Guardians lineup.

Moreno does it a little differently.  With a future 70 hit tool (Link), Moreno will have the opportunity to put up strong counting stats in a competitive Diamondbacks lineup.  While he did not blow the doors off in his first season, he was league average with the bat, knocked in 50 runs over 111 games, and stole 6 bases.  At his age, Moreno has the chance to grow into more power, which should play well alongside his 81st-percentile whiff rate.  Torey Lovullo showed great confidence in Moreno when he slotted him third in the lineup during the World Series; dynasty managers should have the same type of confidence in Moreno.

A bat-first catcher who struggled in his first year in the bigs, Henry Davis was the first overall pick in 2021 and rose quickly to Pittsburgh.  In 2023, he absolutely dominated Double-A and Triple-A to the tune of 170 and 186 wRC+ respectively.  While Davis certainly has juice in his bat, hitting 19 homers over 113 games total in 2023, his 74 wRC+ was well below league average.  With Endy Rodriguez injured for 2024, we know Davis will do some catching, but his long-term future at the position is unknown.  Assuming he remains eligible at catcher, dynasty managers can look forward to a middle-of-the-order bat in Davis, especially if he can raise his walk rate up into the teens.

When the Rangers traded for Jonah Heim in February of 2021, I’m not sure they expected him to be the starting catcher for the 2023 American League All Stars.  Heim had a monster first half, scoring 43 runs, hitting 12 homers, and knocking in 59, but then his numbers tailed off in the second half as he battled wrist injuries.  Dynasty managers probably shouldn’t expect All-Star-starter quality numbers moving forward, but Heim will be a good source of counting stats hitting in a dangerous Rangers lineup.  At 28, Heim has plenty of runway for production and there is no reason to doubt that he can do damage when healthy.

We may have witnessed the Luis Campusano breakout in 2023.  A premier catching prospect, Campusano delivered a wRC+ of 134 in 2023 over 49 games.  He had well-rounded production with 7 homers while batting .319.  Campusano’s 4% walk rate is a red flag, but at least his 12% strikeout rate was a huge improvement over his 2022 K-rate.  At 25 years old, Campusano is still coming into his own offensively; dynasty owners can expect continued growth.  However, assuming Ethan Salas continues his rapid ascent to San Diego, it will be interesting to see how the playing time shakes out between the two young catchers.  Definitely something for dynasty managers to keep an eye on.

Tyler Soderstrom is another young catcher who sprinted to the majors, appearing in Oakland at 21 years old.  Interestingly, according to wRC+, Soderstrom has not been an above-average hitter since his time in High A.  Why is he on this list then?  In 2023, he showed some immense power, hitting 24 home runs over 122 games.  Soderstrom will need to reel in his strikeouts, but that seems possible after seeing him adjust a little in his repeat Triple-A season.  If he does, we are looking at a power-first catcher who should start enough games behind the plate to qualify at the position.

One of the major players going back to Washington in the Max Scherzer/Trea Turner trade in 2021, Keibert Ruiz will be in red and white for a long time after signing an eight year deal through 2030 (plus two team options).  Known for his bat-to-ball skills, Ruiz’s strikeout rate has hovered close to 10% over his three years with the Nationals.  In 2023, Ruiz’s power took a step forward; he blasted 18 home runs over 136 games.  Looking at Savant, Ruiz really upped his game against fastballs, slugging .554 against the pitch.  He also saw a material increase in his number of barrels.  Even if Ruiz does not further improve in the batter’s box, dynasty managers can count on consistent production from Ruiz in a lineup that should improve as their strong farm system matures.

Alejandro Kirk is one of our major fallers in the 2024 rankings.  Prior to 2023, Kirk was riding high at Number 5 after a 2022 season where he slashed .285/.372/.415 with 49 runs scored, 14 homers, and 63 RBI.  Last year, almost all of his numbers took a hit–he hit for less average and power over fewer games.  He also hit the ball a lot softer than in 2022.  The good news is that his plate discipline remained strong and his BABIP was .265, so he can hope for positive regression heading int0 2024.  At 25 years old, Kirk can certainly bounce back and make up some of the lost ground in our rankings, especially if he can find the pull-side power that he had in 2021 and 2022.

(Double R)

The Author

The Roto Red

The Roto Red

Managing fantasy baseball teams since 2001, Roto Red is a strong believer in building a dynasty team through its minor league system. Happy to talk baseball at any time! Follow on Twitter @TheRotoRed

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