2024 Dynasty Baseball RankingsDynasty Baseball

TDG’S 2024 TOP 50 CONSENSUS CATCHERS: #1-#10

Here are our 2024 #1-#10 Catchers!!

#1-#10

RankPlayerAvg. Rank
1Adley Rutschman1
2Will Smith2.4
3William Contreras4.4
4Francisco Alvarez5.2
5J.T. Realmuto5.3
6Yainer Diaz6
7Sean Murphy8.6
8Cal Raleigh9.8
9Samuel Basallo10.3
10Logan O'Hoppe12.2

Before I get into the players in this tier, I have a word about the impact that the addition of the DH in the NL did or did not have on the fantasy value of national league catchers. At the time the rule was adopted in 2022, the question was whether the value of National League catchers would go up if they got at-bats as DH on days they are getting a break.

Here are two tables showing, by year, the ten catchers who had the most at-bats as DH and how many home runs each hit at that position.

Plate Appearances and Home Runs by Catchers as DH, 2022

NameTeamGamesPlate AppearancesHome Runs
Alejandro KirkBlue Jays492127
Willson ContrerasCubs391685
Salvador PerezRoyals401678
Mitch GarverRangers361499
Gary SánchezTwins321395
Sean MurphyAthletics301292
William ContrerasBraves321253
Will SmithDodgers251079
Yasmani GrandalWhite Sox251020
Adley RutschmanOrioles23971

 

Plate Appearances and Home Runs by Catchers as DH, 2023

NameTeamGamesPlate AppearancesHome Runs
Mitch GarverRangers5723011
Adley RutschmanOrioles4520211
Tyler StephensonReds411682
Yainer DiazAstros361445
William ContrerasBrewers321354
Willson ContrerasCardinals301271
Salvador PerezRoyals291245
Keibert RuizNationals16710
Will SmithDodgers14622
Yasmani GrandalWhite Sox15622

Data is taken from Fangraphs where Garver is listed primarily as a catcher.  If he were removed from each list, Langeliers (2022) and Raleigh (2023) would move into the tenth slot on the respective charts.

Looking solely at the National League, the Contreras brothers are getting the most DH appearances, likely as much as for better defense from their replacements as rest days.  In 2023 Tyler Stephenson had 168 DH plate appearances, providing fantasy managers with two additional home runs.  With the Dodgers’ signing of Ohtani, I fully expect Will Smith to fall off this list unless Ohtani’s elbow requires some off days.

The short version of the fantasy impact of the DH on catchers’ production is that for the select few, there is value added and managers should keep that in mind.  The Orioles (Rutschman) and Royals (Perez) are using it to keep star players fresh, and in other cases teams are combining the rest with more days with better defense behind the plate.  The DH allows those catchers to get plate appearances without having to play at first base or a corner outfield position.  Be warned, however, because not all ships are rising in this tide.  The number of DH plate appearances for catchers falls off steeply so do not overestimate the impact on the rest of the catching pool.

On to the top tier!

Nine out of ten TDG rankers listed Adley Rutschman as the number one dynasty catcher and for good reason.  What I like most about him is the combination of power (20 home runs in 2023) and elite OBP (.374 in ‘23, .362 in ‘22).  As shown in the tables above, the Orioles are managing his workload behind the plate and he’s in a lineup that will be providing increasing RBI opportunities.

Will Smith is a clear number two in our rankings.  His home run total fell to 19 last year and is projected to be back in the mid-20s going forward, he also has very good OBP numbers, .357 for his career, and like Rutschman, is in a potent lineup that will help him accumulate the counting stats.  The only question is how many of the 62 DH at-bats will he lose this season and if those will impact his totals.

JT Realmuto (#5 in our rankings) is still a top-tier fantasy catcher.  Fun fact, no plate appearances as DH last year, and only six in 2022.  Twenty home runs and double-digit steals will be helpful from that position for the next couple of years, but if you have him rostered and can trade him to a contender this year, it might be the last best trading opportunity.

William Contreras and Francisco Álvarez round out our top five.   Like others on this list, Contreras combines decent power with very good on-base percentage (catchers know their strike zones!), and like others further down the list, Álvarez is projected to provide a bit more power with lower BA/OBP.  It is important to note that Álvarez did have higher walk rates in the minors and I’m not ready to give up on his OBP just yet.

Cal Raleigh might have been the most widely ranked catcher from this group, and it comes down to what a manager is looking for from the position. Over the past two seasons combined, Raleigh led all catchers with 57 home runs. The drawback is that he did that with a .223BA and .297 OBP.  This is why roster building is very important, and the manager who will take low power/high OBP players in the middle infield won’t be afraid to roster guys like Raleigh for the power numbers.  Other managers, and rankers, aren’t willing to take on the low ratios and move him down their lists.

The rest of the group represents the youth movement at the position.  Diaz has been on the radar since his breakout year in 2022 and should catch enough to maintain eligibility, but he’s the one on this list who may be most likely to be a permanent DH.  O’Hoppe and Murphy are going to be stalwarts at this position and for some reason may be getting slightyl overlooked right now.  O’Hoppe hit 14 home runs in just 199 plate appearances last year and the reasons why he was our fourth-ranked catching prospect in 2023 haven’t gone away.  As long as Murphy keeps hitting over twenty home runs with an OBP over .350, with the added bonus of the Atlanta lineup, he’ll be a great value at the position.

Samuel Basallo is 19 years old and plays for the Orioles. He’s an excellent prospect, but unless he eventually becomes the DH who catches on the days Rutschman plays DH, Basallo’s future may be at first base.  He has shown excellent power and should be a dynasty team regular, just keep an eye on position eligibility.

If I’m building a team to win now, I’m taking Sal Pérez.  Sorry, I couldn’t help myself there, from this list I’m taking JTR for the stolen bases.

If I’m building a team to win in three years, it’s Adley Rutschman all day long.

The Author

Drew Klein

Drew Klein

Lover of all things baseball and determined to keep the fan in fantasy.

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