2022 Catcher Rankings (11/19/21)

Here are my current 2022 ranks for catchers in 15-team, 50-round draft-and-hold leagues. NFBC Rank reflects drafts through 11/18/21.

1. 1 Salvador Perez 36
2. 2 Will Smith 73.83
3. 2 J.T. Realmuto 56.33
4. 2 Yasmani Grandal 120.83
5. 3 Daulton Varsho 108.83
6. 3 Willson Contreras 124.67
7. 4 Keibert Ruiz 183
8. 4 Tyler Stephenson 186
9. 4 Travis d’Arnaud 210.83
10. 4 Alejandro Kirk 215.33
11. 4 Elias Diaz 319.33
12. 5 Adley Rutschman 215.83
13. 5 Yadier Molina 300.67
14. 5 Mitch Garver 246.33
15. 5 Omar Narvaez 276.17
16. 5 Sean Murphy 253.33
17. 5 Christian Vazquez 241.17
18. 5 Jacob Stallings 377
19. 5 Carson Kelly 291.67
20. 5 Danny Jansen 360.17
21. 6 Austin Nola 333
22. 6 Gary Sanchez 286.83
23. 6 Max Stassi 328.5
24. 6 James McCann 324.17
25. 6 Joey Bart 304.17
26. 6 Eric Haase 254.33
27. 6 Mike Zunino 269.5
28. 7 Luis Torrens 375.33
29. 7 Tucker Barnhart 372.67
30. 7 Francisco Mejia 397.5
31. 7 Jonah Heim 465.5
32. 7 Yan Gomes 343.67
33. 7 Jorge Alfaro 386.17
34. 7 Tom Murphy 487
35. 8 Martin Maldonado 533.67
36. 8 Ryan Jeffers 438.33
37. 8 Kyle Higashioka 551
38. 8 Manny Pina 586.33
39. 8 Victor Caratini 487.5
40. 8 MJ Melendez 498.17

Comments on Specific Players

Will Smith‘s exact placement will depend on plate appearances. If he gets 500+, then he seems destined for top 2 catcher ranking. If he ends up more in line with 2021 plate appearances, then he could still place top 4.

Yasmani Grandal could be good value at his current draft slot, but there’s injury risk built into that. My ranking is assuming a generous number of plate appearances, but I doubt I myself take him.

Keibert Ruiz and Adley Rutschman are both upside plays with lots of uncertainty. Ruiz looked fine in his MLB debut, but I am wary projected that over a full season. Steamer projects are quite favorable for both players.

Alejandro Kirk could be too low. Or too high. Perhaps biggest question mark for me in the catcher rankings.

Christian Vazquez is surprisingly lower on my list than I would have expected. I liked him a lot last year, especially for chip-in stolen bases. Which he did well in the first half (8 out of 9 chances). I need to check for any published reasons why he declined in second half (0 out of 3 chances). Without those and more power output, I think around #20 is justified.

Gary Sanchez is (and has been) quite the dilemma. Teams that can handle the BA crater would do well to pick up the counting stats at his current draft slot. And that is how I will be approaching the Yankee (maybe not for long?) backstop. His HR rate (and runs, RBI) are high enough that he does not need a lot of plate appearances to positively contribute on a weekly basis, and the lower number of plate appearances from the catcher slot helps mitigate his low batting average (i.e., 400 PA from Sanchez hurt much less than 600 PA from a starting outfielder or infielder).

Eric Haase is probably too high. Not buying a repeat, even before Barnhart showed up in the Motor City.

I would be content taking Elias Diaz and Jacob Stallings at their current draft positions as my starting catchers in 50-round draft-and-holds.

I am still not completely out on Jorge Alfaro.

Last year, I really liked Tyler Stephenson late in drafts. I don’t see anyone right now that has the same appeal (good enough stats, projected backup at non-catching position). Victor Caratini might get some backup time at first base, but his production is a notch below Stephenson. And I am not even sure he holds the backup catching job all year (between Nola and Campusano).