Updated 1/2/2018 by Max Freeze

In 2016 there were eight catchers that logged over 50 PA, last year there were only four (Realmuto, Posey, Molina, Sanchez). For this year I’m projecting that number to stay the same and what do you know, my top four in the ranks happen to be the only catcher’s I’m projecting for over 500 PA. Amazing! Not really. OK, after going through some of my projections for catchers in 2018, I realized just how valuable a guy like Gary Sanchez is compared to the rest of the league. To give you an idea of the difference in value between my #1 projected Catcher (Gary Sanchez) and my #5 projected Catcher (Evan Gattis); if they were both first basemen Sanchez would rank between Rhys Hoskins and Edwin Encarnacion or the #7 ranked 1B and around 45th overall. Gattis on the other hand would fall between Todd Frazier and Brandon Belt just outside the top 30 1B and around 250 overall. That’s why I fully endorse drafting Sanchez in the top 30 in all leagues. After the top six or seven catchers, the projections got down right depressing to the point where I had to stop after about 20 or so. Without further ado, here are my Catcher rankings for 2018.

Rank Name Team
The Sanchize
1 Gary Sanchez Yankees
Want to Have a Catch-er
2 Willson Contreras Cubs
3 J.T. Realmuto Marlins
4 Buster Posey Giants
This Got Ugly Fast
5 Evan Gattis Astros
6 Salvador Perez Royals
7 Yadier Molina Cardinals
8 Welington Castillo White Sox
9 Chris Iannetta Rockies
10 Alex Avila Diamondbacks
11 Robinson Chirinos Rangers
Top 12 Upside but Most Likely 2 Catcher Leagues
12 Mike Zunino Mariners
13 Wilson Ramos Rays
14 Yasmani Grandal Dodgers
15 Brian McCann Astros
16 Jonathan Lucroy Athletics
17 Russell Martin Blue Jays
18 Austin Barnes Dodgers
19 Tucker Barnhart Reds
20 Travis d’Arnaud Mets
21 Tyler Flowers Braves
22 Jason Castro Twins
23 Christian Vazquez Red Sox
24 Matt Wieters Nationals
25 James McCann Tigers

The only catchers I like after Grandal…. Nevermind, I don’t like any catchers after Realmuto. However, here are the catchers I’d own in deep leagues after #11 overall: Chirinos, McCann, Martin, Barnhart. That’s about it, catcher is a wasteland. Moving on…I have Austin Barnes and Chris Ianneta ranked higher than almost anyone else that I’ve seen. If Barnes can end up getting a 70-30 timeshare with Yasmani Grandal, I think he’s a borderline top 6 catcher. I love his approach at the plate, he makes good contact and should hit for a high average with moderate power but he also has some speed. 12-14 HR with 6-8 steals is likely and he can play some 2B which at the moment is a weak spot for the Dodgers. I like his chances to get over 400 PA in 2018. Iannetta is the boring vet but he’s always had power but also has frequent swings and misses. However, put him in Coors and a .220-15 projection can turn into a .250-20 projection quickly.Buster Posey is no longer the King of Catchers, he’s a shell of himself. Yes he can still hit for a very high average but xStats pegged him for around .290 last year well below his actual .320. With his age now on the wrong side of 30 and his power continuing to decline (12 HR last year) he’s morphing into Joe Mauer. I compare the two in my Buster Posey 2018 Outlook post. I ranked Realmuto over Posey but they are within about five spots of each other  and overall right around 100. I like Realmuto’s speed and think his average will come back over .280; a 15-10 season is likely. I love Contreras because he’s going to hit in the middle of a potent Cubs lineup, won’t hurt your average, and should hit over 20 home runs with solid RBI totals. He’s a nice consolation to Sanchez but I’d rank him well outside the top 50 around 70-75.