2024 Fantasy Baseball ADP Battle: Realmuto vs Contreras

J.T. Realmuto vs William Contreras

by Corey Pieper
2024 Fantasy Baseball ADP Battle: Realmuto vs Contreras

As MLB Spring Training continues, so does Fantasy Six Pack's Fantasy Baseball coverage. We are starting an ADP Battle series for the 2024 Fantasy Baseball season, starting with the catcher position debating Realmuto vs Contreras.

If you haven't already, read through Fantasy Six Pack's catcher preview, it's a great starting point to understand the position.

Before you ever start your draft, make sure you are aware of your league settings as some play with one catcher and others play with two. If you're playing on Fantrax, you can customize your league to whichever specifications you prefer.

This series will pit two players against each other who play the same position and have similar average draft positions, according to FantasyPros ADP.

The first article will be between two high-end National League catchers - Philadelphia Phillies' J.T. Realmuto and Milwaukee Brewers' William Contreras.

Neither player is being selected as the top catcher, behind Adley Rutschman and sometimes Will Smith, but that could make for a valuable buying opportunity in your league.

But which catcher, Realmuto or Contreras, should we be buying in 2024?

2024 Fantasy Baseball ADP Battle: Realmuto vs Contreras

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J.T. Realmuto, Philadelphia Phillies (@F6P_Joe)

FantasyPros ADP 75.6 overall 3rd among catchers
2023 Stats: 70 R, 20 HR, 63 RBI, 16 SB, 252 average
ATC Projection: 69 R, 20 HR, 69 RBI, 15 SB, 257 average

Outside of Adley Rutschman and Will Smith is there a safer catcher to draft than J.T. Realmuto?

One of the biggest stats to look at when deciding which catcher to draft is games played. Availability means more chances at counting stats (R, RBI, HR). Since Realmuto joined the Phillies, in 2019, he has been the only catcher to have played 130 or more games each season, excluding the 2020 shortened season.

We of course know that Realmuto has been great for fantasy during this time too. He has never led the league in home runs for catchers, but he is a safe source for 20 or more. This will put him among the league leaders for the catcher position just like he will be for runs and RBI too.

You can't forget the one thing that makes him stand out among the crowd at the catcher position, steals. Since 2019, there have been three instances where a catcher has had 10 or more steals. Each one of those instances has been Realmuto, with a high of 21 in 2022.

The only real concern with Realmuto is that his batting average dropped to a career low in 2023. Still, at .252 he is more than fine since most catchers that you are drafting behind him won't even sniff that. I do have some hope that he can bring this back up though. Starting with the Trea Turner standing ovation game, Realmuto hit .269 for the rest of the season. Maybe he doesn't do that for a full season and he still hits closer to .250, but still, finding a four-category catcher, when one of those is steals, is huge for your fantasy squad.

William Contreras, Milwaukee Brewers (@copieps)

FantasyPros ADP 78.8 4th among catchers
2023 stats: 86 R, 17 HR, 78 RBI, 6 SB, 289 average
ATC Projection: 77 R, 22 HR, 74 RBI, 4 SB, 272 average

William Contreras came to Milwaukee last offseason via trade. He quickly established himself as one of the premier offensive catchers in all of Major League baseball.

Contreras finished last season in the top five among catchers in stolen bases and RBI. He also led all catchers in runs scored and batting average. While his home runs were slightly behind the very top end, there is still nothing wrong with the 17 he hit last season. And he can hit even more with just one slight tweak. He has elite exit velocities and hard-hit rates, but his problem is that he doesn't lift the ball enough. His launch angle was an abysmal 4.7 last season. With just a slight improvement there, 25 home runs are well within reach.

That batting average he provides is even more beneficial than most, because he finished second amongst all catchers in plate appearances, behind only Baltimore Orioles' Adley Rutschman.

Contreras should be firmly entrenched as the number two hitter in the Brewers lineup. It's a very beneficial spot to be for both runs scored and RBI production. Batting in front of him most days should be Christian Yelich and his high on-base percentage. Then, players batting behind him include RBI producers like Rhys Hoskins and Willy Adames.

Realmuto vs Conteras

Choosing between Realmuto and Contreras is choosing between two very solid options. If you choose to go with one of them, you have to consider which categories you are attacking. If you need stolen bases, Realmuto is the gold standard for that category at the catcher position.

You are not going to get any type of discount drafting either option. Both catchers currently have ADPs in the mid-late 70s which means investing in them with a 6th-round pick. When it comes to choosing, I prefer Contreras.

I expect Contreras to lead in all of the rotisserie categories except stolen bases. While Realmuto still has an 83rd percentile sprint speed, that has dropped in each of the past two years. He'll play this season as a 33-year-old so expect another decrease in sprint speed which could lead to fewer stolen bases. Realmuto was a fantasy stalwart at the catcher position for a long time, but we're seeing a changing of the guard. Contreras is one of the new options leading the pack.

Check out our 2024 Fantasy Baseball Draft Kit!

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