2024 Fantasy Baseball Top 10 Catcher Rankings

by Joe Bond
2024 Fantasy Baseball Top 10 Catcher Rankings

Welcome to the first of my 2024 positional Top-10 Fantasy Baseball Rankings, this one being for the catcher position. I will be going through each position breaking down my early top-10. These will change as we get closer to the MLB season. So make sure you are an All-Access member so you can get access to our full Award-Winning Fantasy Baseball Rankings.

If you missed the other positions follow the links below.

2024 Positional Top 10 Rankings

It is such a dilemma when it comes to drafting a catcher in your Fantasy Baseball leagues. Do you draft one of the elite, usually at a premium like you would a Travis Kelce in Fantasy Football? Or, do you wait and hope you find a gem late in the draft or off waivers?

Last season the studs, such as J.T. Realmuto, did not return the value of their draft cost. He was still good, but not worth the top-5 round draft pick. Some of the guys in tiers just below him though definitely hit, such as Adley Rutschman who went at least two rounds later and wound up as one of the top-2 catchers.

If you're a go get your catcher early type of player to get the positional advantage, the decision is easy for you. If you're not I'm sure you struggle with the same thing I do. That is when your cheatsheet or draft room puts a catcher at the top of the list, do you forgo some overall counting stats for a catcher or just punt to the end.

2024 Fantasy Baseball Top 10 Catcher Rankings

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No. 10: Francisco Alvarez, New York Mets

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We start the list with a guy with massive power, but a lot of holes in his swing.

There is no doubt in my mind that Alvarez could hit 35-40 home runs if he was given 600 plate appearances, but his lack of defensive prowess keeps him from playing other positions and the Mets are deep enough that he won't see many DH appearances. This caps his plate appearances at around 450 max which will limit his counting stat ceiling.

Despite his high K-rate and low batting average He still can be a very valuable catcher for you if you can deal with the batting average drain and want power stats.

No. 9: Keibert Ruiz, Washington Nationals

Ruiz is a very well-rounded catcher. He won't hurt you in any category, but won't exactly put you over the top in any of them either. Note, I'm ignoring steals as there aren't exactly a lot of catchers you can rely on for speed.

That said he is 25, turning 26 this season, and enjoyed a bit of a breakout in 2023. He improved in every category there is. He is one of just nine catchers who were able to accrue over 500 plate appearances. Availability is one thing that will move a catcher up my rankings every time.

No. 8: Yainer Diaz, Houston Astros

Yanier Diaz got his first real chance in the majors last season (8AB in 2022) and he did not disappoint. In just 104 games he mashed 23 home runs, while batting .282.

The only thing holding him back to being higher up in the rankings is he will not be a full-time guy behind the plate like a lot of the guys ahead of him. He makes up for it with his raw power and great batting average. However, I do worry a tad that his 2.9% walk rate will catch up to him and he won't be able to sustain such a high average.

No. 7: Cal Raleigh, Seattle Mariners

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OK maybe we didn't believe the power was real in 2022, but after coming back and hitting 30 in 2023 you have me convinced.

Of course, it took 140 more at-bats to get to 30 in 2023 from 2022, but nobody was expecting him to stay on the pace he did in 2022 hitting 27 in just 370 AB.

Raleigh is in the same boat as Alvarez. Draft him for power but you'll need to draft a lot of high-average players to make up for him. The reason why Raleigh ranks higher is he will play a lot more.

No. 6: Gabriel Moreno, Arizona Diamondbacks

Did you know Moreno is only 23 years old? That is young for a catcher and someone who I think is still on the rise.

He has tremendous bat-to-ball skills proven by his consistent high average throughout the minors and early major league career.

The power has not quite gotten there yet, but I think it can still come. He hit 19 doubles in 341 AB.

The thing that makes him jump to this point in the rankings over some of the other guys who have more power and counting stats is the Diamondbacks will be looking to use Moreno more this coming season now that they have moved on from Carson Kelly. This should put Moreno near or over the 500 AB territory that can put him with the elite catchers as far as counting numbers.

No. 5: Salvador Perez, Kansas City Royals

An oldy but a goody. Perez when healthy doesn't disappoint.

Now I don't think we're getting the 48 HR Perez from 2021, but close to 25 is easily attainable. He will also be at the top or near the top of catchers in RBI. His batting average is dropping the older he gets, but it is not nearly as bad as some of the other power catchers ranked below him.

We also know that Perez will play a lot, baring injury, which unfortunately for him is something that has plagued him recently.

No. 4: J.T. Realmuto, Philadelphia Phillies

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J.T. Realmuto has been the No. 1 overall catcher in rankings for years. We have seen a bit of a decline from him, especially in the batting average and with the other younger guys on the rise, we see Realmuto drop.

He is still a very good catcher though and you will be very glad to have him overall. He is on a great offense so his counting stats will be on the high end for catchers. Also, an added bonus, he has stolen double-digit bases each of the last three seasons.

No. 3: Will Smith, Los Angeles Dodgers

As with Realmuto, Will Smith is another player we have been familiar with seeing atop the catcher rankings for a few years now. There were even some drafting him ahead of Realmuto last season.

To make this quick, he is a younger Realmuto with less speed potential. At this point in their careers, and offenses surrounding them (Dodgers are LOADED), Smith is projected to have a higher batting average, more RBI and runs.

No. 2: William Contreras, Milwaukee Brewers

You could argue William Contreras, not to get mixed up with fellow NL Central brother Wilson Contreras, should be the No. 1 on this list.

Looking at the overall profile for fantasy stats last year Contreras had the better season that our No.1 on the list, thanks to a .291 batting average. However, I'm not projecting that kind of batting average for him this season. This is due to me not expecting a 20.6% K-rate again, which was a career-low by 7%

One other thing that concerned me is his power dropped. He went from hitting 20 home runs in just 334 AB in 2022 to hitting 17 in 611. Now I didn't expect that rate to continue from 2022, but a drop like we saw is not a great sign. You want to see positive progression for a young player.

Regardless Contreras is a good consolation prize to Rutchman as he also provides a lot of games played, which will lead to a lot of counting stats and he provides a great batting average for the catcher position.

No. 1: Adley Rutschman, Baltimore Orioles

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Hard to argue with Adley here. He has been nothing short of fantastic since being called up in 2022. The O's would have to agree too as they have gone a stellar 158-109 since his call up in 2022 and won the AL East this past season.

In that span of time, he has led all catchers in doubles, runs scored and OBP.

In 2023 he ranked in the top-10 in home runs (10th), RBI (3rd) and batting average (5th) for catchers with at least 200 plate appearances.

He is one of the younger crop of catchers so there is still a lot of room for improvement in the power department too. And you have to hope he can turn some of those doubles into home runs.

The fact of it is, you can't ask for a more polished, steady, reliable catcher to draft. He will provide you with a ton of games played too since the Orioles slot him into the DH when he is not behind the plate.

2024 Positional Top 10 Rankings

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