Well, the World Series is over, the citizens of Houston got to have their parade and now here we are – the offseason.
But don’t fret. If you are a regular Razzball reader, then you know we have been looking at the top keepers for 2023. Over the last two weeks we’ve released the 2023 Top Keepers 2023 – Relievers and 2023 Top Keepers – Starting Pitchers. This week – catchers!
Catchers are almost becoming like the place kickers of fantasy football – everyone needs one, but except for a few top players who can actually sway an outcome, they are all the same.
So here are a few simple rules when it comes to catchers:
Catchers, in general, will only play in about 110 to 120 games except for a few outliers. So don’t expect catchers, as a group, to perform like other position players.
If you think two catchers are equal except for age, go with the younger catcher. Few catchers age well.
Be happy if you have a catcher who is a standout in one scoring category. Rare is the catcher who hits for average and homers, even more rare if they add steals.
There are some catchers who make Rule #1, #2 and #3 completely false. If you have one of them, hold onto them for as long as you can.
In backing up rule No. 3, the career leader in home runs by a catcher (as in hitting a homer while playing catcher in that game) is Mike Piazza with 396. There are only three more players who hit more than 300 – Carlton Fisk (351), Johnny Bench (326) and Yogi Berra (305). That is it. This season, the highest batting average by a catcher with more than 200 at-bats was .285 by Alejandro Kirk of the Blue Jays – .285!
So for the below rankings, if you see a player like Martin Maldonado, you are going to wonder why he is even ranked. Dude slashed only .186/.248/.352. But he did hit 15 homers and drove in 45 runs.
You know how many other catchers hit more than 15 homers? Twelve. Do you know how many other catchers drove in more than 45 runs? Fourteen. When looking at a catcher like Maldanado for just his power and run production, he is actually close to being a starter in deep fantasy leagues.
Moral of the story – catchers are their own breed and should be viewed differently.
Please, blog, may I have some more?