Please see our player page for Sean Murphy to see projections for today, the next 7 days and rest of season as well as stats and gamelogs designed with the fantasy baseball player in mind.

After we went over the top 10 for 2023 fantasy baseball and the top 20 for 2023 fantasy baseball in our (my) 2023 fantasy baseball rankings, it’s time for the meat and potatoes rankings. Something to stew about! Hop in the pressure cooker, crank it up to “Intense” and let’s rock with the top 20 catchers for 2023 fantasy baseball. […]

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The start of the 2023 baseball season is just weeks away, but here at Razzball it is always baseball season. To get you ready to go for the upcoming year, here is the first installment of the 2023 Dynasty Rankings.

When it comes to dynasty rankings, you have to look at a little of this, some of that, and can’t forget about the other. You want a team that can contend for years, so do you look only at age? If you do that, it may compromise your team’s performance?

When evaluating players for dynasty leagues, the formula for success thus consists of many factors. It’s a dash of gut instinct mixed in with past experience and a whole lot of what the eye sees. You know a good player when you see him. But you can’t just go with the best player on the board.

The Rules (or at least guidelines)

That said, there are some basic rules I try to follow as much as possible:

Young over old
I’m always thinking five years down the road. Justin Verlander is great to have on your team this year, but what about next year and certainly in 2024? You will need veteran players, but you don’t want a whole team of veteran players.
Hitter over Pitcher
Since the introduction of the Rookie of the Year Award in 1947, 113 hitters have been awarded the Rookie of the Year compared to 39 pitchers. In this century alone, 33 hitters have been named ROY to 13 pitchers. Young hitters perform better than young pitchers, and veteran hitters are more consistent than veteran pitchers.
Starting Pitcher over Reliever
This is pretty easy to understand why. For the most part, you know what you are going to get from starters. As a group, relievers are so up-and-down it is maddening. Need an example? Aroldis Chapman. Need another? Josh Hader.
But, what about…

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Finally, a trade! No team but the A’s could make Sean Murphy into the impetus for a three-team trade with eight players involved. Sean Murphy to the A’s; Oakland gets Kyle Muller, Esteury Ruiz, Freddy Tarnok, Royber Salinas and Manny Pina; Milwaukee gets William Contreras, Justin Yeager and Joel Payamps. Braves turning William Contreras into Sean Murphy, presumably at DH and catcher, is such a why bother for the Braves that I wonder if Alex Anthopoulos just had to trade William Contreras because he wouldn’t agree to a 17-year, $12 million deal. “You won’t agree to being a Braves player for life for $75,000 a year? Then, I’m sorry, you have to go.” We know Billy Beane, Anthopoulos and the Brewers’ GM, whoever that is, don’t play fantasy baseball, because if they did, they’d know to never pick their catcher scab. Ron Popeil, food appliance guru and master fantasy baseballer, once said, “Set it and forget it.” Seriously, I’m trying to figure out the difference between Murphy and Contreras and I am at a literal loss. In Oakland, the will is gone; and in Atlanta the William. Sean Murphy was the 6th best catcher on the Player Rater last year, and, while it looks like he overperformed on average, there is something to a team as bad as the Vegas A’s just rolling a guy like Murphy out there for 150-ish games. It’s Murphy’s Law. In a better lineup, he might lose a few at-bats, but, as said above, he has the DH too. For 2023, I’ll give Sean Murphy projections of 66/20/73/.244/1 in 502 ABs. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2023 fantasy baseball:

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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.

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Please don’t ask if this is a ranking for next year. It’s not a ranking for next year. It’s me recapping last season. Please, for the love that all is holy, understand this. It’s all I ask of you. Well, that and shower me with praise. The latter isn’t hard, the former is. Also, remembering which is the ‘latter’ and which is the ‘former’ is hard too. Quibbles and semantics, my good man and five lady-mans. It wouldn’t be fair for me to preseason rank the players, then rank them again in the postseason based on my opinion, so these postseason top 20 lists are ranked according to our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater. It’s cold hard math, y’all! Anyway, here’s the top 20 catchers for 2022 fantasy baseball and how they compared to where I originally ranked them:

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“With that trade, the Giants will now be seeing if they can turn a Harry Styles Chia Pet into a halfway decent 2nd baseman. We just now he’s not gonna wanna ride the pine!” Announcers laugh, but, before they can finish, the Harry Styles Chia Pet slaps a ball over the fence for a three-run shot. “I’ll tell ya what, Jon, that Harry Styles Chia Pet has got some pop!” Okay, so Lewis Brinson (1-for-4 and his 3rd homer, and 3rd homer in two games) isn’t quite turning a Chia Pet into a major league All-Star, but it’s not that far off. As Jesse would scream in Breaking Bad, “The Giants can’t keep getting away with this!” ‘This’ being turning cast-offs from other teams into bona fide major leaguers. Of course, Giants turning Lewis Brinson into something would be their “making the Statue of Liberty disappear” of player reclamations, but they did it with Wilmer Flores, J.D. Davis…They got someone named B. Johnson in right field, and I half expect it to be Boris Johnson, after losing 10 Downing. Do I think Lewis Brinson is fixed for 2023 fantasy? I’m not sure he’s fixed for this week! but he’s clearly hot and show be rostered until further notice. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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And thus the Gunnar Henderson Era begins, not with a whimper but with a cocking of a ballpoint pen, and the cursive of a signature by the 108-year-old Peter Angelos, signing the contract to bring Gunnar up to the majors. “Gunnar, bend down to hear what Mr. Angelos wants to tell you!” His agent yells to him. Gunnar obliges, and Peter Angelos just blehs like Dracula. It’s a fantastic scene, and one Gunnar shouldn’t soon forget. Gunnar won’t be forgotten by fantasy baseball people either, i.e., Us! (Jordan Peele’s second best film. Though, after Get Out, I think they’re all tied, if we’re being honest. Any hoo!) Gunnar Henderson is everything you want — speed, power, contact. He’s Bobby Witt Jr., but better. Call him Better Witt Jr. Actually, call Bobby Witt Jr., a poor man’s Gunnar Henderson. Call him Slingshot Henderson. Itch had Corbin Carroll way above Gunnar Henderson in his top 25 prospects, and, honestly, I don’t know why. You can ask him. Gunnar’s not even particularly high on his top 10 Orioles prospects. Perhaps Itch was once bullied by a 23-year-old who was balding and looked like Cal Ripken Jr. Who’s to say? I’m grabbing Gunnar in every league. With only a month left, he might do nothing, but Gunnar also might immediately click click boom. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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I know it’s stone fruit season, but check out the plums on the Diamondbacks! They called up Stone Garrett (2-for-3). Mean’s while, Corbin Carroll remains a stone’s throw away. What’s that all about? This guy may be Stone, but it’s still Rock and Carroll to me! Garrett’s numbers are goofy, and goofy is good. 28/15/.278 in 385 ABs should definitely get the berries tingling. Here’s what Prospect Itch has said, “(Diamondbacks’) AAA numbers are always inflated, but Garrett’s plus power and .375/.430/.764 slash line look good enough to mix in with that lineup, at least. Garrett’s a guy with big raw power, who gains a little value in an environment where it’s harder to clear the fence. He’s looking at near-term playing time and has enough speed to help us in roto leagues if he gets the time. If only I had time to beat up Grey.” Dude, cmon! In an NL-Only league, I’m absolutely interested. In mixed leagues, I’m kinda wait-and-see for now, but that could change very quickly. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?