Please see our player page for William Contreras 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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Yesterday, Aaron Judge went 4-for-5, 3 runs, 4 RBIs with his 58th and 59th homer, hitting .316, as he tightens his claim on the AL MVP. I’m Team Ohtani, but I will say that the Yankees are so bad outside of Aaron Judge — Giancarlo’s hitting .209! Judge for MVP is a perfectly reasonable argument to make. He truly is having an amazing season. On the Player Rater, he has about twice as much home run value as the third best home run hitter in the league, Yordan Alvarez. That is truly remarkable. But, just because that’s remarkable doesn’t mean he’s going to get to 74 homers for the home run record. National sportswriters counting down Aaron Judge homers like he’s not 14 away from the record with 16 games to play are just trying to generate clicks. Also, anyone saying Maris’s record is the real record is having a break from reality, let them be. It’s dangerous to wake them from their dream state. By the by, the case for Ohtani is quite simple — he’s a top 5 starter and a top 10 hitter. It will be Aaron Judge though, I’m not living in denial. Too much heat on Judge this year. For 2023 fantasy, Aaron Judge is gonna be so fascinating. Wouldn’t be shocked if we see him at number one overall for some, and as late as ten overall if he signs with a lesser team. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Gnats are bringing up their 1st rounder from 2020, Cade Cavalli, who sounds like someone from Laguna Niguel who is on The Hills: Rebooted. “Hey, Cade, I know you drove my Ferrari last night into our pool, and your father and I are not mad, but Dad is disappointed, and I’m too zoinked on quaaludes to really care.” Kristin Cavallari’s new boy-toy, Cade Cavalli will make his MLB debut on Friday. He made the top 100 fantasy baseball prospects for dynasty leagues. Does that mean his pitches dy…*pinkie to mouth*…nasty?! Die nasty? No? Yeah, I don’t know either. Here’s what Itch said previously, “A late convert to full-time pitching, Cavalli brought some untapped upside to the MLB draft and landed at 22nd overall to the Nationals, who are never afraid to snag a first-round arm talent with question marks. Cavalli thrived as a pro and climbed three levels, dominating in A+ and AA before getting knocked around in his first tour through Triple-A. Cavalli suppressed home runs and induced ground balls all year, striking out 175 batters in 123.1 innings along the way. He’s a thick 6’4” 235 and looks like a linebacker on the mound. Love to see him flatten Grey.” Not cool, man! That was from the preseason, and Cavalli has looked much better this year in Triple-A. With all that said (here’s where I reveal I just wasted your time), I’m not grabbing Cavalli in any mixed leagues, but I will be cyclops’ing him. Especially if he’s hanging with Heidi, Spencer and Lauren. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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And-Gim isn’t just Pam from The Office’s requested guest list plus one. And-Gim isn’t just someone remembering late their favorite characters on Taxi. “And-Gim And-Gim number nine, on the New York Transit Line, if my train goes off the track, pick him up, pick him up, pick him up! Back on the scene, crispy and clean, still 23 with an outside chance for 20/20/.300!” Okay, that last part didn’t rhyme. Yesterday, Andres Gimenez went (4-for-8, 5 RBIs and his 13th and 14th homer, hitting .312) in the doubleheader. Gimenez is averaging about four homers a month, and has seven steals already this month. If he gets ten steals in a month, well, I don’t want to wake up Mr. Prorater — “Did you know your uncle spends more time on Facebook than Jonas Salk spent on polio?” — Oh, shut up, Mr. Prorater! Andres Gimenez is in that delicate area where if he loses just a little power and speed in 2023, then he becomes a 15/15 guy and that’s a little yawnstipating, but he’s also on the precipice of becoming a 20/30/.300 guy, and that’s top 25 overall guy. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Tonight, like most nights, there are some really good SP options, and usually, we’re splitting hairs or getting cute trying to decide which one is the “right” one for our lineups. Maybe tonight’s just like that for you, but for me, I’m leaning heavily into the one option that’s going to be facing a lineup […]

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There is nothing like striking up a debate amongst the readers of our wonderful fantasy game by anointing the mid-season all-stars. We are not talking about the Aaron Judge or Yordan Alvarez types, but the out of nowhere stars that carry your team to the top. We are talking about the Randy Arozarena in the playoffs or Shane Spencer in September. This week, we dive into the surprising names who returned the biggest bang for the buck based on expectations moving into the season. We also assess if we can expect the production to continue in the second half. Without further ado, these are the hitter profile’s infield All-Stars!

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