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:

1. J.T. Realmuto – After a brief sabbatical on Mt. Not-Sinai, while Sal Perez went ding-dong-crazy, Jerry Tomato is on the mountaintop again. The Tomato Man is once again the cream of the crap. Mmm, cream of tomato soup sounds wonderful. Can I dip in there a “Grilled you on why you were drafting Perez?” Propelling Jerry Tomato to ketchup and pass everyone else was his huge steals year. This is the kinda stuff that you can pretend rankings or research will help you with in the preseason, but you see someone like Tomato get 21 steals, and way more than any previous year at the age of 32, and you just have to smile and shake your head at the person in your league who had that on their fantasy team.  Preseason Rank #3, 2022 Projections: 71/19/76/.258/9 in 461 ABs, Final Numbers: 75/22/84/.276/21 in 504 ABs

2. Daulton Varsho – This was the first catcher I was willing to draft in a lot of leagues, and I did, so here’s my question for you: When I say punt catcher, am I really punting top catchers or am I just not paying top price in drafts? I want at least 450 words for you answering me, and I want you to show your work with the answer. Don’t start with “During my summer vacation” and give me some shaggy dog story. This ain’t The Shaggy DA and you’re not a sheepdog. As for Varsho’s preseason projections and final line, I kinda nailed it, except I didn’t expect as many ABs. Preseason Rank #5, 2022 Projections: 78/18/72/.251/15 in 434 ABs, Final Numbers: 79/27/74/.235/16 in 531 ABs

3. Will Smith – Nice to see him bounce back after his wife was ridiculed for her hairline. Paper and Will Smith beat Rock! Pretty much nailed my projections and ranking on Smith, and didn’t want to draft him nor did I. So, bing-o, bang-o. Preseason Rank #2, 2022 Projections: 73/26/75/.271/2 in 424 ABs, Final Numbers: 68/24/87/.260/1 in 508 ABs

4. Salvador Perez – Trying to make this about the year that just past and not next year, but I can squint hard enough to see how Sal P., or Ess Pee if we’re really in a rush, can be considered a lock for another huge year if he stays on the field. He hit almost 25 homers in almost 120 games. If I squint harder, I can see a guy who should only be relied on for 125 games every year, and not expect more than this year ever again. Unfortunately, now I’m seeing stars from squinting so hard. Preseason Rank #1, 2022 Projections: 82/33/97/.269/1 in 571 ABs, Final Numbers: 48/23/76/.254 in 445 ABs

5. Alejandro Kirk – This end-of-the-season ranking is completely Player Rater-fueled, so I can keep it as unbiased as possible. With that said (Grey’s about to turn the ship around), I rostered Kirk, and not just because Kirk looks like Bart Harley Jarvis, but because he was solid for a while, but I even dropped him at one point out of boredom, and because Adley was available in September. Preseason Rank #20, 2022 Projections: 39/15/42/.277 in 276 ABs, Final Numbers: 59/14/63/.285 in 470 ABs

6. Sean Murphy – So, I know it’s early, but here’s where we start to already get in an area where you see a guy come pretty close to my projections, but be much higher in the end-of-the-season rankings. Any ideas why? Uncrustables? What? That’s not answer, man. Because offense was so down that you didn’t need to do much to make the top six at catcher. Preseason Rank #9, 2022 Projections: 53/20/61/.238 in 387 ABs, Final Numbers: 67/18/66/.250/1 in 537 ABs

7. Willson Contreras – A very famous Razzball commenter, VinWins, and equally famous Razzball writer, Dan Pants, have been scrambling for months to figure out how many brothers in MLB history have hit 20 homers in the same season. The last count, I believe, was eight sets, prior to this year. I get CC’d on emails occasionally between the two that goes something like this, “Bob and Irish Meusel in 1925! That’s eight.” Ninth set, of course, were the Contreras brothers. The Seagers were only set to do it twice, according to Vin and Pants. Pin? Vants? Hmm… Preseason Rank #6, 2022 Projections: 67/22/76/.241/3 in 434 ABs, Final Numbers: 65/22/55/.243/5 in 416 ABs

8. Travis d’Arnaud – The French Terminator’s the meat in a Contreras ranking sandwich. D’Arnaud’s career year was overshadowed this year by literally everything going on in your life because no one cares if Travis d’Arnaud has a career year. Can you imagine being anywhere and thinking, “I wonder if Travis d’Arnaud is having a career year?” Preseason Rank #16, 2022 Projections: 41/13/51/.224 in 344 ABs, Final Numbers: 61/18/60/.268 in 396 ABs

9. William Contreras – As our first unranked player (when I get a ranking correct, I say “my ranking,” and when I get one wrong I say “our ranking”), I am glad I wrote at the end of my rankings in the preseason the players I considered but omitted. It’s truly helpful for seeing what I was thinking. Or rather barely thinking, but not thinking enough. I loved Contreras as soon as he was called up, and when The French Terminator was injured. I was (rightfully I think) concerned William Contreras wouldn’t have room to get enough ABs. Never doubted the bat. Think it’s gonna end up even better than his brother. Preseason unranked, Final Numbers: 51/20/45/.278/2 in 334 ABs

10. Adley Rutschman – Absolutely remarkable, man. Actually, call him Absolutely Remarkableman. That’s his name now. With that said (oh, boy, Grey’s going to backtrack on that now), I just looked at Absolutely Remarkableman’s stats this year, and, well, dot dot dot dot, I don’t know. They’re fine! Don’t get me wrong, but is Absolutely Remarkableman a little overrated? I mean, that nickname of his isn’t helping. Preseason Rank #17, 2022 Projections: 41/13/53/.274/1 in 304 ABs, Final Numbers: 70/13/42/.254/4 in 398 ABs

11. Cal Raleigh – With most positions, I get a little annoyed at myself when I see a guy be top eleven and I haven’t ranked them. With catchers? It gives me life. I’m breathing in how wrong I am, because it means A) I know what I’m doing and these catchers snuck through for me, so they snuck through for everyone. B) Punting catchers once again makes sense, because you had these guys readily available to pick up later. C) There’s no C. Preseason unranked, Final Numbers: 46/27/63/.211/1in 370 ABs

12. MJ Melendez – While a decent bit behind Absolutely Remarkableman, I am way more interested in Michael Jordan Melendez. It’s kinda not that close in my mind. My mindez, so to speak. For years, people thought Orioles were a joke, and rightfully, but unlike most teams, no one has a problem going back in on them. Absolutely Remarkableman called up, and everyone is immediately clamoring. You’d think in Maryland they’d be more craboring. Maybe it’s because Perez is blocking the plate (that’s illegal!), but people seem less interested in MJ, not me. I’m just as interested. Preseason unranked, Final Numbers: 57/18/62/.217/2 in 460 ABs

13. Jonah Heim – Funny I didn’t rank a few guys in this section, because this is where I lived this year in so many leagues. Kinda shows you that you draft a catcher, and, if he doesn’t work, then latch your talons onto someone else with the help of the giant ding-dong-meter on top of your shoulders. Also, this section of catchers down is a huge drop-off from Melendez. There were really 12 top 20 catchers, and eight guys to schmotato on and off waivers. Preseason unranked, Final Numbers: 51/16/48/.227/2 in 406 ABs

14. Christian Vazquez – This guy is instructive of how awful catchers are this late, and how, if you don’t have a top 12 guy, then you should just play the field, as your fiancee told you she wanted to do. Christian Vazquez is ranked this high, and he wasn’t even a starter after August 1st. Ha, what a giant woof that is. Preseason Rank #12, 2022 Projections: 54/8/61/.262/6 in 444 ABs, Final Numbers: 41/9/52/.274/1 in 398 ABs

15. Danny Jansen – Not saying he’s great, but he’s way lower here because he has no counting stats. His homers and average really aren’t that bad. Give him 70 runs/RBIs and he’d be Sean Murphy. But then…who would be Sean Murphy? Hmm…That’s a riddle! Preseason Rank #27, 2022 Projections: 34/13/36/.212 in 279 ABs, Final Numbers: 34/15/44/.260/1 in 215 ABs

16. Eric Haase – Literally, a hot week gets you in the top 20 catchers. Which is also me looking at Carson Kelly with 350 ABs and unable to crack the top 20. Or how about Joey Bart. Member when he was supposed to be good? I do, but I can remember back a full year, can you? Preseason Rank #19, 2022 Projections: 39/15/48/.217/1 in 317 ABs, Final Numbers: 41/14/44/.254 in 323 ABs

17. Gary Sanchez – Looking at his career trajectory is like watching a turd that goes down into the bowl, then slowly reemerges, then goes down again, then slowly floats up again. Preseason Rank #21, 2022 Projections: 51/20/55/.202 in 393 ABs, Final Numbers: 42/16/61/.205/2 in 419 ABs

18. Christian Bethancourt – On the Player Rater, he’s around as valuable as Jose Berrios. So a top 20 catcher, or the worst pitcher ever. Hmm, emoji with a hand on its chin as it scratches its head while sipping tea, then does a spit take when the emoji realizes it has three hands. Preseason unranked, Final Numbers: 39/11/34/.252/5 in 318 ABs

19. Jose Trevino – Was just squinting at Trevino’s stats to try to get a takeaway to talk about and instead I’m telling you about how I had nothing to say. Says a lot! Preseason unranked, Final Numbers: 39/11/43/.248/2 in 335 ABs

20. Keibert Ruiz – Glad to see he’s ranked here, just because of his courage. I think, the doctors kept saying, “The balls on this guy!” Preseason Rank #8, 2022 Projections: 56/17/66/.274/1 in 381 ABs, Final Numbers: 33/7/36/.251/6 in 394 ABs