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

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VinWins
VinWins
3 months ago

From MLB Trade Rumors: Former Angels communications director Eric Kay has been sentenced to 22 years in prison after being convicted of drug distribution resulting in the death of Halos pitcher Tyler Skaggs

Schmohawks Bob
Schmohawks Bob
3 months ago

Hi Grey,

Still enjoying the 10th place RCL finish.

Anyway, this is my NL keeper team fina roster.

For next year, everybody’s salary goes up $4 from the list you see below. I can keep up to 15 of them. Total team salary is $260. Below this, here’s a list I came up with, which includes the $4 salary increase. Any thoughts?

TEAM Roster

1B CWalker Ari (11)
2B MMuncy LAD (21)
SS TTurner LAD (29)
3B EduEscobar NYM (14)
OF BHarper Phi (39)
OF RAcuna Atl (16)
OF HRenfroe Mil (19)
OF ZMcKinstry ChC (1)
OF SFairchild Cin (1)
C WContreras ChC (17)
C JRealmuto Phi (22)
UT LNootbaar StL (1)
CI RHoskins Phi (19)
MI JSegura Phi (14)
P ZWheeler Phi (15)
P DBednar Pit (5)
P TyAnderson LAD (1)
P JMusgrove SD (15)
P CKershaw LAD (15)
P DSmyly ChC (1)
P RIglesias Atl (1)
P AWainwright StL (8)
P DFloro Mia (6)

 

Reserves…

OF AviGarcia Mia (5)
OF #AAlford FA (1)
OF JRojas Ari (5)
OF SMarte NYM (32)
OF MToglia Col (7)
UT MSiani Cin (1)
UT DVillar SF (1)
P #LCastillo Sea (23)
P ACobb SF (6)
P FPeralta Mil (35)
P BFalter Phi (1)
P DJameson Ari (1)
P AMorejon SD (1)

Active Hitters: 14
Active Pitchers: 9

Here’s a list I came up with that has 14 players, with room to add one more expensive guy like Harper.!

B Christian Walker Ari (15)
2B Jose Rojas Ari (9)
SS Trea Turner LAA (33)
3B David Villar SF (5)
OF Ronald Acuna  ATL (20)
OF Lars Nootbaar STL  (5)?

P Zach Wheeler NYM (19)
P Joe Musgrove or Clayton Kershaw (19)
P Tyler Anderson LAA (5)
P Drew Smyly CHC (5)
P Alex Cobb SF (10)
P Drey Jameson Ari (5)
RP Raisel Iglesias ATL (5)
RP David Bednar Pit (9)

14 players for 164

Schmohawks Bob
Schmohawks Bob
Reply to  Grey
3 months ago

Thanks. It’s a good list. Leaves very few dollars for the remaining 9 players.

Schmohawks Bob
Schmohawks Bob
Reply to  Grey
3 months ago

Of course. Just trying to get a fantasy fix. Going from 100 to zero is a drag.

Schmohawks Bob
Schmohawks Bob
Reply to  Grey
3 months ago

So, this lineup is going to result in having to get nine $1 schmohawks at the end of the draft. Not necessarily the worst thing because “open” roster spots lead to waiver and FAAB claims. I usually like to have 2-4 spots semi-open. I’ve never tried it with 9.

Norman Ginsberg
Norman Ginsberg
3 months ago

T FORGOT THAT CATCHER WAS EVEN AN ISSUE. BETWEEN STEPHENSON (EARLY) AND CONTRERAS/RAUSCHAMN LATE IN SEASON — THAT WAS A STENGTH.

Unfortunately, I drafted Tatis, Albies, ONeil, INDIA, and Franco -> CATCHER STRENGTH WAS N/A.

FireRobManfred
FireRobManfred
Reply to  Norman Ginsberg
3 months ago

Swap out Albies for Olson and you got my stinker of a roster.

Harley Earl
Harley Earl
3 months ago

I have both D’Arnaud and William Contreras on my dynasty team. It was nice knowing I always had a good catcher to put in even when one had the day off. What kind of ceiling do you see for the younger Contreras? You said better than his brother, so are you saying top two or three catcher in MLB? That would be lovely if so!

Harley Earl
Harley Earl
Reply to  Grey
3 months ago

holy smokes!!!! I’ll take that!!!

Will
Will
3 months ago

Only the 2nd catcher to go 20/20 in MLB history. Can you name the other one w/o looking it up?

Will
Will
Reply to  Grey
3 months ago

Yep. Pudge went .332 / 35 / 113 / 25 in 1999. Not a bad season for a catcher. Only time in his career he had more than 100 RBI and more than 10 steals.

Will
Will
Reply to  Grey
3 months ago

Realmuto is the 2nd one. Closest Benito Santiago came was 18/79/21 in 1987.

Will
Will
Reply to  Grey
3 months ago

He did hit 30 HRs once, in 1996. But only 2 steals that season.

https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/s/santibe01.shtml

toolshed
toolshed
3 months ago

I just read with the Padres advancing it reduces the amount of time Tatis will suspended in 2023 by a minimum of 3 games. I didn’t even think about that. Since I own him in dynasty, I hope they can stretch out their 2022 season as long as possible. The Dodgers own them though. It may not be much of a reduction, but I will take it.

Harley Earl
Harley Earl
Reply to  Grey
3 months ago

Me tooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!

Chuckles Tiddlesworth
Chuckles Tiddlesworth
3 months ago

I rostered none of these catchers this year. I’m the mayor of Punt City. Though, would I have won it all rather than being the runner-up with one of these guys? F** catcher. Razzballer or die!!

MattTruss
Editor
3 months ago

Catcher was deep this year, I didn’t franken-catcher nearly as much as previous seasons in the RCLs. I had lots of Varsho, which helped, but even still grabbing MJ, William Contreras, and even Willson in a league off waivers helped a bunch. I just let that ish ride, very unlike me.

VinWins
VinWins
Reply to  MattTruss
3 months ago

Just cause this game is too easy for you. You only bothered to get 447 ABs from the catcher position in Perts. 63 Runs/17 HR/50 RBI/0 SB/.242
43 Alejandro Kirk
5 Cal Raleigh
3 Zack Collins
195 Travis d’Arnaud
15 Elias Diaz
39 Jonah Heim
3 Carson Kelly
43 Adley Rutschman
4 Brian Serven
36 Max Stassi
20 Christian Vazquez
3 Christian Bethancourt
19 Eric Haase
9 Jorge Alfaro
10 Cooper Hummel
447 ABs

VinWins
VinWins
Reply to  VinWins
3 months ago

I used 39 catchers in 1 league for 615 ABs (3.4 AB/day average). Of course, didn’t get great numbers, but that’s what I do!
70 Runs/20 HR/75 RBI/2 SB/.213

VinWins
VinWins
Reply to  Grey
3 months ago

Yeah, those numbers weren’t bad. But not great for 168 extra ABs.

Last edited 3 months ago by VinWins
Coolwhip
3 months ago

I still can’t get over Raleigh going from little dumper to big dumper and hitting 27 bombs, just incredible. A couple of fun facts about his statline: he had a crazy low .229 BABIP (usually around .270) so that might come up next year. He had a 19% HR/FB rate, 5% last year lol. His barrel rate was 15.4% this year and 6.8% last year.

Coolwhip
Reply to  Coolwhip
3 months ago

he also hit a lot of balls in the air, 55.7% and nearly a 50% pull rate. Feels like a swing-for-the-fence profile, so next year might lose several at warning track etc.

Coolwhip
Reply to  Grey
3 months ago

haha, i don’t think its as repeatable as I did with Garver. Garver at least had ridiculous plate discipline. Raleigh looks to be pretty average.

Jolt In Flow
Jolt In Flow
3 months ago

Grey,

I just can’t wait for your top 20 closers post. I hope you can chime in early.

The NYY closer role. Holmes on IR, Chapman pretty much gone, multiple other reliever injuries.

Barring any trade, who do you feel has the best shot at closer, in-house?

Thanks Grey! Thanks for all your input this year. Happy off-fantasy season.

Jolt

Jolt In Flow
Jolt In Flow
Reply to  Grey
3 months ago

Hahaha! There’s got to be a parmesan producer JL can take on for bonus income.

My apologies; I meant for 2023.

Jimmy
Jimmy
3 months ago

I can keep two…MJ..Kirk or Moreno…tough decision…13 team dynasty 5×5….Thank you! Worst time if the year! I miss looking at the box scores!

Bamabterry
Bamabterry
3 months ago

Do you think Melendez has an everyday roll next year as of/c? 500+ab’s if healthy?

LennyDykstraIsJustMisUnderstood
LennyDykstraIsJustMisUnderstood
3 months ago

Are you Eflin Kidding Me! go phillies! also nothing better than watching the Mets implode in a way on the mets can do

galica1234
galica1234
3 months ago

Grey!!!

Awesome!!

a. Go Mess! No way they can recover from such a debacular mess.

b. George Carlin quote of the day for October 10, 2022

Have you noticed that there are some people, who when they lose something, their first reaction is that it had to be stolen? First thing- “Hey! It was stolen!” It’s an ego defense. They can’t stand the fact that they might have been stupid enough to have lost something. And even if it’s something that anyone would really want that much. “Hey! Who stole my collection of used bandages?! And they also got away with my nude pictures of Ernest Borgnine!”

From, Playing with your Head (1986)

Cheers,
Ante

VinWins
VinWins
3 months ago

Here are the catcher numbers from the final week of RCL drafts (16):

ADP RANK OVERALL
80 … 1. J.T. Realmuto 31
121 … 2. Daulton Varsho 67
82 … 3. Will Smith 96
47 … 4. Salvador Perez 176
*250… 5. Alejandro Kirk 183 *13 leagues
*271… 6. Sean Murphy 186 *13 leagues
171 … 7. Willson Contreras 194  
*274… 8. Travis d’Arnaud 197 *2 leagues
xxx … 9. William Contreras 239  
*218… 10. Adley Rutschman 241 *6 leagues
xxx … 11. Cal Raleigh 247  
xxx … 12. MJ Melendez 253  
xxx … 13. Jonah Heim 376  
*280… 14. Christian Vazquez 398 *6 leagues
xxx … 15. Danny Jansen 411  
xxx … 16. Eric Haase 413  
*251… 17. Gary Sanchez 461 *15 leagues
xxx … 18. Christian Bethancourt 479  
xxx … 19. Jose Trevino 515  
214 … 20. Keibert Ruiz 570  
182 … 21. Tyler Stephenson 656  
*266… 22. Elias Diaz 666 *7 leagues
*287… 28. Joey Bart 810 *1 league
253 … 34. Mitch Garver 995  
*284… 49. Omar Narvaez 1194 *5 leagues
138 … 52. Yasmani Grandal 1222  
*273… 65. Mike Zunino 1295 *6 leagues

VinWins
VinWins
Reply to  Grey
3 months ago

Took 5 minutes:
AB
71 Adley Rutschman
298 Alejandro Kirk
155 Sean Murphy
3 Gary Sanchez
8 Christian Vazquez
8 Eric Haase
543 144 Hits/71 Runs/18 HR//80 RBI/1 SB) .265

VinWins
VinWins
Reply to  Grey
3 months ago

Yes, very impressive. The most impressive thing to me is you’re able to hold on to a catcher. Here’s one of my much less impressive teams:

48 Danny Jansen
86 William Contreras
6 Kyle Higashioka
3 Tucker Barnhart
4 Travis d’Arnaud
3 Jason Delay
4 Elias Diaz
24 Mitch Garver
96 Yasmani Grandal
7 Jonah Heim
4 Sam Huff
48 Carson Kelly
4 Alejandro Kirk
21 Shea Langeliers
3 Francisco Mejia
19 Sean Murphy
4 Omar Narvaez
4 Tomas Nido
9 Austin Nola
21 Cal Raleigh
5 Austin Romine
13 Keibert Ruiz
26 Christian Vazquez
4 Meibrys Viloria
7 Seby Zavala
38 Christian Bethancourt
11 Eric Haase
70 MJ Melendez
592 AB 125 H/60 R/17 HR/67 RBI/2SB/.211

VinWins
VinWins
Reply to  Grey
3 months ago

Haha. Well, I started with Grandal, and I held him way too long, figuring he’d start hitting. So that started me at .167. Took me the rest of the year to get it up to .211!

VinWins
VinWins
Reply to  Grey
3 months ago

Losing was not a big surprise. But blowing a 2-run 9th inning lead is very painful. And then the Jays blow a 7-run lead.