Top 25 Catchers for 2015 Fantasy Baseball

*The order of these rankings are based on a valuation system for a 5×5 roto scoring league with 5 games played minimum for position eligibility.  This is not necessarily the order I would draft these players in, as different factors should impact which player to choose.

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  1. Buster Posey – Since his ugly ankle injury in a home plate collision in May 2011 that shelved him for the remainder of that season, Posey has managed to stay healthy as he has played in at least 147 games in each of the last three seasons. The good health is one of the reasons why he is at the top of the catcher list.  The other reasons include his consistency with the bat and his boyish charm.  2015 projection:  .305 AVG, 21 HR, 87 RBI, 65 R, 73 K, 50 BB, in 545 AB
  2. Carlos Santana – This could be the last year that Santana has catcher eligibility in some leagues, and he may not even qualify as a catcher this year in other leagues, as he only played 11 games at catcher last year. So keeper owners take note as obviously he will lose a lot of his value if he is not catcher eligible.  As is, he is as solid as a bet at the catcher position as anyone else.  2015 projection:  .248 AVG, 27 HR, 86 RBI, 72 R, 4 SB, 118 K, 100 B in 544 AB
  3. Jonathan Lucroy – Lucroy has proven to be a reliable catcher in a Posey-lite sort of way. He isn’t flashy but he gets the job done.  He probably has one or two more good seasons left in him before he starts to tail off and the decline of his batting average will no longer be able to give him the type of fantasy value that he has now.  2015 projection:  .299 AVG, 15 HR, 67 RBI, 69 R, 4 SB, 72 K, 51 BB, in 549 AB
  4. Devin Mesoraco – When players have breakout seasons, sometimes it is just a growing talented player who “figures things out” and finally plays up to his capabilities. Other times it is a player who makes small but noticeable adjustments that lead to success.  For Mesoraco, he made an adjustment at the plate last year by standing closer to the plate in the batter’s box and the results of it were very positive.  So it is a reason like this one why I would tend to believe that Mesoraco can repeat what he did last season.  Moreso, should he avoid the DL and play 130+ games (he played in only 114 games last year), his counting stats could see an uptick.  2015 projection:  .260 AVG, 25 HR, 87 RBI, 64 R, 1 SB, 123 K, 49 BB in 484 AB.
  5. Evan Gattis – El Oso Blanco has found a new home this season, and it just so happens that his new home is much more favorable to right-handed hitters with the Crawford Boxes out in left field. Pair that with the fact that the Astros view Gattis as a first baseman/designated hitter, and things are looking pretty good, as getting out from behind the plate will mean that Gattis will have more of an opportunity to play on an everyday basis and help to ease the pains of being a catcher.  I can see Gattis feasting on those Crawford Boxes nightly.  OM NOM NOM!  He has the most power potential of any fantasy catcher in the game.  With good health, 35 HR is well within reach.  2015 projection:  .254 AVG, 32 HR, 84 RBI, 54 R, 0 SB, 126 K, 31 BB in 511 AB
  6. Yan Gomes – Whenever I see Yan Gomes’ name I think of the snack called Yan Yan. You know, the snack that has a package that has one compartment of biscuit sticks and one compartment of chocolate sauce, so you take a biscuit stick and dip it in the chocolate sauce and eat it for delicious goodness.  Do you know what I’m talking about?  I guess that is the Japanese side of me talking.  Anyway, Gomes enjoyed a great year at the plate last season, and I do not see any reason why he will not again this year.  I’ve got him marked down for stats that are nearly identical to last year.  2015 projection:  .278 AVG, 20 HR, 77 RBI, 61 R, 0 SB, 120 K, 28 BB in 497 AB
  7. Russell Martin – Martin enjoyed a resurgent season offensively last year with the Pirates as his .832 OPS was the second best mark of his career (his best mark coming way back in 2007). I would not be expecting a repeat of that though, as his .290 batting average was led by a .336 BABIP, which was by far the highest of his career.  Martin did not hit a large amount of line drives, but what he did do was have 11.3% of his hits come in the infield.  An infield hit percentage that high is usually reserved for the speedsters of the game, so this definitely seems like an outlier.  However, to help offset the loss in batting average that Martin is bound to experience is the potential power boost he will receive.  Martin could not pass up the opportunity to sign with the Blue Jays and play in his home country of Canada, so he moves from one of the worst parks for right-handed hitters to one of the best.  And he also potentially gets inserted into the 2-hole behind Jose Reyes and in front of Jose Bautitsta, Edwin Encarnacion, and Josh Donaldson.  Yes, I would say that this is a pretty favorable situation.  2015 projection:  .257 AVG, 17 HR, 66 RBI, 75 R, 6 SB, 98 K, 63 BB in 467 AB
  8. Travis d’Arnaud – Judging by d’Arnaud’s final 2014 line, one would be mostly unimpressed. Good thing for me (and now you as the reader too) I don’t just look at the player’s final line.  In mid-May last season, d’Arnaud was hitting a vomit worthy .196 which led to a demotion back to AAA to find out what the heck was up.  After tearing it up at AAA for a couple weeks, the Mets brought him back to the Majors and he played at a much better level for the rest of the year.  So what sparked the turnaround?  It was a change in approach – he became more aggressive.  For now, I will spare the details as there will soon be a “This Year’s…” article that d’Arnaud is included in…  2015 projection:  .273 AVG, 20 HR, 68 RBI, 53 R, 2 SB, 76 K, 32 BB
  9. Salvador Perez – I want to give Perez better projections, but I just can’t bring myself to do it. But I wouldn’t be surprised if this year happens to be his true breakout.  Something that he has working against him though is his huge spike in swing %.  He offered at the 7th most pitches last year, which in turn drove up his strikeout rate and was one of the reasons his AVG fell all the way to .260.  And although he saw a huge jump in his flyball % (12.5% in 2013 to 17.3% in 2014), which is usually good for a batter’s HR total, 17.3% of those flyballs were in the infield.  What happens to the flyballs in the infield?  They get caught 99% of the time.  So yup, that is the other reason why Perez’ AVG went down.  2015 projection:  .275 AVG, 17 HR, 69 RBI, 53 R, 0 SB, 78 K, 22 BB in 550 AB
  10. Yadier Molina – Molina was one of the elite catchers in fantasy from 2011-13, which was quite amazing considering he had toiled in fantasy mediocrity for the first seven years of his career. In 2014, the mediocrity on offense made its return for the youngest Molina brother and while he could bounce back a little with some better health, his best days should be behind him.  2015 projection:  .289 AVG, 10 HR, 58 RBI, 55 R, 3 SB, 60 K, 34 BB in 485 AB
  11. Brian McCann – McCann took advantage of playing his home games in Yankee Stadium and attacking the short right field porch. Out of his 23 HR last year, 19 came at home.  On the flip side, McCann continues to be punished by the shift, which has left him with a .240 BABIP over the last three seasons (2nd lowest in MLB next to teammate Mark Teixeira’s .238 mark over the same period).  McCann will give good power numbers but will continue to be an AVG killer.  2015 projection:  .244 AVG, 22 HR, 70 RBI, 54 R, 0 SB, 75 K, 35 BB in 451 AB
  12. Yasmani Grandal – Now while the off-season trade between the Padres and Dodgers may have seemed a bit strange on paper for the Dodgers and all their fans (several of my friends are huge Dodgers fans and were unpleased), I have the tendency to trust in what Andrew Friedman and Farhan Zaidi are doing for the Dodgers. Once considered a top catcher prospect, Grandal has the potential for a breakout season.  More details to come in an upcoming “This Year’s…” article.  2015 projection:  .250 AVG, 19 HR, 65 RBI, 54 R, 2 SB, 109 K, 65 BB in 412 AB
  13. Wilin Rosario – I’m not sure what happened to Rosario’s power last year, but he was a big time bust and may have played his way out of the starting catcher job in the best park that a hitter could call home. My expectations on Rosario are very much tempered as playing time could be an issue.  The Rockies signed Nick Hundley, who is much better than Rosario defensively.  Maybe Rosario gets some starts in the outfield and first base, but the Rockies already have a logjam in the outfield and Justin Morneau at first base.  If Rosario finds himself getting regular playing time (*with the Rockies) then he is a top 10 catcher.  2015 projection:  .269 AVG, 17 HR, 58 RBI, 45 R, 2 SB, 89 K, 20 BB in 379 AB
  14. Wilson Ramos – Ramos has top 5 catcher potential. The problem is he can’t stay on the field.  But I am sure I will end up drafting him somewhere, because if he can play in 130 games then he will be golden.  2015 projection:  .273 AVG, 16 HR, 60 RBI, 40 R, 0 SB, 67 K, 23 BB in 392 AB
  15. Mike Zunino – Zunino should continue to hit the bombs like he did last year in his first full season, but because of the gross amount of strikeouts he won’t be receiving any comparisons to Mike Piazza anytime soon. However, he should at least hit over .200 this time around.  I tend to avoid the all-or-nothing type hitters, but that doesn’t mean you have to.  2015 projection:  .226 AVG, 21 HR, 66 RBI, 52 R, 1 SB, 144 K, 29 BB in 443 AB
  16. Stephen Vogt – If Lucroy is Posey-lite then Vogt is Lucroy-lite. Which would mean Vogt is also Posey-lite-lite?  But the problem with Vogt is where is he going to play?  I am sure the A’s will find some place to give him some decent playing time, but he probably can’t hack it behind the plate on a regular basis, and the corner outfield spots, first base, and DH would seem to be occupied at the moment.  2015 projection:  .277 AVG, 13 HR, 54 RBI, 42 R, 1 SB, 61 K, 31 BB in 412 AB
  17. Matt Wieters – Wieters had to go undergo Tommy John surgery but the hope is that he will be ready for Opening Day. Even if he is ready to play, I have to think that returning from the surgery is going to affect his play.  His power could be sapped and the types of batted balls that he puts in play could be more on the weak side, which would make for easy outs.  If he falls far enough in drafts I would consider him, but people are most likely going to pay for his 2011-13 type of output when it may not be worth it.  2015 projection:  .248 AVG, 16 HR, 57 RBI, 50 R, 1 SB, 90 K, 33 BB in 456 AB
  18. John Jaso – Jaso got sent back to the Rays this off-season, which could be a good fit for him. The Rays have already said that they do not plan on sticking him back at catcher due to the concussion issues he has had.  So that right there is great news for his health and he could be in line for the lion’s share of AB’s at the DH position for the Rays, and he could finally crack the 110 games played in a season mark.  His strong OBP skills would slot in nicely in the 2-hole, which would obviously be optimal for his fantasy value.  2015 projection:  .260 AVG, 9 HR, 47 RBI, 58 R, 2 SB, 82 K, 56 BB in 416 AB
  19. Derek Norris – Norris got away from Oakland and the 3-headed catcher situation and is now an unquestioned starter! Hooray!  He’s starting for the Padres and loses all the DH starts… boooo…  Playing his home games at Petco Park sure won’t be the greatest, but he’s still got enough raw power that should be able to stick.  2015 projection:  .253 AVG, 12 HR, 50 RBI, 46 R, 4 SB, 89 K, 53 BB
  20. Robinson Chirinos – It would appear that Chirinos is in line for the majority of the starts at catcher for the Rangers and he managed to hold his own last year when given the opportunity. When you have to write about someone like Chirinos, you know that the catcher position is weak.  2015 projection:  .248 AVG, 14 HR, 50 RBI, 41 R, 0 SB, 81 K, 29 BB in 363 AB
  21. Miguel Montero – Montero’s fantasy outlook doesn’t change much after being traded from Arizona to the Chicago Cubs this off-season. He appears to be passed his prime, but still at 30 years old he could have one better offensive season left in him.  2015 projection:  .249 AVG, 11 HR, 51 RBI, 45 R, 0 SB, 95 K, 46 BB in 402 AB
  22. Jason Castro – Castro fell off last year as his average dipped from .276 to .222 and his HR total from 18 to 14. Things aren’t getting any easier for him this year as the Astros acquired Hank Conger who had developed a good reputation as a good pitch framer, so Conger may end up eating into Castro’s playing time.  Fun fact:  Jason Castro was born in Castro Valley, CA.  2015 projection:  .248 AVG, 11 HR, 44 RBI, 36 R, 1 SB, 102 K, 36 BB in 339 AB
  23. Alex Avila – If Avila suffers another concussion then his career as a catcher may be over. That makes him a big injury risk right there, and he is not likely to ever match his breakout season of 2011 where he hit .295 with 19 HR.  His strikeout rate keeps climbing and I don’t see things getting much better for him in 2015.  2015 projection:  .229 AVG, 11 HR, 47 RBI, 46 R, 0 SB, 137 K, 60 BB in 397 AB
  24. Dioner Navarro – Navarro finds himself slated for a backup catcher role currently since the Blue Jays signed Russell Martin. However, Navarro can also work his way into a significant amount of DH at-bats if the Blue Jays don’t grant his request to be traded, and he has proven that when given playing time he can be rather productive offensively for a catcher.  If he finds himself in a starting role somewhere before Opening Day then he will shoot up the rankings.  2015 projection:  .276 AVG, 8 HR, 38 RBI, 30 R, 1 SB, 46 K, 22 BB in 290 AB
  25. Jarrod Saltalamacchia – Thank goodness this is the last catcher I need to write about here. I am going to cut this one short.  2015 projection:  .227 AVG, 12 HR, 48 RBI, 40 R, 1 SB, 134 K, 43 BB in 383 AB

2 thoughts on “Top 25 Catchers for 2015 Fantasy Baseball

  1. Pingback: Top 25 First Basemen for 2015 Fantasy Baseball | The Backwards K

  2. Pingback: Top 25 Third Basemen for 2015 Fantasy Baseball | The Backwards K

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