The catcher position is one of those aspects of fantasy baseball that you have a love/hate relationship with. I lean more toward the hate side rather than the love side, but that doesn’t necessarily mean I’m mailing it in with this breakdown. The problem with catchers is the overall scarcity at the position… However, there has been more depth as the years have gone by, even in a shortened season, there were 12 catchers who hit at least .250 with a minimum of 100 plate appearances. And if you’re looking at power there were plenty of notable performances from a year ago:


Batting Avg.


Home Runs



Salvador Perez






Travis d'Arnaud






Will Smith






James McCann






Yan Gomes






Christian Vázquez






Max Stassi






Austin Nola






Kurt Suzuki






J.T. Realmuto






Yadier Molina






Pedro Severino






The power numbers may not jump off the page, but most of the players mentioned above played in just 35-48 games last season. Salvador Perez was on a 162-game pace of 40+ home runs, 90+ runs scored, and 120+ RBI. Will Smith played at an elite level last year and was on pace for 30+ dingers, 90+ runs scored, and 100+ RBI. Additionally, players like Realmuto, d’Arnaud, McCann, Nola, Stassi, etc. were all on pace for solid numbers across a full season.

Of course, there are caveats. A 162-game pace doesn’t guarantee what their numbers would’ve been across a full season of play. Injuries and streaks come into play that could’ve thrown off their season-long numbers. Even in a shortened season, Saldavor Perez had a 23.1% strikeout rate and just a 1.9% walk rate. That’s typically in line with what we’ve seen from Sal throughout his career. He rarely walks and will roughly carry a strikeout rate of 20% across a full season. And while he was on pace for phenomenal numbers across a whole season, let’s remember that he’s never hit 30 home runs in a season. He’s also never scored 60 runs nor has he driven in 85 RBI. But that doesn’t take away what he or anyone else did at the catcher position during the 2020 season. Just take the 2020 numbers with a grain of salt.

As far as draft strategy is concerned, it’s simple. In a one-catcher league you should be willing to sit and wait to draft a catcher. In a two-catcher league there’s obviously more pressure to at least get one catcher you’re comfortable with. Think of it like fantasy football. If you start two quarterbacks as opposed to one, or three wide receivers compared to two, then in general the positions carry a little more weight and it helps to fill those voids with quality talent. The same applies to the outfield. The more outfielders you start, the more pressure there is to acquire good ones. Streaming a second catcher is within the realm of possibility as well. But for your draft, you should have a firm understanding of when catchers are being selected.

Current ADP projections from NFBC and Fantrax show that there’s one clear favorite being drafted in the first 50 picks: J.T. Realmuto. That makes sense as he’s arguably the most reliable catcher in fantasy baseball. In his first full season with the Phillies, he ripped 25 home runs, scored 92 runs, and drove in 83 RBI. And he followed that up with his impressive short-season performance mentioned above. But if being objective, you can probably let somebody else take him because you can fill a position of more need with a top 50 pick whether it’s a starting pitcher, an outfielder, or another scarce position.

The next catcher going off the board in most drafts is Salvador Perez going slightly ahead of Will Smith . Perez is the 76th player off the board according to NFBC and the 122nd over on Fantrax. While Smith is the 104th player off the board on NFBC, but surprisingly the 119th player selected on Fantrax. I believe Smith is the better value. He hits in a better lineup and the breakout was no fluke last year. He has a .937 career OPS, so while the batting average is more ho-hum, the power numbers are there. He had a 26.9% line drive rate in the shortened season, which likely regresses in the coming year but over the last two seasons he’s generating 43% hard contact and 44.9% medium contact. The Dodgers lineup is so loaded, that regardless of where he’s hitting you can feel pretty good about the production you’ll get out of him. So if you are looking to draft one of the more elite players at the position, I’m on the Will Smith bandwagon.

If you do miss out on the Fresh Prince, don’t fret. There are plenty of fish left in the sea. Austin Nola is a guy you can look at outside the first 150 picks. In 127 career games he has 17 home runs, 61 runs, and 59 RBI. That’s decent production and we saw from 2019 to 2020 the plate discipline improved a little with better strikeout and walk rates. He likely will move all over the lineup ranging from hitting fourth-to-eighth but the Padres have made moves in the offseason to bolster their rotation and the expectation is that Nola will once again improve on the previous season.

Daulton Varsho is a very intriguing player to monitor heading into your fantasy baseball drafts. The allure with Varsho is that you’ll have a catcher-eligible player that could very well make many, if not most, of his starts playing center field. If that’s the case you’re looking at a player that could potentially get 600 plate appearances and given his minor league numbers there’s 15/15 potential, with 20/20 upside. And if he hits that ceiling he’ll be the first 20/20 catcher in over 20 years. However, he was pretty terrible in 2020 with a .287 wOBA and a 28.7% strikeout rate. Those are growing pains with rookie hitters. Again, it’s early in February, but once Fantasy Alarm transitions to position previews, Varsho will be one with keeping an eye on through Spring Training.

Christian Vázquez is currently going outside the top 200 picks over on Fantrax. That should break your brain. Over the last two years, he hasn’t necessarily jumped off the page, but he’s just a guy who collects stats. In 2019 he had 23 home runs, 66 runs scored, and 72 RBI with a .331 wOBA. In last year’s short season, the wOBA improved to .346 and once again he compiled stats with seven home runs, 22 runs scored, 23 RBI, and he even added four steals. He’s not flashy, but he’s a functioning piece that has value for any fantasy baseball team.

Sam Huff is a flyer you can consider very late in your deeper leagues or two-catcher leagues. The sample size is very small from last season, but in 33 plate appearances he hit three home runs and slashed .354/.394/.742 so take that for what it’s worth. But the prospect pedigree is there for him as a Top 100 prospect and if the playing time is there he can have an impact. He hit 28 home runs in 127 games at the minor league level in 2019.

It’s still incredibly early and this is a living Draft Guide. Just because I glossed over Willson Contreras , Yasmani Grandal , Sean Murphy , and others doesn’t mean I’m low on them. Just use this as an introduction to the catcher position as you begin your draft prep. This isn’t a position you need to look at as a huge need, but the depth and talent is better than we’ve seen in previous seasons. Even if your draft selection doesn’t pan out you can find another on waivers or stream the position in a weekly league. But we will be offering up more for this position as we dive deeper into Spring Training with ADP analysis, prospects to monitor, players performing well in the Spring, etc. You should definitely keep up with everything we’ll be rolling out over the next two months for your season-long leagues!