When conducting fantasy baseball research, everyone loves to look for the fantasy baseball sleepers and fantasy baseball breakout players for the season. And since you have to draft a catcher (or maybe two) in your league, let me help you with part of your research there. 

Everyone can comfortably draft Adley Rutschman and J.T. Realmuto and feel confident in the production they’ll get from behind the dish. However, outside of the elite players at the position, are there any other backstops you can get later on in the draft that could be breakout stars at the position for the 2024 season?


 In this edition of the catcher position spotlight, I’ll provide my three favorite breakout players for the position, all of whom are going outside of the top eight players at the position!

Francisco Alvarez, New York Mets

If I had to make a bet, Alvarez would be my pick to lead all catchers in home runs this season. Alvarez popped 25 home runs in just 123 games last season, while posting a .437 SLG and .228 ISO. Through seven spring training games, he’s hit three home runs, and has a 1.071 SLG and .714 ISO! He has elite raw power, and while it would be great to see him make more consistent contact at the dish, you’ll live with it for the gargantuan power. 

In the middle of the season last year, he had a two and a half month stretch from May through July where he had 19 home runs, a .537 SLG, and .299 ISO across 235 plate appearances! Of course, from August 1 until the end of the season, he hit just .167 with a .318 SLG across 151 plate appearances, but when there’s a dearth of consistent contact, you’re prone to run hot and cold.

Alvarez didn’t see a ton of ABs outside of when he caught, but that could be different in 2024, which gives him a bit more upside in terms of overall volume of ABs. I doubt he’ll DH as much as I’d like him to, but at the end of the day, Alvarez has the raw power of a 40-homer bat, and 30 home runs paced the position last year. 

However, Cal Raleigh posted a 17.1 AB/HR, whereas Alvarez was at 15.28 AB/HR. While we hope for a batting average closer to .235 than .200, Alvarez exceeds 30 home runs this year, and leads the position in that category.

Luis Campusano, San Diego Padres

Let’s say Campusano didn’t get injured in late-September with the ankle injury, and he held the same pace he was on for the rest of the 2023 season. How high do you think he’d be going in drafts this season? The easy answer is well higher than what he is now! In 49 games last season, he slashed .319/.356/.491 with seven home runs, seven doubles, 30 RBI, and 27 runs scored. 

He posted a .300 xBA and .331 BABIP, not to mention a 7.7 percent barrel rate and 40.6 percent hard hit rate. However, his 91 percent zone contact rate was a thing of beauty! In fact, amongst catcher with at least 100 plate appearances, Campusano’s 91.9 percent zone contact rate was the fifth best, and his 83.7 percent contact rate overall ranked eighth! It’s a good thing he makes a lot of contact, because his 37.5 percent O-Swing% is a bit high to say the least.

Campusano demolished left-handed pitching last year, to the tune of a 1.113 OPS, but he also posted a .289 average and .326 wOBA against right-handed hitters, and the Padres are going to let him play every day, whether it be as the backstop or the designated hitter. They need his bat in the lineup, and fantasy managers could feasibly get 15+ home runs and a .270+ average from Campusano in 2024. 

He surely won’t be a .300+ hitter over the course of a full season, but he’ll provide an above-average batting average from behind the dish, and the 25-year-old should start to tap into that raw power this season.


Henry Davis, Pittsburgh Pirates

Davis was mentioned in last week’s article and here he is again! Yes, he won’t have eligibility behind the dish on Opening Day, but it may not be too long into the season until he does, especially with Yasmani Grandal missing time this spring due to injury. Davis has been pummeling the baseball this spring, and the offseason work at Driveline seems to be paying off. 

He’ll need to tame the strikeout rate in the bigs, ideally being closer to 20 percent than 30 percent, but his raw power knows no bounds, and he can be opportunistic on the base paths if given the chance. He has 20/10 upside this season, and Pittsburgh will play him darn near every day, as they need all of the offensive firepower they can get.

He’s a chalky pick for a breakout player this year, and if his hot bat from spring carries over into the start of the regular season, he can easily start in your outfield until you can slot him behind the dish. Again, 20/10 upside from behind the dish, ladies and gentlemen.