2016 End of Season Rankings: Catchers

With the regular season over and the postseason rumbling along, it’s time to look back at the top performers of 2016. As is usually the case, we’re starting at the catcher position. For those of you who are familiar with this series from previous offseasons, we have a major change to the way we’re calculating values. Let’s talk about that first before diving into the numbers.

In the past, Zach Sanders has used his own methodology to determine dollars of production. For those interested in history, here are four articles on the subject (1, 2, 3, and 4). It was a good approach. Not perfect, but that’s because there are no perfect ways to build a dollar sheet.

This time around, we’re Zach-less. As friend Eno announced earlier today, we’ve imported 2016 values into our auction calculator. We’re going to use it to build our end of season rankings. The calculator offers a vast range of flexibility. As opposed to our former ranking technique, the calculator can be easily customized to match your league settings. Seriously, try it out. Use 2016 YTD for the projections.

For these articles, I’m going to assume a 12 team, 5×5, standard deep roster with a pitching cap of 1475 innings (most leagues are 1450 or 1500, I split the difference). I set the batter split at 65% because that produces what I consider to be the most realistic position adjustments. The calculator does have some quirks which I’ll go into more detail tomorrow. Today is all about the ranks.

Here we go…

2016 End of Season Fantasy Catcher Rankings
Rank Name G PA HR R RBI SB AVG $$
1 Jonathan Lucroy 142 544 24 67 81 5 0.292 $22.60
2 Buster Posey 146 614 14 82 80 6 0.288 $21.50
3 Wilson Ramos 131 523 22 58 80 0 0.307 $20.60
4 Evan Gattis 128 499 32 58 72 2 0.251 $17.40
5 J.T. Realmuto 137 545 11 60 48 12 0.303 $15.80
6 Yadier Molina 147 581 8 56 58 3 0.307 $13.80
7 Yasmani Grandal 126 457 27 49 72 1 0.228 $12.50
8 Russell Martin 137 535 20 62 74 2 0.231 $12.40
9 Salvador Perez 139 546 22 57 64 0 0.247 $11.50
10 Brian McCann 130 492 20 56 58 1 0.242 $10.20
11 Welington Castillo 113 457 14 41 68 2 0.264 $9.80
12 Matt Wieters 124 464 17 48 66 1 0.243 $9.30
13 Gary Sanchez 53 229 20 34 42 1 0.299 $8.60
14 Stephen Vogt 137 532 14 54 56 0 0.251 $7.90
15 Cameron Rupp 105 419 16 36 54 1 0.252 $6.40
16 Willson Contreras 76 283 12 33 35 2 0.282 $4.50
17 Sandy Leon 78 283 7 36 35 0 0.31 $4.30
18 Nick Hundley 83 317 10 30 48 0 0.26 $3.30
19 Tucker Barnhart 115 420 7 34 51 1 0.257 $3.20
20 Kurt Suzuki 106 373 8 34 49 0 0.258 $3.10
21 Derek Norris 125 458 14 50 42 9 0.186 $2.10
22 Francisco Cervelli 101 393 1 42 33 6 0.264 $2.00
23 Tyler Flowers 83 325 8 27 41 0 0.27 $1.90
24 James McCann 105 373 12 31 48 0 0.221 $1.00
25 Chris Herrmann 56 166 6 21 28 4 0.284 $0.10
26 Jason Castro 113 376 11 41 32 2 0.21 -$0.20
27 Tony Wolters 71 230 3 27 30 4 0.259 -$0.60
28 David Ross 67 205 10 24 32 0 0.229 -$0.70
29 Miguel Montero 86 284 8 33 33 1 0.216 -$0.90
30 Bobby Wilson 75 251 7 25 33 0 0.237 -$1.50
31 Mike Zunino 55 192 12 16 31 0 0.207 -$2.10
32 Jarrod Saltalamacchia 92 292 12 30 38 0 0.171 -$2.20
33 Jett Bandy 70 231 8 23 25 1 0.234 -$2.40
34 Robinson Chirinos 57 170 9 21 20 0 0.224 -$3.10
35 Christian Bethancourt 73 204 6 20 25 1 0.228 -$3.60
36 Austin Romine 62 176 4 17 26 1 0.242 -$3.70
37 Carlos Ruiz 62 233 3 21 15 3 0.264 -$3.80
38 Dioner Navarro 101 334 6 26 35 1 0.207 -$3.80
39 Drew Butera 56 133 4 18 16 0 0.285 -$3.90
40 Juan Centeno 55 192 3 16 25 0 0.261 -$4.00
41 Carlos Perez 87 291 5 25 31 1 0.209 -$4.20
42 Travis d’Arnaud 75 276 4 27 15 0 0.247 -$4.50
43 Martin Maldonado 76 253 8 21 21 1 0.202 -$4.80
44 Trevor Brown 75 184 5 17 19 0 0.237 -$5.00
45 Rene Rivera 65 207 6 12 26 0 0.222 -$5.20
46 Curt Casali 84 256 8 23 25 0 0.186 -$5.20
47 Yan Gomes 74 264 9 22 34 0 0.167 -$5.30
48 Ramon Cabrera 61 185 3 11 23 1 0.246 -$5.40
49 Chris Iannetta 94 338 7 23 24 0 0.21 -$5.50
50 Eric Fryer 60 133 0 19 13 0 0.267 -$5.90
51 Alex Avila 57 209 7 19 11 0 0.213 -$6.10
52 Bryan Holaday 44 129 2 17 14 0 0.231 -$6.40
53 Anthony Recker 33 112 2 6 15 1 0.278 -$6.50
54 A.J. Ellis 64 196 2 11 22 2 0.216 -$6.60
55 Bruce Maxwell III 33 101 1 8 14 0 0.283 -$6.80
56 Omar Narvaez 34 117 1 13 10 0 0.267 -$6.90
57 Jeff Mathis 41 132 2 12 15 0 0.238 -$6.90
58 Chris Gimenez 68 155 4 17 11 0 0.216 -$6.90
59 A.J. Pierzynski 81 259 2 15 23 1 0.219 -$7.00
60 Luke Maile 42 126 3 10 15 0 0.227 -$7.10
61 Christian Vazquez 57 184 1 21 12 0 0.227 -$7.10
62 Jose Lobaton 39 114 3 10 8 0 0.232 -$7.80
63 Roberto Perez 61 184 3 14 17 0 0.183 -$8.10
64 Chris Stewart 34 113 1 10 7 0 0.214 -$9.00
65 Ryan Hanigan 35 113 1 9 14 0 0.171 -$9.20

What we have here is a list of all catchers who made at least 100 plate appearances. The actual auction calculator doesn’t display the above roto values. Instead, it shows how many dollars above average a player is in each category. If you’d like to look at the dollars by category or tinker to find values for your league, use this link.

In some ways, catcher is a weird place to start. Before considering the $20.70 positional adjustment, only two guys provided positive value – Lucroy at $1.20 and Posey at $0.10. This highlights a “feature” of the calculator – players with low plate appearance totals are heavily penalized. Basically, it assumes you aren’t streaming or micromanaging.

For example, let’s think about how you used Sanchez. He was worth $8.60 if you popped him into your lineup after the draft and left him there. However, most owners snagged him in early August. From that point on, he was the most valuable catcher by a wide margin. Anybody who replaced somebody like Wieters with Sanchez had a very successful season at catcher – at least for one of the two slots.

And now, a few general comments

Replacement level for a 24 catcher league was right around James McCann, Babe Herrmann, and Castro. If you were playing in the deep end of the pool, you could have maximized value by using McCann against left-handed pitchers, streaming Ross on Jon Lester days, and taking advantage of Zunino’s brief power spike in August.

Aside from Sanchez, Ramos was the biggest positive surprise of the season. It’s shame his campaign ended with a serious injury. For the most part, the good catchers performed as they were supposed to. A few flopped like Wieters, Norris, and Cervelli. At least they still provided positive value.

Gomes and d’Arnaud were horrific this season, and Montero wasn’t much better. At least Gomes can blame injuries. While it appears that Montero is probably on his way out as an everyday fantasy option, Gomes and d’Arnaud will present interesting buy low opportunities next spring.

We hoped you liked reading 2016 End of Season Rankings: Catchers by Brad Johnson!

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pmacho
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pmacho

This sounds picky but could you put the number ranking next to each person’s name? That way I can just look at the number rather than have to count from the top