Chad Young’s Ottoneu C Rankings

Chad’s Other Ottoneu Rankings: 1B | 2B | SS | 3B | OF | SP | RP

  1. Tiers > Ranks. It is more telling that there is a tier change (and a sizable one) after Will Smith than it is that Salvador Perez is below Yasmani Grandal. I’d love to discuss and debate these rankings in the comments or on Twitter, but if you think players within a tier are out of order, I probably won’t fight you too hard.
  2. Format Matters. These rankings are based on the Ottoneu FanGraphs points format. This is the most popular format and it also translates best to most of the other formats. For SABR points, the tiers/rankings of offensive players are the same. For 4×4, the order is roughly similar, as 4×4 leagues value the same stats, but not exact. Roto will also have a flatter value curve, so the top tiers have lower values in that format vs. this one. For 5×5, I would suggest checking out Paul Sporer’s and Justin Mason’s rankings. Keep in mind those are for redraft, but there are also lots of resources out there for dynasty 5×5 rankings that can help. It’s not full rankings, but with the Keep or Kut podcast, I’ll be tweeting out my keeper league top 10s by position, and we’ll have episodes previewing each position.
  3. Start with P/G but Don’t End There. The projected P/G below comes from Steamer projections. For C and 1B, those projections were pulled in late December. Before moving onto the rest of the positions, I pulled updated projections as of January 19. It may move over time and won’t be updated here. I use that as a starting point but it is not the only factor driving my rankings. Age and upside play a role. My perceptions of the player and of their projection play a role. The player’s role plays a role. Positional eligibility (i.e., being eligible at multiple positions where it makes sense to use a player) can play a role.
  4. One Position at a Time. Players are ranked for just one position at a time, and will only be ranked at positions where I think they might be/should be used in fantasy. For example, I know Grandal is eligible at 1B, but I won’t include him in my 1B rankings this year. The fact that I think he is worth ~$10 as a 1B isn’t helpful information. If a player appears on two lists, it is only because they have 2B/SS eligibility (more on this at the top of the 2B rankings). I think it is plausible that they could be used at both positions. If you have Marcus Semien, knowing where he ranks as a SS and where he ranks as a 2B might be useful, so he’ll be on both lists.
  5. N/A Means Not Enough Data. If the P/G column reads N/A that either means the projection doesn’t exist or the playing time was too small and I decided to ignore it.
  6. Tiers are Pre-Inflation. In practice, this means these tiers are most applicable to first-year leagues, but you can also adjust for inflation for your league. If you expect 20% inflation in your league, the top tier at C becomes $24-$30.
Chad Young’s Ottoneu C Rankings
Tier Rank Player Eligibility Projected P/G Notes
$20-$25 1 Yasmani Grandal C/1B 5.49 I worry about aging catchers, but his skill set is the most bankable at the position.
$20-$25 2 Salvador Perez C 5.26 Anyone expecting 2021 to repeat itself will be disappointed.
$20-$25 3 Will Smith C 5.31 With NL DH, he might be C1; he’ll probably be C1 in 2023 regardless.
$10-$15 4 J.T. Realmuto C/1B 4.64 K went up in 2020, but HR/FB rate overwhelmed that; 2021 had the Ks without the HR.
$10-$15 5 Willson Contreras C 4.77 Chase rate went down, contact quality went up, but results didn’t follow…yet.
$6-$9 6 Alejandro Kirk C 5.66 At some point, Toronto has to play him or trade him, and either option will be fine for fantasy managers.
$6-$9 7 Keibert Ruiz C 4.99 Plate discipline has always been there and the power he unlocked in 2020 stuck around; playing time safer than Kirk but not as much upside.
$6-$9 8 Daulton Varsho C/OF 5.06 Good enough hitter that an everyday OF job will make him a super valuable C.
$6-$9 9 Tyler Stephenson C/1B 4.63 A repeat of 2021 with more PA and lower BABIP seems likely.
$6-$9 10 Mitch Garver C 4.60 Ignore 2020, and you have a guy who can put up elite P/G but in relatively few games, even by C standards.
$6-$9 11 Adley Rutschman C/1B 4.96 Would be higher if I was confident he would be up early; like him more than the four in front of him.
$3-$5 12 Sean Murphy C 4.37 I am buying the skills and a bounceback in the power; plus, he might get out of Oakland.
$3-$5 13 Travis d’Arnaud C 4.41 Atop the “I don’t trust any of these guys,” D’arnaud projects to be quite good but has been quite bad and he’s 32.
$3-$5 14 Mike Zunino C 4.13 Projects for far fewer HR, but his hard-hit data is strong enough that I think he can beat that P/G.
$3-$5 15 Carson Kelly C 4.42 Another guy whose ’19 and ’21 look similar enough that I am treating ’20 as an outlier.
$3-$5 16 Joey Bart C 3.33 Unimpressive MLB numbers and minors performance BABIP-inflated, but he has a job and pedigree.
$3-$5 17 MJ Melendez C 5.41 Give me his bat over Bart’s, but not sure yet where he fits in; if he had a full-time job, he’d be up a tier.
$3-$5 18 Max Stassi C 3.87 He has some upside, but he needs to prove that the 2020 outlier K-rate is, you know, not an outlier.
$3-$5 19 Gary Sánchez C 4.45 This projection is very similar to his 2021, but with a bit more power.
$1-$2 20 Francisco Álvarez C N/A Great hit tool that showed up big time in Double-A, but needs more time in Triple-A to develop (and prove himself).
$1-$2 21 Gabriel Moreno C N/A Less power than Alvarez, but closer to the majors, so if you like him better, I can understand that.
$1-$2 22 Elias Díaz C 4.62 Crushes in Colorado (.368 wOBA), but is not useful on the road, so he’s merely a (very good) platoon option.
$1-$2 23 Omar Narváez C 4.18 Fell apart in the second half, which pulls expectations way down, but the potential to repeat a .340s wOBA makes him intriguing.
$1-$2 24 Austin Nola C 4.26 Wide range of possible outcomes, but I am not willing to bet on a big return, though I’d happily take him as my C2.
$1-$2 25 Luis Campusano C N/A I still believe in the talent, and I don’t believe Nola (or Caratini or Alfaro) will block him.
$1-$2 26 Christian Vázquez C 3.93 BABIP and HR/FB rate fell, and now he’s a catcher on the wrong side of 30.
$1-$2 27 Danny Jansen C 4.67 The second half was only 71 PA but they were glorious, with real power and improved discipline; worth a flyer.
$1-$2 28 Francisco Mejía C 4.26 I had him in the $0 tier at first, but his projection is just below his 2021, and he managed 277 PA last year, plus there is some breakout potential.
$1-$2 29 Eric Haase C/OF 4.26 Too much swing and miss even with the very real power, and not sure where the PA come from.
$1-$2 30 Luis Torrens C/1B 4.26 Absolutely, insanely on fire in the middle of the season, but still ended up with an only okay overall line.
$1-$2 31 Jacob Stallings C 3.88 He got out of Pittsburgh but his new home isn’t much better and he’s not that good, but he’ll play and you need to fill games right?
$1-$2 32 William Contreras C 4.82 Still think he’s interesting but Atlanta has buried him for now, which gives me pause.
$1-$2 33 Yadier Molina C 3.77 Like Stallings except he didn’t change teams and he’ll probably be in the Hall of Fame in a few years.
$1-$2 34 Tom Murphy C 3.89 Like Stallings and Molina, except less likely to keep his job all year.
$1-$2 35 James McCann C/1B 3.49 If Sean Murphy gets traded, the Mets don’t seem like a team that will accept a mediocre catcher just cause he is overpaid.
$1-$2 36 Ryan Jeffers C 4.04 Not as productive at Torrens or Haase, not as much playing time as Stallings, Contreras, Molina, or Murphy.
$1-$2 37 Austin Wells C N/A Could be solid but far away and I hate waiting on catchers.
$0 38 Roberto Pérez C 3.59 If you wanted to pay him a dollar because he’s a starter, I wouldn’t argue.
$0 39 Zack Collins C 4.48 Hits the ball hard, elevates the ball, walks a lot; yes he strikes out too much but feels like there could be better results if he had regular playing time.
$0 40 Cal Raleigh C 4.04 I was so excited about him last year and he fell on his face and this year he’ll be on my watchlists until he has a good first month in Triple-A and I am ready to be hurt again.
$0 41 Yan Gomes C 4.36 He moves up near Nola if Contreras gets traded and he gets the job; if you want to spend $1 now betting on that, I get it.
$0 42 Kevin Plawecki C 4.42 Doesn’t K much, but not enough power or PA to really matter.
$0 43 Manny Piña C 4.28 35-year-old backup catchers on teams with multiple C prospects coming just aren’t gonna do it for me.
$0 44 Kyle Higashioka C 3.81 It’s almost time for everyone’s favorite game show: Let’s Pretend that Kyle Higashioka is a Fantasy Star if Only Gary Sanchez Weren’t in his Way!
$0 45 Tyler Soderstrom C N/A A legitimately good prospect with a fun bat, but he’s either 2-3 years away or a 1B, and that holds down his value for me here.
$0 46 Victor Caratini C 4.13 He’s probably locked into the backup C spot, despite Alfaro and Campusano and Nola, but he doesn’t offer much value catching Darvish every five days.
$0 47 Pedro Severino C 3.79 From an Ottoneu perspective, his upside is “acceptable rate of production but not enough volume” and there’s no reason to pay for that.
$0 48 Dom Nuñez C 3.67 He was decent at home last year, but the backup’s share of 81 games isn’t worth much. If he ends up in a true platoon and faces all righties at Coors, that’s interesting.
$0 49 Willians Astudillo C/1B/3B N/A Maybe he lands somewhere fun, but I am not betting on him this year.
$0 50 Jorge Alfaro C/OF 4.01 I honestly have no idea why the Padres acquired him, so I guess we have to see how this all shakes out?
$0 51 Wilson Ramos C 4.50 With another ACL injury, it’s hard to see him catching again, and likely he won’t be ready for the season.
$0 52 Harry Ford C N/A C prospects can be slow to develop and he is 18 and has all of 65 professional PA.

A long-time fantasy baseball veteran and one of the creators of ottoneu, Chad Young's writes for RotoGraphs and PitcherList, and can be heard on the ottobot podcast. You can follow him on Twitter @chadyoung.

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Buhners Rocket Armmember
4 months ago

I think C PPG is a bit misleading because they PH so often, especially in the NL. The top tier catchers can score ~6 PPG, so I like to use P/PA in my C evaluations. Maybe it doesn’t really matter because they’re all part time players so it’s not like doing proper platoon management. Do you factor that into your rankings at all?

Adam Kaufman
4 months ago
Reply to  Chad Young

Chad, how do you arrive at your P/GS estimates? Thanks for this series, looking forward to it!