Chad’s 2024 Tiered Ottoneu Rankings: Catcher

As we move into draft season, I will be updating these rankings occasionally, when there is news to justify changes. The original rankings will stay at the bottom of the article to maintain my player notes. The original catcher rankings were posted 1/23 and the most recent update is 2/26.

Changelog:

2/26 – Moved MJ Melendez down one tier and moved Sean Murphy above Melendez. Moved Diego Cartaya down one tier. All other changes were shuffling players within a tier.

Updated Rankings:

Tiered Catcher Rankings for FanGraphs Points Scoring (2/26)
Rank Name Position Eligibility Tier
1 Adley Rutschman C $21-$27
2 William Contreras C $15-$20
3 Will Smith C $15-$20
4 Willson Contreras C $10-$14
5 Sean Murphy C $6-$9
6 MJ Melendez C/OF $6-$9
7 Yainer Diaz C/1B $6-$9
8 Gabriel Moreno C $6-$9
9 J.T. Realmuto C $6-$9
10 Cal Raleigh C $6-$9
11 Logan O’Hoppe C $6-$9
12 Francisco Alvarez C $6-$9
13 Keibert Ruiz C $6-$9
14 Salvador Perez C/1B $6-$9
15 Mitch Garver C $6-$9
16 Bo Naylor C $6-$9
17 Jonah Heim C $3-$5
18 Alejandro Kirk C $3-$5
19 Henry Davis C/OF $3-$5
20 Danny Jansen C $3-$5
21 Ryan Jeffers C $1-$2
22 Luis Campusano C $1-$2
23 Ethan Salas C $1-$2
24 Tyler Stephenson C $1-$2
25 Samuel Basallo C/1B $0-$1
26 Ivan Herrera C $0-$1
27 Shea Langeliers C $0-$1
28 Elias Diaz C $0-$1
29 Austin Wells C $0-$1
30 Harry Ford C $0-$1
31 Gary Sanchez C $0-$1
32 Tom Murphy C $0-$1
33 Freddy Fermin C $0-$1
34 Travis d’Arnaud C $0-$1
35 Jeferson Quero C $0-$1
36 Kyle Teel C $0-$1
37 Patrick Bailey C $0
38 Diego Cartaya C $0
39 Tyler Soderstrom C/1B $0
40 Yan Gomes C $0
41 Connor Wong C $0
42 Endy Rodriguez C $0
43 Christian Bethancourt C $0
44 Christian Vazquez C $0
45 Eric Haase C/OF $0
46 Blake Sabol C/OF $0
47 Miguel Amaya C $0
48 Austin Nola C $0
49 Yasmani Grandal C $0
50 Joey Bart C $0

January Rankings and Notes:

Catcher remains the weakest position on the field, as far as fantasy is concerned, but it’s not the position it was even as recently as last year. The emergence of several intriguing players – Yainer Diaz, Gabriel Moreno, Logan O’Hoppe, and more – has revitalized the position. It’s changed the way I approach catcher.

I used to feel it was important to get one of the top 2 or 3 catchers. Failing that, you were effectively punting the position and could stream and hope to catch fire with a breakout. Now I am not sure I want to chase the top 3 or 4 because the next tiers run deep enough that I feel confident I can get a solid starting catcher waiting things out. Across my seven Ottoneu leagues, I am expecting to keep 11 catchers: Gabriel Moreno (x4), Logan O’Hoppe (x2), Yainer Diaz (x2), Keibert Ruiz, Mitch Garver, and Bo Naylor.

I feel good about all of them and where I need to add catchers, there are at least 10 other names I could consider targeting.

For the methodology and notes on the rankings, please check out my intro column.

Tiered Catcher Rankings for FanGraphs Points Scoring
Rank Name Position Eligibility Tier Column Note
1 Adley Rutschman C $21-$27 Sometimes you expect a guy to be a star and he just emerges, fully-formed, ready to dominate on day 1.
2 William Contreras C $15-$20 It’s probably worth noting that he has been better than Rutschman and should maybe join him in the top C tier.
3 Will Smith C $15-$20 He got 14 starts at DH last year and while that isn’t a ton, it represents more than 10% of his total starts and it’s probably going away this year.
4 Willson Contreras C $10-$14 Among 19 C with 400+ PA he was 2nd in wOBA, xwOBA and wRC+. He was also under 4 PA/G, while the three gentlemen ahead of him were over 4.3.
5 MJ Melendez C/OF $10-$14 If you only look at his 2023 numbers this seems crazy, but he was excellent down the stretch, has real pedigree, and plays a lot more than most other C because he is actually an OF.
6 Sean Murphy C $6-$9 If September doesn’t happen, he is at least one tier up. It DID happen but does that make him risky or a great buy low?
7 Yainer Diaz C/1B $6-$9 As good as Diaz was, his xwOBA suggests he could have been better.
8 J.T. Realmuto C $6-$9 He’s probably better than this, given the track record, but a lot of numbers moved the wrong direction last year and I don’t love messing with aging catchers.
9 Gabriel Moreno C $6-$9 He’ll get mentioned as a guy who broke out this year, but the breakout happened already, last July.
10 Logan O’Hoppe C $6-$9 He looked like a star, got hurt, had 12 rough days working his way back, then looked like a star again.
11 Cal Raleigh C $6-$9 At most positions, the abysmal average and OBP would counteract his power and sink his value but at C that power is enough to carry him.
12 Salvador Perez C/1B $6-$9 I know he hit a million HR a couple of years ago but he has been a barely-league-average bat for his career and worse than that the last couple of years and he’s another old catcher.
13 Keibert Ruiz C $6-$9 An aggressive swinger who puts the ball in play, Ruiz saw his fortunes turn last year when his BABIP improved and I think that improvement should stick.
14 Mitch Garver C $6-$9 Being a DH should keep him in the lineup more, but I still expect he will miss some time.
15 Francisco Alvarez C $6-$9 That BABIP has to correct, right?
16 Bo Naylor C $6-$9 Drawing walks and limiting K must be genetic.
17 Alejandro Kirk C $3-$5 Looked like a star in the making in 2021 but all the batted ball quality metrics have headed the wrong direction since then.
18 Danny Jansen C $3-$5 If he ever had a full, healthy season with a full starter’s share of playing time, he could put up a huge year, making him well worth a low-price gamble.
19 Ryan Jeffers C $3-$5 He was on fire all year last year, it seemed, but I can’t see that BABIP staying high, and it seems the projections feel the same.
20 Jonah Heim C $3-$5 We’re 20 C deep and if you told me anyone here or above is your starter this year, I would think that is just fine. When was the last time that was true at this position?
21 Tyler Stephenson C $1-$2 He lays off breaking pitches, which is good cause he doesn’t hit them well, but he hasn’t been punishing fastballs enough for it to matter.
22 Ethan Salas C $1-$2 The Padres have been super aggressive with him and he could easily be the top prospect in baseball a year from now, but I also think we won’t see him have fantasy impact until late 2025 or maybe 2026.
23 Henry Davis C/OF $1-$2 His debut was not impressive but the talent in the bat is still obvious and it wouldn’t take much for him to be a very useful catcher.
24 Luis Campusano C $1-$2 Credit to Jake Crumpler (@jakecrumpler) for bringing this to my attention, but Campusano led MLB in Ideal Plate Appearance rate last year, which should be enough to move him up this list, but he lands that high thanks to a lot of flares and burners and I am not sold on that approach sticking.
25 Samuel Basallo C/1B $1-$2 He has absolutely mashed at every level and if you like him over Salas for this format, I get it, but I don’t know how soon we see him, either.
26 Shea Langeliers C $1-$2 He’s only ahead of the guy below him because of upside – he’s not a safe bet but there are some good signs and reasons to believe.
27 Elias Díaz C $1-$2 Useless on the road but he is only on the road half the time.
28 Austin Wells C $1-$2 He’ll get a shot but the bat wasn’t impressive enough even in AA or AAA for me to want to invest much.
29 Harry Ford C $0-$1 Behind Basallo and Salas on both expected production and ETA, but long term I like him more than Wells.
30 Tom Murphy C $0-$1 He could easily move up a tier if I were confident he would play enough.
31 Iván Herrera C $0-$1 He can actually kinda hit, if only he could get regular playing time.
32 Freddy Fermin C $0-$1 He looks like he can hit a little, if he gets enough time.
33 Travis d’Arnaud C $0-$1 He turns 35 just before reporting to camp and I think he might just be done.
34 Tyler Soderstrom C/1B $0-$1 He doesn’t appear to be part of the A’s long-term plans at any particular position and it is hard to blame them.
35 Jeferson Quero C $0-$1 If he starts to get to more power in games, he’ll be a must-roster by mid-season.
36 Kyle Teel C $0-$1 He could move fast in part because the Red Sox current catcher is quite a few spots below him on this list.
37 Diego Cartaya C $0-$1 That jump to the high minors is no joke.
38 Endy Rodriguez C $0 I just can’t see waiting on him for a full year, but if you have the cash after the auction, you could try to pick him up for a buck as a stash, I guess.
39 Patrick Bailey C $0 There might be some upside here and his defense will keep him in the lineup, but I am going to watch him, not roster him.
40 Yan Gomes C $0 Hits just enough to keep me interested but not enough to want to roster him.
41 Connor Wong C $0 ATC and Steamer both project a career-year for Wong and it still isn’t good enough to justify a roster spot in Ottoneu.
42 Blake Sabol C/OF $0 I am not buying that BABIP and without that BABIP…yikes.
43 Christian Vázquez C $0 Only ahead of the guys below him because he has a roster spot.
44 Christian Bethancourt 베탄코트 C $0 Is he a better bet than Vazquez? He might be.
45 Gary Sánchez C $0 Speaking of, if he gets a job where he has regular playing time, he moves up into the $0-$1 tier probably near Murphy.
46 Eric Haase C/OF $0 Boy was 2023 ugly.
47 Miguel Amaya C $0 I would rather hope Sanchez gets playing time.
48 Austin Nola C $0 We’ve reached the “is this guy even going to be on an MLB team?” portion of the rankings.
49 Yasmani Grandal C $0 Just needs a job, playing time, and a time machine.
50 Joey Bart C $0 He’s the 4th Giants catcher on this list.





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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hebrewmember
1 month ago

The Melendez ranking has me giddy