MLB Projections: Top 10 Catchers in 2020

BRONX, NY - OCTOBER 17: Gary Sanchez #24 of the New York Yankees rounds the bases after hitting a two-run home run in the sixth inning during Game 4 of the ALCS between the Houston Astros and the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on Thursday, October 17, 2019 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
BRONX, NY - OCTOBER 17: Gary Sanchez #24 of the New York Yankees rounds the bases after hitting a two-run home run in the sixth inning during Game 4 of the ALCS between the Houston Astros and the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on Thursday, October 17, 2019 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
4 of 4
Next
(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /

MLB Projections: Top 10 Catchers in 2020

#3 – Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants

More from Call to the Pen

If you’re thinking that Buster Posey is past his prime and no longer a top tier defensive catcher in baseball, then you couldn’t be more wrong. Unlike the rest of the players on this list, Posey has never hit below .250 in a single big-league season and has the best career slash line of any catcher spoken of here (.302 / .370 / .456).

What’s more, he continues to be one of the elite defensive players in the game. Of all big league catchers with a minimum 800 innings behind the plate, Posey ranks 6th behind Roberto Perez in Def with 18.8. His 14 DRS ranks third among all catchers on this list.

In Posey, the Giants have the perfect balance in a backstop. He’s a catcher that hits for average and doesn’t strikeout. On the defensive end, he’ll catch a good game and make few mistakes. You just can’t miss with Buster.

#2 – J.T. Realmuto, Philadelphia Phillies

J.T. Realmuto is arguably the best catcher in baseball. In what was considered something of a down year for him in Philly in 2019, Realmuto still managed to post an .820 OPS with a career-high 25 home runs. With that, however, also came a career-high 123 strikeouts.

Defensively, Realmuto is also one of the elite catchers in the game. In fact, his 27.8 Def ranks first among catchers in baseball, according to FanGraphs. His 11 DRS places him 5th in the league.

The fact remains is that there is little difference between Realmuto and the next catcher, but given some of the changes this next gentleman faces next season, “Steamer” projects him first. He is…

#1 – Yasmani Grandal, Chicago White Sox

Yasmani Grandal was awarded this offseason to the tune of 4-years, $73M by the Chicago White Sox. That’s an AAV of $18.25, which isn’t chump change for a catcher.

He was rewarded this type of deal for being the B to Realmuto’s A (or vice versa). It’s clear that In MLB, the title of the best catcher belongs to one of the two. Grandal, we’re assuming, is ranked above Realmuto because of ballpark factors.

Grandal, who blasted 28 home runs last season, will now get to play half of his games in Guaranteed Rate Field, the 5th ranked ballpark in home runs in baseball. So who knows how many dingers he’ll bash this year.

Otherwise, both Grandal and Realmuto are pretty similar.

  • Grandal: .246 AVG | .380 OBP | .468 SLG | .361 wOBA | 121 wRC+
  • Realmuto: .275 AVG | .328 OBP | .493 SLG | .340 wOBA | 108 wRC+

Defensively, Grandal is also a plus. In fact, his 23.4 Def on FanGraphs ranks him 3rd in baseball behind Realmuto and Austin Hedges. His 1 DRS ranks 12th behind Molina.

dark. Next. Nationals re-sign Daniel Hudson for 2-years, $11M

We happen to agree with the “Steamer” MLB projections in this regard. Grandal will be a huge part of the White Sox success this season, and it’ll be mostly because of his bat.