MLB Players: Top 10 catchers entering the 2020 season

GLENDALE, ARIZONA - FEBRUARY 18: Yasmani Grandal #24 of the Chicago White Sox catches during spring training workouts on February 18, 2020at Camelback Ranch in Glendale Arizona. (Photo by Ron Vesely/Getty Images)
GLENDALE, ARIZONA - FEBRUARY 18: Yasmani Grandal #24 of the Chicago White Sox catches during spring training workouts on February 18, 2020at Camelback Ranch in Glendale Arizona. (Photo by Ron Vesely/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images) /

MLB Players: Top 10 catchers entering 2020

5. Mitch Garver, Minnesota Twins

It’s not often you have a breakout season at 29-years-old but damn did Mitch Garver make it happen. Garver had his first full season for the Twins in 2018, where he played 103 games and put up a .268/.335/.414 slash line with 7 homers. Fine, but not anything spectacular.

2019 was entirely different. Garver slashed .273/.365/.630 with 31 homers and 3.9 WAR (by Fangraphs measure).

So what prompted the breakout? Well everyone knows what happened with the baseballs this year, but that wasn’t all.

Garver started walking more, a clip over 11%, swung less and made contact more. Hard contact at that. In 2018 Garver made “hard contact” (ball left his bat at 95+ MPH) 47% of the time, up 7 percentage points from 2018.

It also wasn’t pure luck. Garver’s BABIP of .277 was 21 points lower than the league average.

It also helps to be hitting in a lineup where you’re protected by Miguel Sano, Nelson Cruz, Max Kepler and now Josh Donaldson. Expect Kepler to have another season well above average at the plate.

4. Gary Sanchez, New York Yankees

After an atrocious 2018 where Sanchez hit just .186, he bounced back in 2019.

He still didn’t hit for much average at .232 but the power came back. Sanchez was a threat once more at the plate, hitting 34 homers and logging an OPS of .841 for the Yankees.

He still wasn’t very durable, appearing in just 106 games, but he made them count. With a fully healthy season, Sanchez could be a 50 homer threat. Unfortunately, we haven’t seen that yet.

Any guy who sends 34 baseballs into the stands while missing 56 games though, that’s a legitimate bat and with Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and DJ Lemahieu around him Sanchez will have plenty of opportunities to mash in 2020.