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) /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
6 of 7
Next
(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /

MLB Players: Top 10 catchers entering 2020

3. Willson Contreras, Chicago Cubs

Despite all the rumors this Winter, Willson Contreras will open the season as a member of the Chicago Cubs. This is best for the Cubs because Contreras is 27 and just entering the prime of his career, and just hit a career-high 24 homers with a .888 OPS in just 105 games.

Contreras is also becoming one of the leaders of the Cubs, and he has the numbers that have backed it up. Willson was a threat in the lineup behind MVP candidate Javy Baez but without Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo for big chunks of the season.

His defense is also getting better, after logging a -5.5 in Fangraphs defensive leaderboard in 2018, Contreras was just a -0.3 in 2019.

With some better health from himself and some of his teammates, Contreras could have a true breakout season in 2020.

2. J.T. Realmuto, Philadelphia Phillies

This was a tough call.

Realmuto has been arguably the best catcher in baseball over the last three years, logging more than 4 WAR in each of those seasons and peaking at 5.7 in 2019. He also set career highs in homers, RBI and slugging percentage last year. We can look to the peripherals for this explanation. Realmuto finally got his hard-hit rate up above 40%, to 45.6% actually. and his soft contact fell below 15%.

Point is, he’s great and turns just 29 on March 18th.

Not only is Realmuto one of the best offensive catchers in the game, but he is also one of the best defensively, recording 10.5 runs saved through framing per Baseball Prospectus.

Realmuto will have a chance to make himself a boatload of money before hitting free agency following the 2020 season, as long as he can keep up this kind of production, which all signs point to him doing.