Isiah Kiner-Falefa might not even play catcher this year but could be one of the best C-eligible options out there
When it comes to finding your catcher for your fantasy baseball team, it usually goes one of two routes. You either spend for one of the top dogs or you take whatever you can find that is less than one step ahead of the "long walk through the one-way door."
Like most years, the catcher landscape for 2021 does not offer us a ton of stability, or even talent. That's why I like to try and grab one of the young pups like Sean Murphy or Daulton Varsho, who do not even have a combined 300 major league at-bats. Varsho stole 19 and 21 bases in the minors the two seasons before jumping to the show last year. Murphy, meanwhile, has flashed a little bit of power, hitting seven home runs in just 116 ABs last year. The upside is there, and if they start slow, I can always grab someone like (yawn) the elder Murphy (Tom) or Omar Navarez (snore) to fill my C spot.
Especially in two-catcher leagues, I always seem to draft at least one "won't help you that much, but won't hurt you either" option like Jacob Stallings and his .262 career average. I have him in my top 25 catchers for a reason. But yeah, he doesn't exactly get the blood pumping.
But you know who might? Isiah Kiner-Falefa will have catcher eligibility in some leagues but is ticketed to be the Texas Rangers' starting shortstop this year with Elvis Andrus now in Oakland. Kiner-Falefa is still fairly cheap. And if he can see 500 ABs and hit .280 like he did last year that's valuable production from your catcher slot. Especially when you consider he can provide stolen bases (eight in 58 games last year) as well.
Of course, if J.T. Realmuto is over his thumb injury, he will likely be the top catcher again with his combined 40 HR+SB potential. Just know he will far more difficult to acquire than some of the other names above.
Thoughts and Other Rankings Notes:
- Joey Bart will likely start the season in the minors. But Buster Posey is a hard-for-me-to-fathom 33 years old. I think Posey has a few more good years left, but his years of catcher-eligibility will be dwindling soon. Bart could very quietly be the Giants' starting catcher by this time next year.
- I like Pedro Severino more than the ECR and probably more than I should. But he notched a .710 OPS last year and .741 the year before. He's another option that won't really hurt you, and he got off to a blistering start last year. If he does it again, you can always trade or drop him when he cools down but still benefit from those early stats.
Check out my top catchers below for yourself. Let me know your thoughts!
ADP - Average Draft Position
— Rankings by Mark Strausberg, a member of the Athlon Network Contributor, who despite his youthful exuberance and good looks has been playing fantasy sports before Wildcats or Hoosiers even made it to VHS. Got a fantasy sports question or thought? Hit him up on Twitter @MarkStrausberg.