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Catchers are probably the most overlooked players in fantasy baseball thanks to a plethora of quality bats at other positions around the diamond and in the outfield. However, there are a few players in a top-heavy catcher talent pool that have more fantasy value than the average outfielder or corner infield bat.
That being said, here are the top 10 catchers for the 2019 fantasy baseball season.
Fantasy Baseball Top-10 Rankings:
10. Francisco Mejia, San Diego Padres
Francisco Mejia didn't exactly impress at the plate in his late-season call-up with the San Diego Padres, slashing .185/.241/.389 across 58 plate appearances. However, the sky is the limit for the 22-year-old and he looks poised to take the next step forward in 2019. Mejia owns a career .289/.341/.440 across six Minor League seasons and while the growing pains are bound to continue at the start of this coming season, he's likely to develop into a consistent hitter with enough gap power to be an above-average fantasy option at the catcher position.
9. Mike Zunino, Tampa Bay Rays
Judging by his career .207 batting average, Mike Zunino won't be winning any batting titles any time soon. However, the Rays' new backstop has some serious power and can do a tremendous amount of damage if he happens to make contact, averaging 22 homers and 54 RBI over the past two seasons. The strikeouts will always be a concern for Zunino and he's very much a feast or famine hitter, but you could honestly do a lot worse based on the lack of depth at catcher.
8. Yadier Molina, St. Louis Cardinals
You'd think he'd have fallen off a cliff by now, but Yadier Molina just keeps getting better with age. The 36-year-old has been a rock-steady fantasy option for the past decade and put together one of his best seasons to date in 2018, slashing .261/.314/.436 with 20 homers and 74 RBI on the year. There's a risk that Molina's age could finally catch up to him in 2019 (he'll turn 37 around the All-Star Break), but he hasn't shown any signs of slowing down and should be scooped up with confidence late in drafts.
7. Wilson Ramos, New York Mets
It's hard to truly judge Wilson Ramos' value now that he's joined the New York Mets, but he's still an above average fantasy catcher and can be an important contributor to your team. The two-time All-Star isn't particularly flashy and doesn't really have that much pop. His career high of 22 homeruns came back in 2016 with the Washington Nationals. However, he's a consistent hitter and has a knack for driving in runs when it matters most, owning a career .297 batting average with runners in scoring position.
6. Willson Contreras, Chicago Cubs
Willson Contreras earned his first career All-Star nod in 2018 thanks to an incredible first half of the season. The 26-year-old is one of the brightest young stars in the game today and has a serious amount of offensive potential. A 2019 rebound is definitely in the cards for Contreras, batting in the middle of a potent Chicago lineup. Don't be surprised if he returns to 2017 form and hits 20-plus homers while hitting for average as well.
5. Yasmani Grandal, Milwaukee Brewers
Yasmani Grandal signed a one-year deal with the Milwaukee Brewers and should slide right into the middle of the Brew Crew's lineup. The backstop can rake, averaging 24 homers and 66 RBI over the past three seasons. Grandal's fantasy value will be further determined by where he ultimately hits in the Brewers' lineup, but he's one of the premier players at his position and should produce at least 20 jacks no matter where he bats.
4. Salvador Perez, Kansas City Royals
His batting average may have dipped 33 points last year, but Salvador Perez has been the one of the most consistent fantasy catchers over the past two seasons, hitting exactly 27 homers and 80 RBI in each of the last two seasons. Statistically speaking, it's unlikely he'll make it three in a row, but the Kansas City backstop has been good for at least 21 homers and 64 RBI over the past four seasons. Perez should continue to produce at a similar clip as he enters 2019.
3. Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants
He may have lost some playing time due to injury last season, but Buster Posey has been the most consistent hitter at the catcher position over the past seven seasons and is pretty much the safest pick you could make at catcher for your fantasy team. The six-time All-Star has averaged 141 games played and owns a .308/.378/.466 slash line since his 2012 MVP season, all while averaging 16 dingers and 78 RBI during that span.
2. Gary Sanchez, New York Yankees
Gary Sanchez was one of fantasy baseball's biggest busts last season in part due to an injury-plagued campaign in which he slashed a miserable .186/.291/.406 while hitting 18 homers in 89 games. However, the 26-year-old backstop is arguably the most dangerous hitter at his position. Now that he's healthy and protected by one of the best lineups in baseball, Sanchez should be in for a strong rebound year in 2019. He could be the only catcher that hits 30 homers this coming season.
1. J.T. Realmuto, Miami Marlins
J.T. Realmuto may not put up the power numbers that Sanchez can, but he's arguably the most complete player at the catcher position. The 27-year-old is a career .279 hitter across five MLB seasons and had his best year to date in 2018, setting career highs in OPS (.848) homers (21) and RBI (74) in just 125 games behind the plate. Just entering his prime, Realmuto has the potential to be even better and if he ends up being traded away from Miami, a top 50 season isn't out of the realm of possibilities.
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Mike Esposito is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Mike Esposito also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username espo6891. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.