Top 5 Sleeper Catchers for 2023 Fantasy Baseball Season
By Tyler Maher
Opening Day is just around the corner, but there's still time to research and prepare for your 2023 fantasy baseball drafts.
Thankfully, The Duel is here to help with our annual fantasy baseball preseason prep. You can check out our top 100 fantasy baseball player rankings here, as well as our top 25 team names.
In addition to our top 10 fantasy baseball catchers for the 2023 MLB season, here are our top fantasy baseball sleeper catchers as well.
Fantasy Baseball Catcher Sleepers 2023
5. Elias Diaz, Colorado Rockies
Diaz is coming off a down season where he batted just .228/.281/.368 with 9 home runs and 51 RBIs in 105 games. Fortunately for him, he still plays for the Rockies, which means he gets to spend half his games in the hitter's paradise at Coors Field. That should help him bounce back in his age-32 season, especially since he's only one year removed from smashing 18 homers with a .774 OPS. He's also one of the rare Colorado hitters who doesn't have extreme home/road splits (.708 home OPS / .654 away OPS), so you don't have to worry about taking him out of your lineup when the Rockies travel.
4. Mitch Garver, Texas Rangers
Garver only suited up for 54 games last year before undergoing season-ending forearm surgery, but he was pretty productive before going down in July. His first season with the Rangers was off to a good start with 10 homers, 24 RBIs and a .207/.298/.404 slash line in the first half. Injuries have been a constant problem for the 32-year-old, and he'll likely lose some playing time to Jonah Heim even if he is healthy. That said, the former Silver Slugger still has plenty of thump in his bat and has 20-homer pop if he can just stay on the field.
3. Yasmani Grandal, Chicago White Sox
Grandal was one of several White Sox players who went into a deep funk last year, which was surprising for him after a decade as one of MLB's most consistent-hitting catchers. Off-years happen, though, and Grandal seems poised for a bounce-back in 2023. The 34-year-old had topped 20 homers in five straight full seasons prior to 2022 and his strong plate discipline remained intact, so last year is a clear outlier on his resume. Nothing in his peripheral stats suggests last season's precipitous drop-off was warranted, especially given that he finished with the second-best line-drive rate of his career (27.2%). Even if he only bounces back to 10 or 15 homers, he should return to being a quality fantasy backstop again this season.
2. Keibert Ruiz, Washington Nationals
The Nationals are a bit light on impact players at the moment, but don't overlook Ruiz. There's a reason Washington already locked him up through the rest of the decade, and that's because he's one of the most promising young catchers in baseball. The 24-year-old broke out with a .251/.313/.360 slash line with 22 doubles, 7 homers and 6 steals in 112 games last year, Few backstops beyond J.T. Realmuto are capable of providing that kind of impact on the bases, and he should only get better at the plate with more experience. He only has 143 career games under his belt, so don't be surprised if the former top prospect takes another step forward this season.
1. Joey Bart, San Francisco Giants
Bart likely let a lot of Giants fans and fantasy players down last season, many of whom were expecting him to replace Buster Posey behind the dish and win NL Rookie of the Year honors. A terrible start and some bad injury luck prevented that from happening, but things are looking up in 2023 for the former first-round draft pick. Bart has been crushing the ball in Spring Training and should be better this year with a full season under his belt. He's also 26, which means he's coming into his athletic prime. Expectations were too high for him last year, but look for him to start delivering on his promise now.