4/20 Dynasty Baseball Performance Report: Catchers

Risers and fallers at catcher only a few weeks into 2023.

The Dynasty Baseball Performance Report is a regular series, highlighting each position and providing insight into the risers and fallers of both the Major Leagues and prospects. Each week we’ll publish a positional report on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

If you have played fantasy baseball for any length of time, you know that managers are always looking for that next “big thing”. Part of what makes managing a dynasty team so much fun is identifying an under-the-radar player and then ultimately striking gold with them. With that in mind, let’s look at some names across both the Major and Minor Leagues at one of the most overlooked positions in fantasy baseball, catcher.


Major Leaguers


Adley Rutschman (BAL)

With just a shade over 550 plate appearances in the major leagues, Adley Rutschman has already vaulted to the top of most dynasty lists as the most valuable backstop in the game. The former 1st overall selection in the 2019 draft is the complete package and has elite tools across the board. He has incredible defensive ability at the position, can switch-hit, and is also seen as a charismatic leader in the clubhouse. Honestly, it’s truly hard to find things not to like about this kid.

The 2023 season is still in its infancy, but even so, Rutschman has torn up the majors to the tune of a .323/.457/.538 line in only 17 games. Even more amazingly, he has walked at a 19.8% clip while only striking out 12.8% of the time. Of course, this is a small sample size, but it’s hard not to be excited when a top prospect matches or exceeds their lofty expectations. Truthfully, I believe Rutschman is a special enough hitter that he would arguably be just as valuable in fantasy circles even without the catcher designation. All of these facts likely mean whoever owns him in your fantasy league won’t be letting go without a very large offer. So, congrats if you have Rutschman rostered, and at least you can appreciate his burgeoning career if you don’t.


Sean Murphy (ATL)

After Rutschman, there are a slew of interesting catchers, but none so hot right now as Sean Murphy. After starting the season batting a measly .150 in his first seven games, Murphy has been completely en fuego. Over the last eight games, Sean Murphy has hit four HRs, six doubles, and slugged an absurd .935. He is smoking the ball, which you can see for yourself if you just take a moment and watch his last eleven hits.

There is no way Murphy keeps this up all season, but it’s not out of the question that he may have been slightly undervalued in his move to Atlanta. This is probably not the best time to buy him since the Murphy owner will be sitting on cloud nine. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t inquire. I’d currently value Murphy as a top 7-8 catcher in dynasty leagues.


William Contreras (MIL)

I was all over William Contreras last season before his breakout, and it looked to have paid off. Imagine how excited I was to find out after the 2022 season that Contreras was going over to the hitter-friendly confines in Milwaukee and would have the catcher position all to himself. Currently, he is hitting and taking walks better than anyone could have hoped for, but the power hasn’t shown up yet at all. Contreras hasn’t hit a single home run and is slugging .347. His max EV on hard-hit balls is down to 108mph, whereas last season his max EV peaked at 115.2. It’s still so early in the season that I am not sounding the alarm yet, but this bears careful watching.

DYNASTY STATUS: Treading Water

Keibert Ruiz (WAS)

The one bright spot in Keibert Ruiz’s profile right now is his penchant to avoid strikeouts with a remarkable 9.5% rate. With that, you would think he at least would be hitting for a decent average, but you would be dead wrong. He has simply put not had a good start to the season slashing .228/.302/.333. In addition, he is in a dreadful offense that caps his fantasy potential. He is still very young at 24 and will get a lot of runway on a bad team, but his stock has taken a hit.





Harry Ford (A+, SEA)

A first-round draft pick by the Seattle Mariners in the 2021 draft, Harry Ford has a unique skill set at catcher that has prospect hounds drooling over the possibility of him being a rare five-category contributor at the position. This good speed, power, feel to hit, and defensive prowess is why he has drawn comps (at least in regards to fantasy output) to the likes of J.T. Realmuto. While he hasn’t shown much power this year in High-A, the power potential is looming. Just look at this double he cranked to the outfield wall in a game this week.

The only downside to Ford is, at just 20 years old, there is a strong likelihood that he is still three years away from regular time in the majors. I would take that given what his upside is at a position that doesn’t always feature players who can contribute across the board. He’s a buy for me if the Ford owner is open to talking a deal.


Dalton Rushing (A+, LAD)

Talk about burying the lead, Dalton Rushing was one of the buzzier players in this year’s First Year Player Drafts for fantasy, and even then he still might be undervalued. Last season in Single-A, Rushing smacked eight home runs and compiled an utterly ridiculous triple-slash of .424/.539/.778. He’s only played eight games in High-A this season, but that hasn’t slowed him down all that much. In 25 at-bats, Rushing has five extra-base hits and twelve walks. Once that power re-emerges, he is going to skyrocket up prospect lists. Odds are, most of those who roster him won’t want to trade him away, but if somehow he is available, he is a guy I would be aggressively buying.


Gabe Zammit

Gabe Zammit has been writing about baseball since 2017. He is a contributor on Pitcher List in addition to Friends with Fantasy Benefits. Outside of the baseball world, Gabe is a music director and producer and loves to chat about anything and everything music.

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