Dynasty Performance Report: Major League Catchers/Corner Infielders 1.0

Catchers and Corner Infielders seeing their dynasty value rise.

The first 2024 MLB report of catchers and corner infielders was an interesting one. Trying to decide who is just off to a hot/slow start, and who dynasty managers need to be buying/selling is tough. Playing time, ability, and potential are the three main traits I’m looking at early on. The top catchers and corner infielders year after year are silly to pick as risers, so I tried to go with fresh/young talent. Here are some of the players that trending up and down after a few series into the MLB season.

Be sure to head over to the Pitcher List dynasty page to check out other helpful articles such as the dynasty performance report for outfielders!


Dynasty Risers:


William Contreras, C, MIL:


One of the up-and-coming catchers over the last few years has been William Contreras. It was evident early on that he had very similar mannerisms and tools to his older brother Willson. William has taken the torch from his older brother and surpassed him in the brother Contreras power rankings. Arguably the top catcher in dynasty formats behind Adley, Williams provides a bit of everything. Breaking out in the 2022 season with Atlanta, Contreras hit 20 home runs in 97 games. After being traded to Milwaukee and carving out clear playing time, William saw a drop in power despite playing 44 more games. His 2022 pace was not attainable but matching that total would have been promising. Still, William looks like he’s slightly better than prime Willson.

Ending 2023 with a .289 average, William picked right back up in 2024 with a .389 average through 9 games. The above-average hit tool is something his brother didn’t display as often in his MLB career. The hit tool is what separates William from other catchers and brings him very close to Adley Rutschman in rankings. Similar 2023 seasons for both William and Adley, William could put himself atop the catcher rankings with a repeat in 2024. Adley is the popular pick but William should be talked about in the same sentence as Adley. Only a couple of months older than Adley, William Contreras is a great catching option that’ll hit at the top of that Brewers lineup.


Michael Busch, CHC, 1B:


Finally given a chance to play, Busch has thrived in his Cubs debut. The ultimate revenge, Busch hit his only home run of the 2024 season off the Dodgers. A top prospect for what seems like forever, Busch is now getting a shot to play every day. The power in this bat is upwards of 25+ home runs a year. Busch hasn’t had a scorching start but has shown the potential. More of a buy while you can, as opposed to a riser but the rise is coming. Busch is currently slashing .257/.325/.400 with one home run and 4 walks. At 26 years old, he looks comfortable and confident at the plate. The hope is that the bat can succeed just enough against LHP to be an everyday player.

Busch has the luxury of being in a deep lineup, so he doesn’t need to be the guy right away. Power and a high on-base percentage are what will give Busch value going forward. Traded for Jackson Ferris and Zyhir Hope, the Cubs showed confidence in Busch to produce. The first base position for dynasty players is rather top-heavy and thin in my opinion, which makes Busch a good option.


Honorable Mention


Yainer Diaz, C, HOU: One of the biggest breakout players in 2023, Yainer Diaz hit 23 home runs and 22 doubles in just 104 games. He also managed to hit .282 but rarely walked in 2023. Very early into 2024, Diaz has already walked three times compared to the 11 from 104 games last season. The bat is still very impressive with a .316 average and two home runs. Diaz is trending towards a perennial top 3 dynasty catcher with the beneficial Crawford Boxes in left field.


Isaac Paredes, 3B, TBR: Coming off a phenomenal season with 31 home runs, Paredes started 2024 a bit slow. Paredes is back up to a .256 average with three home runs but 12 strikeouts to one walk. The walks will pick back up to his percentage in 2023, making Paredes a top option as a corner infielder at 25 years old. The pull percentage is slightly lower than last season but Paredes should still have no issue hitting 25+ home runs, with a low to mid .300 OBP. Looking much like he’s on track to pick up where he left off, Paredes is in for another monster season.


Dynasty Fallers:


Gabriel Moreno, C, ARI:


A former top prospect in baseball, Moreno had some huge home runs for the Diamondbacks in the 2023 postseason. Moreno was great in his first taste of the MLB playoffs at just 23 years old. The hit tool for Moreno has always been above average, but the power is what will decide where Moreno ranks. His 2023 season was rather pedestrian as he tallied just seven home runs in 111 games. The Moreno hype train exploded when he hit four home runs in the 2023 postseason run. At 5’11 and 195 pounds, Moreno has a whippy and powerful swing and when he wants can lift the ball. A season-high of 12 home runs in the minor leagues, Moreno has above-average raw power. The postseason display shows what that looks like.

2024 has not been the hot start expected from Moreno. In his 28 batted balls during the short 2024 season, Moreno has yet to barrel a ball. Tied to the lack of barrels is that low hard-hit percentage of just 17.9%. Moreno just turned 24 years old, so it’s too early to overreact here. That being said, the 20 home run season with a .280+ batting average might not be the profile for Moreno. An aggressive hitter, the walks are limited and bring the OBP close to his average. Moreno has a 54.6 ground ball percentage, despite having a career-high launch angle of 9.1 in 2024. Plenty of upside at a thin position, he could be a late target but won’t creep into the top ranks just yet. The stock of Moreno may have dropped back to where it was prior to his power display in the 2023 postseason.


Nolan Arenado, 3B, STL: 


Nolan Arenado is quite possibly my favorite fantasy/real-life baseball player since his breakout 2015 season. One of the best offensive third basemen in recent years, but the injuries and age are starting to show for Arenado. The swing isn’t as quick or as powerful anymore but he’ll still tally ~25 home runs per season. Arenado bounced back in 2022 after a down 2021 season but slipped again in 2023. The former top option at 3B when in Colorado, Arenado now lives middle of the pack. Arenado failed to hit 30 home runs for the first time since 2014 despite playing 144 games in 2o23. With just 26 home runs, Arenado tallied 100+ strikeouts for the first time since 2019. No doubt a tremendous hitter and competitor, Arenado doesn’t look like his dominant self. This is relative to the dominant seasons Arenado had in Colorado, which is an unfair comparison. Soon to be 33 years old, the dominant fantasy run looks to be slightly declining.

Personally, this one is more of an eye test to me. Watching Arenado, the swing just looks like it lacks the power punch from the past. He’s likely trending toward a .250/.320/.475 slash line with 25 HR/90RBI. A small sample size to start 2024, Arenado has just 3 extra-base hits and zero walks. Arenado has tallied a 64.1% pull rate with just a 23.1% hard-hit rate. This would be the lowest hard-hit rate Arenado has posted in his career by over 10%. The lack of hard-hit balls adds up when you watch him at the plate so far in 2024. A 12.4 launch angle is his lowest since 15.3% in 2018. Only 39 balls hit for Arenado to start 2024 and zero have been barreled. All of these stats certainly trend Arenado in the declining direction. Way too early to overreact, but I’m big into the eye test and Arenado looks as if he’s playing through an injury. Still a valuable bat, but he won’t be able to compete with the top third-base options.


Honorable Mention


Bo Naylor, C, CLE: A former (current?) highly regarded prospect, Bo is the middle brother in a talented family of baseball players. Bo provides some pop and speed at the catcher position but has yet to see that translate at the MLB level. Now in his third MLB season, Bo has just 79 total games played with 12 home runs and 5 steals. His 2023 season was promising but 2024 has gotten off to a rough start with 12 strikeouts in 28 plate appearances. Naylor has 20 home run and 10+ steal potential but the hit tool may limit his playing time. 


Spencer Torkelson, 1B, DET: The first overall pick in the 2020 MLB draft, Torkelson was quickly promoted to the Tigers after 156 games. After a disappointing rookie season in 2021, Torkelson looked to rebound in 2023 with 31 home runs. Tork still only managed a .233 average with 171 strikeouts in 2023 but the power tool was showing plus. A slow start to the 2024 season has Tork trending in the wrong direction. He’s hitting just .205 with 0 home runs in his first 11 games. With just 8 strikeouts, his strikeout percentage has dropped from ~25% to ~18% in this small sample size. Regardless, Torkelson may not be much more than a home run hitter. 



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