Five Catcher Sleepers For 2024

Five catcher sleepers to keep an eye on in 2024

This season, catcher seems to have found a way to be my most researched position. With the rising popularity of two catcher leagues, it feels as important as ever to be as well-versed with backstops as possible.

Now don’t expect an article where I fawn over how good Cal Raleigh is. Or convince you that William Contreras will repeat as the number one catcher. I want to go deeper than that. Much, much deeper.

As it sits right now, there are 17 catchers I believe will contribute solid fantasy value in 2024. No that’s not a typo, I said 17. It makes drafting a catcher both easy and difficult at the same time.

On one hand, guys like Adley Rutschman have become so fantasy-relevant that they’re going in the sixth round this year. I like catchers…but not that much. On the other hand, waiting on a catcher becomes very easy but if you wait too long you’re stuck with Shea Langeliers and Austin Wells. That wouldn’t be half as bad as a second catcher but they have a limited ceiling as your C1.

For this article let’s focus on the guys going outside the current top 10 that I think have the best chance at returning excellent value. That way whether you’re in a two-catcher league and are looking for upside, or you plan to wait on a catcher and find a hidden gem at the end, you’ll be covered.


Bo Naylor

2023 Stats (198 AB): .237 AVG | 11 HR | 33 R | 37 RBI | 5 SB


Naylor is my favorite catcher to draft this season. Don’t let his batting average in 2023 fool you. He was barely in the majors long enough to have a cup of coffee, let alone stabilize a batting average. With more playing time and exposure at the plate, he has a chance to improve. Especially since he ended the season hitting .304 across his last 19 games.

The thing I like the most about Naylor is he’s a good combination of both power and sneaky speed at the catcher position. He stole a combined seven bases in 127 games last season, and 20 bases in 2022. Speed may be cheap with the new rules, but it’s still tough to find sneaky fast catchers. In 2023, JT Realmuto was the only catcher to steal more than eight bases. The last catcher not named Realmuto to steal more than eight in a season was Yadier Molina in 2017. Naylor should easily surpass that in 2024.

Besides the speed, Naylor also offers a ton of upside at the plate. As the 2023 season progressed, he proved he could be a legitimate threat in the batter’s box.

Pulled flyballs quickly became Naylor’s friend. His 16.4% pulled flyball rate was well above league average, and while his hard contact numbers weren’t anything to write home about, his 12.8% barrel rate over the final month of the season showed he can still get into enough balls to make it count. Add in the fact he also walked at an almost 20% clip over that same timeframe and Naylor’s value as a 12th-round pick shouldn’t be overlooked.


Mitch Garver

2023 Stats (296 AB): .270 AVG | 19 HR | 45 R | 50 RBI


There are few hitters, let alone catchers, that have the amount of raw power Garver possesses. Even with an injury-riddled playing career, Garver has found a way to turn that raw power into some very efficient home run numbers. Evident by the fact that he still managed to smack 19 of them despite only playing in 87 games last season.

One of the best indicators of future home run numbers is 90th percentile exit velocity. A high 90th EV combined with a good pulled flyball rate will always lead to above-league-average home run numbers. Even if said player has a habit of always missing a bunch of games due to injury. Wouldn’t you know it, Garver just so happens to excel in both of those areas.

Damage/BBE% 90th EV Pulled FB%
League Average 20.1% 104.7 MPH 8.9%
Mitch Garver 27.6% 106.6 MPH 18.7%

Despite Garver’s new home park being the least friendly to hitters in baseball, it’s actually fairly friendly to right-handers who pull fly balls with power. Garver may never be the 40 home run guy we hope, but if he stays healthy and gets a solid 500 plate appearances he could flirt with the 30 home run number and provide great value for a guy going around pick 200.


Logan O’Hoppe

2023 Stats (182 AB): .236 AVG | 14 HR | 23 R | 29 RBI


Injuries derailed what was looking to be one of the most promising seasons from a young catcher in a very long time. We’re talking potentially a top-five at the position level season out of the Angels’ rookie catcher. His 14 home runs in just 51 games put him on a 40+ home run pace. Something that may not be as out of reach for O’Hoppe as one might think.

For starters, his quality of contact numbers are excellent. His overall contact numbers are a bit suspect, but sometimes it’s about quality over quantity. In terms of raw power, his numbers are comparable to Garver’s. His pulled flyball rate (14.8%), damage per batted-ball event (26.7%), and 90th percentile EV (105.1 MPH) are all above league average. The big difference for O’Hoppe is the fact that his 15.6% barrel rate was third best of any catcher with at least 100 PA.

O’Hoppe really leaned into pulling the ball last season and if he can continue to build off of that trend in 2024 (and stay healthy), he has enough easy power to lead the position in home runs. He hit 26 home runs in just 109 games in 2022, which gives him 40 in just a little over his last full season’s worth of games (168). If you’re looking for a cheap catcher with unlimited power upside, O’Hoppe is your guy.


Freddy Fermin

2023 Stats (217 AB): .281 AVG | 9 HR | 26 R | 32 RBI


The first three guys on this list are here because they bring something unique to the catcher position that can get overlooked. A few power guys, one with a little pop and above-average speed at the position. Fermin is here for different reasons. He’s here because he’s just an all-around good catcher playing for a team that technically has two other good catchers on the roster.

When you think Kansas City Royals catcher, your first thought will likely be Salvador Perez. Then maybe MJ Melendez who was supposed to be the heir apparent. The one you need to be focusing on right now is Fermin. He ended the 2023 season on such a high note that it’s hard to imagine anyone else besides him and Perez getting the majority of starts at the catcher position in 2024.

Fermin is a good line-drive hitter with enough pop to find his way into 15-20 home runs should he get enough at-bats. His 10% barrel rate and .483 xSLG showed he’s got what it takes while still keeping his swinging strike rate at an exceptional 13.2%. The guy has the bat-to-ball skills you look for when finding potential “sleepers”.

With Fermin projecting to not have an everyday role, he fits the mold of a true sleeper. He’s going to be the first one off the bench when Salvy needs a rest day or when Hunter Renfroe struggles and Salvy moves into the full-time DH role. Should either of these happen, Fermin then has enough upside to become a top-15 catcher. I’m expecting this to happen sooner into the season rather than later, so even if you decide not to draft him, keep your eye on him when his name gets called.


Jake Rogers

2023 Stats (331 AB): .221 AVG | 21 HR | 47 R | 49 RBI


First I’d like to take a second to acknowledge the fact that Rogers has maybe the second-best mustache in baseball behind Spencer Strider. This is subjective, but it’s hard to write about him and not also acknowledge his greatness.

Second, I’d like to take a second to acknowledge the fact that Rogers has become one of the few guys in Detroit who shows up and just consistently hits dingers. A lot of dingers. Outside of Spencer Torkelson and Kerry Carpenter, Rogers is the next man up when it comes to big stick-swinging Tigers.

There are some legitimate concerns about his overall fantasy value. Mainly because he strikes out at a 34.7% clip for his career and has a career .277 OBP which is not ideal. What is ideal, though, is his 12% barrel rate and 44.9% hard hit rate which was fourth amongst catchers with at least 200 PA in 2023.

He did have a bit of an up-and-down season, but seeing guys end the season with their production on the rise is great. Rogers started making better decisions at the plate and ended up hitting .284 with five home runs over the final month of the season. With nobody else in Detroit to compete with him for playing time, Rogers seems locked into 500+ plate appearances in 2024. He’s got sneaky value as a high-end C2 or low-end C1 depending on how long you feel like waiting to draft a catcher this season.

Blake Meyer

Father of 3 youngsters, writer of words, enjoyer of tequila, horror movie connoisseur, guitar hero savant Current featured fantasy baseball writer for Pitcher List & FantasyPros The Fake Baseball Podcast co-host Overly optimistic Mariners fan

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