Gary Sanchez
(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Having trouble figuring out which catchers (other than Gary Sanchez) to snag during this year’s fantasy baseball draft? No problem. We lay it all out for you at ESNY.

Catcher is the weakest position in fantasy baseball for 2018. However, there are players that you can draft in the late rounds that will help boost your team.

If you miss out on the top three catchers, have no fear. There are quite a few lingering in the later rounds that will be a huge asset to your team.

Here are the catching tiers for the 2018 MLB season. Read and choose wisely, my friends.

5-Star:

 Gary Sanchez, New York Yankees

AverageOn Base PercentageRunsHome RunsRBI’s
.278.345793390

Gary Sanchez is the only catcher worthy enough to put in the five-star tier. He is the only catcher who realistically has a chance of putting up 30 home runs and 100 RBIs. He had the highest hard-hit rate of 38.2 percent, the highest average exit velocity at 91.2 mph and WAR (4.1) among catchers last season. He’s in a great lineup and will only improve on his numbers during his second full season in the majors. Don’t hesitate to take him as early as the third round in your drafts.

4-Star:

These are two of the best hitting catchers in the game. One has been the top catcher in fantasy over the past seven years and the other is a fantasy superstar in the making. Can’t go wrong with either one of them on your teams.

Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants: 

AverageOn Base PercentageRunsHome RunsRBI’s
.320.400621267

Buster Posey showcased the highest average at .320 and second highest OBP at .400 among catchers. He finished second in WAR with 4.0 just behind the previously mentioned Sanchez.

While Posey will give you a solid average, don’t expect more than 20 homers as he hasn’t done it since 2014 and his homers have dropped in the last four seasons. The San Francisco Giants’ lineup will be better around him so we could realistically anticipate him bringing in around 75-80 RBIs. However, his hard-hit rate is down to 33 percent from 36 percent in 2016. He will hurt you in home runs but he should lead all catchers in average once again.

Willson Contreras
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Willson Contreras, Chicago Cubs: 

AverageOn Base PercentageRunsHome RunsRBI’s
.276.356502174

If there is another catcher who could be in the five-star tier next year, it would be Willson Contreras. He has the power to smack 25 home runs and he drove in 74 RBIs in just 117 games last year. The Cubs’ lineup is deep and he will hit right in the middle of it.

He’s a .278 career hitter and shows a good eye at the plate with a .356 on-base percentage. If you miss out on Gary Sanchez but want an elite bat at catcher, Willson Contreras should be the catcher that you add.

3-Star:

These are the catchers that I would target if you miss out on the big three. These players are consistent and will give you an advantage over the other players in your league who decide to wait until the final round to draft one.

Salvador Perez, Kansas City Royals:

AverageOn Base PercentageRunsHome RunsRBI’s
.272.297572780

Salvador Perez has been one of the most consistent catchers in fantasy over the past four seasons. He is a lock for 20 home runs, 70 RBIs and an average of around .285. He is going in the middle to late rounds in drafts but it’s hard to find his consistency at catcher.

He takes a hit in leagues that have OBP or OPS as a category because he has a total of 39 walks in the past two seasons. He should have no problem finishing in the top five at catcher in 2018 and he comes at a bigger discount then the catchers ranked above him.

MLB

J.T. Realmuto, Miami Marlins:

AverageOn Base PercentageRunsHome RunsRBI’s
.278.332681765

J.T. Realmuto is a rarity in catchers: He helps in the categories of batting average and steals. He will hit in the top five of the Miami Marlins lineup and he will play around 140 games which is great, especially for catchers in the National League. Don’t be scared of drafting him because the Marlins are projected to have a poor season.

He is one of the few catchers who will hit in the heart of the lineup. He is also the type of catcher that will play a nice role on your team if you miss out on earlier catchers.

Yadier Molina, St. Louis Cardinals:

AverageOn Base PercentageRunsHome RunsRBI’s
.273.312601882

He’s getting older but, luckily for us, he seems to be sacrificing some of his average for power. A year ago, he hit 18 home runs (second most in his career) and drove in a career-high 82 RBIs. Molina hasn’t hit below .270 in a season since 2011 and he hits in the five-spot in the lineup on most days, which helps his chances for RBIs.

Evan Gattis, Houston Astros: 

AverageOn Base PercentageRunsHome RunsRBI’s
.252.311411255

Injuries slowed down Evan Gattis last season but the two seasons before that he averaged 29 home runs per season. He will get more at-bats at DH which will keep his legs fresh and allows him to play in more games.

I wouldn’t be surprised if he finished in the top three in both home runs and RBIs at catcher and he is going way too late in drafts. He might hurt you in average but the production in the power categories more than makes up for that.

2-Star:

These are the guys you can get near the end of your draft that will give you production. Two of them had off-years and another is coming off a career one. If you wait on catcher, I would target these players.

New York Yankees

Wilson Ramos, Tampa Bay Rays: 

AverageOn Base PercentageRunsHome RunsRBI’s
.260.290191135

In 2016, Wilson Ramos batted .307, hit 22 home runs and had 80 RBIs. It will be tough for him to reach those numbers again but if all things go right for him, that is his upside. He is a full year off ACL surgery and he should be close to 100 percent upon returning to the field. Ramos offers excellent upside and could be a steal this year in drafts.

Jonathan Lucroy, Oakland Athletics: 

AverageOn Base PercentageRunsHome RunsRBI’s
.265.34545640

Jonathan Lucroy was bothered by injuries last season and I am willing to give him a pass on having a down year. He is a career .282 hitter with a .350 OBP and I like to target consistent players coming off a down year. He should be around 15 homers, 65 RBIs and a .275 average. He’s not a bad player to grab in the last couple rounds in your draft at the weakest position in fantasy.

Welington Castillo, Baltimore Orioles: 

AverageOn Base PercentageRunsHome RunsRBI’s
.282.323442053

Welington Castillo hit 20 home runs in only 96 games. If you are looking for a catcher in the last rounds of your draft, it doesn’t get much better than Castillo.

He can hit 25 home runs and not kill your batting average. The Chicago White Sox are a below average offense but he should bat fifth or sixth and have plenty of opportunities to drive in runs.

1-Star:

Any catcher not mentioned in the other tiers fall here. There are three that stick out to me that can help your team this year. Two of them are all-or-nothing power hitters and the next one will challenge Gary Sanchez as the top catcher for fantasy for years to come.

Brian McCann
(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Brian McCann, Houston Astros:

AverageOn Base PercentageRunsHome RunsRBI’s
.241.323471862

Brian McCann will only offer help in two categories: home runs and RBIs. He might kill you in average but if you wait this long on a catcher, this might be a good player to grab. Expect a .240 BA, 18 home runs and around 60 RBIs.

Francisco Mejia, Cleveland organization:

AverageOn Base PercentageRunsHome RunsRBI’s
.297.346521452

If I was playing in a dynasty league, Mejia would be ranked as the third catcher. If he gets close to everyday at-bats, he will have a major impact in fantasy this year. He will be a .280 hitter in the big leagues and he will hit around 20 home runs.

I love the talent of this kid and he will be going in the top 12 rounds next year compared to being undrafted in most non-dynasty leagues.

Mike Zunino, Seattle Mariners:

AverageOn Base PercentageRunsHome RunsRBI’s
.251.331522564

Mike Zunino has 30-home run power but the biggest downfall with him is the strikeouts. He whiffed 160 times but you can take that with his power upside. His 50 extra base hits are why you draft him late and if he can make better contact he could finish the season inside the top seven at catcher.

That covers all the catchers that you’ll want to at least consider drafting this year. With all baseball fantasy drafts coming up, you’d do well to reference these players as you go through your draft.

Best of luck, my friends. May the odds be in your favor during this fantasy baseball season.

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Lawrence Doto
I love fantasy sports more than you love most things in life. I am great at giving fantasy advice because if it doesn't work out, it's the players fault not mine. I love to help others with their fantasy sports questions and instead of following politics or other important topics that are going on in the world, I do fantasy research. Let me help you guys win your leagues and in daily sports.