J.T. Realmuto
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Who are the top catchers for your fantasy draft?

We’re now less than two weeks away from Opening Day for Major League Baseball, and most fantasy baseball drafts are getting scheduled in a hurry.

So here at ESNY, we want to provide you with the service of some help as you prep for your draft. We’ll roll out our top ten for each position and then focus on pitching as we get closer to the start of the season.

Today we’ll kick things off behind the dish. Who are our top ten catchers entering 2022?

1. J.T. Realmuto, Phillies

We absolutely love what the Phillies did to improve their lineup around reigning MVP Bryce Harper, adding Kyle Schwarber and Nick Castellanos. Realmuto was banged up last year and never got on track but we think he’ll bounce back big with a strong lineup this year.

2. Salvador Perez, Royals

Perez showed off the power stroke last year and could have more RBI opportunities in the Royals’ lineup when Bobby Witt, Jr. arrives. The home runs will be there, which isn’t common at this position right now.

3. Will Smith, Dodgers

No, he didn’t punch Chris Rock on Sunday night. This Will Smith batted in the middle of the Dodgers’ lineup in the postseason as a rookie and hasn’t missed a beat. He’ll fill the box scores for you.

4. Willson Contreras, Cubs

The question here is where will Contreras finish the season? He’ll be a big part of the Cubs’ offense this year, but they’re rebuilding. He’s a solid catcher who will put up good numbres.

5. Yasmani Grandal, White Sox

A switch-hitter who was an OBP king last year even though his average was down, Grandal is going to be placed in the middle of a potent White Sox lineup.

6. Keibert Ruiz, Nationals

Ruiz was one of the key pieces sent to Washington from the Dodgers in the Max Scherzer-Trea Turner trade last year. He’s a really good, young backstop who can hit.

7. Adley Rutschman, Orioles

The top prospect in baseball, Rutschman is currently rehabbing an arm injury that shortened his already-limited Spring Training. But he’s expected to make his debut this season and, when he does, he’ll be an impact bat for the Orioles. You’ll need to draft a backup to cover the first month or so, but he’s a keeper.

8. Travis d’Arnaud, Braves

If you look up and down the Braves’ lineup, you’ll see plenty of pop. That translates to run producing opportunities all over the field on a daily basis, which will benefit d’Arnaud.

9. Daulton Varsho, Diamondbacks

Varsho could also have outfield eligibility in the desert, which gives your lineup some versatility and options. He’s young but his bat plays; that’s why the DBax are looking at ways to get him into the lineup and you should, too.

10. Mitch Garver, Rangers

Garver had big-time pop with the Twins a couple years ago but was moved to Texas for IKF, who was later traded to the Yankees. If he gets the nod more times than not, he’ll hit. And that’s what you need on your fantasy roster.

Other notables:

Christian Vazquez, Red Sox
Gary Sanchez, Twins
Tyler Stephenson, Reds
Mike Zunino, Rays
Sean Murphy, A’s

Tab has written about MLB, the NHL and the NFL for more than a decade for publications including The Fourth Period, Bleacher Report and La Vida Baseball. He is the author of two books about the Chicago Blackhawks and has been credentialed for the MLB All-Star Game and postseason and multiple Stanley Cup Finals. He is the co-host of the Line Drive Radio podcast.