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2021 MLB Rankings: Catchers 30-21

2021 MLB Rankings: 30 days of MLB rankings! In this series, we will be ranking every projected starting player for the 2021 season at each in position, each in three parts. On day one of this series, we’ll look at the MLB catchers ranked 30-21.

2021 MLB Rankings: 30-26

30. Elias Diaz, Colorado Rockies 2020: NR

2020 Stats: 26 games, .235/.288/.353 splits, .641 OPS, 2 Home Runs, 9 RBIs

Coming in at 30th on the first part of the 2021 MLB Rankings is Elias Diaz. After Tony Wolters left in free agency, Elias Diaz projects to be the Rockies’ starting catcher for the 2021 season. Diaz spent the first five years of his career in Pittsburgh, before joining the Rockies last year. A below-average defender and hitter, Diaz doesn’t provide much for Colorado; hence he earns the bottom spot on the ranking. 

29. Jose Trevino, Texas Rangers 2020: NR

2020 Stats: 24 games, .250/.280/.434 splits, .715 OPS, 2 Home Runs, 9 RBIs

23-year-old Sam Huff may eventually take over, but for now, Jose Trevino projects to be the Rangers’ catcher in 2021. A well below-average defender, Trevino only caught 9% of base runners last year, while failing to be a reliable hitter at the plate. Veteran Drew Butera is another candidate to play catcher for Texas this season. 

28. Danny Jansen, Toronto Blue Jays 2020: NR

2020 Stats: 43 games, .183/.313/.358 splits, .671 OPS, 6 Home Runs, 20 RBIs

While Reese McGuire wasn’t any better, Danny Jansen struggled mightily in 2020. Jansen has some power with 19 home runs since the start of 2019, but his horrendous batting average and strikeout rates hurt him in the ranking. Defensively, he’s below league-average as well. 

27. Pedro Severino, Baltimore Orioles 2020: 27

2020 Stats: 48 games, .250/.322/.388 splits, .710 OPS, 5 Home Runs, 21 RBIs

Ranked 27th heading into last season, Pedro Severino doesn’t change his spot in 2021. Severino has some occasional power at the plate but isn’t a reliable defender, which hurts him in the rankings. He’d be better off as a DH but doesn’t have enough power to be a reliable option. Severino may platoon with Chance Sisco in 2021 as well. 

26. Mike Zunino, Tampa Bay Rays 2020: 23

2020 Stats: 28 games, .147/.238/.360 splits, .598 OPS, 4 Home Runs, 10 RBIs

2020 was a year to forget for Mike Zunino, who saw every aspect of his game get worse in the shortened campaign. Zunino doesn’t hit for average, but in a full year, can hit 20-25 home runs. Usually an above-average defender, Zunino struggled behind the dish as well in 2020. While he is far from an elite catcher, he should be able to rebound in 2021. 

25. Max Stassi, Los Angeles Angels 2020: NR

2020 Stats: 31 games, .278/.352/.533 splits, .886 OPS, 7 Home Runs, 20 RBIs

A career Triple-A level catcher from 2013-2019, Max Stassi had the best year of his career in 2020 for Los Angeles. While the team signed Kurt Suzuki, Stassi is projected to be the everyday catcher, likely facing right-handed pitching in a platoon. It will be interesting to see if Stassi can build off of the success he saw in 2020 for 2021. 

24. Jacob Stallings, Pittsburgh Pirates 2020: 26

2020 Stats: 42 games, .248/.326/.376 splits, .702 OPS, 3 Home Runs, 18 RBIs

In his first season as the Pirates’ everyday catcher, Jacob Stallings had a decent campaign in 2020. At age 31, Stallings is the epitome of a replacement-level catcher, but also someone who won’t hurt the team either at the plate or behind the dish. The best aspect of his game is his arm as he threw out 33% of runners last season. 

23. Jorge Alfaro, Miami Marlins 2020: 12

2020 Stats: 31 games, .226/.280/.344 splits, .624 OPS, 3 Home Runs, 16 RBIs

2020 was a year to forget for Jorge Alfaro. After getting COVID in the first week of the season, Alfaro was never able to recover as his numbers dropped across the board from 2019. He still struggles with strikeouts and doesn’t consistently play good defense to be ranked even close to as high as he was last season. 

22. Martin Maldonado, Houston Astros 2020: 20

2020 Stats: 47 games, .215/.350/.378 splits, .727 OPS, 6 Home Runs, 24 RBIs

While he may platoon with Jason Castro, Martin Maldonado is the best catcher on the Astros for 2021. Maldonado doesn’t hit for average, but has some pop in his bat, and plays solid defense. While his defense has fallen off a bit from when he won a gold glove in 2017, he’s still above league-average and threw out 32% of runners in 2020. 

21. Wilson Ramos, Detroit Tigers 2020: 8

2020 Stats: 45 games, .239/.297/.387 splits, .684 OPS, 5 Home Runs, 15 RBIs 

One of the biggest fallers from last season, Wilson Ramos struggled in 2020 as he joins the Tigers for 2021. Once a guy who could hit above .300, Ramos’ ability to hit for contact slipped last year as he posted career-lows across the board at the plate. Never a great defender, Ramos is likely winding down as he prepares for his age 33 season. 

Come back tomorrow for the second part of my 2021 MLB rankings with catchers ranked from 20-11.

Follow me on Twitter @PodolskyDanny

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