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: Catchers 20-16
20. Carson Kelly, Arizona Diamondbacks 2020: 14
2020: 39 games, .221/.264/.385 splits, .649 OPS, 5 Home Runs, 19 RBIs
After a breakout season in 2019, Carson Kelly struggled to replicate that success last season as his offensive numbers dropped across the board. Defensively, he’s just below league-average but doesn’t have a great arm. 2021 should give us a better gauge of what Kelly’s true value is in the long-run.
19. Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants 2020: 19
*2019: 114 games, .257/.320/.368 splits, .688 OPS, 7 Home Runs, 38 RBIs
People who were upset over Posey being ranked 19th will still be upset with his ranking this season. Posey chose to sit out last year due to COVID-19 as Joey Bart took the load behind the dish for San Francisco. At age 34, Posey likely only has a season or two left before Bart takes his job for good.
18. Mitch Garver, Minnesota Twins 2020: 4
2020: 23 games, .167/.247/.264 splits, .511 OPS, 2 Home Runs, 5 RBIs
Mitch Garver was one of the hardest players to rank in the 2021 MLB rankings. In 2019, he was elite at the plate, breaking out, and earning a silver slugger. 2020 was the complete opposite with his OPS barely above .500 as he slowly lost playing time. In reality, he is likely somewhere between the 2019 and 2020 versions of himself in the long run.
17. Omar Narvaez, Milwaukee Brewers 2020: 10
2020: 40 games, .176/.294/.269 splits, .562 OPS, 2 Home Runs, 10 RBIs
After a breakout year with Seattle in 2019, Omar Narvaez took a step back at the plate in a big way with Milwaukee in 2020. His defense has always been subpar, but it’s tough to knock him too far down the list considering 2020 was a shortened season. 2021 could end up as the defining point in projecting the rest of Narvaez’s career.
16. Tom Murphy, Seattle Mariners 2020: 13
*2019: 75 games, .273/.324/.535 splits, .858 OPS, 18 Home Runs, 40 RBIs
After a breakout season in 2019, Tom Murphy did not play in 2020 after he broke his foot before the start of the year. Given it was a shortened season, Murphy was not able to recover in time to play in 2020. While he may split time with Luis Torrens, it will be interesting to see how Murphy plays in 2021.
2021 MLB Rankings: Catchers 15-11
15. Sean Murphy, Oakland Athletics 2020: 29
2020: 43 games, .233/.364/.457 splits, .821 OPS, 7 Home Runs, 14 RBIs
In his year as the everyday catcher for the Athletics, Sean Murphy showed a ton of potential at the plate. He hit seven home runs and his OPS was above .800, while he was an above-average defender behind the dish. With his having only played 63 career games, I couldn’t rank him higher than 15, but don’t be surprised if Murphy winds up in the top ten next season.
14. Tucker Barnhart, Cincinnati Reds 2020: 28
2020: 38 games, .204/.291/.388 splits, .679 OPS, 5 Home Runs, 13 RBIs
Once a below-average catcher, Tucker Barnhart had arguably the best year of his career in 2020 at age 29. Offensively, he still struggles with strikeouts and doesn’t have a whole lot of power. However, his defense is the reason he moved up 14 spots from 2020. Sporting an Rdrs of nine last season, Barnhart earned the NL Gold Glove award for the second time in his career.
13. Yan Gomes, Washington Nationals 2020: NR
2020: 30 games, .284/.319/.468 splits, .787 OPS, 4 Home Runs, 13 RBIs
With Kurt Suzuki now in Los Angeles, Yan Gomes is projected to be the Nationals’ everyday catcher in 2021. While never elite, Gomes has always been an above-average catcher throughout his nine-year career. He has a bit of power and hits for average but needs to draw more walks. Defensively, he was just below league-average in 2020.
12. Yadier Molina, St.Louis Cardinals 2020: 17
2020: 42 games, .262/.303/.359 splits, .662 OPS, 4 Home Runs, 16 RBIs
While working around with COVID, Yadier Molina had a solid age 37 season in 2020. While he hit free agency, he signed a one-year deal to return to St.Louis in 2021. At the plate, he doesn’t have much power left, but will still hit for a decent average. He may not be a Gold Glove winner anymore, but his defense is still well above league-average.
11. Roberto Perez, Cleveland Indians 2020: 9
2020: 32 games, .165/.264/.216 splits, .480 OPS, 1 Home Run, 5 RBIs
In 2019, Roberto Perez set career highs across the board at the plate as he hit 24 home runs. 2020 was the exact opposite as his bat turned into a spaghetti noodle and he was arguably the worst hitter in all of MLB. However, his defense remained elite as he won a Gold Glove for the second straight season. While his offense likely isn’t as good as it was in 2019, it also likely isn’t as bad as it was in 2020.
Come back tomorrow to see the top ten catchers on this 2021 MLB Rankings series!
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