One of the best parts of dynasty baseball is the ranking season. It’s time to start thinking about baseball again! A big thank you to the guys who have contributed to the rankings here; it takes some courage to post your opinions for others to ridicule. That’s where I come in; I won’t be ridiculing anyone, nor posting my rankings, but I will pick a player who I think is either too high or too low for each position. First up are the catchers, just above relief pitchers in terms of enjoyment while the ranking is concerned.
11. Keibert Ruiz – Los Angeles Dodgers
Ranked as the top prospect in the Dodgers minor league system by Baseball America in 2019 before dropping a few spots to third in 2020, Ruiz has the prospect pedigree that dynasty owners are looking to acquire. Signed in 2015 out of Venezuela, Ruiz hit over .300 at every stop in his first three years as a professional. He was promoted to Double-A as an 18-year-old and was still able to hold his own, adding some power to his profile along the way. 2019 did not go as planned; he was repeating the level and took a step back. He was promoted to Triple-A but was only there for nine games before breaking his finger and missing almost the entire season. In 2020, Ruiz debuted for the Dodgers as part of their extended roster, going 2 for 8 with a home run. I have Ruiz ranked 30th behind fellow Dodger catchers Will Smith (3rd) and slightly ahead of Diego Cartaya (35th) in my dynasty rankings. The best thing for him is to get traded to another organization, probably. 2021 will be a pivotal year for Ruiz, and he has a wide range of outcomes. Will he find the power he lost in 2019 and jump back up in the rankings, or will he be passed by Cartaya this year? If he returns to 2018 form this ranking of 11 may be spot-on.
23. Austin Nola – San Diego Padres
Nola finished 5th in all three formats last season, yet he is unowned in over 70% of my leagues. Like most catchers, he was a late bloomer who made his major league debut at age 29 after spending seven seasons in the minors as a utility man. It wasn’t until 2016 the middle infielder put on the catching gear and gave that a try. Four years later, he has become one of the better defenders in the league, finishing as the 8th best framer. That’s important because that means he will continue to retain that catcher eligibility for the foreseeable future. The downside to Nola is that he only has 399 major league at-bats. It’s a small sample size, but the at-bats were very good. He has posted wRC+ of 114 and 126 the last two seasons after being a slightly below-average hitter for his whole minor league career. The price is low on Nola as the fantasy baseball community has not bought into his recent success. I have Nola 11 spots higher at #12 in my rankings and would be comfortable with him as my starting catcher in any format.
Feel free to reach out to me via Twitter @3cardmonte13.