I usually do this over the All-Star break, but time didn’t allow for it last week. So here now are my very, very preliminary 2020 player rankings. I’ve done my best to list players where they’ll be eligible next year, and the free agents-to-be are listed without teams. Players with options for next year are still listed with their current teams if those options have a legitimate chance of being exercised. Those players are noted with asterisks.
Along with the position rankings is a top 300 list for 2020. Click to see other preliminary 2020 rankings:
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2020 Catcher Rankings
|8||Danny Jansen||Blue Jays||8||10|
|16||Christian Vazquez||Red Sox||22||12|
|22||Welington Castillo||White Sox*||11||33|
|26||James McCann||White Sox||52||18|
|49||Zack Collins||White Sox||70||NR|
|53||Aramis Garcia||Giants||66 1B||NR|
- There isn’t much movement at the top here, but I am optimistic enough that the Padres will resolve their catching situation to put Francisco Mejia in the top five. Of course, it would be nice if Mejia would start to hit relatively soon. It’s going to happen, but until it does, the Padres will always have reason to go back to the defensively superior Austin Hedges. I still wonder if the Padres might not trade Mejia at some point and pair Austin Allen with Hedges.
- With both of their young catchers in demand, the Dodgers are facing a decision on whether to trade Will Smith or Keibert Ruiz this month. Ruiz has been a disappointment as a Double-A repeater, hitting .249/.329/.326 to date, but he’s just turning 21 this month and he still seems like an excellent bet for the long term. The Dodgers can keep Smith and pair him with Austin Barnes next year if they’re confident enough in his glove. For fantasy purposes I’d like to see Smith as a true starter somewhere else; he’d likely move into the top eight here if that happened.
- The free agent class is led by Yasmani Grandal, who seems likely to decline his half of a $16 million mutual option. Welington Castillo also figures to join the list, and Yan Gomes seems increasingly likely to have his $9 million option declined. Travis d’Arnaud is making a real push to be looked at as a starter this winter, but he still doesn’t seem like a very good bet to hold up physically.