Welcome to the May catcher rankings update. Players are ranked for the rest of the season based on a 5x5 scoring format. Included along with the position rankings is an updated top 300. Players are listed wherever they’re most valuable, so if you don’t see that third baseman you’re looking for, he’s probably listed at second or short.
Click to see other May rankings:
|5||Stephen Vogt||Athletics||27 1B|
|7||Russell Martin||Blue Jays||9|
|19||Blake Swihart||Red Sox||31|
|20||Tyler Flowers||White Sox||16|
|36||Geovany Soto||White Sox||34|
|40||Dioner Navarro||Blue Jays||36|
o Since there are so few attractive long-term alternatives, a good number of injured catchers stay in the top 15 of the rankings, with Lucroy leading the way at No. 6. That said, I’m not feeling overly confident about Mesoraco’s hip or Wieters’ elbow. If Mesoraco were completely healthy, he’d come in at No. 2 or No. 3, and if I were more confident that he’d really go back to catching regularly in 2-3 weeks, I’d still have him in the top five. As is, he’s tucked in behind Martin, who has climbed from No. 9 to No. 7 even though I think less of him now than I did a month ago (that’s just because the Blue Jays bailed on batting him second a week into the season).
Wieters’ elbow was supposed to be ready for Opening Day. Then a week into the season. Then May 1. Now… maybe late May? It doesn’t bode overly well. Gomes (knee) should beat him back. D’Arnaud (finger) might, too.
o The Red Sox found themselves in need of Swihart much earlier than expected as a result of Hanigan’s fractured knuckle. Swihart had just one homer in 137 Triple-A at-bats dating back to last season, so don’t count on seeing a lot of power from him. He can run some, but he’s still not really all that much of a stolen base threat. He’s not a No. 1 catcher in mixed leagues at this point in his career, but he should be a decent enough No. 2, at least until Hanigan gets back. If he plays up to his ability, he’ll be the starter for the rest of the season.
o The original plan called for both Pinto and O’Brien to be placed ahead of Swihart in the rankings. Pinto, hitting .302/.389/.413 in Triple-A, could soon replace Kennys Vargas as the Twins’ primary DH. I’d rather see him supplant Kurt Suzuki at catcher, but DHing would make him more valuable for fantasy purposes. O’Brien, now a full-time outfielder despite the Diamondbacks’ protestations that he could make it as a catcher, is tearing up PCL pitching to the tune of a .386/.422/.747 line. He’s getting an assist from a strong offensive environment at Reno, but that still makes him one of the PCL’s best hitters. He just might beat out Yasmany Tomas for the first crack at an outfield job once one opens up, and while I wouldn’t expect him to hit for average, his power could make him a strong fantasy catcher right away.
o I don’t understand the Hedges callup. Maybe in July, but not now. I don’t imagine he’ll hit at all as Norris’s backup, and while he might be better defensively than Wil Nieves, it shouldn’t make a whole lot of difference. If the idea is simply to avoid running Norris into the ground, then I imagine we’ll see the Padres eventually trade for a catcher and send Hedges back down.