Several emerging backstops have given the position a bit of a revival right now and it looks the deepest it’s been in quite some time. While this provides more options for quality production, it also means you need more position production to compete with your teammates. Here are 3 catchers I love putting up quality numbers behind the plate this year:
Tyler Stephenson | RIC
My projection: .288/.359/.477, 19 HR, 72 R, 77 RBI, 1 SB in 506 PA
Stephenson was on his way to a breakout in 2022 before injuries derailed him and limited him to just 50 games. I’m back on the train for 2023! The 26-year-old has yet to deliver a ton of power (.158 ISO), but his 6’4, 225-pound frame says more on the way, especially at this stadium. The Reds also plan to use his bat more through starts at 1B and DH ($), which is still ideal for a catcher-eligible at-bat. Power is abundant in the upper echelons of the receiving ranks, pairing it with batting average is what makes Stephenson special.
Gabriel Moreno | ARI
My projection: .286/.349/.428, 9 HR, 46 R, 58 RBI, 3 SB in 373 PA
I had my money on Danny Jansen getting traded from Toronto to clear their stalemate…turned out to be Moreno in the big Daulton Varsho trade. There’s no obvious place for Moreno to play everyday with Carson Kelly likely locked in the starting role, but he’s been bouncing around the diamond a bit in the majors and minors which could be his path. to find more time. Although limited, he has time in 1B, 2B, 3B and OF during his career and of course the NL now has the DH which offers yet another spot. His bat is good enough to make a big impact in the 373 PA I have him for with the advantage of being so much more if they carve out a role north of 400 PA for Moreno. The 23-year-old hit .310/.365/.479 with 10 HR and 8 SB per 400 AP in the minors. Moreno is great for 2 receiver formats where the lower volume won’t put you at a disadvantage against your teammates.
Logan O’Hoppe | AAL
My projection: .253/.343/.431, 13 HR, 46 R, 52 RBI, 2 SB in 400 PA
I became a big fan of O’Hoppe after seeing him at Fall League 2021 but of course worried about his background as he was stuck behind JT Realmuto in Philadelphia. The summer trade to Los Angeles put him back on my short-term radar and I wasn’t surprised to see him take a sip of espresso late in the season (16 AP in 5 games). I got a little worried early in the offseason as some reports seemed to suggest that Matt Thaiss might pass him for the reserve receiver role because Thaiss ran out of options, but I brushed that worry aside when it has become clear that O’Hoppe is fully in the mix for the departure role. Manager Phil Nevin made a point saying we shouldn’t read into O’Hoppe constantly catching Shohei Ohtani before he leaves for the WBC, but I think Nevin might just throw his fantastic teammates off the scent of his catcher. rookie so he could acquire O’Hoppe at a great draw price. Ourr is taken at face value and he just wants the 23-year-old rookie to get to grips with the best pitcher on the team. Whether or.