Philadelphia Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto has been the cream of the fantasy baseball crop when it comes to catchers over the past few seasons. Realmuto has represented a very valuable fantasy asset throughout his career: Elite-level offense from the catcher position.
Those who have watched baseball over the decades know that catchers who are reliable defensive backstops and a potent threat with the bat have been few and far between. To put things in perspective, most MLB lineups feature their catchers down in the batting order, likely between sixth and ninth.
Realmuto has hit as high as leadoff in the Phillies' order. He's proven himself the real deal.
And not only has Realmuto hit for average and provided 20+ homers in multiple seasons throughout his career, he's also been a serious threat to steal bases too. He even delivered 21 swipes last year, his age-30 season — the highest mark of his career. We don't need to explain here how important and valuable stolen bases are in category fantasy leagues, so Realmuto's value becomes even more pronounced.
But has a new, younger catcher emerged to challenge him for the No. 1 backstop spot in 2023 fantasy?
26-year-old Daulton Varsho played his first full season in MLB last season, appearing in 151 games split between both catcher and outfielder. And while the Blue Jays are going to use Varsho as an outfielder, his dual-position eligibility is a massive boon to his fantasy value.
And while Varsho hasn't gotten into a batting-average groove (yet) in his career, he's shown himself to be a serious power-speed threat. We've seen hints of it in small sample sizes, but he put it all together last season, with 27 home runs and 16 stolen bases. If he can deliver a 20-20 season from the catcher position — watch out.
Check out our full fantasy catcher draft rankings below!
2023 Fantasy Baseball Rankings powered by FantasyPros