The catching position is ugly for Fantasy Baseball. Many leagues require two starting catchers making it more difficult, especially in 15-team mixed leagues and mono leagues. If you want to land Gary Sanchez, it will take a second or early third-round pick. Willson Contreras and Buster Posey go a few rounds later. One of the catchers I will target as a No. 1 catcher in a mixed league is Wilson Ramos.
The Rays catcher is going cheap in early drafts since he’s coming off a year in which he missed half the season. Ramos has an ADP of 269.88 on fantrax.com as the 14th catcher off the board.
I took Ramos as the ninth catcher off the board in the 12th round of a 15-team draft champions league draft. It’s earlier than the ADP, but I am higher on Ramos than the consensus and when you feel that way on a player, you don’t risk losing him. You play to win!
Ramos played in 64 games last season after tearing his ACL late in 2016 in a contract-season. He didn’t make his Rays’ debut until late June. Ramos put together his best season in 2016 with the Nationals, batting .307 with 58 runs, 22 home runs, 80 RBIs and an .850 OPS in 482 at-bats. He always displayed good power in limited at-bats.
Last season, Ramos got off to a slow start coming back from the injury but he finished strong. He batted .260 with 19 runs, 11 home runs and 35 RBIs in 208 at-bats. Ramos batted .213 in July, .274 in August and .317 in the final month.
When drafting a catcher, avoiding a player that can sink your batting average is crucial. This is an area Ramos can help. He’s a career .268 hitter and makes good contact. He doesn’t draw many walks, so he takes a hit in on-base percentage leagues.
Ramos has been able to hit for power despite a lot of ground balls (54.1 percent for career) and a lack of fly balls (27.2 percent for career). He is going to hit in the middle of the Rays’ lineup providing him with plenty of RBI opportunities. There’s a good chance Ramos hits around .265 with 20-plus home runs and 65-70 RBIs. To acquire that kind of production in the middle rounds of drafts makes Ramos a catcher to keep in mind if you don’t take one early. Ramos is a Top 10 catcher 2018. Mark my words.