Adley Rutschman

Ranking the 10 Best Catchers in MLB Ahead of the 2024 Season

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There is no shortage of options when assessing MLB’s top catchers in 2024. There are a few young catchers who had breakout seasons in 2023, enabling them to be considered among the best catchers in 2024.

That means the catching hierarchy in the big leagues is as strong right now as it’s been in several years.

10 Best MLB Catchers in 2024

Of course, a great season in 2023 doesn’t necessarily mean a player will also be among the top catchers in 2024. It’s also important to project how a player will perform this season.

Well, we took a close look at all of the candidates and how things look for them heading into the upcoming season and created a list of MLB’s 10 best catchers for 2024.

10. Cal Raleigh

There might be no better power-hitting catcher in baseball right now than Cal Raleigh. He smashed 27 homers in 2022, only to top that with 30 long balls in 2023.

       

Granted, he’s not necessarily the most well-rounded catcher in baseball. But any catcher with the potential to hit 30 home runs is a huge asset.

9. Salvador Perez

Age continues to be just a number for Salvador Perez. The 33-year-old still isn’t slowing down after more than a decade in the big leagues. He made the All-Star Team for the eighth time in 2023 and hit over 20 home runs for the seventh straight full season.

While Perez spent some time at first base and as a DH last season, he still started more than half of Kansas City’s games behind the plate and still excels defensively.

8. Willson Contreras

Last season, Willson Contreras had the impossible task of being Yadier Molina’s replacement in St. Louis.

Despite briefly losing his job as the primary catcher, Contreras did a more than admirable job of filling Molina’s shoes. Moving forward, there are concerns about both his age and how willing the St. Louis pitching staff will be to throw to him. However, the older Contreras brother is still among the most productive catchers in baseball.

       

7. Gabriel Moreno

It took the Diamondbacks getting to the World Series for the average fan to learn who Gabriel Moreno is, but it’s safe to say he’s on everyone’s radar heading into 2024.

Moreno hit just seven home runs during the regular season but then contributed four during the playoffs, as he shined on the big stage. Power may not be his game, but Moreno is a .290 hitter early in his career. He also won a Gold Glove in his first full season in the big leagues. As a 24-year-old, Moreno still has room for improvement and figures to become one of the best two-way catchers in the game.

6. Jonah Heim

As the catcher for the reigning champions, Jonah Heim is highly regarded heading into 2024.

Keep in mind he was also an all-star, Gold Glove winner, and All-MLB Second-Team selection last season. On the other hand, his track record before last season was unimpressive, so we’re not completely sold on last season being a sign of things to come. However, Heim deserves to be in the conversation among the top catchers in baseball.

5. William Contreras

Being traded to the Brewers worked out great for William Contreras. His numbers dipped a little from what he did as a backup for the Braves in 2022 when he was named an all-star.

But Contreras proved without a doubt that he can excel as an everyday catcher. He’s also one of the youngest catchers on our top-10 list, so there is still plenty of room for Contreras to get better.

4. J.T. Realmuto

When all is said and done, J.T. Realmuto is likely to be among the greatest catchers in MLB history. However, we’re starting to see a little decline from him, so he may not be the top catcher in the majors anymore.

Realmuto will be 33 during the 2024 season and has finished with an OPS under .800 twice in the last three years. He’s still among the best around; he’s just not head and shoulders ahead of the pack anymore.

3. Sean Murphy

The Braves took a little bit of a risk when they traded for Sean Murphy last offseason, but that move paid off well for them. Murphy became an all-star for the first time in 2023, adding to his resume, which includes a Gold Glove in 2021.

With an OPS of .843, 21 homers, and 21 doubles, Murphy was one of the best offensive catchers last season. Given all of the help around him in Atlanta’s lineup, there’s no reason to think he won’t have another strong campaign in 2024.

2. Will Smith

For the last several years, Will Smith has been among the best catchers in the big leagues. He was a Second-Team All-MLB selection in 2022 and took another step forward last season by making the All-Star Team for the first time.

Smith’s offensive numbers fell off a little in 2023, but he remained a key cog for the Dodgers. He remains in the prime of his career in 2024, so we’re expecting Smith to continue to be an elite backstop.

1. Adley Rutschman

It happened rather quickly, but Adley Rutschman has surpassed Realmuto as the best catcher in MLB. He’s been a remarkably consistent hitter since making his debut in May 2022, living up to the hype as the first overall pick in the 2019 draft.

This past season, Rutschman became an all-star for the first time and was a First-Team All-MLB selection, not to mention a Silver Slugger winner. More importantly, he was a big reason why the Orioles got back to the playoffs in 2023. Rutschman is only now about to enter his prime years, so there is little doubt he’ll be the best catcher in baseball this year.

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