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J.T. Realmuto, Adley Rutschman provide stability behind the plate

The Orioles' Adley Rutschman excels on both offense and defense, guaranteeing him the lion's share of the playing time in Baltimore.

The catcher position seems deeper than it’s been in a while this season, thanks to some talented young backstops rising up through the ranks.

While this year’s newfound depth helps plug the holes, an elite catcher will still give fantasy teams a distinct edge on the competition.

FANTASY RANKINGS: Top 200 overall players for 2023

CHEAT SHEET:  Fantasy baseball position-by-position rankings

In the National League, the Phillies’ J.T. Realmuto (.276, 22 HR, 84 RBI, 74 R, 21 SB) is the position’s only true five-category performer. Meanwhile, the Braves’ acquisition of All-Star Sean Murphy from Oakland gives them a dynamic duo with veteran Travis d’Arnaud. Both should see plenty of playing time.

In the American League, the Orioles’ Adley Rutschman made his MLB debut in late May, but established himself as an offensive force with 35 doubles and 13 homers in just 113 games.

In addition, two AL catchers – the Blue Jays’ Daulton Varsho and the Royals’ MJ Melendez – could see more time in the outfield than behind the plate, giving them additional opportunities to produce.

The Orioles’ Adley Rutschman excels on both offense and defense, guaranteeing him the lion’s share of the playing time in Baltimore.

Catcher rankings

  1. J.T. Realmuto, Phillies NL1

  2. Will Smith, Dodgers NL2

  3. Adley Rutschman, Orioles AL1

  4. Daulton Varsho, Blue Jays AL2

  5. Salvador Perez, Royals AL3

  6. Willson Contreras, Cardinals NL3

  7. Alejandro Kirk, Blue Jays AL4

  8. MJ Melendez, Royals AL5

  9. Sean Murphy, Braves NL4

  10. Tyler Stephenson, Reds NL5

  11. William Contreras, Brewers NL6

  12. Cal Raleigh, Mariners AL6

  13. Danny Jansen, Blue Jays AL7

  14. Travis d’Arnaud, Braves NL7

  15. Christian Vazquez, Twins AL8

  16. Keibert Ruiz, Nationals NL8

  17. Gabriel Moreno, Diamondbacks NL9

  18. Yasmani Grandal, White Sox AL9

  19. Eric Haase, Tigers AL10

  20. Jonah Heim, Rangers AL11

  21. Christian Bethancourt, Rays AL12

  22. Carson Kelly, Diamondbacks NL10

  23. Jose Trevino, Yankees AL13

  24. Austin Nola, Padres NL11

  25. Elias Diaz, Rockies NL12

  26. Logan O’Hoppe, Angels AL14

  27. Reese McGuire, Red Sox AL15

  28. Francisco Mejia, Rays AL16

  29. Omar Narvaez, Mets  NL13

  30. Bo Naylor, Guardians AL17

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fantasy baseball: Top 30 catchers for 2023

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