Former Los Angeles Dodgers and current Chicago White Sox backstop Yasmani Grandal was ranked the best catcher for the 2020 season by MLB Network’s The Shredder.
The rest of the list, in order, consists of the Philadelphia Phillies’ J.T. Realmuto, the Chicago Cubs’ Willson Contreras, the Minnesota Twins’ Mitch Garver, the New York Yankees’ Gary Sanchez, the New York Mets’ Wilson Ramos, the Texas Rangers’ Robinson Chirinos, the San Francisco Giants’ Buster Posey, the St. Louis Cardinals’ Yadier Molina and the Seattle Mariners’ Omar Narváez.
After a stellar 2018 campaign with the Dodgers, Grandal rejected the qualifying offer extended to him and officially became a free agent later that offseason.
He received plenty of interest on the open market, reportedly turning down a four-year contract offer from the Mets before signing a one-year, $18.25 million pact with the Milwaukee Brewers.
In what wound up being his only season with the organization, Grandal posted career highs in games played (153), hits (126), home runs (28), RBI (77) and walks (109). He hit an overall .246/.380/.468 with 56 extra-base hits while continuing to grade out as one of the league’s better pitch framers.
Since the 2018 season, Grandal ranks first among qualified catchers in on-base percentage (.366), and is tied for first with 52 home runs. He also places second in wRC+ (123), WAR (9.9) and framing runs (27.4) during the span.
Grandal reached free agency for a second time in as many seasons this winter and cashed in on a four-year, $73 million deal with the White Sox.
While the Dodgers didn’t have a representative in The Shredder’s top-10 catchers rankings, it’s worth noting that Will Smith received recognition from other MLB Network analysts. He placed sixth on Ben Lindbergh’s list, eighth on Mike Petriello’s list and ninth on Sarah Langs’ list.
ESPN’s Buster Olney previously ranked Smith 10th on his list for the top-10 catchers in all of baseball heading into the 2020 season.
Smith made his MLB debut for the Dodgers last May and secured starting duties behind the plate by the end of July. In 54 regular-season games, the 24-year-old hit .253/.337/.571 with nine doubles, 15 home runs, 42 RBI and 30 runs scored.
Smith additionally impressed during his time with Triple-A Oklahoma City, batting .268/.381/.603 with 11 doubles, 20 home runs and 54 RBI in 62 games.
Smith splitting duties
After a breakout performance that tapered off last season, Smith this year has shared catching duties with Austin Barnes.
|Rank||The Shredder||Mike Petriello||Sarah Langs||Ben Lindbergh|
|1||Yasmani Grandal (White Sox)||Yasmani Grandal (White Sox)||J.T. Realmuto (Phillies)||Yasmani Grandal (White Sox)|
|2||J.T. Realmuto (Phillies)||J.T. Realmuto (Phillies)||Yasmani Grandal (White Sox)||J.T. Realmuto (Phillies)|
|3||Wilson Contreras (Cubs)||Gary Sanchez (Yankees)||Roberto Pérez (Indians)||Gary Sanchez (Yankees)|
|4||Mitch Garver (Twins)||Mitch Garver (Twins)||Gary Sanchez (Yankees)||Mitch Garver (Twins)|
|5||Gary Sanchez (Yankees)||Wilson Contreras (Cubs)||Christian Vázquez (Red Sox)||Christian Vázquez (Red Sox)|
|6||Wilson Ramos (Mets)||Roberto Pérez (Indians)||Wilson Contreras (Cubs)||Will Smith (Dodgers)|
|7||Robinson Chirinos (Rangers)||Christian Vázquez (Red Sox)||Mitch Garver (Twins)||Wilson Contreras (Cubs)|
|8||Buster Posey (Giants)||Will Smith (Dodgers)||James McCann (White Sox)||Roberto Pérez (Indians)|
|9||Yadier Molina (Cardinals)||John Ryan Murphy (Pirates)||Will Smith (Dodgers)||Carson Kelly (Diamondbacks)|
|10||Omar Narváez (Mariners)||Carson Kelly (Diamondbacks)||Buster Posey (Giants)||Sean Murphy (Athletics)|
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