For years, I've foretold of the coming catcher revolution. It appears we're on the other side of it now.

Not that the returns were lacking. Just since the start of 2022, Adley Rutschman, William Contreras and Cal Raleigh have emerged as Fantasy mainstays, with Yainer Diaz, Francisco Alvarez, Bo Naylor, Logan O'Hoppe and Gabriel Moreno offering early indications of doing the same.

They -- along with Henry Davis and Tyler Soderstrom -- no longer qualify as prospects, having exhausted their rookie eligibility, which means we're looking at mostly a new wave of talent now. And let me tell you, the kids are all right.

I say "kids" in the most literal sense because the top two on this list are still teenagers. That's normally a no-no at catcher given all the developmental hurdles the position presents, but Ethan Salas and Samuel Basallo are more than just a pile of tools. Their skills are already so refined that it's hard not to view their youth as an asset, even if it puts a 2024 debut out of reach.

  • Top Prospects: C | 1B | 2B | 3B | SS | OF | P

Note: This list is intended for a variety of Fantasy formats and thus weighs short-term role against long-term value. Not all of these players will contribute in 2024 — most, in fact, will not — but among prospects, they're the names Fantasy Baseballers most need to know.

1. Ethan Salas, Padres

Age (on opening day): 17
Where he played in 2023: Low-A, High-A, Double-A
Minor-league stats: .248 BA (254 AB), 9 HR, .752 OPS, 30 BB, 75 K

If Salas beginning last season as a 16-year-old in full-season ball wasn't impressive enough, he ended it as a 17-year-old at Double-A, which is unheard of for a catcher in particular and tells you everything you need to know about his upside. There's basically no precedent for a catcher this advanced, both offensively and defensively, at this age, but his youth also means his body is still changing in a way that could have unpredictable results.

2. Samuel Basallo, Orioles

Age (on opening day): 19
Where he played in 2023: Low-A, High-A, Double-A
Minor-league stats: .313 BA (419 AB), 20 HR, 12 SB, .953 OPS, 61 BB, 94 K

Salas commands so much attention from prospect evaluators that it's easy to overlook Basallo, who himself was doing things no teenage catcher should be capable of. His strengths are more on the offensive side, which is of course where we prefer them in Fantasy, and with Adley Rutschman already settled in Baltimore, it's likely Basallo winds up at first base, where his massive power and improving strike-zone judgment should play.

3. Harry Ford, Mariners

Age (on opening day): 21
Where he played in 2023: High-A
Minor-league stats: .257 BA (444 AB), 15 HR, 24 SB, .841 OPS, 103 BB, 109 K

Imagine Marcus Semien at catcher and you have a pretty good idea what sort of Fantasy asset Ford could turn out to be. He profiles as the quintessential leadoff hitter, possessing an elite batting eye with speed to spare, and while it's led to speculation he could shift to second base or center field eventually, the Mariners so far haven't indicated as much.

4. Dalton Rushing, Dodgers

Age (on opening day): 23
Where he played in 2023: High-A
Minor-league stats: .228 BA (290 AB), 15 HR, .856 OPS, 72 BB, 93 K

Rushing already excels at driving the ball to his pull side, so you can trust he'll max out his power projection, and he knows which pitches to lay off, as evidenced by his .404 on-base percentage. It's possible the batting average difficulties linger further up the ladder, but it's also possible we see some Jorge Posada-like seasons from Rushing in the majors.

5. Kyle Teel, Red Sox

Age (on opening day): 22
Where he played in 2023: Rookie, High-A, Double-A
Minor-league stats: .363 BA (91 AB), 2 HR, 3 SB, .977 OPS, 21 BB, 22 K

Yet another catcher prospect with a real talent for getting on base, what distinguishes Teel from some of those ahead of him on this list is that he may turn out to be hit over power (while still projecting for double-digit home runs rather easily). He handled all three stops with ease after being drafted 14th overall last year, and it's possible he forces his way into the big-league picture by the end of 2024.

6. Jeferson Quero, Brewers

Age (on opening day): 21
Where he played in 2023: Double-A
Minor-league stats: .262 BA (336 AB), 16 HR, .779 OPS, 38 BB, 68 K

Quero's defensive prowess pushes him way up some real-life rank lists and makes him a surer bet to settle in as a full-time catcher -- which shouldn't go unnoticed in Fantasy. He's no slouch offensively either, making contact at a high rate with a launch angle that should help to maximize his otherwise middling power.

7. Edgar Quero, White Sox

Age (on opening day): 20
Where he played in 2023: Double-A
Minor-league stats: .255 BA (368 AB), 6 HR, .731 OPS, 72 BB, 76 K

The other Quero has seen his stock slip a bit after failing to live up to his .312/.435/.530 slash line from his breakout 2022, but the Angels had him skip High-A entirely, preferring to go the baptism-by-fire route at Double-A. He held his own, all things considered, upping his batting average to .277 following his midseason trade to the White Sox and maintaining the strikeout-to-walk ratio that earned him such plaudits to begin with.

8. Austin Wells, Yankees

Age (on opening day): 24
Where he played in 2023: Low-A, Double-A, Triple-A, majors
Minor-league stats: .240 BA (371 AB), 17 HR, 7 SB, .775 OPS, 48 BB, 97 K
Major-league stats: .229 BA (70 AB), 4 HR, 6 2B, .743 OPS, 3 BB, 14 K

Wells' prospect stock was probably at its highest when he was in A-ball, but he appears to be the Yankees' Plan A behind the plate in 2024, which is surprising not only because of his diminished production at the upper levels but also because of his pronounced defensive deficiencies. His late-season trial went well enough, though, and his left-handed swing is well-suited for Yankee Stadium.

9. Diego Cartaya, Dodgers

Age (on opening day): 22
Where he played in 2023: Double-A
Minor-league stats: .189 BA (354 AB), 19 HR, .656 OPS, 37 BB, 117 K

All the hype that had followed Cartaya from the time he was 17 went up in flames last year as he failed to hit his body weight in his first taste of Double-A. It may be an overreaction given that he was regarded as one of the minors' top power bats just a year ago -- and if a buy-low opportunity presents itself, then by all means -- but with his defense already presenting a significant hurdle, the bat needs to bounce back posthaste.

10. Moises Ballesteros, Cubs

Age (on opening day): 20
Where he played in 2023: Low-A, High-A, Double-A
Minor-league stats: .285 BA (421 AB), 14 HR, .823 OPS, 63 BB, 78 K

The knee-jerk reaction is to put Kevin Parada here, but he was so uninspiring in his first full professional season that I prefer to give some love to Ballesteros. Standing 5-feet-7 and thick all the way through, the 2023 breakout has a good batting eye and tremendous feel for hitting but may be forced out from behind the plate due to his physique. Think Pablo Sandoval or Alejandro Kirk.