Diego Cartaya

21-Year-Old CatcherC
Los Angeles Dodgers A+
2023 Fantasy Outlook
Like the vast majority of catching prospects, Cartaya ranks quite a bit higher on real-life rankings than on dynasty rankings. He projects as a high-OBP catcher with 25-homer power, but he had a 66.1 Contact% at High-A and figures to hit slightly below .250, even at peak. It's easy to fall in love with Cartaya's explosive swing and impressive size (6-foot-3, 220 pounds), but dynasty catchers who are over a year away from the big leagues just don't carry a ton of value in most formats. There's also the fact that the Dodgers have Will Smith at the big-league level and Dalton Rushing in the mid-minors, so Cartaya may not ever have more fantasy value than someone like William Contreras does entering 2023 due to a perceived playing-time cap. Like Contreras, however, Cartaya's bat could be impactful enough that the Dodgers give him some starts at designated hitter when he isn't catching. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a $2.5 million contract with the Dodgers in July of 2018.
Protected from Rule 5 draft
CLos Angeles Dodgers  A+
November 15, 2022
Cartaya was added to the Dodgers' 40-man roster Tuesday, Eric Stephen of SBNation.com reports.
Cartaya is one of the top catching prospects in baseball, so it's no surprise Los Angeles opted to shield him from the upcoming Rule 5 draft. The 21-year-old spent most of 2022 at High-A Great Lakes and posted a .251/.379/.476 slash line with 13 home runs and 41 RBI in 62 games.
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Diego Cartaya See More
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122 days ago
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Not only was Cartaya an offensive monster (158 wRC+) in his first year at Low-A, but he showed enough promise behind the plate that he projects to stick there. He hit .298/.409/.614 with 10 home runs and a .316 ISO in 31 games as a 19-year-old facing full-season pitching for the first time. He walked a lot (13.1 BB%) and struck out a lot (27.0 K%), which is not a major red flag, given his age and offensive output. Cartaya dealt with a strained hamstring and recurring back injuries, which is something to monitor in future years, especially considering the physical strain of his position. At 6-foot-2, 200 pounds, he is an imposing physical presence, and there's no projection needed to envision 25-30 homer campaigns. The strikeouts and the back injuries are the only blemishes in the profile.
Any catching prospect who is years away from the majors has a decent chance of not meeting expectations, but Cartaya's upside is high enough to justify stashing him in deeper dynasty leagues. The 6-foot-2, 200-pound backstop has a plus arm and a good chance to stick at the position, which is half the battle. He also has a high offensive ceiling, and the Dodgers have not been shy about giving him aggressive assignments befitting his high-end pedigree ($2.5 million bonus on July 2, 2018 out of Venezuela). Cartaya went to the AZL as a 17-year-old in 2019 and was invited to the alternate training site as an 18-year-old. It's too early to say what his offensive production will look like in the majors, and his approach will play a role. If he attempts to max out as a power hitter, he could access plus power in games. If he prioritizes getting on base, he could hit for a high average. Most catchers don't do both.
There are valid reasons not to worry about rostering 18-year-old catching prospects in dynasty leagues, but if one were so inclined, Cartaya has the type of upside worth waiting on. A consensus top-three real-life prospect from the July 2, 2018 international signing class, Cartaya received a $2.5 million bonus from the Dodgers and had a successful debut season. He projects to be a plus defensive catcher with a plus arm, so his defense won't cost him playing time and his advancement through the minors will not be slowed due to defensive struggles. At 6-foot-2, 199 pounds, he projects to grow into plus power -- a .180 ISO from a 17-year-old catcher in the AZL is pretty remarkable. He is already very adept at lifting the ball (GB% under 37%), which lessens the concerns over his pull-heavy approach. Cartaya could be a .275 hitter who hits 25-plus HR, but he is at least a few years away from the majors.
More Fantasy News
Impresses again in 2022
CLos Angeles Dodgers  A+
October 28, 2022
Cartaya posted a composite .254/.389/.503 slash line with 22 homers, 72 RBI and 74 runs across 95 games split between Single-A and High-A this season.
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Healthy again after brief absence
CLos Angeles Dodgers  A+
August 9, 2022
Cartaya (undislcosed) has started in each of High-A Great Lakes' last three games, going 2-for-12 with three walks and two runs.
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Exits with injury
CLos Angeles Dodgers  A+
July 31, 2022
Cartaya was removed from Sunday's game with High-A Great Lakes due to an apparent injury, Eric Stephen of SBNation.com reports.
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Struggling since return
CLos Angeles Dodgers  A+
July 10, 2022
Cartaya returned from a hand injury Thursday, but he's gone 0-for-8 with five strikeouts in two games for High-A Great Lakes since getting back into the lineup.
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Picks up hand injury
CLos Angeles Dodgers  A+
July 3, 2022
Cartaya was removed Sunday from High-A Great Lakes' game due to an apparent hand or wrist injury, Eric Stephen of SBNation.com reports.
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