Diego Cartaya

21-Year-Old CatcherC
Los Angeles Dodgers AA
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
RANKSFrom Preseason
$Signed a $2.5 million contract with the Dodgers in July of 2018.
Optioned to minor-league camp
CLos Angeles Dodgers  AA
March 13, 2023
Cartaya was optioned Monday to minor-league camp by the Dodgers.
Cartaya is one of the top prospects in the Los Angeles system and was protected from the Rule 5 draft by being added to the 40-man roster in November. The 21-year-old is likely at least a season away from the majors and should begin the season with Double-A Tulsa.
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Diego Cartaya See More
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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
Protected from Rule 5 draft
CLos Angeles Dodgers  AA
November 15, 2022
Cartaya was added to the Dodgers' 40-man roster Tuesday, Eric Stephen of SBNation.com reports.
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Impresses again in 2022
CLos Angeles Dodgers  AA
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  AA
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  AA
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  AA
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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