Friday, February 22, 2013

2013 Fantasy Baseball Position Rankings: Catchers

Article by Anthony Cavalcante

Great Players

1. Buster Posey 

Posey has played 2 full seasons in his young career. In his first full season, he won the rookie of the year award and a World Series. In his second full season, he won MVP and another World Series. This guy is the real deal. While he may not be 1st round material, he is without a doubt the best catcher you can get in the draft. He should AT LEAST be able to hit 25 homers, 90 RBIs, and a .315 batting average, but he has the upside and ability to do even better.

Very Good Players

2. Joe Mauer 

Mauer used to be without a doubt the number 1 catcher in fantasy baseball. A few years and injuries later, and he’s still a very good option. He’s going to hit for a high batting average with a good amount of home runs and a lot of RBIs for a catcher. He has the potential to hit a ton of homers (see 2009), but expect somewhere in the teens, maybe low 20s. He’s the second best catcher in the league.

Good Players

3. Carlos Santana 

I’m not sure why, but Santana was the 1st catcher taken in the majority of drafts last season. He had a pretty good year in 2011 hitting 27 homers, but he only had a .239 batting average. He has so much upside, but the guys who already proved themselves to be good should have been taken before. However, now that his value is back down after a sub-par performance last season, this is the year you should take him. His average did improve last year, but his homers were down. He should be back above 25 home runs this season and I expect his batting average to continue to improve. Last season he was taken too early, but this year he should fall further than he should. Grab him as a top 5 catcher. 

4. Matt Wieters 

Wieters is a similar player to Santana. He has so much upside and is taken early because of that. But I think his hype has calmed down and this is the year you should take him. Power-wise, he’s been performing. He’s hit 45 over the past 2 seasons. It’s batting average that Wieters has been struggling at. I expect him to improve in both homers and RBIs this season. Take him around the time Santana is taken.

5. Mike Napoli 

Napoli is a very streaker hitter for average. From 2010-2011 his average rose 82 points from .238 to .320. From 2011-2012 his average dropped 93 points back down to .227. But what is consistent about Napoli is his power. He’s hit at least 20 homers in each of the past five seasons, even with injuries in a few. If he hits .300+ again he may become the best catcher in fantasy. If he hits .240- again, he is still top 10. Let’s assume he’ll hit right in between there at .270. That’s good enough to make him a top 5 catcher. 

Decent Players

6. Yadier Molina 

Molina enjoyed one of his best years hitting wise last season. He batted .315 with 22 homers and 76 RBIs. That’s a pretty good year for a catcher. He’s been becoming a better hitter each and every season so it isn’t that far-fetched for him to repeat what he did. Even if he declines a little, that’s still good enough to be drafted after the main guys are off the board.

7. Miguel Montero 

Montero is a very underrated catcher. When healthy, he usually hits around .285 with 15-20 homers and 80 RBIs. That’s solid production from a catcher. What’s good about him is that he is a sure thing. You know what you’re gonna get. Maybe he’ll even hit 20+ homers this year. He doesn’t have the upside to become a top catcher, but after the main guys are taken, he’s as good as anyone.

8. Willin Rosario 

Rosario came out of nowhere last year and hit 28 home runs. Granted, he was playing in Colorado, but in fantasy it doesn’t matter where you play. If he hits 25+ homers again, he’ll be a great choice at catcher, but I’m not sure that he will. Take him after the “sure things” are off the board but before the “breakout players”.

9. Jesus Montero 

I decided to put Montero ahead of the average catchers because he has so much upside. He’s a power hitting catcher which is very rare. In his first full season with the Mariners, he hit .260 with 15 home runs and 62 RBIs. He should definitely improve in all three of those aspects this season. I expect at least 20 homers and 80 RBIs. It could be even better. His statistics last season weren’t even that bad so just incase he does repeat last season’s performance, it wouldn’t be that horrible. But if he breaks out, he could be a top 5 catcher. Low risk/high reward. 

10. Salvador Perez 

This guy Perez will probably fall in your draft, and you’ll be wise to take him if all the guys above are taken. He’s gonna hit over .300. He’s a great hitter for average. He was also on pace for 20+ homers last season before he got hurt. He should become an even better hitter for power this season. A .300 hitter that can hit 20+ home runs, he could be the steal of the draft.

11. Brian McCann 

McCann was once considered a top 5 fantasy baseball catcher. Because of injuries and a somewhat off year, he’s going to fall in your draft this year. On his off-year filled with injuries, he still hit 20 home runs with almost 70 RBIs. I highly doubt his batting average will be as low as it was in 2012. Because he is missing half, or maybe even all, of April, his value is even lower. When healthy, I’d say he’s the 6th best catcher in the league. But because he isn’t, take him late in the draft. Just make sure you have a solid option for the first month of the season at catcher.

OK Players

12. AJ Pierzynski 

36-year-old AJ Pierzynski surprised everyone last year by hitting 27 home runs. Most people doubt that he’ll be able to repeat his performance. But if he did it last year, why can’t he do it again? Now I’m not saying that he will, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he hits 20. That’s 7 less than last season, and that’s still a good number for a catcher. He may not be top 10 catchers off the board, but he could put up top 10 numbers. 

13. Russell Martin

Martin hit a career high 21 homers last season, but his batting average was terrible. He’s likely to bring up his batting average but miss out on some homers while in Pittsburgh. He could also steal double digit bases. Martin is an OK option at the thin catcher position.

14. Alex Avila 

Avila followed up his breakout performance two years ago, with a not-so-good performance last year. He should probably perform somewhere in between those two seasons this year. You can expect a .275 average, 15 home runs, and 65 RBIs out of him for the upcoming season. He’s good enough to start, but there are around 10-13 catchers out there that should be taken before him.

15. Ryan Doumit 

When healthy, Doumit is not a bad option at catcher. The problem is being healthy. He should hit around 10-20 home runs and should drive in a fair amount of runs with a decent batting average. It seems like he gets injured every other year however, and he was healthy last year. If you miss out on the first 10-12  catchers, it would not be the end of the world if you ended up with Doumit, but try for somebody better.


Travis d’Arnaud 

d’Arnaud is the best catching prospect in the league. However, he will likely start the season off in the minors for about a month. But if you have an average catcher, take d’Arnaud with your last pick and hope that he breaks out. Or if you’re like me and use your bench solely for starting pitchers, keep an eye on him. When you hear that he is being promoted, grab him. It could be very beneficial.

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