So Fantasy Baseball is finally starting again, and with the season beginning it is time to rank the positions! Here is the list of my top 10 Catchers for the upcoming season, along with one sleeper, someone who I think might surprise, and one bust, a guy who I think you should stay away from. My rankings are what my head and eye tells me, but my projections might have a little more of my heart in them (aka they may not match their rank exactly). I hope you enjoy the first of my 8 position ranking posts!
1. Mike Napoli (Tex-C, 1B)-I went back and forth between the “Nap Dog” and McCann, but the potential of .300 and 30+ HR won Mike the #1 spot. He had an incredible season for a catcher last year, and this year he is the guy behind the plate. Last season for the first 2-3 months Napoli wasn’t yet a regular but for the final 3 months he went on a tear. So I expect him to have the best season for a C again this year.
2012 projection: .301 avg, 71 r, 32 hr, 78 rbi, 5 sb
2. Brian McCann (Atl-C)-McCann had a decent season last year, and really hasn’t been the same since he had to have eye surgery, well at least in terms of BA. But even if he is just a .270 hitter he still offers so much in terms of power that he is an easy top 3 C by season’s end. I expect a slight uptick in power, but don’t see any of his other numbers being dramatically changed.
2012 projection: .277 avg, 63 r, 28 hr, 79 rbi, 2 sb
3. Carlos Santana (Cle-C,1B)-Santana had the 2nd highest HR out of the catcher spot last year, but his average was pretty painful. If he can get his BA up around .270-.280 then he might claim the #1 spot or at least be competitive for it. He is only in his third year, which for some is the breakout season, but it is really only his 2nd full year. So I don’t see the huge breakout until next year.
2012 projection: .265 avg, 85 r, 27 hr, 89 rbi, 2 sb
4. Alex Avila (Det-C)-Avila could very easily go back to what he was before last year (a complete unknown) but he was consistent throughout last year. Every time I watched him I was impressed with what I saw. Good discipline and just a solid swing. He finished among the tops in BA for Catchers so that is where his value will be compared to some of the other Catchers. Plus with V-mart going down, Avila will have even more opportunities in that still potent lineup.
2012 projection: .293 avg, 67 r, 21 hr, 82 rbi, 3 sb
5. Matt Wieters (Bal-C)-Wieters has been a dissappointment so far in his young career, but when you look at his numbers he has been a very good Catcher. Expectations for him were way too high and he just couldn’t live up to it. I ranked him modestly because I won’t be surprised if he continues his steady incline, but I think he is going to have a monster year.
2012 projection: .284 avg, 76 r, 24 hr, 78 rbi, 3 sb
6. Miguel Montero (Ari-C)-Miguel had an excellent rebound year from his 2010 campaign, but he needs to do it again before he makes it into the top 5. He plays in a great ball park for gap hitters, which he is, so the stadium is perfect for his style of hitting, as long as he stays healthy he will have another solid season.
2012 projection: .287 avg, 71 r, 19 hr, 83 rbi, 2 sb
7. Buster Posey (SF-C)-Posey was the next hot Catcher since Wieters or Mauer. But he actually performed almost as well as the “experts” claimed he would, but then it all came crashing down (crash, collision; tomato, toemato (say it how its spelled)…so that didn’t work sorry). I know Posey has all the skills to return to excellent production, but I think he is going to have a slow start to start the year. So take caution when drafting him or just buy low in mid-May 🙂
2012 projection: .288 avg, 64 r, 19 hr, 71 rbi, 4 sb
8. Joe Mauer (Min-C,1B)-Mauer will have dual-elegibility, but it is in the loaded position of 1B. Mauer used to be the creme of the crop at C, but his rare leg injury set him back some. I want to believe that since he is only 28 and will be 29 this season that he will return to his former glory. He probably won’t be able to play Catcher to much if he wants to avoid further damage to his legs. Expect Mauer to be solid for you, but don’t pay a hefty price for him.
2012 projection: .302 avg, 64 r, 9 hr, 75 rbi, 1 sb
9. Wilson Ramos (Was-C)-Ramos didn’t have a great year last year, but when you look closer his last 3 months he was one of the top 5 Catchers. Hitting .288 with close to double digit HR after the all-star break if he just duplicate that over two halves of the season he will probably finish higher than the 9th spot. He is someone I will be targeting in my drafts because you can get him cheap and has high upside.
2012 projection: .285 avg, 62 r, 15 hr, 64 rbi, 2 sb
10.Yadier Molina (STL-C)-Yadi is not only the best defensive catcher in the game, but he has slowly become an adequate offensive player. Most of his value will be in OBP and Avg. So don’t expect a 20 hr season or an 100 rbi season. He won’t do that, but if you just want your catcher to help you in avg, while driving in adequate runs and scoring at a decent pace than look no further.
2012 projection: .299 avg, 56 r, 12 hr, 58 rbi, 0 sb
Sleeper: Devin Mesoraco (Cin-C)-Mesoraco is a top rated prospect that is projected to get quite a bit of playing time for the “redlegs” this season. He will most likely become a staple in the Reds lineup for a couple of years if his power from the minors carries into the pros. Now don’t expect greatness from the young man as the pro game is much harder for young catchers to pickup than most other positions because of learning to manage pitching staffs, but if you are in a keeper league or have some major injuries at the C position than he should be a great addition to your team.
2012 projection: .265 avg, 52 r, 13 hr, 63 rbi, 2 sb
Bust: Russell Martin (NYY-C)-Russell was great to start the year last year, and had many hoping he was returning to his glory days of 07-08. But then he returned to earth and finished with a below average year. Now some people are projection Russell to finish in the top 10 of catchers this season, but despite the weight loss I just don’t see it happening. He just turned 29 so he isn’t the young breakout anymore. He has played in the majors for 6 seasons now so we should know what to expect and that is just a decent C nothing more nothing less. Also, he is notorious for hot starts and horrible finishes…you’ve been warned.
2012 projection: .252 avg, 50 r, 13 hr, 57 rbi, 6 sb
|Sleeper: Devin Mesoraco||25||20||18|
|Bust: Russell Martin||14||12||9|
That is it for today, tomorrow the 1B rankings will be up. Hope you enjoy the rankings, if you have any fantasy baseball questions let me know in the comment section. Or if you have any thoughts of your own on Catchers for the upcoming season, I would love to hear your opinions! Don’t forget to follow “The Hombre ” for immediate updates on posts, or ‘like’ on facebook. Enjoy the new fantasy season my friends!