Monday, March 14, 2011

Fantasy Baseball Rankings Day 5: Catchers

Now to the most depressing list of all baseball.  With the exception of the number one catcher, who if you can't figure out who it is, quit your league and get your money back.  With the exception of number one, you can wait until the seventh or eighth round to get a catcher, and probably later.  You will not miss out on a great player by waiting until number the number 6 or 7 catcher.  There isn't a stand out catcher in this list from 2 through 20.  It took me 3 days to put together this list because I just couldn't figure out who was good.  With that in mind, you may need help picking the top of the bottom of the barrel, so here's the list:

1. Joe Mauer, MIN
Really? You had to check this? You weren't sure who was the number one catcher in baseball? This is the only man who could be drafted in the top 5 rounds.  However, this man is not a power hitter.  In Target Field, Mauer hit only 1 home run last year, and I don't think he'll hit much better this year.  Maybe 12 home runs, and probably only around 90 RBIs with the list of "who's that?" that's batting in that lineup.  However, Mauer does do one thing that other catchers can't.  Make contact! He is the only batter on this list who will hit over .300, and he will hit well over it.  So while he wont hit many home runs, neither will other catchers.  But he will get hits and help your team's batting average, so he will help.  Grab him in the fifth or sixth round.  He'll still be there then.  But again, if you miss on him don't fret.  The other catchers are neither much worse or much better than Mauer.

2. Victor Martinez, DET
Now to a man who is unlike Joe Mauer.  He may hit home runs, but will have a horrible batting average.  He will probably hit 20 home runs and get close to 100 RBIs with a team that's not horrible at the plate.  But he will only hit around .260.  So if you need a power hitter and have plenty of contact guys who will help to boost the average batting average of your team, don't be afraid of Martinez.  However, I wouldn't say to start thinking about Martinez until the seventh round at the earliest.  Catchers are not the all stars this year, and so he will still be around then.

3. Buster Posey, SF (Can also play first baseman)
This man may be a rarity in baseball this year as far as catchers go.  He will get you around 18 home runs and bat almost .300, but still below it.  Posey will do great for a team, and is a sleeper pick because a lot of other lists have him at 5 or lower.  So while other people are picking Brian McCann and Yadier Molina, take Posey in the eighth round.  His downside that causes him to be listed so low on other lists? The Giants only got to the World Series last year because of their pitching.  Their offense is why they lost.  Posey will not have many men on base when he hits his home runs, so he will only get around 70 RBIs.  But if you drafted a great run producer in earlier rounds as you should have, Posey will be a great steal in the late rounds with this promising contact hitting and decent power hitting.  I say pick him up, but no where near earlier than the eighth round.

4. Brian McCann, ATL
Now I don't want anyone thinking that the shot I took at McCann in the last section means he's a horrible catcher.  By typical baseball stats they're all horrible players offensively, but compared to other catchers Brian McCann is actually a pretty good player.  I see him hitting more home runs than any other catcher besides Victor Martinez.  McCann will get mid-20s home runs but only around 80 RBIs and maybe batting .275.  Again, like most catchers, with the exception of number 1, batting average is the down fall.    So again, the way to counter act the poor average is to have someone on your team who will hit a .325.  That will average out the batting average to around .300.  If you have a speedy contact hitter on your team already pick up McCann to add to your power numbers.  But again, only look at McCann in the eighth round or later because there are much better players in that draft pool!

5. Carlos Santana, CLE
I'm sure you're wondering exactly what I'm wondering...who?  But that's the theme of the catchers this year.  There aren't many big name players.  But that's why it's important to draft them strategically.  Take Santana here.  Most people will pass up on him for a more recognizable name like Kurt Suzuki or Jorge Posada

6. Geovany Soto, CLE
7. Mike Napoli, TEX (Can also play First Baseman)
8. Matt Wieters, BAL
9. Miguel Montero, ARI
10. Kurt Suzuki, OAK
11. Jorge Posada, NYY (He will play DH, so don't be nervous about him riding the bench)
12. Chris Ianetta, CLE
13. Yadier Molina, STL
14. A.J. Pierzynski, CWS
15. Carlos Ruiz, PHI
16. Russel Martin, NYY (He will play catcher with Posada at DH, so not to worry)
17. John Buck, FLA
18. Miguel Olivo, SEA
19. Jarrod Saltalamachia, BOS
20. John Jaso, TB

As always, please comment with opinions if you agree, or more importantly disagree.  I always love to hear if people think differently than me.  And I am serious.  I want to know if anyone thinks this list is wrong.  I look forward to reading them.

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