FANTASY BASEBALL 2012: CATCHER RANKINGS
(FANTASY BASEBALL: OFF-S EASON ADDITIONS: AL)
(FANTASY BASEBALL: OFF-SEASON ADDITIONS: NL)
(FANTASY BASEBALL: SP/RP THE HYBRID PITCHER)
(FANTASY BASEBALL: ADAM DUNN 40 HR SEASON)
(FANTASY BASEBALL: SPRING TRAINING PART 1)
(FANTASY BASEBALL: CATCHER RANKINGS)
Catcher is like the center position of fantasy basketball. There are not a lot of good ones, but if you can manage to get the productive players on your team, you have a more likely chance of winning. There will be very few times when you see the championship team have a catcher that only hits 10 Home Runs. Especially in leagues where two catchers start, it is vital to make sure you have great talent at the position, and you should try to grab at least two players from the top 10.
#1. Carlos Santana- Prediction: (.267 AV. 30 HR. 95 RBI. 72 Runs. 5 SB)
Carlos went through a very rough stretch of the season where it seemed like he could not hit a HR if his life depended on it, only 1 HR in the month of May. Somehow despite that struggle, Santana ended up with 27 HRs and 79 RBIs. Santana should only get strong as a MLB hitter being at the very young age of 25.
#2. Brian McCann- Prediction: (.285 AV. 27 HR. 85 RBI. 66 Runs. 3 SB)
McCann missed time last season and was still a top 3 Power hitting catcher with 24 HRs. He had eye trouble last season, but now at 100% he should be ready to be one of the top hitting catchers in fantasy baseball.
#3. Buster Posey- Prediction (.297 AV. 24 HR. 86 RBI. 75 Runs. 2 SB)
Posey is one of the brightest hitting prospects in all of baseball. After hitting 4 HRs, in 45 games Posey suffered a terrible knee injury after blocking home plate in a collision. You can be sure that Posey will not put himself in that situation again. In Buster’s first season he hit 18 HRs in 108 games which will keep him in the elite category. The fact he is a hitter that can hit over .300 gives him a huge edge as well.
#4. Mike Napoli- Prediction (.279 AV. 33 HR. 92 RBI. 74 Runs. 3 SB)
Napoli led all catchers with 30 Home Runs last season. The amazing thing about that stat is he did not play everyday. The Rangers should give Mike more playing time as he has proved over and over again he is too good of a hitter to be on the bench. The Rangers ball park really helps the ball fly. I expect Nap to continue his excellence and possibly have an even better season.
#5. J.P. Arencibia- Prediction (.230 AV. 35 HR. 87 RBI. 65 Runs. 2 SB)
J.P. hit 23 HR’s in his first full season in the majors. His power potential could hit the 40 range if the young stud continues to improve. I am definitely not going to let a talent like that slip in my draft. His batting average is terrible, but the power makes up for it. He did hit over .300 in the minors.
#6. Joe Mauer- Prediction (.309 AV. 13 HR. 88 RBI. 78 Runs. 4 SB)
One of the most overrated catchers in fantasy baseball Mauer will come into the season at 100% healthy. Staying on the field for a full-season has always been a problem for Joe, but his hitting abilities are too high to ignore. The power surge 28 HR’s seems like a fluke when you look at his career as a whole, but with a caliber hitter like Mauer who should easily eclipse the .300 BA mark every season, you can never be too sure. I expect Joe to be selected high for good reason, but maybe try waiting for the elite talents to go off the board first.
#7. Miguel Montero- Prediction (.280 AV. 21 HR. 89 RBI. 60 Runs. 1 SB)
Montero missed some time last season, yet he still ended up with 18 HRs and 86 RBIs. Montero is truly one of the most underrated hitting catchers in fantasy baseball and should be a steal where ever he lands up.
#8. Matt Wieters- Prediction (.275 AV. 26 HR. 86 RBI. 56 Runs. 2 SB)
Matt is supposed to have elite hitting potential. Last season he was a bit of a disappointment until really turning it on to close out the season. He ended up with 22 long balls, which was double of his previous career high. Matt is only 25 Years old, and there is no reason to think he will keep progressing as a fantasy option.
#9. Jesus Montero- Prediction (.277 AV. 21 HR. 74 RBI. 58 Runs. 3 SB)
Jesus hit 4 Home Runs, hit .328, knocked in 12 RBIs, in 18 games. His potential is elite, and that is why the Mariners had to give up a future ace in Michael Pineda to acquire the stud hitting catcher. Catcher may not be his primary position this season, but Montero should still find ways to get everyday AB’s. Seattle is a tough place to get your career going, just ask Adrian Beltre. However Montero has enough potential where if he is around late, he is someone you have to trust, and typically left handed hitters can still knock out 20 Bombs.
#10. Wilson Ramos- Prediction (.279 AV. 22 HR. 67 RBI. 55 Runs. 1 SB)
After getting held hostage in Venezulea Ramos is ready to continue his beastly hitting ways. Ramos is a big hitting catcher that could be a must-start option by the time the season is over. After hitting 15 HRs, in 113 Games, there is no reason to believe Ramos will not be able to reach 20+ as he becomes more comfortable as a MLB hitter.
#11. Alex Avila- Prediction (.275 AV. 18 HR. 77 RBI. 65 Runs. 1 SB)
Avila had to be the surprise of last season hitting 19 HRs, and 82 RBIs. With no Victor Martinez this season, Avila has the chance to build on his breakout campaign. The Tigers lineup is deeper than ever with the addition of Prince Fielder, so there should be players on base all the time for this high scoring offense. Avila was without a HR the entire month of July, but finished up with a strong 9 spot that makes you have the confidence he can bounce back from a slump.
#12. Russell Martin- Prediction (.270 AV. 12 HR. 68 RBI. 73 Runs. 5 SB)
Martin really came out of nowhere last season to have 18 HRs, 65 RBIs, and 8 SBs. The Stolen Bases were expected, but the two seasons before last he had a combined 12 HRs. Playing in NY with a big lineup always give you the opportunity for a bigger season as pitchers are not as careful with players at the bottom of the lineup. Russell should continue to get some nice RBI chances, the power surge could have been a fluke. However low teen HR numbers could happen with his confidence so high.
#13. Chris Iannetta- Prediction (.240 AV. 22 HR. 65 RBI. 50 Runs. 1 SB)
Has always had great potential, but never the chance to play full time. With the move to the Angels, Chris finally has the chance to be an everyday catcher. On top of that he plays on a team that will score a lot of runs this season which will bring many RBI opportunities. Chris is one of the high upside catchers that a lot of fantasy owners should target as he can easily eclipse 20 HRs. His batting average will not help you however.
#14. Yadier Molina- Prediction (.288 AV. 14 HR. 65 RBI. 62 Runs. 1 SB)
Yadier had a nice season hitting over .300 and knocking out 14 HRs. The Cardinals will give Molina the catching job all season because of his eliteness of a defensive catcher. Molina is an intriguing option and remains one of those players that will not hurt you in any category.
#15. Jarrod Saltalamacchia- Prediction (.240 AV. 16 HR. 65 RBI. 55 Runs. 1 SB)
Salty has had huge potential dating back to his rookie days with the Braves. Since then he has been a bit of a journeyman as far as establishing himself as an everyday MLB catcher. His bat has never been a problem, as he knocked out 16 Home Runs in 103 games. The Red Sox appear committed to giving Salty his chance to be a big time catcher this season.
#16. Salvador Perez- Prediction (.285 AV. 15 HR. 60 RBI. 58 Runs. 2 SB)
Perez was a late call-up last season, and showed enough dominance through that stretch to be a heavily watched catcher this pre-season. In 39 games, which he started all of them once he was called up. He hit 3 HRs, and 21 RBIs. Most importantly he hit .331 which makes you believe that this guy has real-deal potential. At 6’3, 244, and 21 years old, I am excited to see what this kid has to offer.
#17. Geovany Soto- Prediction (.255 AV. 17 HR. 62 RBI. 55 Runs. 0 SB)
Soto had a nice bounce back season after making many people believe his rookie season was a fluke. 17 HRs in 125 games is excellent, and there is no reason to think he is not capable of going higher than that mark now that he has his confidence again.
#18. Miguel Olivo- Prediction (.240 AV. 15 HR. 55 RBI. 50 Runs. 4 SB)
Miguel has always shown flashes of how great of a hitter he can be if he was a full time catcher. So he went to maybe the hardest ball park to show off any power and ended up hitting 19 long balls. That is enough to make me confident that he is ready to continue his success as one of the most underrated hitting catchers in the game. That was good for 6th among all catchers. Typically you will get a batting average that is less than .250.
#19. John Buck- Prediction (.245 AV. 14 HR. 65 RBI. 55 Runs. 0 SB)
After playing with KC and disappointing, then losing his job to J.P. in Toronto. Buck finds himself on the dream team in Miami. 16 HRs last season shows that Buck has a lot of power, but his .227 Batting average is a bit of concern. Playing every day with this potent Miami lineup should put Buck as a safe option at the catcher position in fantasy baseball.
#20. Rod Barjas- Prediction (.240 AV. 20 HR. 55 RBI. 40 Runs. 0 SB)
Hot Rod somehow managed to average 17 HR’s the past three seasons despite averaging just about 107 games a season. With the move to Pittsburgh on a team where he should get a full season of being “THE MAN” behind the plate. Barajas has a chance to eclipse the 20 Home Run mark which is remarkable for how late he goes.
#21. Kurt Suzuki- Prediction (.255 AV. 14 HR. 60 RBI. 55 Runs. 4 SB)
Kurt has proved that he is a very consistent mediocre hitter. The past three seasons he has ranged anywhere from 13-15 HR’s. That is enough to make him draftable, however his batting average is .250 hover hitter. So as long as the A’s can present enough opportunities for the slugging catcher he should remain fine as a fantasy option. Nothing to get excited about, nothing to be worried about. Kurt is as safe as it comes.
#22. Nick Hundley- Prediction (.265 AV. 13 HR. 60 RBI. 50 Runs. 2 SB)
Hundley was never really impressive as a hitting catcher, but last season he showed some potential with 9 HR’s in 82 games. The Padres will give Hundley his chance to prove his fantasy value, but expecting more than 15 HRs is a bit of a stretch. The Padres are a weak hitting team so RBI chances will not come frequently.
#23. Ryan Doumit- Prediction (.250 AV. 18 HR. 57 RBI. 45 Runs. 0 SB)
Doumit should find a way to be in the lineup fairly consistently. He has a big bat, and the Twins did not sign him in the off-season to sit on the bench. Ryan has never played a full season, but he has shown multiple times if he could he would easily hit 20 HRs. Doumit is someone that will fall in drafts, and it would be wise if you were the one who snatched him up.
#24. Jonathan Lucroy- Prediction (.250 AV. 15 HR. 55 RBI. 50 Runs. 0 SB)
Lucroy is a nice hitting prospect, but if he struggles the Brewers do have options to take his job. 12 Home Runs in 136 games is good, and at 25 years old Jonathan could continue to get better. He is someone to watch closely during spring training to see if he is going to be a quality Fantasy Baseball option.
#25. Ramon Hernandez- Prediction (.260 AV. 14 HR. 60 RBI. 40 Runs. 0 SB)
Ramon showed that he still has some power left in the tank after knocking out 12 HRs in 91 games. Ramon is getting up there in age at 35, but moving to Coors field could help propel his career for one last run.
#26. A.J. Pierzynski- Prediction (.270 AV. 9 HR. 55 RBI. 45 Runs. 0 SB)
A.J. is not a great hitting talent. But what he can do is bring you some nice batting average numbers while not killing you in the HR or RBI department. A.J. is more of a bench option then someone you should ever consider starting. His HR total has dropped every season since 2005.
#27. Josh Thole- Prediction (.290 AV. 5 HR. 38 RBI. 40 Runs. 2 SB)
The opposite of Thome, Thole will give you good batting average with little power. Thole could see a bigger role with the Mets now that Paulino is gone. However expecting a big power increase from his 3 HRs in 340 AB’s, may leave you a bit disappointed.
#28. Carlos Ruiz- Prediction (.265 AV. 6 HR. 48 RBI. 50 Runs. 0 SB)
Ruiz is a good fantasy option if you need a backup catcher in a very deep league. You know Ruiz is going to get his AB’s, but that does not necessarily translate into fantasy production. 6 Homeruns a season ago in full AB’s means expecting double digits is a bit of a stretch.
#29. Jose Molina- Prediction (.240 AV. 4 HR. 30 RBI. 38 Runs. 0 SB)
Jose is a strictly defensive catcher. The D-Rays did not sign him to hit 10 Home Runs, and fantasy owners should not draft him expecting any production at all.
#30. Devin Mesoraco- Prediction (.255 AV. 7 HR. 35 RBI. 30 Runs. 0 SB)
Rookie catchers are not usually players you trust. Especially when it was one who only hit 15 HRs in AAA a season ago. Devin did knock out 2 long balls in 50 AB’s, but the threat of Ryan Hanigan getting playing time is a concern.
#31. Jason Castro- Prediction (.240 AV. 5 HR. 30 RBI. 25 Runs. 0 SB)
Castro is a catching prospect I do not expect to keep the job the full season. Houston has had problems with their catching spot since they lost Brad Ausmus and with Chris Snyder as the immediate backup Castro is not a fantasy option. For now.
#32. A.J. Ellis- Prediction (.230 AV. 4 HR. 35 RBI. 30 Runs. 1 SB)
The Dodgers should have a better hitting catcher than A.J. Ellis. This is the same team that traded Carlos Santana for Casey Blake and is now left with nothing. A.J. Ellis hitting more than 10 Home Runs is not likely, which makes him an unlikely fantasy option all season long.