Thursday, April 11, 2013

Catcher Fantasy Rundown

TOP 20

1. Buster Posey 

Posey is in a class all by himself. Posey is coming off a ridiculous 2012 season where he won NL MVP and finished with a .336 avg, 24 HR and 103 RBI. Numbers that good leave him alone at the top, and leave me it lonely at the top? I wouldn't reach for him in the first round, but as a second round pick you won't be able to do much better.

2. Joe Mauer
3. Matt Wieters
4. Carlos Santana
5. Victor Martinez

Mauer has lost some of the appeal he once had. Does anyone remember his 2009 season? The guy hit for a ridiculous .365 avg, had 28 HR, 96 RBI and 94 R (in only 138 games). Where's that Joe Mauer? He's put up less than stellar stats over the last several seasons. Last season was a step in the right direction (147 games played), and if he can stay healthy I'd expect him to have his best season since 2009.

Wieters is a player who's on the verge of breaking out, and I see him doing so in a big way this season. He has the power to stand out, but needs to improve his plate discipline. I'm predicting him to hit for a .275 avg, with 28 HR and 95 RBI, for his best season as a pro.

Santana, much like Wieters, has had solid numbers so far in his pro career (especially power wise). Much like Wieters though, Santana also needs to improve his plate discipline. I'm expecting Santana to put up almost identical numbers to the line I predicted for Wieters.

As a DH, Martinez will be able to keep his legs fresh and is less likely to sustain an injury than the catchers ahead of him. His #5 ranking is mainly because he's coming off a torn ACL, which forced him to miss the entire 2012 season. If Martinez is back to full health, expect him to hit for his usual .300 avg with 20+ HR and 90+ RBI.

6. Wilin Rosario
7. Salvador Perez
8. Yadier Molina
9. Miguel Montero
10. Brian McCann
11. A.J. Pierzynski

With the depth at catcher this year, I'd wait to draft someone from this tier (unless you get one of the top 5 at a great value). A couple names to watch out for are Rosario, and Perez. Roasrio hit 28 HR in 117 games last season, but you shouldn't be expecting much more in terms of power. I'd actually be surprised to see him dupicate that number, as I'm more inclined to believe in a slight regression (around 25 HR). With that being said, I do expect his RBI and Runs to increase thanks to the return of Tulowitzki.

Perez is an intriguing player in an improving Royals lineup. In 124 career games, Perez has hit for a .307 avg, with 14 HR, 61 RBI and 60 Runs. Not bad for a 22 year old. I'd expect him to continue on with that pace and finish the season hitting .300, with 18 HR 75 RBI and 70 R.

12. Jesus Montero
13. Mike Napoli
14. J.P. Arencibia
15. Jonathan Lucroy
16. Ryan Doumit

A lot of experts are claiming Montero is ready to take a big step forward this season. Don't count me as one of those people. I see a slight improvement on last year's numbers, but nothing to cause a huge jump in value.

J.P. Arencibia has been a great power hitter in the pros, and I expect that to continue. Outside of the power numbers, Arencibia has shown that he isn't able to hit for average and he strikes out far too much. If I was hurt by an injury, I'd look to Arencibia, but other than that he's strictly a backup option.

17. Carlos Ruiz
18. Jarrod Saltalamacchia
19. Russell Martin
20. Travis d'Arnaud

Travis d'Arnaud is just waiting on his chance to hit the pros. When he does expect big things right out of the gate, unless those trade rumors involving the Marlins are true. If that's the case, I'd stay away.

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