2012 Rankings: Top 15 Catchers Updated (Victor Martinez Likely Lost For The Year)

One of the goals this season is to keep our rankings as up-to-date as possible once they have been posted.  Today’s news that Victor Martinez could miss the entire 2012 campaign due to a torn ACL certainly requires an update as he was originally the second best catcher on our draft board.  While it will be interesting to see who ultimately emerges as the Tigers’ designated hitter (my guess is they go the free agent route to fill the hole) let’s take a look at who steps in and takes his spot:

  1. Carlos Santana – Cleveland Indians
  2. Mike Napoli – Texas Rangers
  3. Brian McCann – Atlanta Braves
  4. Buster Posey – San Francisco Giants
  5. Miguel Montero – Arizona Diamondbacks
  6. Alex Avila – Detroit Tigers
  7. Matt Wieters – Baltimore Orioles
  8. Joe Mauer – Minnesota Twins
  9. Jesus Montero – Seattle Mariners
  10. SalvadorPerez – Kansas City Royals
  11. Kurt Suzuki – Oakland Athletics
  12. Jonathan Lucroy – Milwaukee Brewers
  13. Wilson Ramos – Washington Nationals
  14. Geovany Soto – Chicago Cubs
  15. Yadier Molina – St. Louis Cardinals


  • The loss of Victor Martinez does not impact the value of Alex Avila in the least.  Martinez was not expected to catch much, if at all, in 2012 so we should continue valuing Avila as we have been all offseason.
  • Yadier Molina is the new inclusion in the rankings.  I don’t fully believe in Molina’s “power surge” from 2011, as it came courtesy of two big stints (he had a home run in three straight games in July and three home runs in a three day span in August).  You take those out and it was just another mediocre power season (he had 14 HR on the year).  That said, he does more than enough in the average department to warrant consideration.  How many catchers can continuously push for a .300 average?
  • While Jesus Montero is on a new team (and in a less hitter friendly environment), he should now get more opportunities to play regularly.  The two likely cancel each other out, meaning Montero’s value on these rankings remains stagnant.
  • Obviously there is no upside to the injury, but if he doesn’t play in 2012 Victor Martinez will likely maintain catcher eligibility in 2013.  Is that a silver lining?  Not really, but at least it’s something…

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Make sure to check out our 2012 projections:


  1. turk99 says:

    I’m surprised Arencibia is not in the top 15, and I’m surprised Suzuki is. Why?

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      I will be the first to admit that I am probably a little bit higher on Suzuki than most are. However, I think there is a lot to like. He hits the ball with authority (20.1% line drive rate), yet struggled with poor luck last season (.244 BABIP). It’s not hard to imagine him hitting for a significantly better average. He also is going to hit in the middle of the A’s lineup, giving him a lot of potential in the Runs/RBI department.

      Arencibia does bring power to the table, but what else? He strikes out too much to hit for a good average (figure around .250) and is likely to hit towards the bottom of the lineup. Would it be a shock to see him score 50 runs or fewer? He also has Travis d’Arnaud nipping at his heels and could eventually lose his job if he struggles to hit for a decent average. The Blue Jays have more than enough fire power without him.

  2. Brad B says:

    I have no idea what you see in Suzuki at this point. Two years running with nearly identical, unimpressive numbers. To me, LuCroy, Ramos, and Perez are all a tie as far as upside. I’d be happy waiting until only one of those three is left and then grabbing him.

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      I have absolutely no issue with that type of strategy. I have them all in the same tier, so they are pretty interchangeable.

      I gave my thoughts on Suzuki above, but maybe he requires a lot more indepth look in the coming weeks.

  3. outsidelookingin says:

    Two things:

    1. Wieters is WAYYYYYY too low.

    2. Mesoraco not being on here is just asinine.

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      I’m not sure how much higher anyone can push Wieters going into the season. Does he have the potential to be a Top 3 option? Absolutely, but it is impossible for me to rank him there in the preseason. He actually needs to do it first. I could see moving him up one spot, maybe two, but it’s subjective.

      As for Mesoraco, my concern with him is that he won’t open the year as the regular catcher. Things could change (based on what the Cincinnati camp is saying), but Dusty Baker has shown an attachment to veterans before, so seeing a platoon with Ryan Hannigan would not be a surprise. If that’s the case, you may be looking at around 400 AB, tops, in 2012. In a re-draft league that’s not enough. He has a ton of upside and certainly is a must own in all keeper leagues or 2-catcher formats, but in 1-catcher yearly leagues, we need to know how he’s going to be used first.

    • Evan says:

      No, Wieters is not “wayyyyyy” too low. You could make a statement about his promise to top Avila or Montero, but he goes nowhere past Posey. Not that low at all. Bad choice of words there, outsidelookingin.

      • outsidelookingin says:

        actually, he is, Evan.

        Posey’s coming off that massive injury and is sure to be a question mark. To say that “he goes nowhere past Posey” is ridiculous seeing that Posey hasn’t played competitively in 8 months and unlike Santana and Posey, Wieters actually cut his K-rate and increased his walk rate.

        as for a bad choice of words, perhaps you should research where projection have Wieters in comparison to the rest of the field. Aggregated, Wieters is behind McCann.

        • jmax says:

          The fact that just about everyone would take Posey over Weiters, even after a big injury should tell you something. Avila is still ify to me but he’s part of a good lineup and I’d also prefer Montero bc of the same reason. Maybe next yr for Weiters

          • BoSox Fan 1950 says:

            turk 99 mentioned Arencibia. Not in the most glowing of terms, but he was mentioned. What about Russell Martin?
            Montero. Jmax? Which Montero?

          • Rotoprofessor says:

            I believe the conversation was surrounding Miguel Montero (not Jesus, who still has a lot of risk involved).

            As for Martin, he’s barely inside the Top 20 for me (and no way I can include him in the Top 15). His average has become a major issue and I don’t believe in his power explosion from ’11. If he’s going to hit under .250 with around 10 HR, even in a strong lineup, is that a player you want to depend on?

  4. Jamie says:

    About Avila, the loss of Martinez could impact him if the Tigers do not go out and get another DH. Assuming no external DH replacement, I would expect Avila to get more PA’s this year as he could DH on his off days from catching. More PA’s could = more counting stats.

    Its too early to tell what the Tigers will do, but this is something to keep in mind as the spring progresses.

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      That is a very fair point, but Detroit appeared to be one of the few teams willing to have a player who would DH and not be able to play the field. There are a lot of players (like Vlad) who could fill that role and at a discount. It would be pretty surprising if they didn’t go out and get someone.

      At this point Carlos Pena seems like the best bet, but who knows.

      • jmax says:

        Pretty fair to say that 2012 will tell us quite a bit about the catcher position. There is alot of potential at the position but outside of the top 3 guys on the list there aren’t any sure bets. The players from 4 to 9 could fit in any of those slots and the same could be said for 10 to 15. Still there’s about 3 maybe 4 more catchers not on the list who could slide into that 10-15 ranking.
        Professor, is it possible the position becomes fairly generic without seperation among the candidates?

        • Rotoprofessor says:

          I think a lot of people would tell you that it’s already generic. In one-catcher formats it’s common for people to wait until the end of the draft to fill the spot, because there always seems to be at least one or two options that come out of nowhere (i.e. Alex Avila last season).

  5. RK says:

    If Mesoraco doesn’t outperform S. Perez, J. Lucroy, and Suzuki I’ll be very surprised – though the AB concerns are legitimate if he gets off to a slow start.

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