While most people play in mixed league formats, there are those out there who like to challenge themselves even more by playing in AL or NL only formats. Let’s kick off our rankings by checking out the Top 12 Catchers for those in AL-only formats. While the position is a little bit deeper than we’d think, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t bring it’s own challenges. Let’s take a look:
- Carlos Santana – Cleveland Indians
- Mike Napoli – Texas Rangers
- Alex Avila – Detroit Tigers
- Matt Wieters – Baltimore Orioles
- Joe Mauer – Minnesota Twins
- Jesus Montero – Seattle Mariners
- Salvador Perez – Kansas City Royals
- Kurt Suzuki – Oakland Athletics
- J.P. Arencibia – Toronto Blue Jays
- Jarrod Saltalamacchia – Boston Red Sox
- Russell Martin – New York Yankees
- Ryan Doumit – Minnesota Twins
- It’s funny, when I wrote my Five Catchers to Avoid in 2012 article (click here to view), four of the names actually came from the AL: Mike Napoli, Joe Mauer, J.P. Arencibia and Russell Martin. Obviously, when you go from a mixed league to an AL-only league those decisions can be completely thrown out. Given the significantly more limited player pool, values have to be altered.
- Matt Wieters has been growing every season since coming onto the scene and significantly disappointing. Can he take the next step in his development in ’12? I gave my thoughts/2012 projection earlier in the year (click here to view), but the answer is a definite yes. I projected him hitting .282 with 24 HR and 80 RBI and, by year’s end, it wouldn’t be a complete surprise if he found himself atop this list.
- I may be one of the only people who still believe in Kurt Suzuki, but I will have no problem selecting him in any/all of my leagues this season (AL-only or not). He was terrible last season, we all know that, hitting .237 with 14 HR and 44 RBI. It marks his second consecutive year of .242 or worse, so many will write him off. However, last season he posted a .244 BABIP despite a 20.1% line drive rate and 12.4% strikeout rate. Can we say significantly bad luck?! He’s not likely to be a 25 HR hitter, but if he can hit .275 with 15 HR, considering where I can get him, I’ll be more than happy.
- Can Joe Mauer keep himself healthy? Hurt or not, the Twins are going to move him around the diamond in order to keep him in the lineup. That will open up plenty of AB for Ryan Doumit, who has a history of injuries himself. He’s shown the potential he has in his bat before so, with an opportunity (400+ AB), Doumit could put together a solid season in ’12 complete with 15+ HR.
- Does anyone really believe in Russell Martin’s power outburst in 2011? He had hit a total of 12 HR the prior two years, yet hit 18. Before you blame the new Yankees Stadium as the reason, 10 of his HR actually came on the road. Look for a regression in that department in the upcoming season.
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Make sure to check out all of our 2012 rankings: