Catcher Rankings (May 10, 2012): Matt Wieters On The Rise, Joe Mauer On The Decline & More

Catcher is a position that you never really know what to expect.  Injuries are always a risk, and there always appears to be someone who comes out of nowhere to become a must use option.  Let’s take a look at how we currently rank the Top 20 catchers in the league  (these will be our baseline rankings as we keep them updated):

  1. Mike Napoli – Texas Rangers
  2. Carlos Santana – Cleveland Indians
  3. Brian McCann – Atlanta Braves
  4. Buster Posey – San Francisco Giants
  5. Matt Wieters – Baltimore Orioles
  6. Jesus Montero – Seattle Mariners
  7. Miguel Montero – Arizona Diamondbacks
  8. Yadier Molina – St. Louis Cardinals
  9. Alex Avila – Detroit Tigers
  10. Joe Mauer – Minnesota Twins
  11. Ryan Doumit – Minnesota Twins
  12. Jonathan Lucroy – Milwaukee Brewers
  13. Wilson Ramos – Washington Nationals
  14. A.J. Pierzynski – Chicago White Sox
  15. Jarrod Saltalamacchia – Boston Red Sox
  16. Ramon Hernandez – Colorado Rockies
  17. J.P. Arencibia – Toronto Blue Jays
  18. Carlos Ruiz – Philadelphia Phillies
  19. Geovany Soto – Chicago Cubs
  20. Kurt Suzuki – Oakland Athletics

Catchers currently on the DL – Salvador Perez

Thoughts:

  • Miguel Montero has gotten off to a rather slow start, but we all know that the strikeouts (24.1%) should decline and the balls hit with authority (14.7%) should increase.  That would tell you not to be concerned about his .364 BABIP and that his production should be there before long.  If the struggles continue for much longer he could fall further, but for now I wouldn’t be overly concerned.  Consider it a slow start and nothing more.
  • In order to be one of the best catchers in the league, Joe Mauer needs to be hitting .320+ and score over 90 runs as the power clearly isn’t there (1 HR so far).  With a .277 average and only 11 R scored, it’s clear that he’s not much of an option right now.
  • So far Yadier Molina has proven that his power outburst in 2011 (14 HR) was no fluke with 4 HR in 102 AB.  Couple that with a .304 average and you have to consider him one of the Top 10 catchers in the league right now.
  • If Jarrod Saltalamacchia were to hit for a better average and he could easily jump up a few spots on these rankings.  He hits in a stacked lineup and has some pop (4 HR).  Unfortunately he’s hitting just .235 due to a 25.0% strikeout rate and .255 BABIP.  All he’d need to do is get the number up to .255-.260 and owners would be golden.
  • Does anyone really believe in Carlos Ruiz’ 5 HR already this season?  He hit 6 in 2011 and has never hit more than 9.  Don’t push him up too far because of it, as a regression will likely be in his future.

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