2013 Rankings: Top 15 Catchers

With draft guide season in full force, it’s time to start rolling out our 2013 rankings (obviously, things are subject to change as we get closer to the start of the season).  We’ll kick things off with the catcher position, where strategy plays a big role on if you are going to end up with one of the elite or not.  You have several younger players emerging as go to options, with the veterans starting to fade a little bit.  At the same time, the depth at the position (i.e. Mike Napoli or Brian McCann outside of the Top 10) helps support the theory of not drafting a catcher early.

Keep that in mind as we take a look at how our Top 15 currently looks:

  1. Buster Posey – San Francisco Giants
  2. Carlos Santana – Cleveland Indians
  3. Matt Wieters – Baltimore Orioles
  4. Joe Mauer – Minnesota Twins
  5. Salvador Perez – Kansas City Royals
  6. Yadier Molina – St. Louis Cardinals
  7. Victor Martinez – Detroit Tigers
  8. Jesus Montero – Seattle Mariners
  9. Miguel Montero – Arizona Diamondbacks
  10. Wilin Rosario – Colorado Rockies
  11. Mike Napoli – Boston Red Sox
  12. Brian McCann – Atlanta Braves
  13. Jonathan Lucroy – Milwaukee Brewers
  14. Ryan Doumit – Minnesota Twins
  15. A.J. Pierzynski – Texas Rangers


  • Victor Martinez’ place on this list is questionable at this point, as there is no guarantee that he is going to be catcher eligible (it all depends on the hosting site).  CBS has already said that he will only be eligible at Utility, for instance.  As things get closer and we know what all other sites are doing we will either pull him from the rankings or leave him in here.  Just keep in mind that the bottom half of the rankings could all be bumped up a spot at the end of the day.
  • The first name that will likely really surprise people is Salvador Perez.  We’ll do a full write-up on him in time, but you have to realize a few things.  First off is that he plays almost every day, something that is not as common for catchers these days.  Second is that he is a proven .300 hitter in the Major Leagues (.311 in his first 437 AB).  Third is that his power is coming along, with 27 extra base hits (11 HR) in 289 AB in ’12.  In other words, he has the potential to be a .300+ hitter with 20+ HR as a catcher.  Those types of players are few and far between, especially given his age and upside.
  • Wilin Rosario proved the type of power he possesses, but he is likely going to do it with a lower batting average (while he hit .270 last season, an elevated strikeout rate will help to keep his average suppressed overall).  It’s going to cap his value.
  • Oh how the mighty have fallen.  Do we all remember when Brian McCann was among the best options in the league?  Granted, he’s not a .230 hitter (as he was in 2012), but he’s also not the same player that he once was.  His runs scored and RBI have both been in decline for years, as he’s no longer a middle of the order threat for the Braves.  While he should hit around 20 HR, he just doesn’t have the some upside as someone like Rosario at this point.
  • Carlos Ruiz is a player that people probably will want to see higher up on the rankings after he had a monster 2012 (.325, 16 HR).  However, at 33-years old (he’ll be 34 at the start of the 2013 season) I have a hard time buying into career highs in his line drive rate (24.0%) and HR/FB (15.1%).  Throw in his 50 game suspension and I’m not willing to pay for a career year.  The same thing can be said for A.J. Pierzynski, who just barely found his way onto the rankings.

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Make sure to check out our extremely early 2013 rankings (all of which will be updated in the next few weeks):


  1. Peter Olson says:

    You are too high on Joe Mauer, IMHO.

  2. sats says:

    Dont forget Ruiz is going to be suspended for the first 50 games. That should take him out of the top 15, I would think.

  3. Rotoprofessor says:

    Peter Olson – I know a lot of people probably feel the same way. Mauer isn’t going to provide any power, but he’s going to hit for a good average. The other major advantage he has (assuming he’s healthy) is going to be the runs scored he brings as opposed to the rest of the field. That said, am I going to be willing to draft him as high as is necessary? Not likely. I would be more apt to wait on someone like Perez (who is going to go much later than where I have him ranked).

    sats – Great point! I apologize for that and have adjusted the rankings.

  4. Marky Mark says:

    After spending the first half of last year constantly picking up and dropping catchers looking for a hot bat….I snagged Perez about 2 weeks before he came back and stuck with him the rest of the season.

    He’s my #1 target this year, simply because I refuse to take a catcher before the 10th round at the very earliest and I think he should make it at least that far, and 8 or 9 catchers will probably get taken ahead of him.

  5. tony says:

    Hass everyone forgotten about Ramos and Iannetta both injured last year but in 2011 top 10 on everyones list. Are they done or is there sneaky value left.

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      I haven’t forgotten about either, I just think both fall short of the Top 15 at this point.

      Iannetta – He’s a source of power, but he does struggle against lefties and is always a risk to hit for a low average.

      Ramos – He’s going to share time with Kurt Suzuki at this point, so playing time has to be considered a major concern.

  6. Dave says:

    What is the reasoning for Napoli’s low ranking this year?

    Eleventh is a really long drop from his #2 catcher ranking before the 2012 season.

  7. yummy says:

    If Rosario gets to hit clean-up this year expect HUGE year in Coors.

  8. Tony Jaramillo says:

    Rotoprofessor, you got to doublecheck what is being (sat) posted if you believe the replies you read. CARLOS RUIZ IS ONLY SUSPENDED FOR 25 GAMES. My source is rotoworld (please doublecheck to see if I am correct):
    Carlos Ruiz has been suspended 25 games by Major League Baseball for the use of amphetamines.

  9. Rotoprofessor says:

    Dave – I put him on the same level as Rosario, since I never bought into his average anyways (he really only did it once). Think a catcher that can hit 20+ HR, but with a .250 average (he’s a career .259 hitter).

    yummy – I don’t disagree, but I don’t see it happening. He’s much more likely to hit fifth or sixth, assuming everyone is healthy.

    Tony Jaramillo – I actually used 25 games when updating the numbers. The truth is that he, Doumit and Pierzynski will all probably be similar players, especially with the expected regression for Ruiz + missing a month of games. He’s right in that mix for 14-16 range, and it is a pick ’em, but there’s too much risk involved.

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