by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
Catcher is always a difficult position to project entering the season, as injuries and surprises always wreak havoc to our preseason rankings. That said, the one given we can state is that a player with catcher eligibility who sees time at another position (whether it be first base, designated hitter or somewhere else) is going to have an advantage over the rest of the field.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at our current rankings heading into 2014:
- Buster Posey – San Francisco Giants
- Carlos Santana – Cleveland Indians
- Joe Mauer – Minnesota Twins
- Jonathan Lucroy – Milwaukee Brewers
- Yadier Molina – St. Louis Cardinals
- Salvador Perez – Kansas City Royals
- Wilin Rosario – Colorado Rockies
- Jason Castro – Houston Astros
- Brian McCann – New York Yankees
- Matt Wieters – Baltimore Orioles
- Alex Avila – Detroit Tigers
- Wilson Ramos – Washington Nationals
- Evan Gattis – Atlanta Braves
- Miguel Montero – Arizona Diamondbacks
- A.J. Pierzynski – Boston Red Sox
- We have learned throughout the years that a player with catching eligibility, who doesn’t actually catch, is a very valuable commodity. While Joe Mauer doesn’t offer the power potential of other catchers, he’s a .300+ hitter who should provide RBI and runs hitting in the middle of the Twins lineup on a regular basis. Don’t undervalue him.
- A lot of people probably want to push Evan Gattis into the upper echelon of catchers due to the power he showed last season. However, there’s plenty of risk in the average department (he hit .243 in ’13 as it is) and he saw his power regress as the season went on (HR/FB split was 23.0%/11.3%). Throw in the presence of Ryan Doumit and there are plenty of reasons to be skeptical.
- There’s a lot of interesting under-the-radar options heading into 2014, including Alex Avila and Wilson Ramos. We’ll explain why both are worth buying in the coming weeks.
- Will Salvador Perez ultimately be a Top 5 catcher in 2014? Check out what the Rotoprofessor staff thinks by clicking here.
- Jason Castro broke out in 2013 hitting .276 with 18 HR and 56 RBI over 435 AB. The question heading into 2014 is if he can maintain that type of production or not? Obviously we think he can, as the spike in strikeouts (32.1% in the second half) is not indicative of his abilities (15.25% in the minors) and he has routinely hit the ball hard in the Majors (25.2% line drive rate for his career). Don’t expect him to disappear from relevance as he should be a Top 10 option once again.
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Make sure to check out all of our 2014 rankings: