2014 Rest of Season Rankings: Top 20 Catchers

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

With the All-Star game closing in, now is the perfect time to start looking at our updated Rest of Season rankings.  Who’s worth buying?  Who isn’t?  Let’s take a look (the number in parenthesis was the players preseason ranking):

1) Buster Posey – San Francisco Giants (1)
2) Jonathan Lucroy – Milwaukee Brewers (4)
3)Carlos Santana – Cleveland Indians (2)
4) Salvador Perez – Kansas City Royals (6)
5) Yadier Molina – St. Louis Cardinals (5)
6) Brian McCann – New York Yankees (9)
7) Wilin Rosario – Colorado Rockies (7)
8) Joe Mauer – Minnesota Twins (3)
9) Devin Mesoraco – Cincinnati Reds (18)
10) Miguel Montero – Arizona Diamondbacks (14)
11) Yan Gomes – Cleveland Indians (22)
12) Derek Norris – Oakland A’s (29)
13) Wilson Ramos – Washington Nationals (12)
14) Jason Castro – Houston Astros (8)
15) Evan Gattis – Atlanta Braves (13)
16) Dioner Navarro – Toronto Blue Jays (NR)
17) Travis d’Arnaud – New York Mets (17)
18) Alex Avila – Detroit Tigers (10)
19) Mike Zunino – Seattle Mariners (16)
20) Russell Martin – Pittsburgh Pirates (20)

 

Thoughts:

  • It may seem odd to have a catcher currently hitting .210 slotted into the third spot of these rankings, but Santana’s upside remains significant as he’s been plagued by a .232 BABIP.  He showed off how good he could be in June, hitting .308 with 6 HR and 15 RBI over 78 AB.  The only reason he fell at all is because Jonathan Lucroy has just become that good.
  • Wilin Rosario has struggled across the board, mostly due to an increase in groundballs this season (50%).  However, he’s started to show signs of getting things turned around and definitely has the potential to start sending balls flying over fences on a regular basis.  At the same time his line drive rate remains down, adding a wrinkle of risk.
  • It has been a poor season for Brian McCann, but unlike Rosario his underlying numbers are still there.  His strikeouts are down (14.0%) and he’s hitting the ball hard (21.9%), as it’s been poor luck (.231 BABIP) and a surprisingly down HR/FB (10.0%).  Don’t be surprised to see a big second half.
  • Joe Mauer is currently on the DL with a strained oblique and it’s unknown how long he’s going to be out of action for.  That’s going to drop him down the rankings.
  • We all know how good Mesoraco has been this season, but can he really maintain a .352 BABIP or 25.4% HR/FB?  He’s going to have value, obviously, but he’s going to regress as the season progresses.
  • Wilson Ramos should show a bit more power, but he continues to be more of a line drive and groundball hitter.  That’s going to cap his upside, because he’s limited to being an average contributor and possibly little else.
  • Evan Gattis is outside the Top 12, only because of the injury and unknown timetable for his return.
  • Travis d’Arnaud in the Top 20?  Really?  He’s been producing since returning from Triple-A and his biggest issue was poor luck as opposed to anything.  There’s a lot of upside and he’s not a player to ignore.

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4 comments

  1. Tuco says:

    Looking forward to these.

  2. Marky Mark says:

    Mesoraco and Norris are both awfully low on this list. Mesoraco is my #2 ROS behind only Lucroy, and Norris is easily in the top 3-4 with him.

    Not playing everyday is a perk, not a mark against them.

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      If I were ranking based on current performance than I’d agree, but there’s little chance Mesoraco maintains his current production. He’s benefited from a .352 BABIP and 25.0% HR/FB. It’s just impossible for me to think he can keep that up.

      As for Norris, the playing time is a bit of an issue. He also has an inflated BABIP (.338) and has been popping the ball up an awful lot (18.2% IFFB). Again I’m big fan, but this is likely his high point of the season.

      That said, both are still in my Top 12 so it’s not like I’m saying the are unusable.

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