Top 15 Catchers For 2011: An Extremely Early Look

You may think that June is too early to start rankings players for next season, but let’s face it, some of us have already fallen out of our leagues and are looking to deal for the future.  Obviously, depending on your league rules these may vary slightly, but let’s take an extremely early look at how I’d rank the Top 15 Catchers for 2011:

  1. Joe Mauer – Minnesota Twins
  2. Brian McCann – Atlanta Braves
  3. Victor Martinez – Boston Red Sox
  4. Miguel Montero – Arizona Diamondbacks
  5. Carlos Santana – Cleveland Indians
  6. Kurt Suzuki – Oakland Athletics
  7. Matt Wieters – Baltimore Orioles
  8. Geovany Soto – Chicago Cubs
  9. Buster Posey – San Francisco Giants
  10. Ryan Doumit – Pittsburgh Pirates
  11. Jorge Posada – New York Yankees
  12. Mike Napoli – Los Angeles Angels
  13. Russell Martin – Los Angeles Dodgers
  14. Miguel Olivo – Colorado Rockies
  15. Rod Barajas – New York Mets

Thoughts:

  • How many more years does Victor Martinez actually have behind the plate?  That’s the huge issue and plays a role in determining his long-term value to dynasty league owners.  For 2011, however, he’s going to still have eligibility there and will be a great option in all formats.  If you are thinking past that, however, he drops down to maybe eighth.  He’s just not going to stick at the position.
  • Matt Wieters has struggled early on this season, but better days are certainly ahead for him.  Don’t write him off quite yet.  (Click here for my recent article on him)
  • Miguel Montero’s injury made it impossible to determine if his 2009 success was for real, but there’s little reason to think he’s going to be a fluke.  He’s likely going to be a Top 5 catcher again next season.
  • In just three games Carlos Santana has proven that all the hype was very much for real.  He’s nearly a lock to be a Top 10 option in 2011 and could potentially jump into the Top 4 by year’s end.  If you are building for next season, he’s certainly a guy that you should be targeting.
  • Buster Posey will be a starting option in all formats assuming he gets enough time behind the plate in 2010 to be eligible there next season.  He doesn’t have tremendous pop, but he’s going to hit for a good average and have the chance to drive in runs.  He’ll be a borderline Top 10 option, but in dynasty leagues he’s more like a Top 7.  There’s no chance Bengie Molina is back, certainly helping Posey’s value.
  • I am still a believer in Jesus Flores, but he’s nothing more then a late round flier at this point.  With Ivan Rodriguez entrenching himself behind the plate, he’s not going to make an impact this season.
  • Chris Iannetta or Miguel Olivo?  Who knows, but with Olivo emerging as the starter at this point, he’s got to be the man in the rankings for now.  By September, that could change, but for now neither look like essential building blocks anyways.

What are your thoughts on these rankings?  Who is being overvalued?  Who is being undervalued?

To view the previous article click here.

10 comments

  1. Brandon says:

    Montero is off the DL and available in my league. I have his backup. Pick up now, or see if he holds up?

  2. Will says:

    I’m not the prof, but I’d grab Montero before someone else does.

  3. Rotoprofessor says:

    Yes, I would definitely grab him. When healthy he’s one of the better hitting catchers in the league and a must own in all formats.

  4. Nick Tenaglia says:

    I am in a keeper league and I own Brian McCann, Joe Mauer, Buster Posey and Carlos Santana

    Roster size is 30 players, and we get 15 keepers

    What should I do with all these players?

    Bear in mind that I picked up Santana and Posey off of waivers this season. Its an awkward league that has 30-man rosters and 30 starting slots per team, so there technically is no room on the bench.

    I also have most of the players from the Brewers, Braves and Twins and a couple other randoms:
    MIN- Morneau, Cuddyer, Span, D Young
    MIL- Braun, Fielder, McGeehee, Gallardo
    ATL- Prado, Heyward, Hanson
    Coghlan, Ike Davis, David Aardsma etc etc….

  5. John says:

    I don’t understand the dislike for soto when compared to montero. is it the fact that soto seems to be trending downwards whereas a small sample size of montero has him hitting really well? their career stats don’t seem that far apart, and they’re about the same age…

  6. Ryan says:

    Listing Santana at 5 seems a little premature. He’s played three games so far. Remember how great we all thought Wieters was going to be right away? Give him a full year to get adjusted before you start putting ridiculous expectations on him..

  7. Rotoprofessor says:

    Nick – That’s a heck of a situation to be in, and in a good way. I would certainly shop one to improve yourself in another area. I’m sure there’s a catching starved team, given your depth at the spot.

    John – I am actually a big Soto proponent, but last year left a really bad taste in my mouth. If he can continue to produce all year, then things will change. I just need to see him do it over the longer haul again.

    Ryan – Your right, it’s probably early to put him up there, but that speaks a little bit about the position. I fully believe in his potential and if I were building a team for next season, he is someone I would love to own. Could he flop the rest of the year and drop like a rock in these rankings? Absolutely, but it’s a risk I’d be willing to take right now.

  8. Nick Tenaglia says:

    Hey Ryan, let me drop some knowledge on you….

    Santana is being called up at age 24. Here are his minor league stats compared to other catchers that would fit into his class of player….

    Santana @ age 24 Minor League Numbers:
    196 AB: .316 AVG / .447 OBP / .597 SLG / 45 BB / 39 K

    Matt Wieters @ age 22 Minor League Numbers:
    141 AB: .305 AVG / .387 OBP / .50462/121 SLG / 20 BB / 30 K

    Geovanny Soto @ age 24 Minor League Numbers:
    385 AB: .353 AVG / .424 OBP / .652 SLG / 53 BB / 94 K

    Miguel Montero @ age 22 Minor League Numbers:
    423 AB: .286 AVG / .373 OBP / .461 SLG / 53 BB / 65 K
    Miguel Montero @ age 24 MAJOR League Numbers:
    184 AB: .255 AVG / .330 OBP / .435 SLG / 19 BB / 49 K

    Brian McCann @ age 21 Minor League Numbers:
    166 AB: .265 AVG / .359 OBP / .476 SLG / 25 BB / 26 K
    Brian McCann @ age 24 MAJOR League Numbers:
    488 AB: .281 AVG / .349 OBP / .486 SLG / 49 BB / 83 K

    WHAT DOES THIS ALL MEAN?
    The only player that put up similar minor league numbers than Santana was Soto, who, by the way, is the only player to still be 24 yrs old and playing minor league ball.

    So let’s attribute Santana’s and Soto’s minor league success to their advanced age. How did Soto do in his first full year in the majors (in 2008, when he was 25)?
    494 AB: .285 AVG / .364 OBP / .504 SLG / 62 BB / 121 K
    So it is fully plausible expect similar numbers from Santana for next year. In the minors both Soto and Santana averaged about 15 AB per home run. In Soto’s first full MLB year he hit 23 HR.

    So given Santana’s advanced patience and pitch recognition, the .285 avg seems about right, the OBP will probably be up around .390 to .400, the SLG should be right on…. how can you not think that he will be a Top 5 catcher?

  9. Andrew says:

    Wieters is way too high! Look at numbers Posada is putting up this year and he’s been hurt!

  10. Rotoprofessor says:

    Remember, this list is projected for 2011. At his age, it’s tough to imagine Posada replicating this type of season.

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