Top 15 Catchers For 2011: A Second Look

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Since I first did this list several catchers have changed teams (while the biggest name was Victor Martinez, players like John Buck, Miguel Olivo and others also packed their bags).  Let’s take a look at the impact of these moves on our rankings for the upcoming year:
  1. Joe Mauer – Minnesota Twins
  2. Victor Martinez – Detroit Tigers
  3. Brian McCann – Atlanta Braves
  4. Carlos Santana – Cleveland Indians
  5. Buster Posey – San Francisco Giants
  6. Miguel Montero – Arizona Diamondbacks
  7. Kurt Suzuki – Oakland Athletics
  8. Matt Wieters – Baltimore Orioles
  9. Jorge Posada – New York Yankees
  10. Geovany Soto – Chicago Cubs
  11. Mike Napoli – Los Angeles Angels
  12. Chris Iannetta – Colorado Rockies
  13. J.P. Arencibia – Toronto Blue Jays
  14. Yadier Molina – St. Louis Cardinals
  15. Miguel Olivo – Seattle Mariners

Thoughts:

  • John Buck falls off the rankings, as there is little chance that he replicates his success from 2010. In particular, the average is likely to plummet, as he posted a BABIP of .335 (he hit .281). While he has power, he doesn’t have enough upside.
  • One of the players who does have upside is Arencibia, who should now be in line for everyday at bats in Toronto. He absolutely mashed at Triple-A, hitting .301 with 32 HR in 412 AB. Yes, strikeouts are going to be a problem (making a high average unlikely), but with the amount of power he could potentially hit for, he’s an intriguing option to take a flier on if you missed out on the bigger names. He could easily be a poor man’s Mike Napoli in 2011 if given enough of an opportunity.
  • The Carlos Santana-Buster Posey debate is not one that is going to end quickly. I’ll address it in the near future, so make sure to keep checking back.
  • With Miguel Olivo out of Colorado, Chris Iannetta should now step into regular playing time. That is, he will if the Rockies finally decide to turn everyday duties over to him. We’ve played this song and dance before, and it always ends up with Iannetta somehow finding his way onto the bench. His upside makes him extremely intriguing, but be prepared to be disappointed.
  • Speaking of Olivo, with regular playing time in Seattle he continues to hold value. He’s not a sexy name, but we know what we are going to get from him.
  • With Jorge Posada clearly moving to DH with the Russell Martin signing, he gets a boost in value. The extra at bats certainly should help him in the counting stats. His numbers could easily be similar to that of Matt Wieters and Geovany Soto, the major difference is that Soto may not be able to score many runs (only 47 in ’10 and career high is 66). Without that, Soto becomes the worst option of the three. Wieters, however, has the most upside of the group given his age and minor league pedigree.

What are your thoughts on these rankings?  Whose too high?  Whose too low?

Make sure to check out our early 2011 rankings:

Make sure to pre-order your copy of the Rotoprofessor 2011 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide, selling for just $5, by clicking here.

1 COMMENT

  1. If I’m trying to upgrade my C spot by trading away Wieters for either Posey or Santana….about how much more would I need to add to the deal to make it happen?

    • I would be careful here. Wieters had an excellent September campaign and is still highly touted. You could really regret this move. The main reason I say this is because of Posey’s accomplishments he will have high value, possibly too high. If you compare their OB% vs RHP it is almost the same. If your fantasy/strat league goes based on last year’s performance I can understand the concern. Santana didn’t even get 200 TPA in and is an absolute mess defensively. He hasn’t proven himself yet to me, although no doubt he will. Don’t give up on Wieters if you have to sell the farm, you could do worse.

  2. Personally I think the days of Victor Martinez ranking so high are over. Granted, playing in Detroit is a good thing for his hitting but I’d probably boost Buster Posey up to the #2 slot. He’s young and will certainly have to prove himself again in 2011, but he’s got all the tools and will likely jump to the 30HR and 100+ RBI realm with a full season.

  3. Tom i like Posey as much as the next guy, but 30/100 is a HUGE step. HUGE!!!

    I dont see it this year. Pitchers will adjust to this guy, he’s young, he’ll slump most likely at some point playing a full year, if he hit 25 this year at the Catcher position I think anyone who takes him will be elated…. 30 and they’re creaming their pants.

  4. Resident Cubs homer here, but I think Soto at 10 is a little far down for a guy that led all catchers in Slugging, OPS and wOBA last year. I see Wieters and Posada as bigger risks than a 28-year-old Soto in his power prime.

  5. I actually think V-mart can be argued as the # 1. He has been the most consistant catcher in the counting stats for a while now, hr, rbi, runs. His average is always near .300 and he will play every single day now as 3/4 time Dh and 1/4 time catcher. Batting either right ahead or right behind Miggy. Im not saying id take him there, but besides a higher average, who knows if Mauer will beat him out in any counting stat. And are you really going to draft a young catcher who can easily regress? Ala Wieters, Soto and even Suzuki after is break out 2009? No thanks Ill take the proven middle of the order bat…just a hair behind Joe.

  6. I would put Soto ahead of Wieters, Posada, Suzuki, and Montero. Wieters has a slow and lazy swing; I’m not really sure why scouts were so high on him. Posada is 39 years old. Suzuki and Montero are overrated. Soto should get a lot more PT this year and should bat higher in the order with a manager who actually knows what he’s doing.

  7. I understand everyone’s thoughts on Soto. My biggest knock on him is his ability to score runs, which thus far has been virtually non-existent. Once he proves he can do that, he’s probably a Top 7 option. It’s also a lot different if you are talking about a keeper league or just for 2011. Posada’s value is minimal in a keeper league but, as a DH this year, should prove to be more than valuable.

    Tom, I agree with Tony that it is extremely too early to thrust Posey into the Top 2 or 3 among catchers. Those guys at the top have proven consistently how great they can be. There’s nothing that Posey did to make me think that he’s going to jump to 30 HR this season. With a fly ball rate of 33.1%, unless he increases there significantly, I don’t think he’s even going to reach 25.

  8. You are giving Kurt Suzuki far too much credit. I have had this guy on my strat team 3 years in a row and he has yet to play. His OB% is never high, and although his defense is great, it means very little in most fantasy leagues. He has 0 power and 0 speed and is useless in most fantasy leagues unless he hits for a massive average. Russell Martin in NY should be good and JT may have a breakout year in Boston. Another youngster to watch out for is Hank Conger. Just my thoughts.

  9. i am amazed that Carlos Ruiz of the Phillies does not even warrent consideration. If you look at this stats, clutch play and overall contribution to the Phillies pitching staff how can he not be not only on the list but near the top. Oh yeah – he won the X factor award for 2010.

  10. I can see an argument for Ruiz around the 14 or 15 mark maybe, but he’s certainly not a top 10 guy for fantasy baseball. He had a pretty good year last year hitting over .300, but he also had a .335 BABIP and I don’t think he maintains either of those numbers. He has a little pop and I could see double digit homers in that park, but his ceiling is probably no more than 15 and that feels like a stretch to me, 10 – 12 is probably more realistic.

    And managing a pitching staff doesn’t factor into fantasy baseball rankings.

    He is probably a sure fire top 15 catcher in real baseball, not fantasy though.

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