Let's dig a little deeper into the top 12 catchers heading in to the 2013 Fantasy baseball season, as a follow up to our RotoBaller Rankings: 2013 Catcher Rankings with ADP Comparison. When using the catcher rankings make sure you determine what kind of draft strategy you want to pursue when it comes to the catcher position: the “I want the best catcher" plan, the “go with the flow” angle, or the “worry about it later” approach.
1. Buster Posey – The only catcher in a league of his own. After playing only 45 games in 2011 due to injury, he bounced back with an MVP season, literally. In addition his gaudy stats (24 HR, 103 RBI) he is one of the rare catchers who won’t hurt you in BA, posting a career .314 BA. He gets extra ABs due to his off days at 1B, and really is just a stud. His draft price will be expensive, but well worth it as long as he remains healthy.
2. Yadier Molina – Over 20 homers, 76 RBI and a .315 BA last year, but some would still expect him to be lower on this list. He was very underrated going in to 2012, and he is probably a bit overrated going into 2013. Still, he has emerged as a consistent BA contributor and run-producer in the middle of a strong Cardinals lineup. Keep the faith.
3. Joe Mauer – I love having players that hit for average. 25 players hit above .300 last season and Mauer is one of those guys. His stats appear to be unimpressive, but that’s only because of his 10 homers. He was still 3rd in RBI, 1st in R, and 2nd in SB at the catcher position. Again, if you end up with Mauer he won’t hurt you, though as this list goes on, you might see a few catchers who will. Let's not forget Mauer was THE elite Catcher not too long ago, before the injury bug bit him.
4. Wilin Rosario – The truth is 133 career games makes it hard to rank a player, especially a catcher. That said, 28 HR, 71 RBI and batting .270 in 117 games in 2012 is hard to ignore. Rosario is likely to start the season batting eighth but I wouldn’t take that into much consideration, because a good quick start to his 2013 season could mean a bump up in the lineupl, providing a bonus to his fantasy owners with guys like CarGo and Tulo in the lineup. Oh, and he plays in Coors Field... and is only 24 years old.
5. Carlos Santana – He had a great second half last season hitting .281 with 13 of his 18 homers after the All-Star break. If that is any indication of his 2013 season, he should bypass Wieters. Maybe we see a trend, a slow first half this season, then midseason buy-low trade target. Just saying, you heard it at RotoBaller first! Carlos Santana has a big-time pedigree, and may finally put it all together this year.
6. Mike Napoli – We know Napoli will hit over 20 homers. What we don’t know is his batting average, and how his hip condition will affect his production. He is also now playing in Boston hitting behind Big Papi and in front of second-year 3B Will Middlebrooks. He has potential to hit closer to his 2011 season than 2012. He will also probably get more ABs than a standard catcher, giving Papi a breather occasionally. Always a plus for catchers.
7. Miguel Montero – Montero could even be rated higher. A guy that will contribute in BA and get you some solid counting stats is a guy that I look to own. Montero will be hitting fourth in the Diamondbacks lineup which I love even with Upton gone. I would expect 15 homers, 75 RBI and a .276 BA.
8. Victor Martinez – He is worth the risk as long as you draft a back-up plan. He is 100% healthy and with the projected lineup looking like this: Austin Jackson, Tori Hunter, Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder, V-Mart, etc. As the Tigers DH Victor will not have the stress of playing defense.
9. Matt Wieters – Don’t be shocked here and I will tell you why: Wieters will hit over 20 homers, 80 RBI and produce a BA of at least .250. He is likely to improve on his stats previous years stats. He is becoming increasingly consistent at a position full of inconsistency.
10. Salvador Perez – Much like Rosario, Perez has only played 115 games in his short MLB career including 76 games in 2012 (less than half a season) in which he produced 11 homers and 39 RBI’s. I am not suggesting he gets 20 bombs or 80 RBI, but 15 and 70 all while batting .300+ wouldn't be bad at all here. Salvador Perez is an up-and-coming young stud.
11. Jesus Montero – I smell trouble with this Montero. I expect him to contribute to the counting stats, but you WILL pay a price in BA. The Ms have a very strange projected lineup. The Mariners had the worst batting average in the major leagues from 2010-2012, so expect no less from them in 2013, even with the new dimensions at Safeco. Another note of caution: Montero may face suspension, from being linked to the new PED scandal in baseball. Beware.
12. Brian McCann – If you have waited this long to draft a catcher and you “end up” with McCann, great! If healthy, you can expect 18 HR, 60 RBI... and most importantly, you’re drafting him late rounds. When compared to Yadier Molina's 20/80 at #2, 18/60 ain’t so bad 10 catchers later. The only issue here is his health, as he is still rehabbing from off-season shoulder surgery. He will probably miss some time, and may not be his old self. Take caution.
Keep an eye put for our other position rankings and player analysis coming soon...