“Foster Your Roster” – 2013 Catcher Rankings
Before I get into rankings, this is intentionally the last infield position I ranked. I put the lowest value on catchers, because they don’t play as many games as other hitters. In 2012, Buster Posey caught 112 games and played first base in 29. That’s great, but most guys can’t do that. The catcher who caught the most games was Miguel Montero with 136. Basically, you’re guaranteed to lose productivity when your catcher inevitably sits for the day game after a night game. It’s also the only position that is at risk for intentional collisions, which have done serious damage in the past. It is a much deeper position than most people realize.
- Buster Posey: There is no one challenging him for the top spot.
- Joe Mauer: Good AVG and RBI production with modest HRs, but he does get the added benefit of being able to DH (42 games at DH in 2012).
- Carlos Santana: He was a different player in the second half of 2012, and I’m a believer. In the first half he hit .221, with five HRs and a 20% strikeout rate. In the second half he improved to hit .281, with 13 HRs and dropped his strikeout rate to 13%.
- Yadier Molina: Last year was likely a career year for Molina. He’ll still be good, but I’m expecting his HRs and SBs to drop slightly. Before 2011 he hadn’t hit double digit HRs in his career. His HR per Fly Ball ratio (HR/FB) went up at least 4% each of the last two years, and that will level off.
- Miguel Montero: .280 with at least 15 HRs and 80 RBIs is a good set of stats to be consistent with.
- Willin Rosario: He enjoys a boost from Coors Field, but those stats all count too. He hit 28 HRs in only 426 plate appearances.
- Matt Wieters: I’m done waiting for him to “breakout.” 20-25 HRs with a .260 AVG may be the type of hitter he is. At this point, make him prove he can do more before you draft him hoping for it.
- Victor Martinez: He missed last season, but he’s a career .300 hitter that can hit 15 HRs, and collect a good amount of RBIs in a stacked Tigers lineup.
- Salvador Perez: He’ll be a popular sleeper pick, and with good reason. He played great for half a season, but was overshadowed by the exceptional rookie class.
- Mike Napoli: His BABIP was a career low in 2012, after being a career high in 2011. His power was still there, however. His pull tendencies should play well in Fenway, and I think his AVG will get to between .250-.260.
- Jesus Montero: Based on his minor league track record and the fact that he hit .30 points higher in the second half, it’s a safe bet that his AVG will improve. The fences at Safeco coming in can’t hurt.
- Jonathan Lucroy: He still has potential to improve, but he profiles more as a solid contributor than an emerging star.
- AJ Pierzynski: His HR/FB ratio was double his career ratio in 2012. While he won’t repeat his HR total, he should still be a run producer, playing in Texas.
- Brian McCann: Despite being only 29, the previously top tier catcher seems a lot older, and health is a big concern. His 2012 BABIP suggests that he had some really bad luck. He’s also only hit less than 20 HRs once since 2006, so he’s worth a late round gamble to see if he can get/stay healthy.
- Ryan Doumit: He hits when he gets playing time, so I imagine the Twins will find a way to keep him in the line up most of the time.
- Carlos Ruiz: He starts the season with a 25 game suspension. He’s a guy I’d take to avoid risk, but don’t expect much from him.
- Alex Avila: Hopefully he can find a middle ground between 2011 and 2012
- Jarrod Saltalamacchia: His 2012 power display was nice, but he strikes out 30% of the time.
- JP Arencibia: Since Thole was part of the RA Dickey trade, I expect Arencibia to sit at least once every five games when Dickey pitches.
- AJ Ellis: Great for OBP leagues, but he hits towards the bottom of the order, and may not contribute much else.
- Yasmani Grandal: Worth keeping tabs on for when he returns from his 50 game suspension.
- Travis d’Arnaud: He’ll start in the minors, but I think he’ll be called up at some point over the summer, or if Buck gets injured.
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