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“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.

  1. Buster Posey:  There is no one challenging him for the top spot.
  2. 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).
  3. 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%.
  4. 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.
  5. Miguel Montero:  .280 with at least 15 HRs and 80 RBIs is a good set of stats to be consistent with.
  6. Willin Rosario:  He enjoys a boost from Coors Field, but those stats all count too.  He hit 28 HRs in only 426 plate appearances.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Jonathan Lucroy:  He still has potential to improve, but he profiles more as a solid contributor than an emerging star.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. Alex Avila:  Hopefully he can find a middle ground between 2011 and 2012
  18. Jarrod Saltalamacchia: His 2012 power display was nice, but he strikes out 30% of the time.
  19. 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.
  20. AJ Ellis:  Great for OBP leagues, but he hits towards the bottom of the order, and may not contribute much else.
  21. Yasmani Grandal:  Worth keeping tabs on for when he returns from his 50 game suspension.
  22. 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.

8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. 65mustangs

    February 18, 2013 at 10:47 am

    Where did you rank the Yankees Catcher……………….oh wait……

    Marc, I think this was one of your best position pieces so far. I like your Molina analysis especially. Usually, with catchers, once the world finally realizes a guy is for real it is probably time for the decline to start. He was drastically undervalued the last two seasons and now will be drastically overvalued. At least two “expert” rankings I’ve seen so far had him as high as 2nd right after the Poser. I’d have a hard time drafting him ahead of Mauer or that Mexican guitar player. I hope V-Mart and McCann fall as far as you show them falling.

    I didn’t even know that Grandal was suspended. Thanks for that tidbit. What did he test positive for?

    • Marc Foster

      February 18, 2013 at 1:18 pm

      I know Grandal tested positive for PED, not sure exactly what though. Ruiz tested positive for adderall I think, which is why his suspension is only 25 games not 50.

      • 65mustangs

        February 18, 2013 at 1:35 pm

        Lol, Aderall and Ritalin are two of the most prescribed meds out there.

  2. Robert Probst

    February 18, 2013 at 11:59 am

    I like these rankings, except for me personally. I’d rank Victor Martinez Higher. Only because he will DH, and still have C position eligibilty. Like you said, hitting in a stacked Tigers line-up. V-mart for me is in the top 3. Only for these reasons I mentioned

  3. Corey D Roberts

    February 18, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    The concept is very sound indeed. I do not have any issue with who is ranked where. I think this should help some of our new owners value the Catchers position correctly even if they may rank the players differently.

  4. Marc Foster

    February 18, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    Thanks guys. V-Mart, as is the case with anyone who misses almost a full season is always a little harder to rank. I know it’s not the same injury, but once Kendrys Morales came back it took a few months before he starting the way he is capable of.

    • 65mustangs

      February 18, 2013 at 1:37 pm

      The difference is that V-Mart was born with a bat in his hands and batting gloves on them. Just like Corey’s daughter was born with a ball in her right hand. (Future pitcher, I guarantee it)

  5. Corey D Roberts

    February 18, 2013 at 8:22 pm

    I was just talking about that today Joe. She has long fingers, good for gripping the ball. lol

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