Fantasy Baseball: 2011 Top 15 Catcher Rankings

Jan 21, 2011

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Here’s an early look at the 2011 Catcher rankings.
1.  Joe Mauer, Minnesota Twins:  So the long ball did not translate at Target Field for Mauer. He still hit .327 with 88 runs and 75 RBI. He’s number one and it’s not even close.
2.  Brian McCann, Atlanta Braves:  McCann saw his numbers dip, but a .269-63-21-77-5 season is still rock solid for a catcher. I fully expect his average (career .289 hitter) and RBI (91.5 from 2006-09) to increase.
3.  Victor Martinez, Detroit Tigers:  Leaving Boston will likely mean a slight hit to his numbers. He set the bar high though with a .302-64-20-79-1 line so even a dip will yield a top three fantasy catcher.
4.  Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants:  Youth has been served. Buster hit .305 with 58 runs, 18 HRs, and 67 RBI. He could challenge for the number two catcher spot, but that’s probably a year away.
5.  Matt Wieters, Baltimore Orioles:  Wieters disappointed in 2010 with a .249-3711-55-0 line, but he is still realizing his potential. Don’t count him out yet.
6.  Mike Napoli, Texas Rangers: Napoli led all catchers with 26 HRs last year. It was his third straight year with at least 20 HRs. He also scored 60 runs with a career high 68 RBI.
***Update*** The trade to Toronto should not have an affect on Napoli’s fantasy value.
***Update*** The trade to Texas makes me more optimistic for Napoli and he moved up from ten to six in the rankings.
7.  Kurt Suzuki, Oakland Athletics:  Suzuki has quietly averaged 64.5 runs, 14 HRs, 79.5 RBI, and 5.5 SBs over the past two seasons. If you miss out on Mauer, McCann, V-Mart, and Buster, Suzuki is a nice consolation prize later in the draft.
8.  Geovany Soto, Chicago Cubs:  Soto rebounded with a .280-47-17-53-0 season last year. He was limited to 105 games, but at least they were much better than his dreadful 102 games in 2009. If he can stay healthy, he’ll give you a solid average with good power and run production.
9.  Carlos Santana, Cleveland Indians:  Speaking of staying healthy. Santana needs to do that to become an elite fantasy catcher. He was limited to 150 at bats, but had some moments, including hitting .345 with 10 runs, 4 HRs, and 15 RBIs in June.
10.  Miguel Montero, Arizona Diamondbacks:  Montero was limited to 85 games and 297 at bats, but he still managed to hit 9 HRs with 43 RBIs. He could be one of the best draft day values at catcher.
11.  Jorge Posada, New York Yankees:  Posada is old, but he can still rake. With Russell Martin on board to handle the bulk of the catcher duties, Posada will become a full-time designated hitter. He has 18 or more HRs in ten of the past eleven seasons.
12.  Miguel Olivo, Seattle Mariners:  Olivo has jumped around throughout his career, playing for six teams. He’s making his second tour with Seattle. One thing that is constant is his power. He has averaged 16.2 HRs and 56.4 RBI over the past five seasons.
13.  J.P. Arencibia, Toronto Blue Jays:  With Napoli off to Texas, Arencibia become a nice sleeper option again. He hit just .143 in his cup of coffee, but hit .301 with 32 HRs and 85 RBI for Triple-A Las Vegas last year.
14.  Yadier Molina, St. Louis Cardinals:  Far from a sexy pick, Yadier has averaged 57.3 RBI over the past three seasons. He hit .304 and .293 in 2008 and 2009 before dipping to .262 last year. If he can get his average back up, coupled with the 17 SBs he’s totaled in the past two seasons, he’s a low-end starting fantasy catcher and a high-end second catcher.
15.  Russell Martin, New York Yankees:  Martin is no longer a fantasy force, but his move to the Yankees could restore some of his value. If the power can return, he could shoot up the rankings, especially if he can get back into the double-digit SBs.

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6 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. Rotoprofessor
    January 21st, 2011 at 7:07 pm #

    Wells, the Napoli & Rivera for Vernon Wells trade announced today sends these rankings all over the place. Wish we knew exactly what it meant for J.P. Arencibia, but his playing time just took a pretty big hit you would think.

  2. LestersLegends
    January 21st, 2011 at 7:30 pm #

    Yep. Napoli should remain solid. aperncibia got screwed. Mathis should get a little bump, but i’m not sure he’s top 15.

  3. Kevin
    January 24th, 2011 at 4:14 pm #

    I think the trade to TOR might put Napoli in the Top 5-6 (certainly above Suzuki) as I imagine he will have regular ABs at either C, 1B or DH and is going to a much more hitter friendly field in Toronto as opposed to Anaheim.

    Scioscia never seemed to care for Napoli, while everyone in TOR seems to be a free-swinging bunch. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see 30 HR from Napoli this season, which would certainly be the most among catchers.

  4. LestersLegends
    January 24th, 2011 at 4:17 pm #

    You very well could be right about that Kevin.

  5. Kevin
    January 25th, 2011 at 3:11 pm #

    Just a heads up, Napoli has now been traded to the Texas Rangers. I would think this still keeps him in the Top 5-6 as Arlington is obviously a hitter-friendly park and he should get ABs at C and 1B with TEX not having any clear favorites for those positions in Spring Training.

    I never knew I would be such a Mike Napoli fan, but I have a good feeling about him batting maybe 6th in the Rangers lineup, should have a lot of RBI opportunities behind Young, Beltre, Hamilton and Cruz.

  6. LestersLegends
    January 25th, 2011 at 3:21 pm #

    As the World Turns for Napoli. Crazy. I do see him getting a boost in that lineup and ballpark.

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