Buster Posey
I present the Lester’s Legends 2016 fantasy baseball catcher rankings.
1. Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants
2. Kyle Schwarber, Chicago Cubs
3. Brian McCann, New York Yankees
4. Salvador Perez, Kansas City Royals
5. Russell Martin, Toronto Blue Jays
6. Jonathan Lucroy, Milwaukee Brewers
7. Travis d’Arnaud, New York Mets
8. Matt Wieters, Baltimore Orioles
9. Stephen Vogt, Oakland A’s
10. Derek Norris, San Diego Padres
11. Devin Mesoraco, Cincinnati Reds
12. Yasmani Grandal, Los Angeles Dodgers
13. Welington Castillo, Arizona Diamondbacks
14. Yan Gomes, Cleveland Indians
15. Wilson Ramos, Washington Nationals
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Here’s an early look at the N.L. Only 2011 Catcher rankings.
1.  Brian McCann, Atlanta Braves:  McCann’s average has dipped the past two years to a career low .269. He still supplied the power, hitting 20+ home runs for a third straight year. His RBI total of 77 was his lowest in a full season, but it is still a strong number for a catcher. He’s averaged 21.4 HR and 88.6 RBI over the past five years.
2.  Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants:  Buster hit .305 with 58 runs, 18 HRs, and 67 RBI as a rookie. He’ll turn just 24 later this month. There’s always a concern that he’ll regress in his second year as pitchers begin to figure him out, but I believe that risk is minimal.
3.  Geovany Soto, Chicago Cubs:  Soto rebounded with a .280-47-17-53-0 season last year. Though he was limited to 105 games, he restored his fantasy value. Meaning he’s more like the player that broke out in 2008 than the one that bombed in 2009.
4.  Miguel Montero, Arizona Diamondbacks:  Montero was a popular pick last year, but a knee injury limited him to 85 games. In that half-season he hit nine HRs with 43 RBI. Look at the injury as a means to get him at a discount this year.
5.  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. He hit .315 in the second half last year. Plus, with 17 stolen bases for the past two years combined, he gives you a quiet boost in that category.
6.  Carlos Ruiz, Philadelphia Phillies:  Ruiz is a lot like Molina.  He’s not going to set the world on fire, but he can give you a decent average and a fair amount of RBI. Keep in mind that his average and OPS in the first half are .245 and .686 respectively, while they increase to .277 and .819 in the second half.
7. John Buck, Florida Marlins: Buck hit a career high 20 HRs last year. While that number is likely out of reach, he has averaged 12.9 HRs over the past seven seasons.
8.  Chris Iannetta, Colorado Rockies:  You’ve reached the desperation stage for N.L. catchers. Iannetta combined for 34 HRs in 2008 and 2009 before going in the tank last year, hitting .197. The power potential is there, but he’s a lifetime .234 hitter.
9.  Jonathan Lucroy, Milwaukee Brewers:  Lucroy could miss the start of the year as he recovers from a broken pinkie. His cup of coffee went OK as he hit .253 with 24 runs, four HRs, 26 RBI, and four SBs in 75 games. If you take Lucroy, you’re doing so on potential.
10. Ryan Doumit, Pittsburgh Pirates:  Doumit lost the catcher gig to Chris Snyder, but he should get enough at bats at catcher, first base, and outfield to make him a serviceable option in N.L. Only leagues. He’s averaged 12.7 HRs over the past three years.

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Here’s an early look at the A.L. Only 2011 Catcher rankings.
1.  Joe Mauer, Minnesota Twins:  Hopefully the power returns, but even if it doesn’t his average, run total, and RBI total make him the top fantasy catcher in baseball. He’s a strong bet to win another batting title.
2.  Victor Martinez, Detroit Tigers:  Leaving Boston will likely mean a slight hit to his numbers, but Victor Martinez is still a force. He hits for average, for power, and is one of the best RBI catchers in the league.
3.  Matt Wieters, Baltimore Orioles:  Wieters struggled last year posting a .249-3711-55-0 line. The O’s have made improvements to their lineup by adding Mark Reynolds, Derrek Lee, and J.J. Hardy. Wieters is still young. Though it’s a bit of a gamble, I think he realizes his potential this year.
4.  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. Playing for Texas should lead to strong numbers once again. He should get plenty of at bats between catcher, first base, and DH.
5.  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 and V-Mart, Suzuki is a nice consolation prize later in the draft.
6.  Carlos Santana, Cleveland Indians:  Santana needs to stay healthy 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. The risk/reward on Santana is the greatest of the A.L. catchers.
7.  Jorge Posada, New York Yankees:  Posada probably won’t spend too much time behind the plate, which should help him stay healthy. He’ll handle the DH duties, and should hit 15+ HRs.  He’s not the player he once was, but he’s still a serviceable fantasy option.
8.  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. His upside is limited, but he’s a nice option if you take a catcher late in the draft.
9.  J.P. Arencibia, Toronto Blue Jays:  I was high on J.P. and then Napoli came to town. 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.
10.  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. The is a low risk option that could end up paying dividends.

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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. continue reading »


Here’s a look at my 2010-11 fantasy power forward rankings.

  1. Amar’e Stoudemire:  I’m expecting big things in New York.
  2. Pau Gasol:  Proved he’s more than just Kobe’s sidekick.
  3. Dwight Howard:  FT% keeps him from being #1.
  4. Brook Lopez:  Does everything well.
  5. David Lee:  Should still put up big numbers with Golden State.
  6. Chris Bosh:  Numbers take a hit teaming with LeBron and Wade.
  7. Zach Randolph:  Always seems to produce despite being overlooked.
  8. Andrea Bargnani:  Should be focal point of Toronto’s offense.
  9. Al Jefferson:  Great fit in Utah.
  10. Tim Duncan:  Doesn’t produce like before, but still a quality #1 center.
  11. Carlos Boozer:  Health is his only issue.
  12. Kevin Love:  Could be huge if Minnesota uses him properly.
  13. Al Horford:  Not a sexy pick, but a great foundation.
  14. Marc Gasol:  Made great strides last year. Could be even better.
  15. Nene Hilario:  Injury issues seem to be behind him.
  16. LaMarcus Aldridge:  Could lose production if Oden ever plays.
  17. Andray Blatche:  Arenas’s return should hurt his scoring.
  18. Troy Murphy:  Move to New Jersey shouldn’t hurt his value.
  19. Paul Millsap:  Would have ranked him higher if Big Al wasn’t there.
  20. Joakim Noah:  Boozer’s arrival will hurt his production.
  21. Marcus Camby:  Health plus crowded frontcourt could be issues.
  22. Chris Kaman:  Clippers will have more scoring options this year.
  23. Channing Frye:  Big three-point lift from center position.
  24. Luis Scola:  Should continue to develop into solid big man.
  25. Andrew Bynum:  If only he could stay healthy.

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Time for my second look at my catcher rankings.

1.  Joe Mauer – Added power to an already impressive arsenal.

2.  Victor Martinez – Should send Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia home a ton of times this year.

3.  Brian McCann – The NL’s best catcher. Steadily dominant.

4.   Matt Wieters – Lived up to the hype. Could challenge for the #2 spot. He’s that good.

5.  Miguel Montero – I expect him to build on a strong second half (.316 with 39 runs,  11 HRs, 40 RBIs).

6.  Geovany Soto – He’s in terrific shape (click to see his profile). I expect him to bounce back. He’s too good of a hitter not to.

7.  Kurt Suzuki – Quietly one of the better fantasy catchers in the league.

8.  Jorge Posada – Still has some magic in his bat.

9.  Yadier Molina – Quietly averaging 55 RBIs the past two years while hitting .298.

10.  Mike Napoli – Good option for power.

11.  Russell Martin – His value went South, but still is a starting option.

12.  Ryan Doumit – Always an injury concern, but he can truly hit.

13.  Chris Iannetta – In a time share with Miguel Olivo, but a solid #2 fantasy catcher.

14.  Bengie Molina – Molina still has some life in his bat, but Buster Posey will likely steal some ABs.

15. A.J. Pierzynski – He won’t wow you with his numbers, but he should give you a nice average with decent HR and RBI totals.

16.  John Baker – Nice average. Some pop. RBI potential.

17.  Carlos Santana – He likely won’t start with the Indians, but should deliver when he gets the call.

18.  Carlos Ruiz – His average is terrible, but he’ll drive in some runs for you.

19.  Kelly Shoppach – Has some pop in his bat. Could move up the rankings or easily replaced. Nice late round option.

20.  Jesus Flores – He’ll split time with Ivan Rodriguez, but this young catcher has plenty of potential.

Click to see the rest of the 2010 fantasy baseball rankings.

Image courtesy of Icon SMI

Here’s an early look at Catcher Rankings.

1.  Joe Mauer – Joe removed any doubt with his MVP season.

2.  Victor Martinez – The Sox will need V-Mart to make up for Jason Bay’s lost bat. He killed it with Boston hitting .336 with 41 RBIs in 56 games.

3.  Brian McCann – McCann got off to a slow start, but was a force when he got his eyes fixed. He had 61 RBIs from July through September.

4.  Matt Wieters – The expectation level couldn’t have been higher for Weiters, and he really started to figure it out down the stretch.

5.  Miguel Montero – He was a beast down the stretch hitting .316 with 39 runs,  11 HRs, and 40 RBIs after the All-Star Break.

6.  Geovany Soto – Soto was terrible last year hitting .218, but he was so good in 2008 that I’ll roll the dice on him bouncing back.

7.  Kurt Suzuki – One of the few bright spots on the A’s last year with 88 RBIs. He’ll probably regress, but should still be a high-end catcher. The addition of Kevin Kouzmanoff should help.
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1.  Dwight Howard – Free Throws are his kryptonite.
2.  Pau Gasol – Kobe’s sidekick is very good.
3.  Chris Bosh – Auditioning for that big contract.
4.  Amar’e Stoudemire – Should shine with Shaq gone.
5.  Tim Duncan – Steady.  Mr. Fundamental.
6.  Troy Murphy – Hits the boards like a Madman and racks up the 3′s.
7.  Brook Lopez – I think he blows up this year.
8.  LaMarcus Aldridge – Solid in most categories.
9.  Al Jefferson – If his Achilles checks out, move him up a few notches.
10.  David Lee – Mr. Double-Double
11.  Nene Hilario – Major improvement last year.
12.  Andris Biedrins – Rebounding machine.
13.  Mehmet Okur – Health an issue, but 3-ball helps him.
14.  Marcus Camby – Speaking of health…
15.  Al Horford – Somewhat disappointing last year.  Should bounce back.

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