Over the next week, FSE will release ranking for each position in fantasy baseball. Top 10s will be provided for all infield positions while outfielders, starting pitchers and relievers will have an expanded set of rankings. In addition, we will highlight a few sleepers at each position and provide some honorable mentions if applicable. Today we will kick it off with the catchers.
Top Ten Catchers
#1 Victor Martinez - We ranked V- Mart number one for many reasons. First of all he is 29 years old and is surrounded by a talented team that will compete for a championship this year. He has first base eligibility which will help him in the long run during the season. Over the last 4 year he has averaged 20 HR and 90 RBI. The days of Mike Piazza type numbers are a thing of the past and V- Mart will provide you with the best number from the catcher’s position.
#2 Russell Martin - After two seasons in the Majors leagues, Martin has skyrocketed to the top of the pack. He is like Jason Kendal with a bat. He will give you a good average and most of all he will provide steals. Not many catchers can give you that category. Just like Martinez, we like him because he is still young and will not break down over the long haul. He stands as the lone catcher with 20-20 potential.
#3 Joe Mauer - After analyzing the data, we can see one important red flag about Mauer. If he is healthy he is awesome. In 2006 he played an entire season and batted .347! He is a career .313 hitter and will give you double digit homers every year.
#4 Brian Mc Cann - Over his first two seasons in the big leagues he has averaged 20 HR and 90 RBI. He is only 24 years old and hasn’t reached his prime yet. He will become an All Star eventually. He and Martin will be swapping the starting All Star spot every year.
#5 Jorge Posada - Surprisingly this 36 year old catcher is still hitting and playing everyday. Since he is on the Yankees he will see plenty of RBI opportunities and will see a lot of pitches to hit. Last season he surprised everyone with his offense. Granted he is getting older, he is still a valuable and reliable man behind the dish.
#6 Jarrod Saltalamacchia - Spelling his name is probably more difficult than hitting Mariano Rivera. Salty was sent to Texas in the Texiera deal, providing with him an opportunity to play and a better chance at power numbers since Texas is a launching pad. Salty will also see some time at first base this year making him more valuable since he is eligible at another spot in many formats. He should put up double digits in HR and maybe get 70-80 RBI with that Texas inflation.
#7 Kenji Johjima - Look for him to provide you with 15-20 HR, about 70 RBI and a decent batting average (career .289 hitter). He is as vanilla as it gets and a nice option once the top 5 are off the board.
#8 Ivan Rodriguez - Obviously his best days are behind him, and his best muscles are as well. However, he has 6 HR so far this spring and is batting lead off. The reason he is batting lead off is so he can get more at bats before he gets taken out of the spring games. Don’t look for him to lead off once the real games begin but you expect solid production from the man they call Pudge.
#9 AJ Pierzynski - Among the more hated players in baseball, AJP is a pretty steady option at catcher in fantasy baseball good for homers in the mid teens and around 55-60 RBIs.
#10 Benji Molina - Well, he will be batting clean up for the Giants. There isn’t much around him and if he is the biggest offensive weapon they have, he and the team are in big trouble.
#10 Ramon Hernandez - Injuries have hobbled Hernandez last season leading to his least productive season since 2002. He appears healthy this spring as he looks to return to form; however, he will be hitting in a poor Baltimore lineup and injuries remain a concern for the soon to be 32 catcher. He is a decent option at catcher with some upside.
J.R. Towles - This guy has all the makings of a future star behind the plate. Towles ran through the minor leagues and now has Brad Ausmus to help him through his first season. After spending 3 years in A ball, he skyrocketed up the system and now looks to be the starting catcher in Houston for years to come.
Geovany Soto - Soto will be the starting catcher in a potent Cubs offense in 2008. He has put up big power numbers in the minors and was productive in 47 Septemeber ABs with the Cubs in 2007 hitting .426 with 3 homers. Soto has been hot this spring and has great power potential.
Dioner Navarro - A top prospect at one time, Navarro sputtered in a stint with the Dodgers and then again in the first half of 2007 with the Rays. However after a hot second half where he hit 8 HR and drove in 31 runs, Navarro is now the unquestioned starter in a strong Rays lineup. He could put up solid numbers similar to Kenji Johjima this season, but will be drafted a few rounds after the Seattle backstop.
Carlos Ruiz - If given the opportunity to play everyday he could develop into a solid catcher and give you numbers similar to a Molina. He could hit around 20 HR, he has potential.