Fantasy Baseball Rankings: Catchers

I’ll be compiling lists of the top players at each position for 2012 Fantasy Baseball in the coming weeks.  Overall rankings will consist of their value in a points format, earning points for each H, R, 2B, 3B, HR, RBI, basically a formula of Total Bases + RBI + Runs = Total Value.  I’ll begin with catchers.  You’ll see their stats for 2011 below their names with 2012 Projections in ITALICS

1. Mike Napoli, Texas

.320/.414/.631, 25 2B, 30 HR, 75 RBI, 85/58 K/BB in 369 AB

.295/.389/.560, 30 2B, 27 HR, 81 RBI, 101/68 K/BB in 446 AB

Napoli has always had power but he sat so often for the AMAZING Jeff Mathis on the Angels that he never got a chance to truly breakout.  He finally got a chance and became a near-MVP talent in Texas in 2011.  He may not repeat the AVG, but the power is real, especially in that lineup and ballpark.

2. Carlos Santana, Cleveland

.239/.351/.457, 35 2B, 27 HR, 79 RBI, 133/97 K/BB in 552 AB

.279/.401/.531, 31 2B, 33 HR, 91 RBI, 123/101 K/BB in 549 AB

I may be higher on Santana than most, but he’ll make more contact in 2012 and he posted these numbers in his first full season.  The sky is the limit and the value in Santana is that he plays 1B and DH when he isn’t behind the plate.

3. Alex Avila, Detroit

.295/.389/.506, 33 2B, 19 HR, 82 RBI, 131/73 K/BB in 464 AB

.286/.391/.511, 35 2B, 21 HR, 86 RBI, 124/76 K/BB in 471 AB

4. Yadier Molina, St. Louis

.305/.349/.465, 32 2B, 16 HR, 65 RBI, 44/33 K/BB in 475 AB

.301/.342/.437, 29 2B, 14 HR, 63 RBI, 46/36 K/BB in 461 AB

5. Buster Posey, San Francisco

.311/.374/.521, 31 2B, 23 HR, 82 RBI, 83/65 K/BB in 476 AB

We all know about his injury last year, but reports show he is ready.  His 2010 stats were: .305/.357/.505, 23 2B, 18 HR, 67 RBI, 55/30 K/BB in 406 AB.  Expect the same, maybe more.

6. Miguel Montero, Arizona

.282/.351/.469, 36 2B, 18 HR, 86 RBI, 97/47 K/BB in 493 AB

.276/.349/.471, 33 2B, 20 HR, 84 RBI, 101/56 K/BB in 489 AB

7. Brian McCann, Atlanta

.270/.351/466, 19 2B, 24 HR, 71 RBI, 89/57 K/BB in 466 AB

.281/.363/.485, 21 2B, 22 HR, 79 RBI, 81/71 K/BB in 483 AB

8. Matt Wieters, Baltimore

.262/.328/.450, 28 2B, 22 HR, 68 RBI, 84/48 K/BB in 500 AB

.276/.339/.490, 29 2B, 27 HR, 84 RBI, 97/61 K/BB in 506 AB

9. Joe Mauer, Minnesota

.287/.360/.368, 15 2B, 3 HR, 30 RBI, 38/32 K/BB in 296 AB

.313/.394/.411, 31 2B, 8 HR, 71 RBI, 79/76 K/BB in 496 AB

It’s well documented about Mauer’s knee issues last season.  I can see him taking a Carlos Santana/Victor Martinez approach to stay in the lineup.  He won’t ever come close to his 2009 power outburst, but he can have value due to the ability to drive the ball in the gaps of Target Field.

10. Devin Mesoraco, Cincinnati

.180/.226/.360, 3 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 10/3 K/BB in 50 AB

.265/.329/.449, 18 2B, 14 HR, 59 RBI, 72/21 K/BB in 374 AB

Mesoraco will be a top catcher once he isn’t sharing the position.  He’s capable of hitting 15 homers in about 350 AB, and will settle into the Cincinnati lineup near Votto and Bruce to see plenty of good pitches.  He’s someone to watch in Keeper Leagues, but he’ll have value right away.

11. Geovany Soto, Chicago (N.L.)

.228/.310/.411, 26 2B, 17 HR, 54 RBI, 124/45 K/BB in 421 AB

.268/.335/.445, 28 2B, 23 HR, 73 RBI, 147/56 K/BB in 447 AB

Shoulder woes have sapped Soto’s value and possibly led to some offensive struggles, particularly with strikeouts, in 2011.  He may become a trade chip for the rebuilding Cubs in 2012, but he needs to build his value and show that he is healthy.  He can still hit, but can he do it consistently?

12. Jonathan LuCroy, Milwaukee

.265/.313/.391, 16 2B, 12 HR, 59 RBI, 99/29 K/BB in 430 AB

.269/.318/.401, 21 2B, 13 HR, 54 RBI, 112/41 K/BB in 456 AB

13. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Boston

.235/.288/.450, 23 2B, 16 HR, 56 RBI, 119/24 K/BB in 358 AB

.251/.301/.450, 27 2B, 19 HR, 62 RBI, 126/38 K/BB in 438 AB

It wasn’t always pretty last year for “Salty,” but he shows enough power and plays in the right lineup, so he has value.  He has always been huge and awkward behind the plate, but the Red Sox only have Ryan Lavarnway ready, and he isn’t ready defensively, and may never be ready defensively, to steal time from him.

14. J.P. Arencibia, Toronto

.219/.282/.438, 20 2B, 23 HR, 78 RBI, 133/36 K/BB in 443 AB

.231/.313/.479, 25 2B, 24 HR, 83 RBI, 145/31 K/BB in 471 AB

Arencibia doesn’t have a whole lot of time to hold down this job.  If he doesn’t show that he can make consistent contact in 2012, he may lose time to Travis d’Arnaud really soon.  Even being young, he may find himself as trade bait or moved off of the position.  We’ll see if that is enough motivation for him.

15. Russell Martin, New York (A.L.)

.237/.324/.408, 17 2B, 18 HR, 65 RBI, 81/50 K/BB in 417 AB

.249/.337/.415, 19 2B, 15 HR, 61 RBI, 80/61 K/BB in 443 AB

16. Wilson Ramos, Washington

.267/.334/.445, 22 2B, 15 HR, 52 RBI, 76/38 K/BB in 389 AB

.271/.339/.456, 24 2B, 19 HR, 68 RBI, 91/49 K/BB in 467 AB

17. Chris Ianetta, Los Angeles (A.L.)

.238/.370/.414, 17 2B, 14 HR, 55 RBI, 89/70 K/BB in 345 AB

.242/.359/.408, 19 2B, 12 HR, 57 RBI, 91/76 K/BB in 453 AB

18. Kurt Suzuki, Oakland

.237/.301/.385, 26 2B, 14 HR, 44 RBI, 64/38 K/BB in 460 AB

.229/.291/.376, 21 2B, 10 HR, 38 RBI, 71/31 K/BB in 398 AB

19. Miguel Olivo, Seattle

.224/.253/.388, 19 2B, 19 HR, 62 RBI, 140/20 K/BB in 477 AB

.212/.239/.371, 17 2B, 12 HR, 39 RBI, 131/16 K/BB in 348 AB

20. John Buck, Miami

.227/.316/.367, 16 2B, 15 HR, 57 RBI, 115/54 K/BB in 466 AB

.234/.327/.381, 18 2B, 16 HR, 54 RBI, 111/58 K/BB in 439 AB

KEEPER LEAGUE PLAYERS TO WATCH:

Travis d’Arnaud – TOR

Wilin Rosario – COL

Jesus Monter0 – SEA: He’d be a top 10 talent “IF” he gets Catcher Eligibility

Yasmani Grandal – SD

Christian Bethancourt – ATL

Sebastian Valle – PHI

Gary Sanchez – NY (A.L.)

Derek Norris – OAK

Andrew Susac – SF

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