Brian’s Top 12 Catcher Rankings and Projections for ’12
If you could pick one position that you would love to not draft in 2012, what would it be? Shut up, it’s not DH you silly suckers, it’s catcher. Gone are the days where you could draft a sure stud behind the plate. Victor Martinez is hobbling around somewhere in the geriatric ward, while Jorge Posada took his tear-soaked glove and box of tissues home with him. The mainstays, like Brian McCann and Joe Mauer, are still here, but neither can be called difference makers anymore. McCann hasn’t shown the power everyone thought he would develop and Mauer, injured and banged up over the past few seasons, hasn’t regained that power stroke he had in ’09.
There are a few youngsters at the position, all of which have upside, but a significant and daunting downside. Catcher for the Tribe, Carlos Santana (26 years old), has shown that power that McCann hasn’t, but he’s a whiff machine and only amassed 132 hits in 552 at-bats. Buster Posey (24) possesses all the skills to be a big-time player, but coming off a significant injury could limit his playing time. Jesus Montero (22), the youngest of the bunch, gave us a tantalizing glimpse, albeit a brief one, at what could be the beginning of a wonderful career. But playing for the Mariners will limit his scoring opportunities. Finally, J.P. Arencibia (26) is a masher, but equally a golden sombrero wearer, but if you’re in 5×5 you won’t have to worry about his strikeouts.
The position also carries a bunch of guys who are basically the same player: Alex Avila, Matt Wieters, and Miguel Montero. There are a few boring guys: Wilson Ramos and Yadier Molina.
And lastly, we turn our focus to Mike Napoli, one of the biggest surprises of 2011. Traded from the Angels to the Blue Jays to the Rangers, Napoli, tired of being jerked around by the likes of Mike Scioscia, pounded his way through the Texas heat. But this also makes Napoli one of the hardest to project. He could very easily do what he did last year, which would most likely make him the best at the position again. But he’s a career .264 hitter with a career OPS of .873. Both those numbers are a far cry from what he did last year (.320/1.045). 2011 was a career year for Mike, and I’m not going to pay for those same stats.
There are three tiers, indicated by an underline.
1. Brian McCann- 62, 23, 85, 2, .277
2. Carlos Santana- 75, 25, 75, 4, .245
3. Mike Napoli- 70, 28, 70, 4, .270
4. Matt Wieters- 64, 20, 62, 1, .265
5. Joe Mauer- 70, 12, 75, 2, .295
6. Miguel Montero- 62, 16, 78, 1, .279
7. Alex Avila- 60, 17, 75, 2, .270
8. Buster Posey- 55, 15, 60, 2, .288
9. Jesus Montero- 50, 18, 50, 0, .284
10. Yadier Molina- 45, 10, 60, 2, .292
11. Wilson Ramos- 50, 15, 50, 1, .265
12. J.P. Arencibia- 45, 20, 70, 1, .225