Positional Ranks: Catcher

Ahhh yes, the whafer thin catcher position.  It may look somewhat deep with names like Jorge Posada and Bengie Molina lurking around the the middle of the rankings, but name value can be deceiving.  There are a ton of question marks outside of the top three, but some interesting deep sleepers emerging from the bottom tier. 
 

Tier one

 
1. Joe Mauer
2. Victor Martinez
3. Brian McCann

Yes, I lump Joe Mauer in with V-Mart and Brian McCann.  Two reasons for that: One, regression from his astronomical 2009 season.  Two, his new outdoor home park and a list of past injury issues.  Mauer is going in the first round in mock drafts, which I would stay clear of. 

 
Tier two
 
4. Matt Wieters
5. Geovany Soto
 
If you think Matt Wieters is going to let you down once again, Thor, the god of thunder, will strike you down with lightning bolts from Mars.  OK, that’s not true, but Wieters is too talented not to come on strong like he did in September last season.  Soto’s WBC altered, injury plagued 2009 season should be a thing of the past as he bounces back in 2010, though not to 2008 standards.  Reports say that Soto has dropped 30-40 pounds this offseason.
 
Tier three
 
6. Russell Martin
7. Kurt Suzuki
8. Miguel Montero
9. Jorge Posada
10. Ryan Doumit
 
Another bounce back candidate, Martin may never reach the 20/20 hopes bestowed upon him early in his career.  Still, he will provide some power and speed while getting the at bats to put up solid runs and RBI numbers.  Kurt Suzuki had a small breakout season in 2009 and, while a little regression seems likely, he is a solid option at a weak position.  Miguel Montero’s 425 at bats of furry last season have fantasy owners thirsty for more.  Unfortunately, to expect much more may leave owners disappointed in the end.  Montero’s free swinging ways are likely to hold his AVG down to the .270-.280 range while also keeping his power numbers in check.  Jorge Posada continues to defy catcher’s regression.  At age 37/38, when most catchers are either coaching or laying on their couch at home, Posada had one of his best power/AVG seasons.  Go ahead and draft him if you want, but I’m not touching a catcher who will be turning 39 in 2010.  Yet another bounce back candidate, Ryan Doumit should be 100 percent in 2010 and ready to provide value for owners willing to look past his injury plagued 2009.
 
Tier four
 
11. Mike Napoli
12. Chris Iannetta
13. A.J. Pierzynski
 
Mike Napoli and Chris Iannetta were cut from the same mold.  Both strikeout a lot and swing through pitches frequently, but both draw a decent amount of walks and hit home runs.  Napoli has had small injury issues while Iannetta has Miguel Olivo to battle off.  I would love to see both get over 500 at bats in 2010, but there is no way of predicting that now.  A.J. Pierzynski has been solid, yet unspectacular for the past few years.  He should continue to be so in 2010, though a decline could come at any time. 
 
Tier five
 
14. Bengie Molina
15. Yadier Molina
 
Name your Molina.  Nethier.  Both Bengie and Yadier have issues that limit their production.  Bengie can still hit for some power, but his heavy frame keeps his runs scored down and at age 36, with that body type, the end is near…also Buster Posey is the better player.  Yadier had a career high nine stolen bases last season, which isn’t likely to be repeated.  Outside of hitting for AVG, he doesn’t provide much value.
 
Tier six
 
16. Jesus Flores
17. J.R. Towels
18. Carlos Santana
19. John Baker
20. Kelly Shoppach
21. Jarrod Saltalamaccia
22. Carlos Ruiz
23. John Buck
24. Gerald Laird
25. Ramon Hernandez
26. Nick Hundley
27. Lou Marson
28. Taylor Teagarden
29. Chris Snyder
30. Miguel Olivo
 
I’ll just point out some interesting notes I found while doing the projections for this group.  With full health and decent playing time both Jesus Flores and J.R. Towles should provide decent value in deeper leagues.  Carlos Santana ranks high in tier six even with the thought that he might start at AAA.  He is too good not to grab the job by sometime in May-June.  If he wins the job out of spring training, he is a must own.  Miguel Olivo just makes the cut.  That may look weird due to his 23 home runs last season.  He was signed to “back up” Chris Iannetta and his production would vary greatly from year to year anyway because of his horrible plate discipline.
 
The Master List
 
1. Joe Mauer
2. Victor Martinez
3. Brian McCann
4. Matt Wieters
5. Geovany Soto
6. Russell Martin
7. Kurt Suzuki
8. Miguel Montero
9. Jorge Posada
10. Ryan Doumit
11. Mike Napoli
12. Chris Iannetta
13. A.J. Pierzynski
14. Bengie Molina
15. Yadier Molina
16. Jesus Flores
17. J.R. Towels
18. Carlos Santana
19. John Baker
20. Kelly Shoppach
21. Jarrod Saltalamaccia
22. Carlos Ruiz
23. John Buck
24. Gerald Laird
25. Ramon Hernandez
26. Nick Hundley
27. Lou Marson
28. Taylor Teagarden
29. Chris Snyder
30. Miguel Olivo