2012 Early Outlook: Top 10 Catchers

The baseball season is quickly coming to a close, which includes the fantasy season. Some head-to-head leagues are already done, so it’s not too early to do some quick looking forward to next season.

We’ll start be doing a quick “eyeball” look at our positional top 10 lists. Please note that these rankings are EXTREMELY early and there is a whole offseason worth of projections and analysis ahead.

1. Victor Martinez – Power down a bit, but steady in all other categories.
2. Brian McCann – A little low on R/RBI categories this year, but that could easily change in 2012. He’s as steady as they come.
3. Carlos Santana – AVG will rise to go along with outstanding power/discipline.
4. Buster PoseyAlready projected to pick up from great 2010 showing. Monitor knee progress over the winter.
5. Miguel Montero – One of the most steady producers over last three years.
6. Mike Napoli – Major drop in K rate. Not sold on .300 AVG, but power more than legit in Texas. Small injury issues to consider.
7. Alex Avila – Power emergence for real, but AVG should fall (.369 BABIP).
8. Matt Wieters – Steady progression over last three years. Extremely low BABIP as left-handed hitter (.243), high as righty (.400).
9. Joe Mauer – Can’t ignore the injury risk at this point. Still could have a huge year if healthy.
10. Jesus Montero – Likely to be the primary DH for Yanks in 2012, but should see time behind the dish too. Right around .287 AVG with 21 HR between AAA and MLB this season. He’s still only 21 years old.

With the emergence of some good young bats, the catching position just went from thin to relatively deep. This list doesn’t even include Russell Martin, Yadier Molina, J.P. Arencibia or possible rookie impacts like Devin Mesoraco and Willin Rosario.