Each week, the Assembly will put together their positional rankings for keeper leagues. We are looking at player values for 2014, 2015 and 2016. These rankings are more of a middle ground between Jim’s 2014 rankings and Paul’s Dynasty rankings, which represent the next 5-7 years. For your standard keeper leagues, these are your best rankings to gauge your catcher values.
Our 6 experts, with 135 years combined fantasy baseball experience, each ranked the catcher position, and here is the results:
1. Buster Posey, SF is the consensus #1 catcher for 2014, keeper leagues and dynasty leagues.
JIMI: This season wasn’t as good as last, but he’s still the #1 ranked catcher.
KEVIN: Use 2013 for projections, but a 2012 repeat not unreasonable.
2. Carlos Santana, CLE
JIM: Skeptical of the batting average, but I like his other numbers.
PETER: Poised for a breakout, certain 20-25 homer potential, maybe more
3. Yadier Molina, StL
KEVIN: Back to earth after career year, but reliably solid, helps across board.
TOMMY: Yadi would be # 3 in a redraft league. He is not a great power source, but he should give you about 15 HRs, so he isn’t hurting you there. He hits for average, steals the occasional base, and batting 5th in the Cardinals line-up provides ample opportunities both to score and to drive runs in. He has emerged as one of the most dependable catchers in the game from a fantasy standpoint. The reason he slides to number 5 is because Yadi will be 31 on opening day and 32 in July. How many top 5 seasons does he have left?
4. Wilin Rosario, COL
TOMMY: The Rockies 24-year-old backstop has quickly emerged as a top power hitting catcher, and it is not simply due to the air in his home ballpark (in 2013 he has 10 HR at home, 11 on the road, career he has 28 at home, 21 on the road). Rosario has topped 20 homers in each of his first 2 seasons, adding 70+ RBIs. Even if he hits around 0.270, his power certainly justifies his high ranking.
PAUL: I hate his BB rate and his K rate so I’m skeptical of the batting average. Power legit in the 20-25 range. Certainly value in that at the catcher position.
5. Joe Mauer, MINN
JIM: High batting average will keep him relevant for 3 more years.
KEVIN: Moving to 1B soon? Injuries and a 4 year decline in contact % prevent higher ranking.
6. Jonathan Lucroy, MILW
TOMMY: The 27-year-old backstop has had a strong encore to his breakout in 2012. The Brewers line-up has a ton of exciting, fantasy relevant bats. Whether Lucroy hits 4th, 5th or 6th next year, there will be plenty of RBI opportunities to go along with healthy BA and HR production. He does not have quite as much upside as Santana, but he is a good bet to finish inside the top 5 at the C position for the next couple years.
PETER: solid hitter, with some sneaky catcher speed.
7. Matt Wieters, BALT
KEVIN: Career low BABIP of .240 (.220 vs RHP) means great bet for rebound; still hits 20 HR.
JIM: Future Russell Martin with bad average but good power.
8. Salvador Perez, KC
PETER: great defender, with tantalizing talent at the plate.
TOMMY: Perez is 23 years old, so this ranking is more about upside and longevity than it is about current production. His recent power binge (he had 5 HRs on August 17th) is very intriguing. The average has always been there due to a high line drive rate and he bats 5th in a pretty solid young line-up. If he can develop into a 20+ HR guy, he could be a top 5 option at the C position for years to come. If he is just a 10-15 HR guy with a good BA, then he is nothing more than a low-end starter in 12 team.
9. Brian McCann, ATL
PAUL: 20 Hrs in 7 of the last 8 years, McCann is still just 29 years old. If he signs in the AL, not only will he avoid Carlos Gomez, but he can increase his ABs with some DH time. I’ve got him #3 on my board for 2014.
PETER: another free agent catcher who will probably need to find a home outside of ATL, but should end up a starter and has 20-25 HR potential.
10. Jason Castro, HOU
JIMI: Had a breakout season in 2013. Look for about the same in 2014.
TOMMY: Castro has not really received a ton of hype from the fantasy community, but he definitely has the talent to repeat his breakout 2013 campaign. He was a first round pick in 2008 and would have likely been on a lot more peoples’ radar had he not missed all of 2011 with a torn ACL. Batting in the middle of the Astros’ line-up, enjoying the occasional DH opportunity and youth (he turns 27 in June) could make him one of the better catcher values on draft day.
11. Wilson Ramos, WASH
JIM: Personal sleeper pick I’d like to see better health and consistency from.
KEVIN: Like McCann, health preventing higher ranking; huge GB% a slight worry.
12. Evan Gattis, ATL
PETER: burst onto the scene in 2013, should have starter role in 2014
JIMI: Could move up rankings fast if he holds ont Braves’ catching job in 2014.
13. Travis d’Arnaud, NYM
JIM: Power potential could move him up if he succeeds next year. First good Mets trade in years.
TOMMY: D’Arnaud also has plus power and a good hitting stroke. His lack of plate discipline could affect his BA, however, and he is starting to get a reputation for being injury prone. Still, his long-term upside makes him a must own. Do not hold his lack of production during the 2013 cameo appearance against him.
14. Miguel Montero, ARIZ
JIM: One bad year but consistent to date. Underrated as a catcher.
PAUL: 30 Year old Catcher with a steady decline in power, AVG, OBP with an increase in GB%. I’m avoiding.
15. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, BOS
JIMI: A solid hitter with good production.
KEVIN: Don’t pay for repeat AVG; he’s a power hitter with poor contact % and a lucky BABIP.
16. Mike Zunino, SEA
JIM: Has decent power and good minor league numbers.
PAUL: A must own in deep leagues, the power is real, the plate discipline is a concern.
17. Welington Castillo, CHC
KEVIN: Maybe less risk, but less upside than those below him.
JIMI: Performed well in 2013 but still a #2 catcher for fantasy teams.
18. Yasmandi Grandal, SD
JIMI: Look for nice numbers from this young catcher, but can he stay on the field?
TOMMY: 2013 was a complete washout for Grandal with the suspension and ACL tear that could cause him to miss a good chunk of 2014 too. The prospect, who will be 25 on opening day still has enough upside if he can get back on track. Pre-suspension, he batted .297 with 8 HRs in 60 games for the Padres in 2012. Can he play that well without the juice?
19. Russell Martin, PIT
PETER: surprisingly productive in Pittsburgh in 2013, threat for double-digit homers and steals, though his average will hurt in roto leagues
JIM: Still hits for good power despite low AVG.
20. J.P. Arencibia, TOR
PETER: homer, strikeout, homer, repeat
JIMI: Young with HR power. Needs to bring AVG up to be a #1 catcher.
Be sure to check out the rest of our consolidated keeper rankings