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2014 Consolidated Catcher Rankings

In the fall, the fantasy assembly team completed our set of consolidated rankings geared towards keeper leagues. Now, we are back and ready to roll with our first set of re-draft positional rankings. Like we did in the fall, we are getting the party started with the men behind the plate. Before we get into the ranks, however, we need to go over a couple assumptions that we made in determining eligibility.

In order to be eligible, a player needs to meet 1 of the following criteria:

A) 10 appearances at the position in 2013
B) The expectation that the player will be used primarily at a given position in 2014 (example: Miguel Cabrera will appear on our 1B list)

These rankings will focus on 2014, and 2014 only. Without further ado, here are the assembly’s rankings:

Rank

Player Tommy Jim Paul Peter Kevin Jeff
 1  Posey  1 1 1 1 1 1
 2  McCann  3 3 2 6 3 4
 3  Santana  2 7 3 3 4 2
 4  Molina  6 6 5 2 2 3
 5  Mauer  4 2 4 7 8 5
 6  Rosario  5 4 7 4 5 6
 7  Wieters  9 10 8 5 9 8
 8  Lucroy  7 5 9 16 5 7
 9  Perez  8 11 6 9 7 10
 10  Ramos  10 12 10 12 11 9
 11  Castro  11 9 11 10 13 11
 12  Pierzynski  14 15 14 15 10 13
 13  Gattis  12 N/R 15 8 17 12
 14  Saltalamacchia  N/R 20 12 11 12 17
 15  Gomes  17 17 N/R 13 16 14
 16  Montero  20 8 20 17 N/R 16
 17  d’Arnaud  13 13 16 N/R N/R 20
 18  Mesoraco  16 N/R 13 14 N/R 18
 19  Martin  N/R 14 18 18 N/R 19
 20  Castillo  18 16 19 N/R 18 N/R
 21  Ruiz  N/R 19 N/R 19 N/R 15
 22  Avila  N/R N/R 17 N/R 15 N/R
 23  Pinto  15 N/R N/R N/R N/R 20
 24  Grandal  19 18 N/R N/R N/R N/R

 

1. Buster Posey, SF-

Jim: 4 category stud but no longer worth an early pick with a deep catcher position.

Kevin: Still likely to be the king in 2014.

2. Brian McCann, NYY-

Jeff: with the DH spot most likely upping his 2014 ABs, McCann has a good shot to lead all catchers in RBI.

Tommy: McCann tied for 4th among all catchers in HRs despite logging just 356 ABs. Now that he is in NY, his stock is soaring. Expect more ABs, HRs and counting stats to go with them.

3. Carlos Santana, CLE-

Paul: He could very well be #1 in points leagues.

Peter: I picked him as a breakout candidate for 2014, and I am sticking with the 27 HR/82 run/93 RBI/0.2.62 production.

4. Yadier Molina, STL-
Kevin: Can’t argue with his solid years.

Peter: Not many catchers hit 0.300, are surrounded by a very deep lineup, and basically dare the opponent to run on them.

5. Joe Mauer, MIN-

Jeff: If the move to 1B gets him over the 150 game mark (huge if), he has a good chance.to finish in the top spot.

Peter: The power he showed in 2009 is fading from the memory of fantasy owners, and while he may not approach 28 HR again, the move to full-time 1B, making 2014 the last time he qualifies as a C, should boost his value for 2014.

6. Wilin Rosario, COL-

Jim: There are warning signs with Rosario, but until we see a noticeable drop he’s a top 4 catcher.

Kevin: His power upside is so big that for 2014 I’d take the gamble despite his BA risk and Ks.

7. Matt Wieters, BAL-

Jeff: I think the batting average will rebound from .235 last season, but I do not think it gets over .260.

Tommy: A higher than normal FB rate and somewhat poor production while batting left handed were the reasons for his disappointing 2013. He remains a safe low-end fantasy option with upside for more.

8. Jonathan Lucroy, MIL-

Jim: A cheaper less reliable version of Posey, but will contribute in 4 categories.

Paul: Won’t hurt you anywhere, but I won’t take him in any leagues.

9. Salvador Perez, KC-

Kevin: I expect a breakout if he ever learns to walk.

Paul: Should be good for 15-17 HR and a .300 average.

10. Wilson Ramos, WAS-

Jeff: I would not bet on Ramos playing 140 games, but with 16 homers in 303 at bats
last season the upside is there.

Paul: More upside than Lucroy at less cost.

11. Jason Castro, HOU-

Peter: The Astros will be better in 2014, and that means more RBI opportunities
for Castro, who is poised to hit 20 homers again.

Tommy: Castro enjoyed a lofty HR/FB ratio last season, but his batted ball profile is pretty sick. He hits line drives at a nearly 25% clip and almost never pops out. Castro could be a great value since he will be an afterthought for many drafters.

12. A.J. Pierzynski, BOS-

Jim: I keep writing off the old man and he keeps proving me wrong. Could be solid but his age scares me.

Tommy: He can handle a lot of ABs, hits for decent average and has 15 HR power. Playing in Fenway his numbers should be similar to what they were in Arlington.

13. Evan Gattis, ATL-

Kevin: Just not buying into his few good months from 2013.

Peter: With McCann signing with the Yankees, Gattis has the starter’s job in Atlanta. Like so many power hitting catchers, if you can live with the high strikeout rate, he should reward you with 20-25 homers.

14. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, MIA-

Peter: Salty will get full time at-bats in Miami, so if you can live with the strikeouts (K%) you should be rewarded with good power numbers (HR/AB).

Tommy: To say Salty’s BABIP from 2013 was unsustainable would be an understatement. If you are comfortable with a .220 BA and about 15 HRs along with limited run production, then Salty is your guy. I’m not touching him.

15. Yan Gomes, CLE-

Kevin: Underrated guy who could have a season worthy of a top-10 C.

Peter: Gomes is a reason why you do not need to overpay for a catcher in your draft. 293 at-bats, 11 homers. If you paired him with any of the catchers listed below him, you have a pretty nice platoon.

16. Miguel Montero, ARZ-

Jim: He’s had too many consistent years to be tossed aside because of one bad year.

Jeff: A plummeting fly ball rate with a rising GB% to match is a bad combination for an aging catcher.

17. Travis d’Arnaud, NYM-

Paul: I expect some growing pains here, but I do believe he’ll get every opportunity to succeed.

Peter: You may as well take a shot with this guy late in your draft.

18. Devin Mesoraco, CIN-

Jeff: He has the prospect status to make this ranking look foolish, but I’m not going to pay for the potential.

Tommy: With Dusty Baker gone, Mesoraco becomes an intriguing breakout candidate if he can earn more playing time.

19. Russell Martin, PIT-

Jim: He’s the bottom of the barrel in a 12 team league, but will still give decent numbers in 3 categories.

Paul: I hate .220 hitters. At the C slot there is some forgiveness.

20. Welington Castillo, CHC-

Kevin: Hoping for more as a Cubs fan, but don’t bet big for your fantasy team.

Paul: Should get good at bats. Sometimes that’s all you need from a C.

21. Carlos Ruiz, PHI-

Jeff: between the suspension and injuries it is tough to forecast Ruiz. If he can get to 120 games played, he has a legit shot to be a top 10 catcher. That is no guarantee; hence, this ranking.

Jim: Will occasionally hit for a good average, but other than that he’s nothing special.

22. Alex Avila, DET-

Kevin: Detroit’s offense props up his value.

Paul: 450 abs from Avila < 350 from Gattis but I expect he becomes a respectable waiver wire option.

23. Josmil Pinto, MIN-

Jeff: I need to see more than 83 major league at bats before I get too excited, but the bat has the potential to make this ranking look too low.

Tommy: He has shown the ability to hit for average along with 15-20 HR pop and he is penciled in as the Twins everyday catcher. Whether or not he is durable enough to handle the workload remains to be seen.

24. Yasmani Grandal, SD-

Jim: He’s worth drafting as a second catcher for his upside, but don’t get too attached in redraft leagues.

Tommy: Don’t forget about this guy. He still has a lot of upside. His batted ball profile looked pretty good last year despite poor results.

Check out the rest of our 2014 rankings.

C - 1B - 2B3BSSOFSPRP - Top 200

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14 comments on “2014 Consolidated Catcher Rankings

  1. It is interesting to see the variance with players like Gattis and Saltalamacchia.

    I initially thought that McCann might be a draft day value, but it looks like everyone is high on him. He will likely get drafted as a top 4 catcher in most leagues.

  2. Nice to see a little Mesoraco love!
    Good list guys. I like the results

  3. I see Posey, Mauer and Molina as near equals. .300 BA, 75 RBI/R a piece (maybe few less R for Molina w/ batting 5th or 6th) and somewhere close to 15 HR. I’m not worried about Mauer’s health. The concussion last year was a result of catching and I’d be surprised if the back issues he dealt with in ’11 and ’12 weren’t as well. Should lead all C in PA in ’14 which should give him overall lead (or close) in R, RBI and likely BA/OBP too. McCann/Santana seem like near equals too. I guess it comes down to whether you want a C that can hit .300 w/ 15 HR or a C that can hit .260 with 20-25 HR.

  4. Thanks KB…. I think even S.Perez could give the. 300 with 15HR.
    I think the differences you might see is how we perceive the likelihood of it happening. Posey I think is safest bet (although at highest cost)
    It’s not a bad looking group at C this year.

  5. Good list, thank you, but shouldn’t Gattis’s competition (Doumit) and Pinto’s (Suzuki) lower their ranks?

    • Thanks!!
      I think we beat those two up pretty good actually :)
      Both with 450+ AB would out-produce our ranking in my opinion. No doubt they take a hit with their club’s recent signings, esp Pinto. (which is too bad)

    • Fanthed,

      Thanks for the comment.

      I feel the need to justify my ranks since I had those 2 ranked at 12 and 15 respectively. With Gattis, there is some real risk of him losing ABs, but I do not think Doumit is the guy you need to worry about. Doumit is absolutely brutal behind the plate and projects to be used primarily as a bench hitter. Gattis’ main competition for ABs will likely come from Laird.

      With Pinto, I probably have him ranked too high, but I would definitely draft him ahead of players like Saltalamacchia or Martin. Will he outproduce those guys? I’m not sure, but I know that the latter 2 options aren’t going to be giving owners any advantages over their competition. Pinto just might if he gets enough PT.

  6. Lucroy has a 16 ranking… is that a typo? I don’t see any justification, even if you think he was a complete fraud the last couple years, to have 15 catchers above him. Just my opinion.

    • AJ,

      This is precisely why we do a consolidated rank. No matter whose list you look at, there are going to be some picks that you may not agree with. We all have our biases. An average list like this tends to eliminate those biases. Lucroy’s average rank of 8 seems about right to me.

      Anyhow, thanks for reading!

      • Hi Tommy,

        First, let me apologize. I reread my message and it came off harsher than I intended. His consolidated rank seems more than fair. I realize opinions vary, sometimes greatly. I guess I just was surprised at how much the one particular ranking varied from just about everything I’ve seen on him. Any time I see a guy ranked extremely high or extremely low, it makes me wonder what they know (or think they know) that we don’t. So more just selfish curiosity than anything, but a brief explanation would be appreciated if possible. Thank so much for these though, I’ve found them very helpful – especially with not a lot of 2014 stuff out there yet.

        Best wishes,
        AJ

    • Hey AJ, Appreciate the comment
      Probably a little low on Lucroy in hindsight, but I am not a huge fan. I am not sure the 18 HR from 2013 are the norm, I expect he is more in the 12-15 range. He does offer a better ave than many catchers, even will get a few steals. I think he will lose some RBIs with the return of Braun. Guess I am just higher on many of the other guys: mostly due to increased power potential, which is what I am looking for from a catcher.

      • Hi Peter,

        Thanks for taking the time to respond. It’s greatly appreciated. To be honest, I don’t believe I disagree with a single thing you said. And, more this year than ever, the guys ranked approximately 6th thru 16th are all quite similar in a way. They all have one or two attributes that are likeable, as well as one or two areas where they hurt you. With some it’s just not having enough ABs stacked up to know exactly what to expect. So I can see where you’re coming from. I do, however, hope you are off on d’Arnaud since I have him in so many leagues, lol.

        Thanks again for getting back to me! Keep up the good work!

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