2011 Player Rankings: Catchers

The 2011 baseball season is almost upon us, so we here at RotoGraphs put our collective heads together to come up with some aggregate positional rankings.  I’ll be taking the lead all year with the catchers, but as a group, here’s what we came up with for now:

Penthouse on Park Avenue
Joe Mauer
Brian McCann
Buster Posey
Victor Martinez

Despite last year’s power decline, we know the potential is there so Mauer gets the nod for the top spot.  Welcome to the big time, Buster!

Comfy Living
Carlos Santana
Geovany Soto
Mike Napoli
Jorge Posada
Matt Wieters

Happy to have any one of these guys on my roster.  Santana is on the rise, but this could be the last chance for Wieters in the fantasy trust department.

Small House in the ‘Burbs
Kurt Suzuki
Miguel Montero
Chris Iannetta
Russell Martin
Carlos Ruiz
John Buck
Yadier Molina

Stable group of guys who can just tow the line for your backstop position.  Martin could be a nice sleeper in hitter-friendly Yankee Stadium.

Shoebox Apartment
John Jaso
A.J. Pierzynski
Miguel Olivo
Ryan Doumit
J.P. Arencibia
Josh Thole
Rod Barajas
Ryan Hanigan
Jesus Montero

No major investment needs to be made here.  Some will rise, some will fall.  Arencibia’s power potential puts him at the top of the sleeper list.

Sharing a Room
Yorvit Torrealba
Jarrod Saltalamcchia
Jonathan Lucroy
Alex Avila
Nick Hundley
Chris Snyder

Maybe a pair of diamonds in the rough in Lucroy and Snyder, but I wouldn’t want to invest more than a buck on the rest of the lot.

Jason Kendall
Jason Castro
Ramon Hernandez
Kelly Shoppach
Wilson Ramos
Ivan Rodriguez

You’ve got to be pretty desperate to be living with these guys on your roster.

We’ll all be chiming in throughout the week with more detailed thoughts on some of the backstops and the overall rankings will be updated on a monthly basis, so stay tuned for more!

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Howard Bender has been covering fantasy sports for over 10 years on a variety of websites. In addition to his work here, you can also find him at his site, RotobuzzGuy.com, Fantasy Alarm, RotoWire and Mock Draft Central. Follow him on Twitter at @rotobuzzguy or for more direct questions or comments, email him at rotobuzzguy@gmail.com

29 Responses to “2011 Player Rankings: Catchers”

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  1. Brett says:

    Wieters will be pushing the Penthouse on Park Avenue tier by the end of the season, count on it.

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  2. Fantasy Jedi says:

    OBP leagues should put Santana in the top tier ahead of Posey.

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    • Ray says:

      Santana should be in the upper tier regardless. And I think he will outperform Mauer.

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      • descender says:

        When he stays healthy for more than 30 games, he will be.

        Whats amusing is the pedestal that Mauer gets put on, even though 1/3 of his HR’s all came in one (contract) year.

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    • Wade8813 says:

      Do you mean OBP instead of BA? Or with BA and OBP? Or in either league?

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  3. Mr. Clutch says:

    Were these put together with a certain scoring system in mind?

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    • Howard Bender says:

      All RotoGraphs contributors were asked to do a general ranking of all the players with no specific scoring system in mind. When I submitted mine to the lot, I kept the standard 5×5 categories in mind, using AVG rather than OBP. Each player received the points from their position in the rankings from each sheet, so obviously, the lower the “score” the better the rank.

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      • lester bangs says:

        “All RotoGraphs contributors were asked to do a general ranking of all the players with no specific scoring system in mind.”

        All due respect, that’s not the right answer. You all need to be on the same page. Pick something, even if it’s just the basic 5×5.

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  4. Owen says:

    Agree with fantasy jedi. Santana has the potential to be the best catcher in an obp/slg league. You would still expect Mauer to edge him but it wouldnt surprise me.

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  5. RotoChamp says:

    Jesus Montero at 25th is an unbelievable value. If he can somehow get 300 ABs he will be a top 15 catcher. If he gets 400+ ABs then he’ll be top 10 and possibly top 5 or 6.

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  6. K.L. Anderson says:

    Santana is as good or better than Posey and the conventional fantasy wisdom for 2011 that keeps ranking Posey a tier or so ahead of Santana based on the 2010 numbers (injury to Santana notwithstanding) is simply wrong. Going into 2012, that won’t be the case.

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    • Matt C says:

      I agree, personally I like Santana better than Posey but I guess it just boils down to personal preference since both guys are amazing talents.

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  7. Matt C says:

    I think I’d move V-Mart up to possibly two for a couple of reasons.(assuming it’s a standard 5X5 league) One he has Ordonez and Cabrera hitting infront of him, two guys who regularly post .375+ OBPs so he should have plenty of opportunities to drive in runs, and more importantly is that he is penciled in to play DH majority of the time which means less wear and tear and less days off. Not to mention the fact that he could end up being 1B eligible at some point since the Tigers have said that they will play him some there to spell Cabrera which is an added bonus. So even if his average ends up being slightly lower than somebody like Posey the fact that he should be in the lineup everyday whether it be DH, C or 1B would more than make up for it IMO.

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  8. Nate says:

    Is Napoli really still comfy living with the playing time concerns? Iannetta has close to his power without those concerns (and a similarly iffy avg) in the tier below…

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    • batpig says:

      Does Napoli really have any playing time concerns? Between catcher, 1B, and DH why wouldn’t he get 450-500 PA like the last two years?

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    • Howard Bender says:

      I like Napoli for atleast 450 ABs between C, 1B, and D this season, and if he can garner as many as he did last season, I can see him reaching the 30 HR plateau. I don’t have much confidence in the bat of Mitch Moreland and I think Texas will start to platoon the two fairly early in the season.

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  9. Resolution says:

    Jaso might provide some sneaky value if he returns to batting 1st or maybe 2nd in the Rays lineup. He’s still kind of meh overall and has no power but it’s something to consider – especially if you’re in a 2 catcher league…

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    • bpoe13 says:

      Jaso is certainly interesting but will miss some ABs that he got last year at DH. Last year many days that he took off catching he would be in the DH spot. I don’t see that happening as much this year. Your other issue is in day to day transaction leagues you will never know for sure what madden will put out there as he will probably have 162 different lineups this year.

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    • Howard Bender says:

      I’m also not a huge fan of his lack of speed. Maddon likes him in the leadoff spot because he can take a walk, but he certainly doesn’t get the green light on the bases. A decent average, maybe. Perhaps some decent runs scored when he’s batting leadoff, but I don’t see him throwing up much in the way of quality offensive totals.

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  10. Hunter says:

    I realize this is an intro-type, summary article…. but grouping less than 40 catchers with little reasoning? wow, can pretty much get that from a grocery store magazine written in December.

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    • Howard Bender says:

      Keep navigating through the site, Hunter. With every position ranking, there will be atleast half a dozen articles from us highlighting players as well.

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  11. Hunter says:

    cool. I apologize. definately checking the site a day later and there is a ton of follow-up on catchers. I spoke too soon.

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  12. Jimbo says:

    It’s now almost a month later and I’d like to know where all the catcher follow ups are…be nice to have them cross-linked.

    Or perhaps there is an easy way to get there and I’m just a boob.

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  13. Vlad says:

    It’s “toe the line”, not “tow the line”.


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  14. Kick me in the GONATS says:

    I am biased, but I strongly disagree with your assesment of RAMOS. He looks everybit the star catcher we are hoping he is right now. If we can only find a politically correct way of convincing PUDGE to be the full time backup and still mentor willingly, then Ramos will be a top 5 catcher in the game by years end. He is a super hard guy to get out, has linedrive power and has much better defensive skills than I hoped. He is awsome right now!!

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