Catcher Rankings Update – June 2011

As we get ready to head into a new month, it’s time to update the 2011 Catchers Rankings once again.  Remember, the criteria for these rankings is as follows:

1.  Current performance level
2.  Expected performance for rest of season
3.  Value based on standard 5×5 categories (avg over OBP)

The arrows are used to highlight a player moving up or down in tier, but you’ll also notice some minor tweaks within the tiers as well.  Some that will obviously have more impact than others.

Penthouse on Park Avenue
Brian McCann
Victor Martinez
Russell Martin
Miguel Montero

Only two of the original top 4 remain due to injuries.  But with some strong performances, and strongly sustained for that matter, both Martin and Montero get a bump to the Penthouse.  Martin has been a fantastic rebound this season and looks like he’ll continue to play at a high level in his new home in the Bronx.  Montero is lving up to that potential we were all expecting last season before he got hurt.

Comfy Living
Alex Avila
Mike Napoli
J.P. Arencibia
Carlos Santana
Matt Wieters
Geovany Soto
Joe Mauer

Joining this tier are Avila and Arencibia, two young power hitting backstops that have really taken the league by storm this year.  We all knew that both had the potential to be productive backstops and now they are both exceeding expectations.  Santana gets pushed a little further down and will stay where he is until he starts to pull that average up.  Until I hear better progress regarding Mauer’s recovery, I can’t help but drop him down.

Small House in the ‘Burbs
Jonathan Lucroy
Yadier Molina
Kurt Suzuki
Chris Iannetta
Yorvit Torrealba
Carlos Ruiz
John Buck
Jorge Posada

Lucroy has been fantastic since coming back from his opening season DL stint.  He continues to hit for a high average and has some good pop in his bat as well.  He’s climbing tiers at a rapid rate, so if he continues to perform well, he’ll be in Comfy Living in no time.  Buck gets a small bump, but could stand to improve that plate discipline.  Posada is rapidly losing time now that lefties are befuddling him.  At 39 years old, he’s got no where really to go anymore but down.

Shoebox Apartment
Ramon Hernandez
Rod Barajas
Wilson Ramos
Miguel Olivo
A.J. Pierzynski
Nick Hundley
Humberto Quintero
John Jaso

This tier has stayed predominantly the same, but Hernandez gets a big bump to the top of a new tier based on what he’s done recently.  Still splitting time with Hanigan, he’s put together a .300+ average and continues to hit with decent pop.  If he received more ABs, I’d be inclined to throw him into the tier above.  Hundley drops due to his lengthy recovery.  Are you ever coming back, Nick?

Sharing a Room
Chris Snyder
Jarrod Saltlamacchia
Ryan Doumit
Hank Conger
Josh Thole
Ryan Hanigan
J.R. Towles
Matt Treanor
Brayan Pena
Ronny Paulino

Nothing new from this tier.  Paulino joins as he seems to be garnering a little more playing time and not just against lefties anymore.  Salty gets a big bump within the tier due to his little power surge.  Everyone else is….well, everyone else.

Ivan Rodriguez
Jeff Mathis
Kelly Shoppach
Jesus Montero
Jason Kendall*
Jason Castro*
Buster Posey*

Nothing makes me sadder than to have to put Posey down here.  His 2011 is finished and his only value remains in keeper leagues.  His surgery was successful, so there’s hope, but that’s what they said about Kendrys Morales.

* injured player

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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,, Fantasy Alarm, RotoWire and Mock Draft Central. Follow him on Twitter at @rotobuzzguy or for more direct questions or comments, email him at

23 Responses to “Catcher Rankings Update – June 2011”

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  1. mrhano says:

    These ranks look good, but I definitely don’t see Russ Martin as a top-tier C. Over the last month he’s got a .211/.349/.366 line with a .338 wOBA. Solid OBP option I think, but I still like JPA and Santana better for ROS.

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    • V says:

      He’s been battling a sore toe for the past three weeks. I think he’s legit, and if you want to sell him to me, I’m buying ;-)

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    • batpig says:

      wait what?!?! you mean that .975 OPS he put up in April wasn’t his newfound “true talent” level???


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    • Josh says:

      not looking at the numbers, but I’m pretty sure Martin has a tendency to fade in the 2nd half. admittedly, he isn’t being managed by Torre anymore.

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    • bowie says:

      Agreed — Martin may have a nice little comeback year but he’s not an elite hitting catcher. One hot April is all he’s had. His May looked just like the Russell Martin of 2009/2010.

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  2. B says:

    I wish Santana would get his shit together. Thank god I’m in an OPS league, otherwise I’d have considered benching/dropping him. That batting average is murder.

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    • Alex says:

      He is something like .212 BABIP as that levels off and comes toward league average the BA will come up as well. Just a bad luck stretch on BABIP as all other number are still solid

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  3. steve balboni says:

    Some of your links are broke (Molina and Santana).

    Santana seems rated a bit high for a non-OBP league. I would take Yadier, Wieters, and Mauer over him right now. He’s kind of a darling among the sabre set, but so was Ben Petrick and Bobby Crosby. YTD, Santana barely makes the top 10 in HRs and RBI among catchers and his average crushes that value. That 20% K rate is his skill level, his HR/FB is stable right now, but some correction to BABIP might help.

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    • Howard Bender says:

      Links are fixed. Thanks for the heads up…

      Still holding on for a Santana surge….it’s coming….just might not come until the 2nd half…

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  4. Johnny says:

    Jorge Posada is 1: no longer a catcher, and 2: not playing well enough to be in the third tier anyways.

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    • Howard Bender says:

      Most leagues that I know of don’t take away a player’s eligibility until the following season when a player switches and no longer plays a certain position. Posada still qualifies at catcher as a result of last year’s games played.

      And yes, he’s dropping, but I didn’t want to free fall him since there’s no injury. If he continues his current level of production, he’ll be in Shantytown before you know it.

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  5. JKB says:

    I added Lucroy when Soto went on the DL, with Wieters as my other catcher in a two catcher league. Now that Soto is back from the DL I don’t know who to drop, Lucroy and Soto seem like a toss-up.

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  6. Freddy T says:

    Where would you rank Eli Whiteside?

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  7. Is Posada even worth rostering at this point in a 1 catcher 12 team league?

    I picked up Lucroy when he came off the DL, I just can’t bring myself to drop Jorge yet…and I hate the yanks…

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  8. nikolai volkoff says:

    santana isn’t all that great, and is full of himself. overrated.

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  9. majorkong says:

    Martin : .253/.363/.480
    Arencibia : .259/.321/.503
    Iannetta : .241/.386/.467

    Tier 1, 2, and 3. Not sure what the big difference is between these guys. IMO Martin is too high and Iannetta is too low.

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  10. Pondering says:

    14-team weekly — sigh — league, I have Napoli and Iannetta. Which should I trade?

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    • Howard Bender says:

      I would try to deal Napoli, but his limited at bats and it being a weekly league make it awfully difficult. I’m in a very similar boat and finding a buyer for him is tough. If you can accept the fact that you may only get 7 AB in a week from your catcher, then there’s nothing wrong with shopping Iannetta. I, for one, am not a huge fan of his.

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  11. Matt says:

    Catcher seems like weird position this year for fantasy baseball. About 13 solid OBP/Power options (counting Mauer), but no real stars. In the past, it was 2 or 3 stars and nothing. BAvg leagues change that up a little bit, but still, not much incentive to have a top player this year. Honestly, I’d feel almost as comfortable with Iannetta, Santana, Arencibia, Avila or Napoli as I would with Martin, McCann or even V-Mart, considering his injury history. Montero might be the best option at this point.

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