Catcher Rankings Updated

With the calendar flipping to May, it’s time to re-visit the 2011 Catcher Rankings and see who has climbed closer to the top and who’s been dropping like a stone.  As you may recall, the RotoGraph writers got together before the season began and constructed a composite catcher rankings.  However, after gaining some feedback from all of you, I have decided to make my adjustments to the rankings based on the following criteria:

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.  So without further ado, you may now cue the theme song to The Jeffersons

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

The top four overall stay the same but with some obvious movement within the tier.  Consider it something like Mauer getting bumped from the master bedroom to one of the kid’s rooms, if you will.  However, I won’t push him or Martinez from the group just because of early season injuries.  There’s plenty of season left to go. Posey gets the best room in the place due to his contributions in the counting stats and a better slugging percentage.  He’ll also bring that average and OBP back up to much more respectable levels soon.

Comfy Living
Carlos Santana
Russell Martin
Miguel Montero
Mike Napoli
Matt Wieters
Geovany Soto
Jorge Posada

Yes, yes, I know.  If we were talking OBP leagues, Santana would be in the top tier.  I’ve heard you all loud and clear.  His power numbers keep him at the top of the group, but his average and OBP are going to need to increase if he’s going to stay.  Posada and Soto get to stay for now, but both may be on shaky ground come the end of the month.  Napoli’s at bats situation is rough, but his power numbers are still strong.  A big welcome to Martin who has performed beyond expectations already and to Montero for starting to live up to his.

Small House in the ‘Burbs
Alex Avila
Nick Hundley
Kurt Suzuki
J.P. Arencibia
Yorvit Torrealba
Yadier Molina
Carlos Ruiz
Chris Iannetta

Avila and Hundley have performed admirably and deserve to move to a bigger place this month.  Their numbers are rock solid and they should continue to play at their current levels.  Arencibia’s power is just starting to develop and Torrealba is getting plenty of PT in Texas and is putting up solid numbers for the position.  The rest of the guys are in a bit of a holding pattern, but none of them are deserving to move up or down just yet.

Shoebox Apartment
Jonathan Lucroy
Wilson Ramos
John Buck
A.J. Pierzynski
Miguel Olivo
Rod Barajas
Humberto Quintero
John Jaso

Ramos has taken over the majority of playing time from Pudge and Lucroy, who missed the first two weeks with a finger injury, was handed the starting job once he got back.  Both are playing well and deserving of a bump in tier, but both need to prove they can sustain this level.  Each of them could easily lose some time with a slump.  Quintero joins the group as the new primary in Houston and Buck, as expected, gets knocked down a tier, with his lackluster play in Florida.

Sharing a Room
Chris Snyder
Ryan Doumit
Hank Conger

Josh Thole

Ramon Hernandez
Ryan Hanigan
J.R. Towles
Matt Treanor
Brayan Pena
Jarrod Saltlamacchia

Doumit drops down because he is splitting time now with Snyder who may start to get the bigger end of the stick eventually.  Thole drops with under-performance and the return of PEDs advocate Ronny Paulino.  We welcome Conger, who stayed with the big club and has seen an increase in playing time recently, Towles for doing the same in Houston, and the tandem of Treanor and Pena who have taken over for the injured Jason Kendall.  Hernandez gets a slight bump based on performance (Hanigan drops because of it) while Salty is right on the cusp of being bumped down — but we’ll give him another shot before we do.

Shanty-town
Ivan Rodriguez
Ronny Paulino
Kelly Shoppach
Jeff Mathis
Jason Kendall*
Jason Castro*
Jesus Montero

With the play of Martin, it’s going to be difficult for Montero to get an opportunity this year, so he waits in Shanty-town for at least another year.  Everyone else is….well, everyone else.

* 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, 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


22 Responses to “Catcher Rankings Updated”

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  1. Maverick says:

    I’m not sold on Posey being the hitter most think he will be. Outside of that 20+ game hitting streak, he is a .250 hitter. I know you can’t take away what he did over that 3 week period, because he did do it, but everything he has done outside of that 3 weeks isn’t all that impressive. I’m still waiting to see what he can do over a full season.

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    • descender says:

      Over 500 at-bats… .294/.347/.479 isn’t good enough?

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      • Maverick says:

        His 3 week hitting streak last year makes those numbers look much better than they might otherwise. I’m not saying it should be taken from him, because you can’t do that. However, he had a .445 BABIP in that 3 week period, and I don’t expect him to have a streak like that too many more times in his career. His July ’10 was incredible. The rest of his ’10 season was mediocre. He hit something like .260 outside of that month last year.

        I’m just not sold on him at this talent level.

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      • descender says:

        Trying to pick out small sample BABIP streaks is lunacy.

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    • RiverAce says:

      Maverick: WAY OFF. Anyone can twist statistics to prove whatever point they want to make.
      Separating someone’s hot streak or hitting streak, or whatever, from his other stats is lunacy and ruins your cred.

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  2. B N says:

    Definitely a good round-up. I wish somebody could figure out Napoli’s usage pattern though. As someone who owns both Napoli and Martin, I’ve been mainly stuck trying to do a platoon situation with Napoli at home and Martin otherwise. Though had I known Martin would have been this good, I’d have kept him in the whole time :) With that said, on a per-game basis, I think you still have to expect better counting stats out of Napoli going forward.

    But when you can’t tell if he’s going to play, per game kind of goes out the window.

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    • descender says:

      If you can’t figure out when a guy will play or not, how are you going to collect those “better counting stats”?

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      • B N says:

        I thought my point was relatively obvious, but to clarify, Napoli’s PER GAME counting stats I would expect to be better than Martin. (Though with Martin’s play so far, I’m starting to wonder if that is even true).

        And thank you for exactly re-iterating my point- there is no way to optimize the use of two catchers if you have no idea when they’ll play or not. Hence why I asked for input.

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      • Alan says:

        Start him against lefties and bench him otherwise. Take one look at his career splits and you’ll be thankful that Washington doesn’t play him much against RHP.

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  3. Dandy Salderson says:

    Towles belongs in the small house in the burbs group.

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  4. Seth Walder says:

    I don’t think I agree with making rankings based on “current level of performance.” Expected return for the rest of the season is what matters, which is why I would question how high you have Russell Martin.

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    • descender says:

      And why is that? because you believe he has an “injury history” that is not real? The guy got hurt once, and that led to a second injury which was surgically repaired… all in one season. Other than that the guy is the epitome of an everyday catcher.

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      • descender says:

        You know who I wouldn’t have anywhere near the top tier? Mauer.

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      • Nat Haniel says:

        Why? because he was dumped by the team that knew him best. Although misjudgments do occur, I wouldn’t invest in a player Colletti threw to the curb for a few million saved.

        Beware the SSS

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      • descender says:

        A 5 year career with 1 injury shortened season is not a small sample.

        I wouldn’t read anything into a team with no ownership and no money letting someone go.

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      • Nat Haniel says:

        McCourt insistent on dropping Russell for a couple million saved? Sure, fair enough. Anything’s possible. But what of every other team not presently employing McCann, Posey, Mauer, Wieters or Soto? They passed too.

        Russell may be fine, as Swisher is, but I wouldn’t count on it. The odds would not be in your favor.

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  5. Bodhizefa says:

    Conger is really blossoming. It’s too bad it will probably take at least two of Jeff Mathis’ limbs falling off before Scoscia would start to mistrust him enough to give Hank full-time at bats.

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  6. RENE says:

    Hi, I got Posada as my Catcher, and I am getting tired of waiting for him to wake up, but it is a deep league and free there are just catchers from the next tier Hundley, Arencibia, Suzuki, Torrealba and Lucroy. Should I wait? I am in first place thanks to my OF´s.

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    • Howard Bender says:

      I would maybe wait a little bit more. Depends on what will improve your team the most. Do you need BA or OBP? If so, then making the switch to someone like Suzuki or even Torrealba wouldn’t be too bad. But I’d think about giving it another couple of weeks before I just cut him loose.

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  7. Ray says:

    Mike Napoli gets starts vs lefties and the occasional righty….. for years now. Just play him vs lefties since that is when he smokes the ball.

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  8. Jacksonville's Biggest Rays Fan says:

    I am disliking Napoli more and more. It is more of a dislike for Ron Washington for not playing him more at DH, but Napoli didn’t preform well against the Yanks at home either when given the chance to deserve his roster spot

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  9. Really good thread on Jersey Shore. this show much I dont even know why LOL, I most certainly will come back for lots more post later.

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