Catcher Tiers Update — May 2012

In contrast to what we did last season, this year we’re doing monthly updates for our positional rankings as laid out by Eno Sarris and his minions.  In addition to that, we’re doing our monthly positional tier updates as well which should aid you in your waiver pick-ups and trade negotiations when you’re comparing values.  The rankings can be found over here and below is how I see them by tier…

U.S. Prime
Mike Napoli
Buster Posey
Carlos Santana

Hard to argue against any of these guys being a top backstop.  Napoli and Santana give you great power, a mediocre average, but a solid OBP.  Posey gives you a little less power but a better batting average with a solid OBP as well.  A slight tweak within the tier to reflect my thoughts as to who I would actually rank where.

U.S. Choice
Matt Wieters
Jesus Montero
Brian McCann
Joe Mauer

In truth, I really thought about just combining these top two tiers into one mega-tier and again, I made a few tweaks to reflect my opinion.  Wieters could very well reside with the top group, as could Montero based on the way he’s hit coupled with expectations.  McCann and Mauer are here more for name and reputation, in my opinion, but McCann could separate himself a little.

U.S. Select
Miguel Montero
Yadier Molina
Alex Avila

Molina is playing well enough to move up a tier, but would prefer to see where the power ends up in another month or two.  Montero is steady and Avila’s got some pop, but the average is suffering this season.

U.S. Standard
Wilson Ramos
J.P. Arencibia
A.J. Pierzynski
Geovany Soto
Russell Martin
Ryan Doumit
Jonathan Lucroy

Run of the mill catchers here.  A little bit of potential in the various offensive categories, but we’ve seen the ceilings of the veterans listed here and the youngsters still have a ways to go before they reach their full potential.

U.S. Commerical
Kurt Suzuki
Carlos Ruiz
Ramon Hernandez
Jarrod Saltalamacchia

Now we’re looking at some drop-off, although Salty could really be on his way up if he fixed that batting average.   Ruiz is playing great, but realistically, how long can he keep his current pace going?  My guess is not long.

U.S. Utility
Chris Iannetta
Devin Mesoraco
Josh Thole
Nick Hundley

Iannetta’s average dropped hard throughout the month and could push him down further if he doesn’t make some positive changes.  Mesoraco is still stuck in a platoon, Thole is barely average and Hundley is struggling right now, but could easily turn things around sooner than later.

U.S. Cutter
Salvador Perez
John Buck
Ryan Hanigan
A.J. Ellis
Rod Barajas

Ellis should be up a tier, in my opinion, but I didn’t want to alter the rankings too dramatically here in the tiers.  He’s greatly improved at the plate and has more walks than he does strikeouts.  The rest of the crew in this tier can be avoided, although we’ll see how Perez does once healthy.

U.S. Canner
Yorvit Torrealba
Miguel Olivo
John Jaso
Jason Castro

Bottom of the barrel….well, can.  You don’t want ’em.  You don’t need ’em.  You only use if you are absolutely desperate.


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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

21 Responses to “Catcher Tiers Update — May 2012”

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  1. Max says:

    If Grandal gets called up, what tier would he belong in? Utility with a chance to move up?

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    • Howard Bender says:

      Obviously it all depends on how he hits, how much he plays with relation to Nick Hundley, etc., but with a call-up this year, I think I would probably start him off somewhere between Utility and Cutter and see what he does from there…

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  2. JimLahey says:

    Surprised to see Soto still hanging on in that tier. He’s sucked this year. Doesn’t show much promise of turning it around. I already cut bait with him in favor of Ruiz because of how bad he is playing and Welington Castillo/Steve Clevenger being on the roster.

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  3. Mark says:

    waaayyyy too low on yadier

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  4. Mike S says:

    Ruiz has been the most consistent player after Ethier in my lineup. Definitely deserves more credit, not for high numbers but consistent ones.

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  5. Scrantastic says:

    Somehow I ended up with Napoli, Yadier, and Jesus Montero and so far, Yadier is by far the most consistent hitting .304 with 11 doubles, only 9 k’s and 4 stolen bases tossed in as a bargain. Montero is pretty close statistically, but Napoli has been hot and cold all year. One great week with 6 HRs but also 31 Ks so far…ouch.

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  6. Riflemen says:

    Wiln Rosario not worth a mention? Big power and nice catching tools with only Hernandez to overcome. I’m buying.

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    • Howard Bender says:

      I’m a big Rosario fan as well, but he didn’t make the rankings list done by Eno and the boys for some reason. For me, he’s at the high end of the Utility Tier with a strong chance to move up as many as two tiers with some increased playing time. However, with Hernandez playing more, Rosario’s value this year takes a hit.

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  7. Nick says:

    Not a single mention of A.J. Ellis? I know he’s all OBP, but for people in OBP leagues…. in fact, I just saw an article on this site praising him a couple of days ago.

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  8. Nick says:

    Sorry! Disregard my comment. I see A.J. in there now.

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  9. shibboleth says:

    Gents: who would you take ROS in an OBP/SLG league? Doumit, Soto, ‘Netta, Hernandez, Suzuki, Ellis, Rosario?

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  10. cfg720 says:

    Wieters outranks Napoli by the end of the season in all 5 categories. Have you seen Napoli’s K rate so far this year?? He goes back to .250 and you know he will miss a month or so. Wieters has youth on his side and has only improved the last 3 years.

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  11. Bobzilla says:

    If AJ Ellis should be up a tier why not actually put him in a higher tier? It’s your rankings, you can do whatever the hell you want. I’m not going to knock you for putting Ellis where you have him, but I *will* knock you for putting him low and clearly stating he should be higher without. Heck, at least say something along the lines of “his production should place him higher but I’m not quite a believer this isn’t a fluke.”.

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    • Howard Bender says:

      Point well taken, Bobzilla, but these actually are not my rankings. I’m just grouping them up into tiers as a way to help equate values. The rankings were done by Eno and three other contributors as you’ll see on the rankings page.

      Had these been my rankings, Mauer would have been lower and Wieters higher, just for starters……..

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  12. phillies07_08 says:

    How about Carlos Ruiz? Don’t you think he should be higher up?

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    • OzzieGuillen says:

      I would push him up near Yadier Molina. Similar hitter, just with a few less RBI on the Phillies.

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  13. nasty says:

    Jesus Montero is killing me in my 2 keerper league= =
    Should i really need to wait for him?

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    • senrad says:

      Jesus Montero is undervalued to me, not in this list but erywhere else. He should get more ab’s than just about every other catcher since he sees so much time at DH.

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  14. sbotner says:

    Just did a straight up trade Montero for Ruiz. Seems like a great trade for me do you guys think those two will compare the rest of the season?

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