With the calendar flipping to May, it’s time to re-visit the catcher tiers. When you’re scoping out players to target in trades, this should help guide towards players of similar value/potential. You’re not always going to find owners amenable to trading, so when you’re unable to pry loose your top target, at least you can find someone reasonably comparable. Though the one month is but a small sample size, let’s see which backstops are hottest moving forward and which ones have cooled in value in the fantasy community’s eyes. Again, these tiers are based not just on recent performance, but expected value moving forward as well.
|Trinidad Moruga Scorpion|
He may not be off to as hot a start as some of the other backstops, but his numbers are solid and there is little doubt that he will be the top fantasy catcher in 2013.
|Naga Viper Pepper|
A little bit of movement here in the second tier as a couple of backstops make their exit in order to make room for Napoli who has shown that, not only is the hip in good, working condition, but so is the bat as he continues to lead all catchers with 31 RBI. Rosario moves to the top as he continues to hit for great power while maintaining a strong average while Santana, Molina and even Mauer maintain their rankings from the start of the year.
|Red Savina Habanero|
The only catcher in this tier that isn’t off to an ice-cold start is Pierzynski whose stable production is good enough to maintain his spot in the tier but still isn’t quite good enough to move him up just yet. The rest of the group struggled through the first month of the season, but given their respective skill sets and track records, they should all start producing at much higher levels over the coming month. Not to single out Wieters, but given the hype with which he entered the league, how much longer do we have to wait before he picks up his average and on-base percentage to a level beyond just passable?
Probably the most volatile tier of them all as it seems to be more of a transition spot for players moving up and down. Montero has dropped due to a lack of production and loss of playing time, while McCann and Ruiz are veterans heading back from injury/suspension so they’re possibly headed elsewhere but we need more time to evaluate. JPA makes the jump with a nice power boost, although those strikeout are liable to drag him back down. Meanwhile, the two biggest risers here, Martin and Buck, have to be given immense credit for their performances, but obviously have to be held back just a bit due to the fact that both are over-performing at this point. The fact that both are still surging right now keeps them here in the spicy fourth tier, but prepare yourself for a drop-off. In this scribe’s opinion, it’s still a matter of when, not if.
|Nick HundleyEvan Gattis|
Probably the most interesting tier with a mix of risers and fallers. Doumit and Avila are both struggling here in the early part of the season and therefore take a slight hit in the overall scheme, while Hundley sees a decent increase for solid play through the first month. He also gets a bit of a bump because he’ll remain the primary while his teammate, Grandal, completes the second half of his suspension. A big ‘welcome to the party’ for Gattis who not only has thrived in place of McCann, but is hitting well enough for the club to give him a spot in the outfield while they wait for Jason Heyward to recover from his appendectomy. Where he goes after May is a different story…
No real surprises here. Ramos has the potential to move up as the club still views him as their primary catcher and he should see strong playing time this month while guys like Castro, Iannetta, Flowers and even Suzuki just toe the line. No one is playing exceptionally well and each could be seen as a legitimate secondary option in a two-catcher league. Grandal sits here based on potential, but we still won’t see him until the very end of the month and Pacheco is producing a fine average but no power as he plays most of his games at first base.
A collection of back-ups, platooners and one guy with a lot of hype but ain’t doing dinky-doo with such a golden opportunity to start thrown in his lap. You can only blame Dusty for Mesoraco’s playing time so much. If the kid could hit his way out of a paper bag, I’m sure he’d warrant some added playing time.
|Dioner NavarroKelly Shoppach|
More back-ups with minor impact and one hopeful. Although with the way Buck is playing in the bigs and the way d’Arnaud isn’t hitting down in Triple-A, a promotion does not seem very likely anytime soon, does it?
Any of these names ringing a bell? Get it?
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