Pod’s Picks June Update: Catchers

Rankings lists always result in a firestorm of comments as everyone values players differently. It’s hard enough to do such an exercise in the preseason, but in the middle of the season is even more difficult. How much do you weight such a small sample of performance when you have an entire body of work to analyze from a player? Is the skills change real or just a mirage? So like I did in the preseason, I’m going to compare my updated rankings with the rest of the crew. I removed my rankings from the consensus and then reordered it to get a truer picture of what the other guys are feeling. We’ll start with the catchers. I won’t include everyone, only the noteworthy names.

Bullish

Travis d’Arnaud

My Rank: 14 | Their Rank: 35

Oops. Only a couple of days after publishing the update, d’Arnaud was demoted to the minors. His walk and strikeout rates looked good, but he was showing no power and was hampered by a .200 BABIP. This was more an oversight on my part than legitimately believing he should be the 14th best catcher over the rest of the season.

Jason Castro

My Rank: 10 | Their Rank: 15

Blind optimism? I own him in two leagues and still want to weight six months over just two. But he’s striking out more, walking less and his power is down. Yet, he still plays a lot for a catcher and hits in the middle of a lineup. It’s enough to make me think better days are ahead. Actually, significantly better days have to be ahead for him to rank anywhere near 10th over the rest of the season.

Salvador Perez

My Rank: 7 | Their Rank: 9

I feel like this was flip-flopped in the preseason, where I was less bullish than the rest. I guess a relatively slow start changed all that. However, his skills are actually slightly better all around, though his batted ball distance is down a bit and he’s hitting more pop-ups. A week hitting Royals lineup hasn’t helped, though that isn’t really a surprise.

Bearish

Josmil Pinto

My Rank: 29 | Their Rank: 12

Remember, these rankings were published before the Kendrys Morales signing. Now it’s almost a guarantee that he finishes closer to my rank than the others. We’ll never know where Pinto would finish if Morales wasn’t signed. But my rank was predicated upon Suzuki receiving the lion’s share of catching at-bats and the DH spot being too crowded. Though he’s truly shown good skills with excellent power and strong walk rate, a .245 BABIP has killed him and the Twins clearly aren’t too interested in allowing his luck to revert. So this was all a playing time thing.

John Jaso

My Rank: 27 | Their Rank: 17

Considering I own him in Tout Wars, it’s a surprise to see that I’m so much more bearish on Jaso than the rest. Of course, Tout Wars uses OBP instead of AVG, a format that gives Jaso quite the boost in value. His batting average, though, is suddenly a real asset as his power has rebounded to 2012 levels and is supported by a jump in batted ball distance. I will have to admit that I may have been slightly too pessimistic here, but his playing time situation might make it difficult to be as good as 17 as well.



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Mike Podhorzer is the 2015 Fantasy Sports Writers Association Baseball Writer of the Year. He produces player projections using his own forecasting system and is the author of the eBook Projecting X 2.0: How to Forecast Baseball Player Performance, which teaches you how to project players yourself. His projections helped him win the inaugural 2013 Tout Wars mixed draft league. He also sells beautiful photos through his online gallery, Pod's Pics. Follow Mike on Twitter @MikePodhorzer and contact him via email.


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Ed
Guest
Ed

Bottom line, POD is not someone you should follow for fantasy advice. Check out his tout team! He drafted like obp was the only offensive category! !!!

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Member
Member
Bobo Polaroids

Seems an awful lot like cherry-picking to point to Pod’s 2014 team in Tout and omit his 2013 Tout Mixed Draft team, which won the league.

Josh
Guest
Josh

didn’t he win Tout Wars last year?

when it comes to analyzing players, he’s one of the best writers out there. I don’t agree with those recent OF rankings but ignoring his advice is a mistake.

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