RotoGraphs Consensus Ranks: Catcher

It’s time now to start rolling out the rankings, as the drafts are starting to get scheduled and everyone’s prepping. Once we’re doing rolling these out, we’ll give you a spreadsheet with our rankings and steamer projections. That way you can erase my rankings and improve your experience, if that’s what you’re all about. You’ll notice that the ‘draft tools’ box to the bottom right is slowly filling up. And if you need a little ‘extra,’ there’s always FG+ to give you advanced fantasy research and player caps on 1250 player pages.

No more ado. Catchers!

One more year with Joe Mauer, and his move to first base might make him especially sexy this year. More plate appearances! Less wear and tear! Brian McCann might get some extra time at DH, plus he has that alluring short porch and a park that loves lefty hitters. Old man A.J. Pierzynski inspired some different levels of excitement, as did the young man with the high batting average on balls in play in Chicago. Looks like Devin Mesoraco is a staff favorite, and htere’s a little bit of love for Yasmani Grandal and A.J. Ellis. Nobody’s all that into Jarrod Saltalamacchia, sort of.

And if you’re complaining about someone ranked ninth to 18th… I dunno. Seems like a big pool of guys that could hit .260 with 18 homers (or similar value, since some will hit for more power, and some for a better batting average). It’s that mess of guys in the middle that seems to suggest that waiting on a catcher in a one-catcher mixed league is the way to go. Is there a huge difference between Jason Castro and Yan Gomes?

Rankings based on 5×5 roto, 12 teams, single-catcher with Middle Infield and Corner Infield spots, 14 hitters and 9 pitchers. Each ranker had their own mix of projections and intuition.

RG Name Jeff Zach Mike Eno
1 Buster Posey 1 1 1 1
2 Joe Mauer 2 2 3 2
3 Wilin Rosario 3 3 2 3
4 Brian McCann 5 4 6 4
5 Carlos Santana 4 5 5 5
6 Jonathan Lucroy 8 7 4 8
7 Yadier Molina 7 8 9 6
8 Salvador Perez 6 6 11 7
9 Jason Castro 10 10 7 9
10 Evan Gattis 9 9 8 10
11 Matt Wieters 11 13 10 12
12 Wilson Ramos 13 15 13 11
13 Miguel Montero 12 12 14 13
14 Yan Gomes 14 11 12 14
15 Travis d’Arnaud 15 18 15 19
16 A.J. Pierzynski 24 14 16 16
17 Welington Castillo 18 16 24 18
18 Devin Mesoraco 17 28 18 15
19 Alex Avila 20 22 20 20
20 Russell Martin 16 26 19 22
21 Josmil Pinto 23 17 31 17
22 Jarrod Saltalamacchia 19 24 17 31
23 Yasmani Grandal 31 19 25 21
24 A.J. Ellis 28 21 22 23
25 Carlos Ruiz 22 23 27 24
26 John Jaso 27 20 28 25
27 Mike Zunino 21 25 23 30
28 Josh Phegley 29 27 32 27
29 Dioner Navarro 26 32 29 28
30 Geovany Soto 30 33 21 33
31 Derek Norris 25 36 26 34
32 Hank Conger 32 31 35 26
33 J.P. Arencibia 33 29 33 29
34 Chris Iannetta 34 35 30 36
35 Ryan Hanigan 40 30 34 35
36 Stephen Vogt 40 40 37 32
37 Kurt Suzuki 40 34 36 37
38 Martin Maldonado 35 40 40 39
39 Nick Hundley 40 40 40 38
40 George Kottaras 40 40 40 40



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Graphs: Baseball, Roto, Beer, brats (OK, no graphs for that...yet), repeat. Follow him on Twitter @enosarris.


36 Responses to “RotoGraphs Consensus Ranks: Catcher”

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  1. MustBunique says:

    Yes! Love the preseason rankings. Great day.

    Gattis at 9 is surprising. Can you expand on that a little? Right now MLB Depth Charts has him batting in the 4 hole behind Heyward, Upton, and Freeman. Production numbers alone should push him into the top 6, with his ceiling being higher. Good looking list otherwise.

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    • MustBunique says:

      **Looking at Jeff’s number for the 9, overall he is 10.

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      • Chad says:

        It’s probably related to the fear that he’s a terrible hitter who doesn’t wind up having a job.

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      • yosoyfiesta says:

        Gattis is a low BABIP guy given his existing batted ball profile. He’s not likely to be an OBP or AVG gem, but he also hit the longest home run in the majors last year and he hit 21 HRs in 382 PAs. His power is mammoth and he’s going to bat clean-up per Freddie G’s comments yesterday. In fantasy, production numbers matter, they matter a lot, and with a little semi-quantitative reasoning you can all agree that the higher in the line-up you hit, the more PAs you get, the more productive you have the opportunity to be.

        Jeff Zimmerman is a pretty smart guy, check this out, particularly the multipliers.

        http://www.fangraphs.com/fantasy/hitter-evaluation-runs-and-rbis-part-2/

        It was written a couple years ago, so the year index might be something less than 1, but the rest should be pretty sound.

        Gattis projection (5×5 roto): 70R, 31HR, 83RBI, 0SB, .269AVG

        -that’s based on a 16.5% HR/FB rate, a .280 BABIP, 566 PAs and the production numbers were developed using JZ’s research

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    • Campbrice says:

      Could be that 0.291 OBP….hacking only gets you so far

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      • Benjamin says:

        not that it’s a guarantee, but there is room for his walk rate to improve…he posted very respectable BB/K numbers at A+ and AA

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      • libradawg says:

        Yes, it gets you Top Ten positional rankings from virtually every source that has ever published an article. Please tell me, one piece of evidence that suggests the OBP won’t go up if not significantly? Anything. Please do, I really need to see this, it’s been a pretty rough week. But yeah, rookies often force their way into 1st place lineups and then remain stagnant. I got it.

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    • Eno Sarris says:

      speaking for myself, I’m a little worried about defense from a guy that doesn’t have a ton of experience catching. Maybe it won’t be bad enough to sit him all the time, but with Doumit on the team, it might be enough to have him replaced at the end of games. That takes PA away.

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      • libradawg says:

        Doumit has left some wondering whether or not he can handle the DH position on and off throughout the years. He will not be threatening anybody’s playing time. When you lose the amount of C the Braves have lost the past two years you do your best to prepare in case of a disaster. But Doumit is as bad as they come with the leather.

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      • Dan Ugglas Forearm says:

        Check out Gattis’ defensive numbers exclusively at catcher. He was actually a really good pitch framer, and ranks in between Kratz and Avila as far as receiving goes. Gattis was a catcher until his bat forced its way into the lineup, even when McCann was catching, and all of his negative defensive value comes from his time in the outfield.

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  2. Scott Clarkson says:

    If we knew Grandal would get 550 PA I wonder how high he’d rank. With the playing time, injury recovery, and PED issues clouding his projection he’s so tough to peg.

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    • Jeff Zimmerman says:

      Depending on the league’s depth, he may be higher if he is semi-replaceable. In a deep league (NL-only), it would be tough to go into the season with him as a team’s #1 catching option. I think there could be quite a bit of value from him IF he is healthy and can retain previous production levels.

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      • Scott says:

        As usual you nailed it Jeff. In a mixed league 1-catcher setup with sufficient bench room I like Grandal + replacement catcher AB’s a lot if Grandal can be 60%+ of those AB’s. His discipline especially plays up in LWTS.

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  3. James R. says:

    In a AL only auction league, with 15 keepers. I have Conger 1$ and Suzuki at 2$. Given their lowly rankings, and the fact that I have them very cheap. Do you agree with protecting them to make more money available for players in traditional power positions like 1B, 3B and OF? Realizing the injury risk of Catchers and that they usually don’t play more than 5- games a week. Thank you Eno.

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  4. LarryA says:

    Wellington and Navarro have almost identical projections, Why are they 12 spots apart?

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    • Atari says:

      I am strangely optimistic about Dioner Navarro. The Blue jays coughed up a 2 year deal and a starting spot for him and good contact skills.

      If you squint you have a poor man’s Salvador Perez or Yadi for a buck at the end of drafts. I’m planning on punting C anyways.

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  5. Bluebird in Boulder says:

    I do hate to be greedy, because this series is very informative, but would it be possible to add ADP (from your draft site of choice) to the chart?

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  6. Ballpark Frank says:

    Ive done a few Yahoo Roto drafts so far an have stockpiled catchers.

    My approach this year is too

    – Get one of the top 4 3B in the top 2 rounds(Miggy, Beltre, Encarnacion, Wright). After the big 4 there is just a huge drop off.

    – Get one of the top 3 SS in the first 3 rounds (Hanley, Tulo, Desmond). After this group I see the same drop off. I have even taken Tulo (2nd) & Desmond (4th) with 2 of my first 4 picks. SS & 3B are the most shallow positions this year in my opinion.

    – Wait on 1B & 2B. No need to take either position early as there are too many value picks at these positions. The only exception is if I can get Kipnis late in the 2nd round. AAron Hill is going criminally low in the drafts I have done. So is Daniel Murphy. At 1B I’m target Abreau, B Moss, M Adams, Morneau. Moss especially since he is 1B/OF eligible and absolutely kills RHP. Over the last 2 seasons vs RHP Moss’s # vs RHP prorated for 550 ABs would be.

    .276 Avg / .356 OBP / .585 SLG / .309 ISO
    43 HRs / 95 Runs / 110 RBIs

    Ive gotten him in the 13th round on all of my teams. Im willing to platoon this type of production.

    – Speaking of platoon’s Shin-Soo Choo is the other guy worth platooning vs RHP. He has moved to one of the friendliest ballparks for lefties and has Profar and Martin batting in front of him to boost his RBI production. His # vs RHP over the last 2 years prorated for 550 ABs

    .322 AVG / .431 OBP / .538 SLG / .217 ISO
    25 HRs / 111 Runs / 70 RBIs

    He should also throw in 20-25 SBs since Texas is likely to run more then Dusty Baker did.

    That brings me to catcher

    – Evan Gattis is C/OF eligible and he is a key target that I am willing to reach for. I think he has serious HR & RBI potential this year with Heyward, Upton and Freeman batting ahead of him. Im grabbing Moss in the 13th and Gattis in the 14th. This is allowing me to go after the lighter hitting speed OFs since I know I can plug and play Moss and Gattis into the OF to get power.

    – McCann is going to be a beast on the Yankees. I cant see him hitting less then 30 HRs. He is going to get a lot of rest DHing and will play half of his games in Yankee Stadium. Look at what that did for someone like Curtis Granderson. It’s not just Yankee Stadium. Camden Yards and the Rodgers Centre are also friendly to lefties. He is going to have a monster season.

    – Lucroy is the most well rounded of the Catchers. He should hit for decent Avg, is in his prime power years playing in another friendly ballpark, has been very productive driving in runs and can steal 10 bases. He is also C/1B eligible to boot and wrecks LHP. I have him on all of my teams.

    – Victor Martinez is also someone I drafted in all of my leagues in hopes that he would regain his catcher eligibility. Word has it that Detroit is now planning to play him behind the plate. BINGO. It shouldnt be long until he has C/1B eligibility which fits perfectly with what Im doing. Martinez was one of the hottest players post all star break batting .361 with a .413 OBP and .500 SLG. His arrow is pointing up with Fielder now in Texas. He should be batting 3rd or 4th in one of the most potent lineups in the league. Why pay for Mauer or Molina when you can get the same production 12 rounds later.

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    • Bill says:

      Longoria is quite a good third baseman too.

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      • deezy333 says:

        Exactly. Is the drop off really that bad to Segura either? I’d probably prefer Segura to Desmond.

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      • Ballpark Frank says:

        Longoria worries me. His K% jumped 4% last year and his ISO is trending down over the last 3 years. He isnt worth where you have to draft IMO.

        No one compares to Miggy so I will leave him out. Beltre is likely to to hit 40 points higher then Longoria for the same power numbers. Encarnacion has a ton of Avg upside since he only struck out 10% last year. His .247 BABIP is bad luck and likely to jump significantly. He also has hit for better power then Longoria over the last 2 seasons and can throw in 8-10 SBs. David Wright doesnt have the same power upside of Longoria but he is a 5 category contributor with better support this year in Granderson.

        I think these four have substantially more value then Longoria.

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      • deezy333 says:

        Longoria also dealt with plantar faciitis last year yet still played almost every game. He basically had one bad month, ironically when the team was playing its best, that dragged down his overall numbers. Im not sure about a 40 point difference in average as their career averages are separated by 7 points. Longoria clearly has age and upside on his side (Belte will be 35) while both have past injury concerns. I don’t have a problem preferring Beltre in a redraft but I do not think there is a huge drop off as you are suggesting.

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    • stonepie says:

      platooning moss and choo are solid ideas. not sure id take all those catchers though, especially gattis

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  7. prime416 says:

    Sorry, this is probably obvious or I’ve just forgotten, but do you guys rank based on standard 5×5?

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  8. Bill says:

    I like John Jaso a lot. Playing DH for most of the year, he’s had a haircut, so it wont be getting in his eyes and that concussion looks sorted, so I expect a fairly big jump in power. The A’s platoon craziness will prevent him from killing BA as well.

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  9. Cardinology says:

    I’m a little surprised at Gattis and Castro ranking ahead Ramos for every ranker. I’ll take Ramos over those two. Ramos’ biggest issues are lack of walks and injuries – but he’s proven he can hit for a solid average and power over a decent sample size and he has no current injury issues going into the season. I wouldn’t necessarily assume Gattis and Castro are more durable after only one season a piece.

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    • deezy333 says:

      Same. I have Ramos ahead of both. That average home run distance would translate nicely over a full season.

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    • yosoyfiesta says:

      Gattis hits 4th, Castro is projected to hit somewhere 3-5, production upside is massively different from a guy like Ramos who is projected to his 8th.

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    • Ballpark Frank says:

      I dont like Ramos at all. He is an extreme ground ball hitter which should keep his Avg respectable but his power is due for a steep decline. He only hit 20% and 23.6% FB over the last 2 years. Can he sustain HR% north of 23%? I wouldnt bet on it. Even if he does keep his power, he bats 8th in the NL. Not exactly ideal for Runs and RBIs

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  10. GilaMonster says:

    We use OBP,SLG,nSB in our 12 team mixed league.

    Other than McCann and Lucroy, is a Castro a good target?
    High OBP,good SLG, nice HR/counting stats/ and a good batted ball profile with a whopping 23% LD%.

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  11. Robert says:

    Who’s are the biggest upside, sleepers after 10? Gomes? Anyone else? If I’m looking to wait on catcher, who might up pick up late with a good shot at top 10 value? Conger?

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  12. Adam says:

    I’m in 20 team, 2 catcher league. Does the value of catchers go up because of how deep the league is. Trying to decide my 5th keeper between andrelton simmons and lucroy. Shorstop is shallow. Would love some opinions on this.

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