Now that the RotoGraphs consensus positional rankings have been published, it’s time for the 2014 edition of Pod’s Picks! Once again, I will be identifying the players at each position in which my rankings differ most from the consensus. This year, I have removed my rankings and recalculated the consensus rank to paint a more accurate picture of what the other three are thinking. This new consensus is what I will be comparing my ranking to.
First, I will start with catchers. The bullish section will only include players from my top 24, while the bearish group will only include those whose consensus is in the top 24.
My Rank: 21 | Consensus: 33
It’s gotta be a playing time thing. I am projecting Soto to garner the lion’s share of at-bats behind the dish and assuming that J.P. Arencibia was signed to fill a backup role. Both hitters have big power and low batting average expectations, but at least Soto isn’t immune to the base on balls.
My Rank: 17 | Consensus: 26
This one surprises me, though it’s actually the second year in a row he makes my bullish list. Who knew I was such a fan of Salty?! In last year’s review, I even expressed surprise by his appearance, so imagine my befuddlement when I just learned a couple of minutes ago that here he is again. I don’t particularly like him, but do expect some sort of home run rebound, though capped by Marlins Park’s power stifling abilities. He should play most every day, boosting his counting stats and offsetting what could be a poor batting average.
*Bonus* (Actually, I typed up the entire Norris capsule until I realized that I broke my own rule of only including those in my top 24. Oops.)
My Rank: 26 | Consensus: 32
After being the high bidder for his services in AL LABR, Eno Sarris should be pleased to see that I apparently share his enthusiasm for Derek “Don’t Call Me Chuck” Norris. With John Jaso set to fill the DH slot the majority of the time, Norris becomes the regular catcher and should set a new high in plate appearances. While he has solid power for a catcher, what really sets him apart is his speed. He seems to be a cheaper version of Russell Martin.
My Rank: 31 | Consensus: 18
Do people still think he’s going to start the year in the Majors and act as the regular catcher? He was taken in my mixed LABR draft as well as a team’s starting catcher. While I admittedly don’t understand why the Twins signed Kurt Suzuki, the fact of the matter is that they did and is almost assuredly going to be the every day starter, with Pinto opening the year at Triple-A. A ranking of 18 is reasonable given a full season of at-bats, but given the uncertainty of when he may eventually be recalled, he’s being drafted and ranked far too early and high, respectively.
My Rank: 24 | Consensus: 16
Hmmm, if you had asked me if I thought that Castillo was a nice late-round catcher to gamble on in mixed leagues, I would have said yes. But apparently my projections disagree. I’m actually projecting a jump in power, but that was apparently not enough to value him any higher. A weak lineup hurts, while I’m only projecting him for 450 plate appearances, well below what the Fans are.
My Rank: 11 | Consensus: 6
With just an averageish batted ball distance that actually declined by eight feet last year, it’s hard to expect a whole lot of power growth. His strong batting average over 500 at-bats is great, but a spot in the bottom half of a mediocre lineup won’t do any favors to his runs scored and batted in totals.