2013 Fantasy Baseball: Catcher Rankings
Top 20 Fantasy Catchers for 2013
In the past, the catcher position has never been known for giving fantasy baseball owners a reliable source of home runs. To be honest, the position has been known to hinder an owner’s quest for thumpers.
In 2010, only Brian McCann (21) and John Buck (20) hit 20 home runs or more.
In 2011, Carlos Santana (27), Brian McCann (24), J. P. Arencibia (23), and Matt Wieters (22) hit at least 20 home runs.
In 2012, the total doubled once again, as eight different catchers reached the feat. Wilin Roasrio (28), A. J. Pierzynski (27), Jarrod Saltalamacchia (25), Buster Posey (24), Matt Wieters (23), Yadier Molina (22), Russell Martin (21), and Brian McCann (20) all hit at least 20 homers last year from the catcher position.
This is a trend that fantasy owners have undoubtedly noticed, because it only gives the position more depth from a fantasy standpoint. If anything, nowadays you can wait to draft a catcher until the middle rounds, because the majority of the field will hit at least 20 long balls.
Just keep in mind that Detroit Tigers’ Victor Martinez is no longer catcher-eligible in the majority of leagues, at least in any league that I have seen, so he won’t be included in this list of fantasy catchers. Checking players position eligibility is just as important as checking his pervious year’s stats, so make sure when you draft a catcher, that he can actually be played as a catcher.
To help you in your last minute drafts, here are the top-20 catchers for the upcoming fantasy baseball season:
20. John Jaso, Oakland Athletics
John Jaso, Oakland Athletics – Last season, Jaso hit a career-high 10 home runs and drove in 50 runs in just 108 games. He will be the new everyday catcher in Oakland, so expect him to get plenty of at-bats in 2013.
19. Russell Martin, Pittsburgh Pirates
Russell Martin, Pittsburgh Pirates – Every year fantasy baseball experts think Martin’s numbers will decline, and every year he proves them wrong. He may have hit a miserable .210 last year, but his 21 homers and nine stolen bases make him a low-end fantasy starter.
18. Travis d’Arnaud, New York Mets
Travis d’Arnaud, New York Mets – The Mets have been searching for a reliable catcher ever since Mike Piazza left, so the addition of d'Arnaud this off-season has been welcomed with open arms in the Big Apple. He is not an All-Star fantasy option just yet, but he is the one catcher to go after in dynasty leagues.
17. Brian McCann, Atlanta Braves
Brian McCann, Atlanta Braves – McCann is recovering from a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder, so his 2013 debut will be delayed until at least the middle of April. He has hit 20 or more home runs in five straight seasons, and he will be a good source of power once he gets back on the field. McCann is worth stashing on the DL, but make sure to have another top-15 backstop to start while he is out.
16. J. P. Arencibia, Toronto Blue Jays
J. P. Arencibia, Toronto Blue Jays – The once-heralded prospect took a major step back in 2012 due to a broken hand. Arencibia went from 23 home runs with 78 RBI in 129 games, down to 18 homers with 56 RBI in 102 games played. He is still a low-end starter, but has not developed into the top-five guy the team was hoping for.
15. Alex Avila, Detroit Tigers
Alex Avila, Detroit Tigers – Knee and hamstring injuries killed Avila’s fantasy value last year, as he only hit .245 with nine homers. Double-A is still worth targeting in deeper leagues simply because he is featured in one of the highest scoring offenses in the majors. If anything else, the backstop will score a ton of runs and will get plenty of RBI opportunities.
14. A. J. Pierzynski, Texas Rangers
A. J. Pierzynski, Texas Rangers – The fact that Pierzynski hit 27 home runs last year was almost too hard to believe, so it is unlikely he will repeat the performance. He is one of the most reliable backstops in the game, just don't expect him to hit over 25 home runs in Texas this season.
13. Ryan Doumit, Minnesota Twins
Ryan Doumit, Minnesota Twins – After years of injury-plagued baseball in Pittsburgh, Doumit has shined since coming over to Minnesota. He slugged 18 home runs and drove in 75 runs, despite splitting time at catcher with Joe Mauer all season. Doumit may be the designated hitter now, but he will still be catcher eligible since he played 59 games behind the plate last year.
12. Carlos Ruiz, Philadelphia Phillies
Carlos Ruiz, Philadelphia Phillies – Ruiz was suspended for the first 25 games of the 2013 season for use of Adderall, so he obviously won't be eligible for the beginning of the season. However, he still hit .325 last year with 16 home runs in 114 games last year. He has proven to be a very valuable fantasy asset and a little 25-game suspension shouldn’t keep you from drafting him in the middle of the draft. Just make sure to grab another backstop for the first two months of the season.
11. Mike Napoli, Boston Red Sox
Mike Napoli, Boston Red Sox – Napoli went from hitting .320 with 30 home runs in 2011 all the way down to .227 with 24 home runs in 2012. He wrestled with a hip injury throughout the year, which may linger into this season. However, Napster hit at least 20 home runs in each of the last five years and has always been a great home run hitter. He can be a great source of power for fantasy owners in 2013, but it will not come without risk.
10. Jonathan Lucroy, Milwaukee Brewers
Jonathan Lucroy, Milwaukee Brewers – Oddly enough, Lucroy became one of Milwaukee’s most reliable hitters last season, as he hit .320 with 12 home runs and 58 RBI. He was a free agent pickup last year in most fantasy leagues, but expect him to be drafted as a starter in 2013.
9. Jesus Montero, Seattle Mariners
Jesus Montero, Seattle Mariners – J-Mo may officially be listed as a DH, but he is still eligible at the catcher position. He has proven to be a great home run hitter, despite his low batting average (.260) and even lower On Base Percentage (.298). Montero has the skill to his 25 home runs, so expect the added rest of not playing the field to help him reach his true potential in 2013.
8. Salvador Perez, Kansas City Royals
Salvador Perez, Kansas City Royals – Perez is one of the most popular sleepers heading into the 2013 season. He missed the majority of last season as he recovered from knee surgery, but he showed some serious pop upon his return to the bigs. In just 76 games last season, Perez blasted 11 home runs and drove in 39 runs. He may have been forgotten last year, but that will not be the case in 2013 drafts.
7. Wilin Rosario, Colorado Rockies
Wilin Rosario, Colorado Rockies – The motto that anyone can hit home runs in Colorado certainly holds true for Rosario. The 24-year old magically crushed 28 home runs in 117 games, including 18 home runs and 44 RBI at Coors Field in only 202 at-bats. Rosario has become a great source of power at the catcher position and has become a must start during any home stretches.
6. Miguel Montero, Arizona Diamondbacks
Miguel Montero, Arizona Diamondbacks – Montero is a very underrated source of power from the catcher position. He has hit 33 home runs over the last two seasons and has hit over .280 each season.
5. Yadier Molina, St. Louis Cardinals
Yadier Molina, St. Louis Cardinals – Molina’s back-to-back stud seasons have made him into one of the premier backstops in fantasy. He was once an annual free agent pickup, but after four straight All-Star appearances, he has finally cemented himself among the top-five fantasy backstops.
4. Matt Wieters, Baltimore Orioles
Matt Wieters, Baltimore Orioles – Many people viewed Wieters’ 2012 season as a disaster due to his .249 batting average. However, his 23 home runs, 60 walks, and 144 games played were all career-highs. Wieters is still one of the best fantasy catchers out there, so don’t let a minor dip in batting average deter you from this AL East slugger in 2013.
3. Carlos Santana, Cleveland Indians
Carlos Santana, Cleveland Indians - Santana saw a serious decline in his power numbers last year. He went from 27 home runs in 2011, to just 18 last year. Santana had a rather low .252. batting average, but amazingly had a .365 On Base Percentage. He is still one of the best power backstops in fantasy, but the small decline keeps him from being No. 2 on this list.
2. Joe Mauer, Minnesota Twins
Joe Mauer, Minnesota Twins – Mauer has once again returned from the fantasy dead. He went from playing just 82 games in an injury-plagued 2011 season, to hitting .319 in 147 games last season. The 2012 All-Star also hit 10 home runs with 85 RBIs. Mauer is finally back on top of his game and is one of the first fantasy catchers to target on draft day.
1. Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants
Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants – Despite some skepticism, Posey walked away with the 2012 National League MVP Award. The World Champion backstop hit a NL leading .336 last year, but also added 24 home runs and 103 RBI in just 148 games. More importantly, Posey showed that he is healthy and fearless behind the plate. Draft him as the No. 1 catcher this spring, and don’t think twice about it.