By Derek of The Sportmeisters
Here we are.
After just about two months in the season, I thought I would bust out my preseason rankings and adjust them a bit to show how right or wrong I am.
1. Russell Martin—Los Angeles Dodgers
2. Brian McCann—Atlanta Braves
3. Joe Mauer—Minnesota Twins
4. Victor Martinez—Cleveland Indians
5. Geovany Soto—Chicago Cubs
6. Jorge Posada—New York Yankees
7. Ryan Doumit—Pittsburgh Pirates
8. Bengie Molina—San Francisco Giants
9. Chris Iannetta—Colorado Rockies
10. A.J. Pierzynski—Chicago White Sox
11. Ramon Hernandez—Cincinnati Reds
12. Mike Napoli—LA Angels Of Anaheim
13. Matt Wieters—Baltimore Orioles
14. Kelly Shoppach—Cleveland Indians
15. Kenji Johjima—Seattle Mariners
1. Victor Martinez—Cleveland Indians
2. Joe Mauer—Minnesota Twins
3. Bengie Molina—San Francisco Giants
4. Mike Napoli—LA Angels Of Anaheim
5. Rod Barajas—Toronto Blue Jays
6. John Baker—Florida Marlins
7. Kurt Suzuki—Oakland Athletics
8. Jason Varitek—Boston Red Sox
9. Jorge Posada—New York Yankees
10. Russell Martin—Los Angeles Dodgers
11. Chris Iannetta—Colorado Rockies
12. Yadier Molina—St. Louis Cardinals
13. Ivan Rodriguez—Houston Astros
14. Brian McCann—Atlanta Braves
15. Jesus Flores—Washington Nationals
Wow, what a difference! Let’s go over each player and why I have them ranked so high.
1. Victor Martinez—Cleveland Indians—.371 BA, 32 R, 7 HR, and 30 RBI
I guess you could say he’s proving everyone who said he was done wrong. He is fully healthy and has shown that he still has that power bat with seven home runs and 30 RBI in the first two months.
He is on pace to hit .380 with 25 home runs and 110 RBI, so keep him active at all times if you were smart enough to draft him.
2. Joe Mauer—Minnesota Twins—.429 BA, 22 R, 9 HR, and 28 RBI
Mauer has been on fire since coming off the DL. He hit his ninth home run of the season on Saturday, matching last season’s total in just 77 at bats. Mauer is not known for his power, but is currently on pace to hit 30 home runs. Keep him active if you were smart enough to keep him through his injury.
3. Bengie Molina—San Francisco Giants—.274 BA, 19 R, 8 HR, and 30 RBI
Molina has been as steady as you can expect. His 30 RBI are tied for the most in the majors by a catcher. The only downfall is he won’t score many runs due to lack of lineup protection.
He is on pace to hit 30 home runs, so go ahead and keep him active as he is guaranteed at bats because the Giants do not have another catcher on the roster.
4. Mike Napoli—Los Angeles Angels Of Anaheim—.297 BA, 16 R, 6 HR, 18 RBI, and 2 SB
Due to injuries, Napoli has seen his share of time at DH this season. However, Vlad Guerrero is coming back from injury, but Napoli should see most of the time behind the plate as he is a far superior hitter to Jeff Mathis.
Napoli is on pace for 25 home runs and should be kept active.
5. Rod Barajas—Toronto Blue Jays—.302 BA, 16 R, 3 HR, and 23 RBI
Barajas has been a total surprise this season, but I don’t expect it to continue. He is a career .244 hitter and has only reached 20 home runs once. He is off to a great start, but I would say he is a sell high option.
6. John Baker—Florida Marlins—.284 BA, 26 R, 6 HR, and 19 RBI
What a surprise he has been.
Baker was known to be a good hitter, hitting .300 last year in 197 at bats. However, he wasn’t known for power, only hitting five home runs. He hit his sixth home run on Sunday and is on pace for 20 home runs and 70 RBI.
He is in his first season as a full time player, so there could be a drop off but keep him active until it happens.
7. Kurt Suzuki—Oakland Athletics—.300 BA, 20 R, 2 HR, 16 RBI, and 1 SB
Another pleasant surprise in this early season.
Although he isn’t hitting for power, he is making up for it with his average. He hit .279 last year with seven home runs in 530 at bats. He is on pace for over 600 at bats and a .300 average, but his power numbers only project to be around 10, maybe 14 home runs at most.
As long as he’s hitting, keep him active. But if he slides, watch for someone better.
8. Jason Varitek—Boston Red Sox—.248 BA, 15 R, 8 HR, and 20 RBI
Here’s a guy who completely fell off the radar this preseason due to a miserable 2008 season. He hit just .220 last year and only had 13 home runs and 43 RBI.
This year, however, he has started off much better, hitting .248 with eight home runs and 20 RBI in only 121 at bats. He is on pace for 30 home runs, if he stays healthy, and has a potent enough lineup around him to keep him active due to the run scoring possibilities.
9. Jorge Posada—New York Yankees—.312 BA, 10 R, 5 HR, 20 RBI, and 1 SB
Boy, do I hate injuries!
Posada was on fire to start the season and, if not for a hamstring injury, would already have 8-10 home runs. He has been out since May 4, but should be back by early June and should continue to hit the ball well.
Once back, activate him immediately...especially hitting behind Jeter, Damon, A-Rod, and Teixeira.
10. Russell Martin—Los Angeles Dodgers—.270 BA, 19 R, 0 HR, 18 RBI, and 5 SB
So far, not so good.
Martin was my projected No. 1 fantasy Catcher, but has not produced like one yet. He is only hitting .270 and has yet to hit a home run, but he has a good track record of hitting in June.
Over the past three years, he has hit .292 with 11 home runs and 49 RBI in June, not to mention 13 stolen bases. So, don’t panic as he should remain active and will start to produce soon.
11. Chris Iannetta—Colorado Rockies—.231 BA, 15 R, 8 HR, and 18 RBI
Here’s a guy who has produced power numbers, but hasn’t reached elite status due to low average and a high amount of strikeouts. He also has landed on the DL as of Sunday, with a hamstring injury. Keep him stashed until he returns as he should produce a 25+ home run season.
12. Yadier Molina—St. Louis Cardinals—.284 BA, 14 R, 3 HR, 17 RBI, and 2 SB
The youngest Molina has had a pretty good season so far, but is not known for his hitting. He did hit .304 last year, but only hit seven home runs with only 56 RBI. He is hitting .284 right now and has 17 RBI, and is on pace to hit .285 with 60 RBI.
His numbers should end up around the same as last year, which makes him a decent fantasy option...but not a great one.
13. Ivan Rodriguez—Houston Astros—.262 BA, 15 R, 5 HR, and 19 RBI
Even though he is getting older, he is still a decent fantasy option. He has five home runs on the young season, which is two less than he hit all of last year. He should move the average back up into the .280 range and is on pace for 20 home runs.
Watch out though, as he has been injury prone in his old age.
14. Brian McCann—Atlanta Braves—.303 BA, 13 R, 5 HR, 17 RBI, and 2 SB
Looks like the new glasses have done the trick.
Since coming off the DL, McCann has hit over .360 and has three home runs and 10 RBI. After hitting a miserable .195 in April, he has raised his average all the way to .303 in May. He should continue to hit the ball well and should still hit 20 home runs and live up to his draft status by the end of the year.
15. Jesus Flores—Washington Nationals—.311 BA, 13 R, 4 HR, and 15 RBI
Flores was finally living up to his potential until a shoulder injury put him on the DL on May 15, after not playing since May 9. He hit .259 last year in only 301 at bats, and he should get right back into the lineup when he returns from injury. He should get around 400 at bats and could continue to hit in the .300 range.
Wait and see before you throw him into your lineup.
These are my rankings for the catcher position after the first two months. Any arguments or questions, feel free to email me at Derek@Sportmeisters.com.