Rot Your Brain: Fantasy Baseball's Top 30 Catchers for 2010

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Rot Your Brain: Fantasy Baseball's Top 30 Catchers for 2010
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Pitchers and catchers have reported for duty in Florida and Arizona, which means it is time to stop thinking about Heidi Montag’s plastic surgeries and start thinking about fantasy baseball.

Let’s focus on the latter half of the batteries that have reported for work: the catchers.

This is always the weakest position in fantasy baseball, as most catchers worry more about their defense and their pitch calling than their offense.

If you can find a 20-HR, 80-RBI backstop who can hit around .290, you will give your fantasy team an edge over most others in your league.

Here are the top 30 catchers in fantasy baseball heading into the 2010 campaign.

 

1. Joe Mauer, Minnesota Twins

The No. 1 catcher in the business and one of the top 10 players overall in fantasy baseball. No other catcher has the ability to win a batting title while hitting 25 homers and breaking the 90-run and 90-RBI barriers. Could run for governor of Minnesota anytime he wants.

 

2. Victor Martinez, Boston Red Sox

A full season at Fenway Park should mean Martinez will get extremely friendly with the Green Monster. Hit .336 with eight homers and 41 RBI in just 56 games with Boston last year.

 

3. Brian McCann, Atlanta Braves

You want consistency and numbers from behind the plate? Look no further than his guy, who has four straight seasons of 18 homers and 87 RBI under his belt.

 

4. Jorge Posada, New York Yankees

The aging switch hitter can still blast homers from both sides of the plate, although one of these years Father Time is going to clobber him with a bean ball.

 

5. Matt Wieters, Baltimore Orioles

This phenom was only average during his rookie season, but if anybody is destined to become the next Mike Piazza, it’s him.

 

6. Geovany Soto, Chicago Cubs

He went from Rookie of the Year to Sophomore Slumper of the Year. Look for his junior season to be more like his rookie season.

 

7. Russell Martin, Los Angeles Dodgers

Martin’s stock has dropped as much as Toyota’s over the past year. It would not shock any fantasy owners if he bounced back with a 15-HR, 15-SB, .300 average season, though.

 

8. Kurt Suzuki, Oakland Athletics

Suzuki had the quietest 15 home runs and 88 RBI a player could ever produce (not to mention eight stolen bases). Oakland GM Billy Beane cannot be thrilled with Suzuki only walking 28 times in 570 at-bats, however.

 

9. Miguel Montero, Arizona Diamondbacks

An underrated fantasy performer because his stats sometimes went unnoticed in Arizona’s Mountain Time vacuum, Montero slammed 11 dingers during the second half of the 2009 season.

 

10. Ryan Doumit, Pittsburgh Pirates

Doumit has the swing of a 25-HR hitter, yet injuries, inconsistency, and Pittsburgh’s sorry lack of protection around him always get in his way.

 

11. Mike Napoli, Los Angeles Angels

Napoli has 40 homers in just over 600 at-bats over the past two years. The problem is that because of disabled list trips and backup catcher Jeff Mathis, he never gets the at-bats the premier catchers get.

 

12. Bengie Molina, San Francisco Giants

Molina had trouble finding work in the offseason and had to settle for returning to San Fran, where he is no longer the best free-swinging chubby guy anymore now that Pablo Sandoval is the main man.

 

13. Chris Iannetta, Colorado Rockies

A young Coors Field catcher whose power from behind the plate mixes well with the thin air at his home ballpark, yet Iannetta will likely lose at-bats to veteran Miguel Olivo.

 

14. Yadier Molina, St. Louis Cardinals

2010 could be the year he becomes the top Molina catcher in fantasy baseball.

 

15. A.J. Pierzynski, Chicago White Sox

The trash-talking backstop has seven straight double-digit homer seasons.

 

16. John Baker, Florida Marlins

Lost in all of the Hanley Ramirez hoopla in Florida is Baker’s solid fantasy worth.

 

17. Ivan Rodriguez, Washington Nationals

Pudge will be more concerned about catching Stephen Strasberg’s 100-mph heaters than putting up decent offensive numbers.

 

18. Carlos Ruiz, Philadelphia Phillies

Batting at the bottom of the best lineup in the National League does more help than harm.

 

19. John Buck, Toronto Blue Jays

Buck provides bang for your buck—70 HR in six seasons. Too bad his career .235 batting average and four lifetime steals even out his power numbers.

 

20. Rod Barajas, New York Mets

Barajas can hit homers and drive in runs. That’s the good news. The bad news is his batting average and on-base percentage could be lower than Buddy Biancalana’s.

 

21. Dioner Navarro, Tampa Bay Rays

In 2008, Navarro was an All-Star. In 2009, he hit .218. In 2010 he might be Kelly Shoppach’s caddy.

 

22. Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants

Posey is San Francisco’s future franchise catcher, but Molina’s unexpected return stunts his fantasy growth. Not to be confused with ESPN’s Buster Olney.

 

23. Nick Hundley, San Diego Padres

PETCO Park does average-hitting catchers no favors.

 

24. Jason Kendall, Kansas City Royals

K.C. decided to sign Kendall to a two-year, $4 million deal because no one values .240 hitters with little power more than the Royals do.

 

25. Jesus Flores, Washington Nationals

Might not be ready for Opening Day and might not be able to overtake Pudge Rodriguez when he does eventually come back.

 

26. Miguel Olivo, Colorado Rockies

If Olivo can hit 20 homers in Kansas City, he can certainly do the same in Colorado, but he is penciled in as the Rockies' backup.

 

27. Lou Marson, Cleveland Indians

Keeping the seat warm for phenom Carlos Santana, who should be ready to start sometime in 2010.

 

28. Rob Johnson, Seattle Mariners

Almost every part of his body was surgically repaired during the offseason, so Johnson’s availability is up in the air.

 

29. Ramon Hernandez, Cincinnati Reds

Had 23 homers and 91 RBI back in 2006. Cut those numbers in half, and that’s what Hernandez will give you in 2010.

 

30. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Texas Rangers

The only thing longer than Salty’s last name is the shoulder problem he is contending with—Thoracic Outlet Syndrome.

 

Next column—rating the first basemen.

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