The season is now halfway over and now its time to take a look at who will be the top catchers in the second half.
Kurt Suzuki was once seen as a sleeper in the preseason, but was slowed down by an injury. On April 30th he was placed on the DL due to rib-cage strain and ended up missing a total of 19 games because of it. I still have faith in him in the second half. Since returning from the DL, he has shown why he was a sleeper the in preseason. I see him continuing this in the second half considering he stays healthy. Ranking him at ten could actually be a little low, as he could possibly crack the top five to end the season with the position not being very deep.
After the disappointing ’09 season Geovany Soto told himself that he was going to change. He changed in a big way by losing over 40 pounds in the off-season. It seems the weight-loss is paying off as Soto has been pretty decent in the first half of the season. Soto is a streaky guy so you have to watch out for when he gets hot.
Matt Wieters has been anything but great this season. What was once a slow start has turned into a terrible first half. Wieters isn’t being productive in any category. He’s hitting below .250 and only has 6 home runs this season, but like many of you Wieters fans out there, I still believe in him. After getting the call in the second half of last season, Wieters hit close to .290 and had nine home runs in limited play. Maybe the All-Star Break is what he needs to get everything together.
Miguel Olivo right now sits atop the rankings as the top catcher so far this season. He has been a real surprise and has pleased many people. What worries me is that Olivo has never played more than 119 games in a season. While he’s hitting .319, his career AVG. is .249, so expect that to drop. The power is legit, but don’t expect anything else from him.
Victor Martinez would have been ranked higher, but he will be entering the second half on the DL. He was placed on the DL on June 29th after fracturing his thumb. He will not return immediately after the All-Star Break and there is no timetable for his return. After he returns he will hit for his .290 average and will finish the season with around 20 home runs and 85 RBI.
Carlos Santana has shown early on why he is the top prospect for the Indians. Since getting the call he has five home runs and 26 RBI in just 95 at-bats. He has .300-30-100 potential and I wouldn’t be surprised if he finishes the season as a top 3 catcher. He has been the only bright spot on the Indians’ team. This kid has many great seasons ahead of him.
To think that there can be two top prospects in the top five would be unheard of, but that’s what we have. Buster Posey was doing “ok” since getting the call, but has recently been one of the hottest players in baseball. Entering the All-Star Break, Posey is hitting .350 with seven home runs and 25 RBI. He has five of those home runs and 14 RBI in the last seven games. Posey has the potential to be the number one catcher.
Miguel Montero was ranked in the top five to begin the season and many people were excited to have him on their team until the start of the season. On April 10th Montero left the game with an apparent knee injury, which happened to be a torn meniscus. Montero had to have surgery on the knee and it kept him out for two months. Since returning for the surgery, Montero has been hitting like a top five catcher. Although he’s hitting .356, the power and RBI he shown last year has yet to arrive. What catchers look forward to the most is rest and maybe that’s all he needs to restore his strength.
Brian McCann is one of those guys you know what you are going to get: .280 average, above average power and 85+ RBI. Although McCann does most of his damage in the first half, I expect him to have a huge second half. He has been a bit of a disappointment with the .267 average and only having nine home runs, but don’t be worried as he will get his average back up to the .280 range and finish the season with 25 home runs. He could take over the number one spot if he has a big second half.
Although I have Joe Mauer at number one, he hasn’t been himself this first half. His average is below his regular at .293 and has only four home runs. This time last year he was batting .373 with 15 home runs and 49 RBI. He will get his average back over .300, but don’t expect him for to hit for much power. If the first half struggles continue, look for Brian McCann to take over the number one spot.