MLB Fantasy Baseball: Top 10 Catchers 2011
It is never too early to start thinking about baseball. It is also never too early to start preparing for your fantasy baseball draft.
Spring brings with it new hope for every team, as well as your fantasy baseball squad. Whether it's a rising star or aging veteran, look for value form your backstop.
Here is a look at the early top 10 list for fantasy baseball catchers.
No. 10: Kurt Suzuki, Oakland Athletics (27)
Note: Stats listed as: Average, Home Runs, RBI, Runs, Steals/Attempts and ABs. Age at start of 2011 season is next to the player's name.
2010: .242-13-71-55-3/5 (495)
The 27-year-old Suzuki will continue to hit in the middle of the A’s lineup, which was improved by the offseason acquisitions of David DeJesus and Hideki Matsui.
He had good power numbers for a catcher last year, and his .242 average seems like an aberration based on his BA the previous two seasons. If completely healthy, he could be back to around .275 in ’11.
The A’s value his defense and work with their young pitching staff, so Suzuki will get his opportunities to produce with the bat. He has the talent and opportunity to be a good value pick if you draft him in the late rounds.
Carlos Ruiz, Philadelphia Phillies (32)
2010: .302-8-53-43-0/1 (371)
John Buck, Florida Marlins (30)
2010: .281-20-66-53-0/0 (409)
Mike Napoli, Los Angeles Angels (29)
2010: .238-26-68-60-4/6 (453)
No. 9: Miguel Montero, Arizona Diamondbacks (27)
2010: .266-9-43-36-0/1 (297)
Montero was mentioned as one of the catchers to watch in fantasy heading into the ’10 season, but was limited to only 297 ABs after he injured his right knee in early April.
He still was able to put up decent power numbers in limited ABs and could really improve his numbers in Arizona’s good offensive park.
Only 27 years old, Montero could move higher up the catcher rankings if he stays healthy.
No. 8: Carlos Santana, Cleveland Indians (24)
2010: .260-6-22-23-3/3 (150)
Santana entered the '10 season as one of the best prospects in baseball, regardless of position.
He was called up in mid-June, but his promising season ended abruptly when he injured his knee blocking home plate on August 2.
Santana has recently resumed baseball activities, and if he is physically ready to play, he could be one of the best low risk/high reward players available.
No. 7: Jorge Posada, New York Yankees (39)
2010: .248-18-57-49-3/4 (383)
With Posada expected to be the primary DH, he has a chance to improve on his numbers from last season, even at 39 years old.
He has been a great power-hitting catcher his whole career and will still be an important part of a powerful Yankees lineup.
His name recognition could have him go in an earlier round than he should, but he is still a No. 1 catcher.
No. 6: Matt Wieters, Baltimore Orioles (24)
2010: .249-11-55-37-0/1 (446)
Trying to improve on a promising ’09 season, Wieters took a step back in ’10. He is still only 24 years old though and will play his home games in a hitter's ballpark.
Baltimore has said Wieters is a big part of its future and will get his opportunities.
Wieters could be a “post-hype” sleeper and outperform his draft position in 2011.
No. 5: Geovany Soto, Chicago Cubs (28)
2010: .280-17-53-47-0/1 (322)
Soto had his ’10 season cut short by surgery on his right shoulder in September. He is expected to be ready to go when pitchers and catchers report.
After winning the Rookie of the Year award in '08, Soto slumped in '09 and then rebounded in '10. He plays in a hitter's ballpark and will bat in the middle of the Cubs lineup.
A return to his ’08 numbers is possible if he is healthy.
No. 4: Victor Martinez, Detroit Tigers (32)
2010: .302-20-79-64-1/1 (493)
Martinez arrives in Detroit after signing a four-year, $50 million contract this offseason. While I am cautious of drafting players who just signed a big free agent contract, that feeling is minimized because of how good Martinez is.
He will DH most of the time in Detroit and hit fifth in the lineup behind Miguel Cabrera.
The switch-hitting Martinez has the ability to continue to be a top-tier catcher in 2011.
No. 3: Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants (24)
2010: .305-18-67-58-0/2 (406)
The right combination of talent and opportunity equals production. Posey not only has the talent to be the best all-around catcher in the game, but he also will be relied upon to be the primary run producer for the Giants.
Posey will not kill you in any one category and will be above average in all offensive categories for his position.
You could make an argument for him over Brian McCann and even Joe Mauer because of the offensive weight he has to carry for the Giants.
No. 2: Brian McCann, Atlanta Braves (27)
2010: .269-21-77-63-5/7 (479)
McCann enters the 2011 season as the cleanup hitter for an improved Braves offense. He will get more protection in the lineup with the addition of Dan Uggla.
McCann has been durable and consistent, averaging 139 games played with 21 HRs and 87 RBI the last five seasons.
He is also a career .289 hitter, so all of McCann’s numbers could go up from last year.
No. 1: Joe Mauer, Minnesota Twins (27)
2010: .327-9-75-88-1/5 (510)
I put Mauer as the top fantasy catcher heading into 2011 because he is the best all-around hitter at the position.
While the 28 HRs of ’09 may not be duplicated, the nine HRs from last year should go up.
He is always a threat to win another batting title, and his RBI and run totals should make him the first catcher taken.
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