A catcher is, first and foremost, the “quarterback” of any baseball team. The catcher plays most days and makes many of the decisions about how to pitch every batter.
Having a catcher that excels on both offense and defense is a huge boost to any club.
Here are the best catchers in Major League Baseball today.
Posada has been a Yankee for the past 15 years and has become about as common a sight in pinstripes as Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera.
Once considered the best offensive catcher in baseball, his career is on the decline. His power numbers are still there, with 18 HRs in 2010, but his RBI total was the lowest since 1999 (excluding an injury-plagued 2008 season). His defense has also been a big issue.
Wieters has not been the offensive juggernaut that the Orioles had hoped for, but he is a bright spot on a team that has not had a winning season since 1997.
His sophomore season in the league was a step back from his rookie year, so it will be interesting to see how he progresses.
He has consistently been able to throw out runners, with over 20 in each of his first two seasons, and play solid defense, which boosts him onto this list.
After a stellar breakout year in 2008, Soto has had a down year and a bounce-back year. While the power and the average were not as high as his 2008 campaign, his OBP was a career-high .393 in 2010.
He is another player that will be interesting to watch offensively in the future, but he is a solid defender.
After a long and less than impressive stint in Kansas City, Buck posted career highs in hits, HRs, RBI, average and slugging percentage in his one and only season with Toronto.
Now with the Marlins, Buck's first National League team, the Fish have to wonder if they will get the same production out of him. He is also a huge question mark defensively.
If this list were strictly defensive, Yadier would take the cake. Opposing runners do not run on him, because when they do, they get caught.
However, he does not add too much to a lineup. Never topping eight HRs in his career, he is a bottom of the order hitter.
In a lineup that contains offensive juggernauts like Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins and, until recently, Jayson Werth, Ruiz can be lost in the mix.
However, Ruiz stabilized the otherwise top-heavy lineup with a stellar .400 OBP in 2010. He is the most underrated hitter in the Philadelphia offense and solid behind the plate.
Rookie of the Year winner Buster Posey has the world champion Giants looking forward to another terrific year. Posey is great all-around and an exciting player to have on any ball club.
The only question, and the reason he is at No. 4, is whether he will live up to his rookie season or falter as opposing pitchers figure out how to handle him.
In the summer of 2005, it looked like Jeff Francoeur would become the future of the Braves franchise, with childhood friend Brian McCann playing a supporting role. Francoeur has long since left town, and McCann has become a staple in the Atlanta lineup.
The five-time All-Star has become a fan favorite, and for good reason. The .289 lifetime hitter averages over 20 HRs a year and is a solid defensive catcher.
The best offensive catcher in Major League Baseball last season was Victor Martinez. Playing in the competitive AL East did not bother Martinez, as he accrued the highest RBI total for catchers with 79.
His defense has always been an issue, however, keeping him from the crown of best catcher in baseball.
The highest paid catcher in history is also the league’s best.
Coming off a 2009 MVP campaign, Mauer had an expected, albeit still disappointing, letdown in 2010. However, when a .327 AVG, 75 RBI and 88 runs is considered disappointing, one can see how impressive Mauer is.
He has also won the AL Gold Glove for catchers the past three years, making him as good as they come.