Just because the 2009 season has not officially wrapped up does not mean that it’s too early to start looking towards 2010.
First up in our early positional rankings are the catchers; so let’s get right to it and take a look at the Top 15.
(Rankings will be fluid throughout the offseason based on news, transactions and further research.)
- Joe Mauer - Minnesota Twins
- Brian McCann - Atlanta Braves
- Victor Martinez - Boston Red Sox
- Ryan Doumit - Pittsburgh Pirates
- Miguel Montero - Arizona Diamondbacks
- Jorge Posada - New York Yankees
- Kurt Suzuki - Oakland Athletics
- Matt Wieters - Baltimore Orioles
- Mike Napoli - Los Angeles Angels
- Bengie Molina - San Francisco Giants
- Geovany Soto - Chicago Cubs
- Buster Posey - San Francisco Giants
- A.J. Pierzynski - Chicago White Sox
- Russell Martin - Los Angeles Dodgers
- Chris Iannetta - Colorado Rockies
- Not only does Posada has the advantage of playing in the new hitter-friendly Yankee Stadium, it is expected that he is going to spend a decent amount of time as the DH next season. That should offer him additional opportunities to contribute. And with his renaissance 2009 campaign, he’s going to be among the first catchers off the board.
- Suzuki is among the biggest surprises behind the plate in 2009 and his numbers appear in line for an improvement next season. He hardly ever strikes out (10.3 percent of his at-bats), which helped him to his .272 average despite a .281 BABIP. Assuming improved luck, and if he gets any additional power to go along with his stolen-base potential, Suzuki could be among the top catchers in the league next season.
- Doumit or Montero? That’s going to be an interesting debate later on in the offseason.
- A lot of Molina's value is going to depend on where he ends up. We’ll have to monitor his situation closely.
- Maybe Wieters is a bit too high, but he’s shown signs these past few weeks of just how good he could be. Through Monday, he was hitting .360 with 3 HR, 14 RBI and 13 R in September.
- We all know how bad Soto was this season, but we’ve also seen how good he could be. This year, he had little luck (.251 BABIP) but the power still showed signs of being present. He’s a risk, but one I’d be willing to take.
- Will Tyler Flowers get some time behind the plate, eating into Pierzynski’s playing time in Chicago? That question certainly plays a role in his current ranking, but more light will be shed on it as the offseason progresses.
- Yes, right now Posey is ranked No. 12, and I hope everyone learned from Wieters' struggles this season not to reach to high for Posey. If Molina does leave, Posey’s stock may rise a bit, or it could easily fall if Molina ends up resigning. He’s certainly a player of interest in the coming months, and one we will be profiling in detail.
What are your thoughts on the early rankings? Who is too high? Who is too low? Who was omitted that shouldn’t have been?