Fantasy Baseball: Catcher Review and Preview

Russell_Martin_on_April_6,_2008

With Russell Martin and the Blue Jays agreeing a five year $82 million deal in the last couple of weeks the only free agent piece at the catcher position of this offseason has fallen into place. While there are still trades likely to be done that could see some shifts in the fantasy landscape of every position this seemed like a good time to take a look at catchers.

At this stage we are of course closer to last season than we are to next season so it seems right to take this moment to look back at how the position has shaped up before looking forward into 2015. In order to do this I am going to look mainly at the Roto format as this is the one most commonly played but I will also reference the point’s format at times as well.

In assessing players I will use the ESPN Player Rater and my own Roto ranking system that I use for setting my tiers at the start of the season to value a players past performance.

First off here are the top five players from last year at the Catcher position:

ESPN Player Rater My Roto Ranking System
Player Points Player Points
Buster Posey 7.77 Buster Posey 23
Jonathan Lucroy 6.09 Carlos Santana 19
Devin Mesoraco 5.18 Jonathan Lucroy 16
Yan Gomes 4.96 Devin Mesoraco 15
Carlos Santana 4.74 Yan Gomes 14

 

As you can see both set of rankings agree on the top 5 catchers just in a slightly different order due to the different weightings of the systems on the five roto categories. Santana slips to 5th in ESPN’s ranks due to the huge deficit he receives for his Batting Average. Outside of the top 5 Brian McCann is the only guy in top 15 catchers who is significantly hampered by his average with both of them batting in the low .230’s.

The significance of Posey being head and shoulders above the rest at the position is emphasised by the fact that he leads all catchers over the last three years in average roto points per year at 21.3. That is a MASSIVE 5 points higher than anyone else with the second place guy over that span not having catcher eligibility to start next year (Santana).

Rounding out the top 5 in the average roto points per year are Yadier Molina 3rd (16ppy), Lucroy in 4th (15.7) with Joe Mauer and Wilin Rosario tied for fifth (14.3).

When you compare the roto leader boards to points leagues (CBS standard scoring) Lucroy actually becomes the most valuable catcher due to the extraordinary number of doubles he hit last season (53). However, he is only four points better off than Santana and 7 better than Posey. The big drop off in points comes after that with Salvador Perez 4th with just 344 points.

 

Before we dive into the rankings here is a quick look at who topped each roto category for the catcher position in 2014: (All stats are only included for people who had over 200 AB’s)

Runs Home Runs RBI Stolen Bases Averages
Lucroy (73) Santana (27) Posey (89) Santana (5) Posey (0.311)
Posey (72) Mesoraco (25) Santana (85) Lucroy (4) Lucroy (0.301)
Santana (68) McCann (23) Mesoraco (80) Martin (4) Martin (0.290)
Gomes (61) Posey (22)* McCann (75) Ruiz (4) Suzuki (0.288)
Mauer (60) Zunino (22)* Gomes (74) Navarro (3)** Y.Molina (0.282)

*Evan Gattis also hit 22 home runs so is joint 4th with these guys

**Mauer, Yasmani Grandal, Chris Ianetta and Jose Molina also stole three bases and is joint 5th with Dioner Navarro

All of the numbers here just serve to emphasise how valuable Posey is at the position and show you why there is no doubt he should be the first catcher off the board in roto leagues in 2015 so without further ado lets dive into my early 2015 rankings.

  1. Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants, Other eligibility: 1B
  2. Jonathan Lucroy, Milwaukee Brewers
  3. Devin Mesoraco, Cincinnati Reds
  4. Yan Gomes. Cleveland Indians
  5. Evan Gattis, Atlanta Braves
  6. Yadier Molina, St. Louis Cardinals
  7. Salvador Perez, Kansas City Royals
  8. Brian McCann, New York Yankees
  9. Matt Wieters, Baltimore Orioles
  10. Wilin Rosario, Colorado Rockies
  11. Travis d’Arnaud, New York Mets
  12. Wilson Ramos, Washington Nationals
  13. Miguel Montero, Arizona Diamondbacks
  14. Russell Martin, Toronto Blue Jays
  15. Derek Norris, Oakland Athletics
  16. Yasmani Grandal, San Diego Padres
  17. Mike Zunino, Seattle Mariners
  18. Jason Castro, Houston Astros
  19. Josmil Pinto, Minnesota Twins
  20. Francisco Cervelli, New York Yankees

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