Here at SportzEdge.com, we love fantasy baseball.
Your boy started playing it back in 2000, when I was talking trash to my eighth-grade friends and declining trade requests for Preston Wilson. Ah, the good old days.
We can’t wait for the season to get here, but when it does, we know you’ve got to be prepared. That’s why we’re ranking the best players in the major leagues at each position. Next up, it’s the catchers:
1. Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants (.318 BA, 19 HR, 95 RBI, .379 OBP)
He’s far and away the best catcher in the game, so if you have the chance to grab Posey, you may want to go ahead and do it. Only Kyle Schwarber has a chance to match Posey’s offensive production (especially in the HR and RBI categories). While you can probably hold out a little bit longer to take Schwarber, thus creating more value for yourself at a different position, he’s not as sure of a bet as Posey, especially when it comes to batting average and on-base percentage.
2. Kyle Schwarber, Chicago Cubs (.246 BA, 16 HR, 43 RBI, .355 OBP)
He hit just .246 last season, but did show incredible power potential (16 HR in 69 games). He looks poised to have a breakout season (30-plus homers), so he could be the best value pick here. You just have to bet against a sophomore slump, and hope he can pick up his BA and on-base numbers.
3. Russell Martin, Toronto Blue Jays (.240 BA, 23 HR, 77 RBI, .329 OBP)
Martin is a dangerous power threat in that Blue Jays lineup, as he always gets pitches to hit while flanked by Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion. He’s also got a terrific eye–53 walks, .329 OBP last season–and comes through in the clutch. We trust him more than anyone else on this list.
4. Jonathan Lucroy, Milwaukee Brewers (.264 BA, 7 HR, 43 RBI, .326 OBP)
Lucroy only played in 103 games last season, so that’s why his offensive production doesn’t look so great. But he’s still not the power threat that Martin is, and doesn’t have much help in that Brewers lineup.
5. Travis d’Arnaud, New York Mets (.268 BA, 12 HR, 41 RBI, .340 OBP)
We really like d’Arnaud, as he came on strong late in the season, hitting 8 of his 12 homers in August and September, and driving in 24 runs in that time. He also figures to hit more in a much-improved Mets lineup, and could be entering his prime, in his third full year in the bigs.
6. Brian McCann, New York Yankees (.232 BA, 26 HR, 94 RBI, .320 OBP)
McCann will hit a lot of home runs over that short porch in Yankee Stadium, and he’ll have plenty of RBI chances. He walks a lot (52 in 465 at-bats last year), though it’d be nice to see that average creep back towards .300, where it was when he was an All-Star in Atlanta.
7. Salvador Perez, Kansas City Royals (.260 BA, 21 HR, 70 RBI, .280 OBP)
Perez never walks, and that’s what keeps him lower on this list. He earned just 13 walks last season in 531 at-bats, which is borderline crazy. His .280 on-base percentage isn’t good enough to justify a top-five spot, although his 21 homers and 71 RBI are. We don’t see his approach changing anytime soon, either, though, since Kansas City loves to swing aggressively and make contact, and obviously, it’s worked for them.
8. Stephen Vogt, Oakland Athletics (.261 BA, 18 HR, 71 RBI, .341 OBP)
Vogt was an All-Star for the first time last year, although he faded down the stretch. He was raking in April and May, coming up with 11 homers and 38 RBI in those two months alone, but produced just 5 homers and 14 ribbies (albeit in 50 fewer at-bats in August-September). Keep an eye on him early to see if he was just a one-year wonder.
9. Yasmani Grandal, Los Angeles Dodgers (.234 BA, 16 HR, 47 RBI, .353 OBP)
Grandal walked 65 times last season, pushing his on-base percentage nearly 120 points higher than his batting average. His power numbers are nice, and he did hit .297 in 2012 with San Diego, so there’s potential for a breakout year there.
10. Francisco Cervelli, Pittsburgh Pirates (.295 BA, 7 HR, 43 RBI, .370 OBP)
Cervelli’s on-base numbers were ridiculous (.370) in his first full year as a starting catcher, and we think he’s got the potential to get even better. Doesn’t have much power, though.
11. Matt Weiters, Baltimore Orioles (.267 BA, 8 HR, 25 RBI, .319 OBP)
When Weiters first came up, he was supposed to be special; a once-in-a-generation, franchise catcher along the same lines as Buster Posey. He hasn’t been that in Baltimore, thanks in part due to injuries, but he’s still a decent option if you can’t get one of the top five or six guys.
12. Yadier Molina, St. Louis Cardinals (.270 BA, 4 HR, 61 RBI, .310 OBP)
The power numbers are almost non-existent last year, but at least he still hit .270 and managed to drive in 61 runs in 136 games. The Cardinals aren’t sure if he’ll be ready for Opening Day, and there’s no timetable for his return, but it doesn’t seem as though he’ll miss a large chunk of the season after a thumb injury. We’d keep him on the back burner.
13. Derek Norris, San Diego Padres (.250 BA, 14 HR, 62 RBI, .305 OBP)
The 27-year-old has some power potential and drove in 62 runs last season. If he were in Texas and not San Diego, he might have a little more fantasy potential, but life isn’t fair sometimes.
14. Robinson Chirinos, Texas Rangers (.232 BA, 10 HR, 34 RBI, .325 OBP)
You don’t want Robinson Chirinos to be your starting catcher, but if you’re in a deep league or a keeper league where all of the good backstops are locked up, at least he can give you a decent OBP and a little power.
15. Wilson Ramos, Washington Nationals (.229 BA, 15 HR, 68 RBI, .258 OBP)
His numbers aren’t eye-popping, but he does have a little bit of pop. Would like to see that on-base percentage creep higher, though.