I published my early catcher rankings here, so today with a bit more information to go on, here are my 2011 Catcher Rankings, with updated comments. The last time I was this high on so many catchers, they all underperformed, so we'll see if history repeats itself.
Onto my updated catcher rankings for 2011:
1. Brian McCann, ATL-McCann is as consistent as they come, and could be the top fantasy catcher in 2011, and that is why I moved him up in my rankings. Bill James project 24-94-.280 in 2011 and I could see him hitting that projection in the improved Braves lineup.
2. Carlos Santana, CLE-I moved Santana up in my rankings because I think he will hit for more power than Buster Posey in 2011. it will be interesting to see how he bounces back from his knee injury in 2011. The guy can flat out hit, has a solid plate discipline, and can hit for power. He could pass the Mauers, McCanns and Martinez's in 2012, if he stays healthy.
3. Buster Posey, SFG-I originally had Posey as my #1 catcher, but I am curious if pitchers will catch up to him in 2011. Plus, this year is his first full year in the majors. If he can hit .300, hit 20+ HRs and drive in 90, he will be the #1 fantasy catcher in 2012. Bill James projects him to go 21-83-.308 in 2011. Does Mauer even sniff 20 bombs?
4. Joe Mauer, MIN- Yeah, you won't see too many people ranking Mauer as the 4th best fantasy catcher in 2011, but I am not sold on him. Mauer provides fantasy owners with excellent BA and RBIs, but he has middle infielder power. I mean James Loney hit more HRs than Mauer in 2010. Can he put up a 15-90-.320 season in 2011? Mauer is dealing with problems with his knee and I wonder how that will affect his performance in 2011.
More after the jump:
5. Victor Martinez, DET-VMart hit .302-.351-.493 with 20 HRs and 79 RBIs in 2010. He has hit 20+ HRs in 5 of his last 6 seasons, driven in 100+ runs three times in his career, and is a career .300 hitter.
6. Miguel Montero, ARI-Montero was hurt for a good part of 2010, but stlll hit .266-.336-.432 with 9 HRs and 43 RBIs in 325+ at bats. Can he go 20-80 in 2011? I think he can as long as Chase Field is one of the better hitters parks in baseball.
7. Geovany Soto, CHC-Soto had an injury filled season in 2010, but still hit .280-.393-.497 with 17 HRs and 53 RBIs. He should play everyday in 2011 unde rnew manager Mike Quade, and could approach 20 HRs and 75 RBIs, which is right around where Bill James projects for him. Soto has been injury-prone the last two years, so he comes with risk.
8. Matt Wieters, BAL-is 2011 the year where we finally see the real breakout season from Weiters? He hit .249-.319-.377 with 11 HRs and 55 RBIs in 2010. I think the Orioles as a team will improve with Buck Showalter as their manager, and Wieters could be a catalyst.
9. Mike Napoli, TEX-Napoli strikes out alot-more than 30% of his at bats-but has lots of power as well. He hit 26 HRs in 2010, the third straight year with 20+ HRs. If you need some power out of your catcher spot, Napoli is a good late round pick.
10. Kurt Suzuki, OAK-Suzuki put together another solid season in 2010, after going 15-88-.274 in 2009. Suzuki hit just .242-.303-.366, but hit 13 HRs and drove in 71 runs, which was good for 4th amongst catchers in 2010.
11. Jorge Posada, NYY-he still qualifies at catcher in 2011, and is slated to be the Yankees DH at the start of the 2011 season. He isn't the same hitter he was a few years back, but provides solid power and could be ready to make one last contract year push.
12. Chris Iannetta, COL-for the first time in a few years, Iannetta has the Rockies catchers job all to himself, so the pressure is on for him to finally produce. I think he can. He has been extremely unlucky the past two seasons, as his BABIPs of .245 and .212 scream for regression to the mean, which would be a big improvement for Iannetta. He strikes out alot-career K rate is 27%, but he also walks alot-career BB rate of 13%, and he hits plenty of flyballs-52% in 2009 and 46% in 2010, so he is a sleeper in 2011.
After the top 12 or so catchers, it comes down to a flip of the coin for the most part. I will provide a deeper catcher ranking as we approach spring training.