I am taking a break from the Roto Roundup pieces for a few days, maybe longer. With the MLB and fantasy season winding down, I am going to start posting my early 2013 position rankings. These rankings will be just the rankings with a few comments about some of the players.
Once the season is over, we will begin our annual review of our Preseason Position Rankings. Once those are complete, we will post our Position Rankings with detailed commentary on each player ranked. Yes, the offseason will be busy for us, but it is a long offseason, and it helps us get through the offseason just a little bit quicker.
In addition to our MLB Position Rankings, we will also be ranking our annual Prospect Position Rankings, which will be loads of fun.
My early look at the Top 20 Catchers for 2013 is after the jump. Ranking catchers after the top 10 is not easy.
My early look at the Top 20 Catchers for 2013:
1. Buster Posey, SFG
2. Yadier Molina, STL
3. Brian McCann, ATL
4. Carlos Ruiz, PHI
5. Joe Mauer, MIN
6. Miguel Montero, ARI
7. Carlos Santana, CLE
8. A.J. Pierzynski, CHW
9. Matt Wieters, BAL
9.a. Salvador Perez, KC
10. Wilin Rosario, COL
11. Jesus Montero, SEA
12. Ryan Doumit, MIN
13. Jonathon Lucroy, MIL
14. Mike Napoli, TEX
15. Alex Avila, DET
15.a. Yasmani Grandal, SD
16. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, BOS
17. Ryan Hanigan, CIN
18. J.P. Arencibia, TOR
19. Travis d'Arnaud, TOR
20. A.J. Ellis, LAD
Note: rather than re-ranking my top 20 catchers, I slotted Royals catcher Salvador Perez in at 9a. i also added Padres catcher Yasmani Grandal in at 15.a. as well.
I was down on Giants catcher Buster Posey coming into the season, as I questioned how healthy he was, and how limited he would be in 2012. I couldn't have been more wrong, as he is the slam dunk No.1 fantasy catcher heading into 2013. I was lucky enough to draft him in my NL-only redraft league....in the 8th round. Yeah, he is helping me run away with the league at this point.
One guy on this list who could move up before 2013 is Rockies catcher Wilin Rosario. He has been a huge surprise in the power department this year, hitting 24 home runs to date. He is tied for second amongst fantasy catchers in home runs and 10th in RBI this season. He has excellent power and has the potential to approach 30 HRs in his prime.
One guy who I was high on coming into the season was Orioles catcher Matt Wieters, and he has disappointed to a degree. My expectations involved more growth in power and batting average and instead, we have seen more of the same from him. Wieters is currently hitting .247-.326-.424 with 19 HRs, 59 runs and 74 RBI this season. While the RBI total is a career high, the power many predicted from him as a prospect has not materialized, as he has yet to exceed .200 in Isolated power or .450 in slugglng percentage in his short 4 year career. Maybe I was a year too early on him. It wouldn't be the first time.
I stuck with Braves catcher Brian McCann as my third ranked fantasy catcher for 2013, as I have to think his batting average will bounce back next season. His 20 HRs and 64 RBI are close to career averages, and you have to think that his shoulder injury has something to do with the drop in BABIP and BA this season. Unless we hear that he has to have offseason shoulder surgery, then I will keep him at No. 3 here.
A catcher you may hear more about as the 2013 season gets closer is Mariners catching prospect Michael Zunino. Zunino is tearing up the minors this season, hitting 13 home runs, scoring 35 runs and driving in 43....all in less than 165 at bats. He moved from Low-A to AA after 110 at bats and hit well in his 51 AA at bats, hitting .333-.386-.588 with 3 HRs, 6 runs and 8 RBI. I doubt we see him in Seattle out of spring training, but he is a name to remember in dynasty and keeper league drafts next year.