Fantasy Baseball 2013 Head-to-Head Points League Rankings: Catchers

Ed Zurga

Alex Kantecki takes a look at the top 20 catchers in Head-to-Head Points leagues.

Over the course of the next week or so, I'll be rolling out Head-to-Head Points League Rankings for the 2013 season, starting with hitters. Scoring for hitters in points leagues is rather straightforward: one point for every base, run, RBI, stolen base and walk, and minus-one point for every strikeout.

Because more bases equal more points, total bases are one of the best indicators of a hitter's value in points leagues. In fact, it's the first thing I look at. Then I factor in the remaining four categories that produce positive points (runs, RBIs, stolen bases and walks), before factoring in the only category that yields negative points (strikeouts).

The key to finding a good hitter in a points league is balance. So no, a single-category guy like Juan Pierre isn't a good pick, and neither is a home run hitter who strikes out a ton like Adam Dunn. (Strikeouts are a killer in points leagues!)

A very useful stat in points leagues is BB/K. With strikeouts and walks cancelling each other out, it only makes sense that a player with a higher BB/K is more valuable (in general) than a player with a lower BB/K. In 2012, the league average BB/K was 0.40 (down from 0.44 in 2011), and only six players with 400 or more at bats had a BB/K of greater than 1.00, including Carlos Lee, Jose Reyes, Chipper Jones, Joey Votto, Joe Mauer and Prince Fielder. Now don't go drafting Lee No. 1 overall (he's not even on a team!), but keep BB/K in mind when comparing players of similar value. It's very helpful. Players near the bottom in BB/K can sink your team.

I'll start the series off by ranking the top 20 catchers. Because catchers don't catch every day, catchers that play another position like first base or DH and pick up extra at bats are extremely valuable in H2H formats.

Included in the ranks below are each player's 2012 point total, using the standard scoring system outlined in the intro.

Rank

Player

Team

2012 Points

1

Buster Posey

Giants

446

2

Joe Mauer

Twins

419

3

Yadier Molina

Cardinals

396

4

Carlos Santana

Indians

354

5

Salvador Perez

Royals

198

6

Victor Martinez

Tigers

DNP

7

Matt Wieters

Orioles

330

8

Miguel Montero

Diamondbacks

309

9

Jonathan Lucroy

Brewers

248

10

A.J. Pierzynski

Rangers

335

11

Wilin Rosario

Rockies

278

12

Mike Napoli

Red Sox

206

13

Jesus Montero

Mariners

237

14

Brian McCann

Braves

257

15

Ryan Doumit

Twins

285

16

Carlos Ruiz

Phillies

308

17

John Jaso

Athletics

235

18

Russell Martin

Pirates

237

19

A.J. Ellis

Dodgers

229

20

Alex Avila

Tigers

190

Posey is the clear No. 1 in a tier of his own...Mauer is consistently among the league leaders in BB/K and poses the biggest threat to dethroning Posey...Molina is an all-around gem, but I don't expect him to hit 20 home runs again...Santana could push Molina for the No. 3 spot. I see him passing his 2012 numbers of 18 home runs, 72 runs and 76 RBI rather easily...Perez can hit, and I fully expect him to be among the leaders in total bases at catcher. He makes a ton of contact, so strikeouts aren't a worry...Martinez gets the benefit of the doubt after missing the entire 2012 season with knee surgery...Wieters had a bit of a down year. His strikeouts went up, and that worries me...Miguel Montero is Wieters-lite: less power and more Ks, so he's just behind...Lucroy is underrated. I expect 15 home runs and plenty of run production...Pierzynski won't repeat his 2012, but being in Texas doesn't hurt....Rosario and the home runs are real, but the strikeouts are scary...Napoli would be ahead of Rosario but you can't expect a full year from him...Jesus Montero has a walking problem (as in, he doesn't), but I see his counting stats coming up considerably...McCann could be awesome again, but he's too much of a risk for me...Doumit surprised his first year in Minnesota, but his low BB/K is a real concern...Ruiz will miss his team's first 25 games of the season. Otherwise, he'd be right where Jesus Montero is...Jaso is now in Oakland and could surprise...Martin probably won't have as many run scoring opportunities in Pittsburgh, but he gives you an added boost in steals...Ellis is someone I could see climbing up this list. His 175 total bases were tied for 12th best among catchers in 2012...Avila barely makes the top 20, but his 2011 season still counts for something, right?

Check back on Monday for the first basemen.

Follow me on Twitter at @akantecki.

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