Early Top 20 Catcher Rankings 2014: Joe Mauer Implications

Hannah Foslien

Ray updates his early 2014 top 20 catcher rankings after the news of the Twins decision to move Joe Mauer to first base on a full time basis in 2014.

Yesterday we learned that Twins catcher Joe Mauer will be moving to first base on a permanent basis in 2014, and I wrote about some of the reasons why, and the fantasy implications for Mauer in this piece shortly after the news broke.

One of our readers, Twiter follower and former Fake Teams writer, Chris Buckley posed this question in the comments section of the Mauer piece from Monday afternoon:

Ray-

Can you list your catchers in order and where you now place Mauer?

Ask and you shall receive. Below you will find my updated early 2014 catcher rankings, version 2, if you will, along with a few thoughts on why I moved Mauer up in my rankings.

Rank

Name

Team

1

Buster Posey

Giants

2

Wilin Rosario

Rockies

3

Carlos Santana

Indians

4

Joe Mauer

Twins

5

Yadier Molina

Cardinals

6

Brian McCann

Braves

7

Salvador Perez

Royals

8

Jonathan Lucroy

Brewers

9

Matt Wieters

Orioles

10

Wilson Ramos

Nationals

11

Evan Gattis

Braves

12

Jason Castro

Astros

13

Jarrod Saltalamacchia

Red Sox

14

A.J. Pierzynski

Rangers

15

Devin Mesoraco

Reds

16

Ryan Doumit

Twins

17

A.J. Ellis

Dodgers

18

Miguel Montero

Diamondbacks

19

Russell Martin

Pirates

20

J.P. Arencibia

Blue Jays

Why did I move Mauer up in my rankings? Well, let me start first by saying that I originally ranked him as my 7th ranked catcher in my early 2014 catcher rankings mainly due to uncertainty as to how he will recover from the concussion symptoms which ended his 2013 season early.

With the news on Monday, it was reported that Mauer is symptom free at the moment, so that is good news for fantasy owners. But, we don't know if Mauer has started his offseason conditioning program or started baseball activities yet, so there is still some uncertainty as to how his body will respond once he begins his offseason training program.

But, assuming he will be 100% healthy for the 2014 season, I project he will play between 140-150 games, possibly a few more, which should increase his counting stats like runs, RBI and hopefully home runs. In an article I read about the move on Monday, Mauer was quoted saying that catching was physically demanding, and there were times where he would take a foul ball off his hand and have trouble gripping the bat for the rest of the game.

With the move to first base, this won't be an issue going forward, so my assumption is that his counting numbers will improve, and we could see a bump in his power as well.

For 2014, I will project Mauer to hit 16 HRs, score 85 runs, drive in 85 runs, and hit .335. Mauer could challenge Miguel Cabrera for the 2014 batting title as a result.

In addition to moving Mauer up three spots in my rankings, I also moved Royals catcher Salvador Perez up one spot, ahead of Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy.

Fantasy Rundown

If you are looking for more fantasy baseball rankings, make sure you check out Fantasy Rundown, the one stop spot on the internet for all the fantasy baseball information you will need to win in 2014.

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