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Fantasy Catcher Rankings: Steamer Projections for 2015

Let's take a look at what the Steamer projections have in store for the catchers we ranked this week.

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Projecting player stats for the upcoming season, for me, has always been a gut feel. Sometimes I have been on target, while other times, I have been way off. Attempting to predict how a player is going to perform is not an easy task. Projecting anything for which you have no control over is very hard. Just ask the weather forecasters after the failed "snowmageddon" here on the east coast on Monday and Tuesday.

One of the more well known projection systems out there is ZiPS, which are created by Dan Szymborski, and published over at FanGraphs. Another projection system which FanGraphs publishes for all to see is the Steamer projections. Here is more on Steamer from both the Steamer Projections website and from FanGraphs:

Steamer Projections is a projection system for baseball player statistics. The system was created and is maintained and operated by Jared Cross, Dash Davidson, and Peter Rosenbloom. Dash and Peter just graduated from college and are both former students of Jared – a high school science and statistics teacher. The three creators share a deep passion and interest for baseball and the statistics that are intrinsic to the game.

The project began in the Fall of 2008 at Saint Ann’s School in Brooklyn, New York. Saint Ann’s offers its students an independent research program where they may embark on collaborative projects motivated by personal interest together with a teacher. The Steamer Projections system is the result of this program.

What began as an explorative academic pursuit soon became a passionate and time-consuming endeavor as we quickly began to expand and improve our system – and increase the requisite amount of work – as our skill and knowledge of the intricate process of statistical projection improved.

Now we are in the midst of working on the seventh iteration of our system, which has released a full set of projections for MLB players for each of the past five seasons by the end of March. We are still constantly tinkering on and tweaking Steamer Projections in the hope of making it ever more accurate and efficient. We are also investigating possible business partnerships with fantasy sports websites and MLB teams to leverage the predicative power of our system.  You can find our full pre-season and daily projections at www.fangraphs.com and at www.razzball.com.

Steamer - This uses the playing time projection from our (FanGraphs) depth charts. These are temporarily using playoff rosters, so there may be the occasional weird playing time allocation. Playing time may be updated on a nightly basis.

So let's take a look what the Steamer projections have in store for the catchers we ranked earlier this week:

Name

PA

AB

2B

HR

R

RBI

AVG

OBP

SLG

OPS

wOBA

wRC+

Buster Posey

565

503

29

19

69

75

0.299

0.368

0.476

0.844

0.368

142

Carlos Santana

591

489

27

21

74

73

0.245

0.366

0.433

0.799

0.355

131

Wilin Rosario

304

283

16

14

37

45

0.278

0.316

0.488

0.804

0.349

106

Jonathan Lucroy

563

504

30

14

65

64

0.282

0.348

0.432

0.780

0.344

117

Michael McKenry

184

163

9

6

21

23

0.267

0.336

0.439

0.775

0.342

101

Joe Mauer

617

534

32

9

72

62

0.284

0.370

0.403

0.774

0.341

119

Brian McCann

518

465

18

24

62

70

0.251

0.317

0.445

0.761

0.333

111

Russell Martin

506

433

20

16

61

59

0.242

0.341

0.405

0.746

0.333

111

Devin Mesoraco

435

387

20

18

48

55

0.246

0.318

0.442

0.760

0.332

110

Yadier Molina

443

405

24

10

47

51

0.284

0.335

0.418

0.753

0.331

112

Wilson Ramos

428

394

18

16

46

55

0.269

0.316

0.438

0.755

0.330

109

Yasmani Grandal

446

385

19

13

48

50

0.241

0.336

0.401

0.736

0.328

112

Evan Gattis

569

523

26

28

68

79

0.243

0.295

0.459

0.754

0.328

110

Travis d'Arnaud

502

454

24

17

53

60

0.251

0.313

0.428

0.741

0.324

111

Yan Gomes

457

421

23

16

51

57

0.257

0.305

0.435

0.740

0.324

110

Jesus Montero

68

62

3

2

8

9

0.255

0.307

0.428

0.736

0.322

109

John Jaso

406

353

18

9

46

39

0.246

0.334

0.382

0.717

0.322

111

Salvador Perez

478

449

23

14

52

58

0.274

0.309

0.425

0.734

0.321

105

Matt Wieters

476

429

21

17

54

56

0.246

0.311

0.418

0.729

0.321

103

Nick Hundley

270

247

14

8

29

32

0.260

0.310

0.420

0.730

0.320

86

Carlos Ruiz

436

386

22

8

41

41

0.260

0.335

0.384

0.718

0.320

103

Josmil Pinto

355

316

17

10

39

39

0.248

0.319

0.400

0.718

0.319

103

Miguel Montero

416

361

18

9

43

43

0.249

0.339

0.379

0.718

0.319

100

Derek Norris

406

352

16

12

41

42

0.235

0.325

0.386

0.711

0.318

107

Dioner Navarro

257

234

11

7

28

30

0.263

0.317

0.402

0.719

0.317

100

Alex Avila

392

334

17

10

43

40

0.230

0.331

0.374

0.705

0.317

101

Chris Iannetta

416

347

16

10

46

40

0.224

0.339

0.358

0.696

0.315

107

Peter O'Brien

1

1

0

0

0

0

0.228

0.275

0.447

0.722

0.315

95

Stephen Vogt

434

397

20

10

47

48

0.260

0.312

0.402

0.714

0.314

103

Tom Murphy

1

1

0

0

0

0

0.244

0.299

0.408

0.708

0.313

81

Welington Castillo

124

111

6

4

12

13

0.242

0.310

0.390

0.701

0.312

95

Ryan Lavarnway

12

11

1

0

1

1

0.246

0.317

0.379

0.696

0.310

96

Ryan Hanigan

190

165

8

3

21

18

0.251

0.338

0.350

0.687

0.307

92

Jason Castro

408

365

18

11

43

43

0.230

0.301

0.376

0.677

0.301

92

Jarrod Saltalamacchia

428

378

20

13

41

45

0.220

0.301

0.377

0.678

0.301

89

Kurt Suzuki

397

360

20

6

39

38

0.255

0.312

0.364

0.676

0.301

90

Steve Clevenger

77

70

4

1

8

7

0.252

0.310

0.364

0.673

0.300

89

Mike Zunino

452

413

18

19

49

55

0.219

0.275

0.407

0.681

0.300

94

Robinson Chirinos

424

384

18

12

44

46

0.236

0.296

0.378

0.674

0.299

85

Josh Phegley

178

165

8

5

19

20

0.241

0.283

0.395

0.678

0.299

93

Geovany Soto

182

162

8

6

19

20

0.221

0.292

0.378

0.671

0.299

86

Ryan Doumit

323

295

15

9

32

36

0.237

0.293

0.382

0.676

0.298

88

Christian Vazquez

351

315

17

5

38

34

0.248

0.313

0.352

0.664

0.297

85

Carlos Corporan

154

140

6

4

16

17

0.237

0.295

0.375

0.670

0.297

83

Erik Kratz

122

111

5

4

13

14

0.234

0.287

0.391

0.678

0.297

88

Andrew Susac

107

95

4

3

10

11

0.224

0.304

0.355

0.659

0.297

93

George Kottaras

1

1

0

0

0

0

0.200

0.298

0.363

0.661

0.297

85

A.J. Ellis

182

155

6

3

16

16

0.226

0.326

0.329

0.656

0.297

90

James Skelton

1

1

0

0

0

0

0.238

0.313

0.341

0.654

0.295

86

Francisco Cervelli

333

299

15

4

30

29

0.246

0.312

0.342

0.655

0.295

89

Hank Conger

209

187

9

5

21

21

0.227

0.295

0.364

0.659

0.293

86

Austin Barnes

31

28

1

1

3

3

0.234

0.302

0.348

0.650

0.292

87

Gary Sanchez

1

1

0

0

0

0

0.227

0.282

0.375

0.657

0.292

82

Josh Thole

30

27

1

0

3

3

0.242

0.308

0.341

0.649

0.290

81

Blake Swihart

49

45

2

1

5

5

0.245

0.291

0.363

0.654

0.290

80

Jose Lobaton

116

104

5

2

10

10

0.234

0.303

0.340

0.643

0.289

81

Tony Sanchez

61

55

3

1

6

6

0.225

0.290

0.356

0.646

0.289

84

Chris Snyder

1

1

0

0

0

0

0.217

0.292

0.354

0.645

0.289

81

JR Murphy

123

112

5

3

13

13

0.230

0.283

0.366

0.649

0.289

80

Rene Rivera

401

366

17

9

39

41

0.231

0.288

0.362

0.649

0.288

87

Kevin Plawecki

1

1

0

0

0

0

0.239

0.290

0.355

0.645

0.288

85

J.P. Arencibia

1

1

0

0

0

0

0.212

0.259

0.391

0.650

0.286

75

Brayan Pena

318

296

15

5

27

29

0.250

0.289

0.355

0.644

0.285

78

Robert Kral

1

1

0

0

0

0

0.204

0.296

0.331

0.627

0.285

84

Tyler Flowers

296

267

10

10

30

32

0.208

0.272

0.364

0.636

0.283

76

A.J. Pierzynski

187

175

7

4

16

19

0.244

0.281

0.360

0.641

0.282

78

Thoughts

Evan Gattis - Steamer seems to like Gattis' move to the Astros as they are projecting him to hit 28 home runs and drive in 79 runs. That's a top 3 catcher in my eyes and maybe I was too down on him.

Buster Posey - I think Steamer is right on the money with their projection for Posey, but he could easily outperform this projection should he see more than 30 starts at first base in 2015, as he has proven he is better hitter when at first than behind the plate.

Devin Mesoraco - news that the Reds are considering giving Mesoraco 145 starts in 2015 could make the Steamer projection look very low. He hit 25 home runs last season in 114 games, so he should easily replicate that should he play 145 games. There is talk that he could play some first base this season to 1) give Votto more rest, and 2) keep his power bat in the lineup. It s a trend that many managers are using to keep their catchers with big bats -Jonathan Lucroy, Posey, others -in the lineup and keep them fresh.

Andrew Susac - I think Susac sees more than 107 plate appearances in 2015, as Posey will start at least 30 games at first base this season.

Joe Mauer - I am not sure why Steamer still sees Mauer as a catcher, as Mauer caught zero games last season.

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