It has been over a month now since my last post, but now i am begining a series of posts that should give you some content to read for a few weeks. PLEASE READ THIS INTRO BEFORE YOU READ THE LIST! I am ranking Players at each position based on Talent and Production, but i am not ranking the players by their 2011 numbers. It is more of an overall evaluation of the players, some will have moved down or up due to current production but Players like Buster Posey will still rank high due to their potential. I also love to read feedback and appreciate any advice you can give on how to improve my rankings. Just a little bit more info on how i do my rankings, i order the players in tiers. So while the specific ranking is important a lot of the players in the same tier are interchangable at the spots within their tier. So lets dive right into my 2011 Catcher Rankings.
Tier 1- The Elite Catchers in the League who can hit just as well as the elite players at other positions.
1. Brian McCann (ATL)- With Injuries to Joe Mauer and Buster Posey, McCann has become the top catcher in the game. He is alone in the top tier of catching because nobody even comes close in terms of consistency, total production and value to their team. McCann is an all around stud at a position that is severly lacking in that category.
Tier 2- The Top catchers who are the best at their position but may not stack up against the elite players at other positions.
2. Buster Posey (SFG)- Despite the injury Posey still has tremendous upside and his offensive production is tremendous at a position that lacks good hitters.
3. Miguel Montero (ARI)- Has provided solid offensive production the past 3 years and is just now in his prime years.
4. Matt Weiters (BAL)- A 25 year old catcher with a ton of upside and already a better hitter than most catchers in the league.
5. Carlos Santana (CLE)- Another 25 year old catcher with tremendous upside and has already put up some good numbers.
6. Alex Avila (DET)- In terms of production this year he could be at #2 but this has been his breakout year so I am just showing some caution. But he is also another young catcher (24) with some upside.
7. Joe Mauer (MIN)- How far the man has fallen, from 2 time MLB THE SHOW coverboy and 2009 AL MVP to hitting under .300 with no homeruns and an injury plagued campaign. He may no longer even play catcher on a consistent basis. But his talent alone keeps him in the 2nd tier, but if he permenantly moves to 1st then he will be off the list next year.
Tier 3- Good Catchers but are usually missing something in their game that prevents them from being at the top at their position.
8. Ramon Hernandez (CIN)- Nice season thus far and a very expierenced veteran who has helped the Reds the past few years.
9. Mike Napoli (TEX)- A solid power hitter who lacks in batting average but his wOBA is in the top 5 among catchers to compliment his tremendous power.
10. Chris Iannetta (COL)- Another guy who can hit for power and has a solid wOBA but does not hit for a good average.
11. Geovany Soto (CHC)- He is having a down year but when he is on, he gets on base and hits for good power.
12. Wilson Ramos (WAS)- Another young catcher (23) with upside who may not be elite in any one category but good in most of them.
13. Jonathan Lucroy (MIL)- Yet another young catcher who hits for a nice average but his wOBA and power are mediocre
14. Yadier Molina (STL)- A veteran catcher who hits for solid average but has average to low power and wOBA.
15. Russell Martin (NYY)- Another veteran catcher who should be in the prime of his career who has shown some pop and speed and an average wOBA but has hit for a low average.
16. Jarrod Saltalamacchia (BOS)- Another young player (26) who had mostly dissapointed until this season. The fact that he was a former top prospect and his current production indicates to me that he may have turned a corner so i have put him this high. His average and wOBA are average and he has shown some decent pop.
17. J.P. Arencibia (TOR)- He has shown great power but he has hit for a miniscule .222 average and a .311 wOBA. But he is young (25) and has upside so he could move up this list.
Tier 4- Average players at their position who are everyday starters.
18. Carlos Ruiz (PHI)- On the wrong side of 30 years old and is very average in every category. He has nowhere to go but down.
19. Kurt Suzuki (OAK)- Has the most potential in this tier at age 27 but he plays in a tough hitters park and has suffered a tough offensive season.
20. A.J. Pierzynski (CHW)- Once one of the top catchers is 34 and while he hits for a nice average his wOBA is decent at best and has little power.
Summary- While the position may be starved of truly elite talent, there is a ton of young players on the rise and i would not be surprised to see some of them sneak up into that top tier soon.