Fantasy Baseball Catchers 2012
Catcher is probably the most frustrating fantasy position. There aren’t many great options, catchers tend to take a lot of time off and there is always a worry that your catcher will get taken out the way Buster Posey was.
The only reason I draft a catcher is because I have to. With that said, let’s get into the top 10:
10 Geovany Soto – Chicago Cubs
Soto is a risk but he’s a risk that I’m willing to take. He is wildly inconsistent at the plate and his batting average the last few seasons reflects that.
The reason I would take a risk on him, though, is his power. He has 68 HRs in four full seasons in the majors (71 total) and plays in hitter-friendly Wrigley Field. In a position without much depth it is good to find a power hitter in a small park like Soto.
9. Joe Mauer – Minnesota Twins
I love Mauer and feel like I’m ranking him too low but his injury history and decreasing power are causes for concern.
Anyone reading this probably knows this former MVP has the ability to be a top 10 overall fantasy player but his 2011 injuries really held him back. I wish his injuries were “normal” so I can have an idea how healthy he is now. However, he had leg weakness, a viral infection and pneumonia. I can’t trust a catcher who suffers from leg weakness when I have no idea how severe the injury truly is.
8. Yadier Molina – St. Louis Cardinals
Molina has always been a great defensive catcher but fantasy owners can finally celebrate his improving offensive numbers and increasing fantasy value.
Last season Molina hit a career-high 14 home runs and batted .305 while being a major part of the Cardinals unlikely World Series run. In 2012, I believe that Molina can boost his home run total again without hurting his average too much. I don’t think that 17 HRs and a .295 average is impossible for him.
7. Buster Posey – San Francisco Giants
Much like Mauer, Posey is a high-risk, high-reward catcher with some injury issues.
In 2011 the former Rookie of the Year had a horrific lower leg injury that he sustained while blocking the plate. This season he should be healthy for opening day but there are still concerns.
It is unsure if Posey will need a position change at some point this season or if his injury will affect his swing but in a position with such little depth I think he is worth the risk.
6. Alex Avila – Detroit Tigers
Avila was a top 5 fantasy catcher in 2011 and will get another chance to shine due to Victor Martinez’s knee injury that will sideline him for most (possibly all) of 2012.
I really hate ranking him here but there are too many questions and too little depth in the catcher position. I feel like Avila will regress this season but the Posey and Mauer injuries push him up in my rankings.
Logic tells me to be safe and rank Avila here but my gut tells me to take a chance on Posey.
The Avila/Posey problem I just mentioned reminds me of one of the most important rules of any fantasy sport. No “analyst” is always right. Injuries happen, some players have bad luck and others just underperform. Always follow your gut when drafting. I only point out statistics and trends but sometimes a gut instinct is all you need for fantasy success.