As you are getting ready for your upcoming fantasy baseball draft or auction, there are a few different ways that can help you determine where there is value or a drop off in talent at each position. One way is by grouping each position into tiers to separate different levels of projected performance. By setting up tiers, it will give you a good idea how many catchers are at each level and what the chances are that someone in said level make it back to you for your next pick if you do not draft that position in the current round
Here is a look at the 2012 fantasy baseball tiers for catchers.
Carlos Santana, Brian McCann, Mike Napoli, Buster Posey
I would be happy with any of the catchers in this group. Most have Napoli one or two in their rankings, but his limited number of at bats plus his fluctuation in batting average has him slotted third in my tier one. Posey is coming back from surgery on his ankle and is still rehabbing the injury. While he is expected to be ready to start the season, the fact that he is still working back into form puts him at number four.
Matt Wieters, Joe Mauer, Miguel Montero, Alex Avila
I would be okay with owning two of the four guys in this group. I have Mauer ranked sixth, but given his past injuries and lack of power outside of 2009, it would be tough for me to take him knowing how much of his value is tied up in his batting average. Avila is at the end of the group, but his power outburst I would like to see a second year before I would be comfortable drafting him as high as he is going.
J.P. Arencibia, Yadier Molina, Jonathan Lucroy, Kurt Suzuki, Geovany Soto, Wilson Ramos
Arencibia has the most power in the group, it is simply a matter of whether you have enough batting average built up at other positions that you won’t tank the category. Molina is the most balanced catcher in the tier with a little bit of power, batting average and a few stolen bases thrown in. Suzuki and Soto have been disappointments the last couple of seasons but have shown skills in the past where if they put it all together they would be at the top of the group.
Russell Martin, Miguel Olivo, Chris Ianetta, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, John Buck, Ryan Doumit, Ramon Hernandez, A.J. Pierzynski, Carlos Ruiz, Salvador Perez
Martin I have ranked as the number 15 catcher so if you play in a one catcher league with 10-14 teams, most of the guys in this group aren’t going to matter. If you are playing in a two catcher fantasy baseball league, then I have these guys lumped together as their point rankings are all relatively close. Martin offers a few stolen bases from the catcher spot which is a nice bonus. Doumit is a sleeper if he is healthy and gets 400 at bats in Minnesota. Perez has been going high in some drafts, but is just 21 with little Triple-A experience, plus he hit over his head in his short major trial in 2011 so I think some caution is warranted.
Yorvit Torrealba, Devin Mesoraco, Rod Barajas, Nick Hundley, Ryan Lavarnway, Chris Snyder
Mesoraco is the most interesting name in the group because his value here is based on 300 at bats. If it looks like he is going to be catching 3-4 games out of five to start the season, then his value is quickly going to shoot up.