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I’m not going to point out Brian McCann or Mauer or any other catchers you or your leaguemates will be looking at in the first 10 rounds.  Here are some catchers that I will be targeting at my 2009 fantasy drafts after the top options are gone.  I’m also not going to get into the strategy of punting catchers.  Been there, half-drunkenly wrote that.  Click on the player’s name where applicable to  read more and see their 2009 projections.  This is a supplement to the top 20 catchers of 2009 fantasy baseball.  Anyway, here’s some catchers to target for 2009 fantasy baseball:

Pablo Sandoval – I have his 2009 projections as 60/14/65/.300.  I think he can get to 17+ home runs without losing anything on the average side.  He’s not as appealing to me as a 3rd baseman or a swimsuit model.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia – Salty will see time at 1st base, DH and catcher.  He’s going after some stankworths as Inge, Pierzynski and Suzuki.

Taylor Teagarden – Even with Saltymochachino standing in his way I like him to get enough ABs to be worthwhile.  Teagarden is better with the glove and Blalock will get injured.

Chris Iannetta – Iannetta comes from a long line of Italian-American catchers, Napoli, Torre, Cannoli, Berra, Girardi, Piazza and Sal Falsano.  Mamma mia!  Now throwa chest protector ona Nicky Punto.

Jesus Flores – Flores para los muertes! Flores! Para los muertes!  Some pop, low average.

Jeff Clement – Great late flier for power.  If you were to take someone like Pierzynski over Clement, you deserve to lose your league.  Sorry, sometimes the truth stings.  You rub it with some lying-to-yourself ointment.

J.R. Towles – In 2008, I was off him like black off rice, but I haven’t mentioned him much, if at all, in 2009.  You just need to throw out 2008.  Pretend like it never happened.  Or pretend like the only part that happened was when he hit .304 in almost 50 games after his callback from the minors.   He has speed and some slight power.  The absolute best case scenario seems to be Russell Martin.  In the so-late-it-doesn’t-matter-anymore round, you turn your head to the East and you see no catchers by your side.  Then like JT accompanying TI, you turn your head to the West, still nobody in sight.  So you turn your head to the North, swallow that pill that they call pride and draft Towles.

  1. Emporers Monkey says:
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    Ive been trying to target Sandoval in all my leagues thus far. I deserve a quality catcher this season after Johjima absolutely dry-boned me last year.

  2. Steve says:
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    @Emporers Monkey & Grey: Interesting to note that if your league is drafting at Yahoo, them Sandoval is ranked 233 overall and the 14-ranked catcher (13th if you leave out Weiters).

    I know this because I just ranked 288 damn players along Razzball lines over there.

    Hopefully everyone in my Yahoo H2H league forgets about him too…

  3. sickmangarner says:
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    I like Iannetta the best of this bunch. A lot of these guys have good minor league track records but with his numbers last year Iannetta seems to have really started on the major league path that is predictable from his minors stats so he’s a year or two ahead of the others (and playing in Coors). Of course, since you tend to overvalue what you possess and I have Iannetta protectable at the minimum in my keeper league, maybe I’m just fooling myself.

    Did anyone see the BP comparison of Joe Mauer’s and Jason Kendall’s first three years in the majors? Spooky. Identical lines for AVG/OBP/SLG making the point that Mauer’s power might keep heading in the direction it started a couple years ago.

  4. Tony says:
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    You don’t list weiters because people are reaching on him. Where would you feel comfortable taking him IF he fell there?

    In a 12 teamer.

    Sandoval is probably most appealing since he can bat for high average. Power is nice out of a catcher, but not dragging the average down is awesome. I’ll take some steady, consistent, Bengie Molina too. Although the article is about all younger up and coming players.

  5. 101 M.P.H. says:
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    The best fantasy baseball catchers are the ones that don’t catch.

    Sandoval in ’09!!!

  6. Baron Von Vulturewins

    Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    @101 M.P.H.: I’ll be very happy to land Sandoval with a late pick this year. And you’re absolutely right — a guy who qualifies at C but actually plays elsewhere is a rare and beautiful thing. For starters, he doesn’t have to take EVERY SUNDAY OFF.

    Grey, please disabuse my of my longstanding Ramon Hernandez crush. I thought I’d finally quit him, but now the move to Cincy makes me think he might maybe be sort of kind of worth something.

    Help me.

  7. 101 M.P.H. says:
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    @Baron Von Vulturewins: Coincidentally (or not), I was also targeting Ramon Hernandez as my plan B to Sandoval.

    Grey, talk us off the ledge please?

  8. sean says:
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    Sandoval only seems to qualify as a C on the Y!

    I’ve noticed that Shoppach slips way late now that people are bullish on V-Mart again (like 23rd round late in more than one draft). Jeff Clement scares me, but he’s been available in the last round in just about every draft I’ve taken part in so far. Iannetta is probably the closest to a sure thing on this list, but he goes far too early (15-16th) for my liking. I’d rather take my chances super late and take a donkey-corn or a nice #2 SP in that spot instead of an upside catcher.

    @BVV: I, too, can’t quit Ramon Hernandez, especially now that he’s playing at the GABP and will probably see the heart of the order or damn near it (I think I read that Phillips is going to bat cleanup this year). I feel like he could be good for 20/75 if that’s the case.

    @grey, speaking of the Reds, how do you feel about Chris Dickerson as a last round UTIL pick? He showed great flashes last year and seems to be putting together a solid spring.

  9. J says:
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    @Grey: Just curious on your projections for Sandoval. Even though he’ll be hitting in that lineup, he’ll likely be playing everyday and Bochy said previously he wants him to hit third. Even in a bad lineup, a full-time #3 hitter will drive in more than 60 and score more than 60 runs.

  10. Brian says:
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    How many ABs are you predicting for Sandoval? If he hits in the heart of the Giants lineup, and hits .300 with 14 homeruns, I think you may be a little low on your R and RBI projections. Thoughts?

  11. bpasinko says:
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    I didn’t believe the Jason Kendall thing until I checked it out myself. Thanks for poingint that out. Why is Mauer so highly thought of now and Kendall not so much back then? Mauer probably won’t even catch nearly as long as Kendall has either.

    I like Iannetta too, but it seems like everyone does. Like Sean says he’ll probably cost too much in drafts. Therefore I like Clement. I could wait an entire draft without worrying once about a catcher then be happy with Clement round 25. Sandoval I may have to snag him sooner. With that said in round 18 I’ll probably get ansy and draft Sandoval.

  12. Chase says:
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    so if all these catchers are lingering at the end, what one would you grab?

  13. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: I don’t see how he’s ranked that low. In the mocks you’ve been in, has he gone that low?

    @sickmangarner: I didn’t see that, but it sounds about right.

    @Tony: Around 180… But I would prefer to grab him after the season starts while he’s in Triple A.

    @Baron Von Vulturewins: The only negative I can think of is you probably felt exactly the same way last year about him and he disappointed you. For the round he’s going, there’s nothing wrong with grabbing him. The thing about catchers, if you don’t love the one you’re with, grab Dioner Navarro. I know you’re like a shark, never looking back, but go look at comment #22 on the Josh Hamilton post from yesterday.

    @101 M.P.H.: See above comment.

    @sean: Shoppach’s another good name to target. This list is some, not all of the catchers I’d look at. See the top 20 catchers list for more.

    @J: He has barely 40 games in the major leagues and it’s the beginning of March so a lot could change between now and October. If he hits 3rd the entire season, then my projections will be too conservative.

    @Brian: See above comment.

    @Chase: (http://razzball.com/top-20-catchers-for-2009-fantasy-baseball/)

  14. youngid says:
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    couldn’t you just replace this post with the phrase “get young catches, but not wieters ’cause everyone loves him”?? Personally, I’m all over Ramon Hernandez. Weird, I know.

  15. Baron Von Vulturewins

    Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    @Grey: I predict Sandoval goes in the 6th round in RCL leagues. Thanks, Grey!

    Ramon did bone me last year. I hate catchers, basically. But I see a lot of value in the late rounds. I’d love to try and get Weiters but at an ADP in the 8th round, no thank you sir.

  16. I love Towles as a pickup even after the draft if you have an open spot or someone is injured. He was just a complete victim of bad luck as his BABIP was aweful.

    Bill James really likes him this year and projected 17 homers. Not bad for a waiver wire pickup.

  17. EricB says:
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    Just found this website. LOVE IT! I’ve been playing fantasy baseball for 2 years now (2007, 2008). I won the league both years playing in a 5X5 roto league with 10 teams, 2 Cs, 1B, 2B, SS, 3B, 5 OFs, 2 Util, 9 pitchers, and only 2 reserve slots. So, it’s a pretty shallow league, and guys going on the IR can really damage your team. I love it that way because you can play the waiver wire, and find some gems.

    I was following the advice on this site even before I found it because it’s just plain common sense. Punt the catchers; there over-valued. Troll the wire for saves. Concentrate on batters early in drafts. It all works. Great advice! Only hope the others don’t catch on. People in my league chase wins when in comes to pitchers instead of looking at K/9 and WHIP. Foolishness. Chasing wins is like chasing the wind. Anyways, love the site. I plan on incorporating the rankings into my personal draft day spreadsheet (which is based on CHONE projections) and using it as a guide. By the way, this is my first time trying CHONE. Are they any good?

  18. James says:
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    Everyone is on Wieters for his AA numbers and potential, and it’s well deserved, but take a look at what Clement did in AAA in ’08. Don’t forget about this guy because he struggled (numbers got better as the season went on) in his first year.

  19. peter says:
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    @Grey: Hells yes Sandoval’s batting third… Right in front of Aaron Rowand! Boo ya!

  20. sean says:
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    @peter: right in front of fred lewis if you read the sleeper post

    @grey: CBS position eligibility is gained by playing at least 5 games in 2009 or 20 in 2008. Will Sandoval be behind the dish at all this year or is he exclusively a corner man? Also, on this note, is Dunn more attractive as a 1B?

  21. Simply Fred

    Fred Barker says:
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    Can get Doumit for Iannetta. Doumit in heart of lineup. Why wouldn’t I want him instead?

  22. papasmurf says:
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    I took Doumit pretty early in my league, around pick 110. I am gonna look to pick up a west coast backup backstop later on in the (slow) draft to start on days when Doumit has a day off or is hurt. I definitely like most of the guys on this list, though most are already gone.

  23. big o says:
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    i drafted teagarden last year , and even though he surprised me with some “pop” , i don’t see him picking up more than 350 AB’s in 09 .

    i could see him coming into some late inning duty , if the rangers find it appropriate to try and save a game with their bullpen , on those days when he does not start , based on the strength of his glove .

    and i worrry about max ramirez stealing late inning AB’s away from him , on days when he does start .

  24. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @EricB: Chone are the best by my money, but they have some flaws with ABs. Rudy will be adjusting them per BP’s ABs to make them a bit more realistic.

    @James: Yup.

    @peter: Hehe

    @sean: He might see less than 10 games at catcher. Dunn’s less attractive as a 1st baseman.

    @Fred Barker: I’d prefer Doumit.

    @big o: You also like Blalock.

  25. Tony says:
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    nothing to do with catchers….. but with Nathan potentially having arm problems and he already had surgery back in 2000, who would close in Minnesota?

    Is neshek still there?

  26. Ashley says:
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    @Baron Von Vulturewins:

    Thanks for the response. I agree that FA pickups can help you more in baseball. Hamilton and Quentin both finished the season in the top 20, that doesn’t happen in basketball. It just sucks that no one knows if they can do it two years in a row.

    I offered Hamilton, Quentin, and my 9th rd pick for Kemp, Markakis, and his 6th rd pick. If he accepts, I might take Granderson instead of Ellsbury because I won’t need that many SBs anymore.

    I kinda feel dumb offering Hamilton and Quentin though.. They’re former top prospects and when they’re healthy and on the field, they’ll obviously put up big numbers… Both playing in big time hitter parks. If he doesn’t mind giving me his 6th rd pick, he’ll probably accept because I remember him not being too fond of Markakis.

    Iannetta is definitely the catcher I’m targetting, I think he should easily get 20 homeruns.

  27. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Tony: Neshek’s out for the year. Crain would probably be the one to fill-in. Maybe Matt Guerrier.

  28. sean says:
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    Any thoughts on Cabrera as a A? I would assume he’s still a guy to pass over for someone younger with upside…

  29. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @sean: He’s exactly the same player no matter where he plays, which is a boring >10 HRs, .280 and 20 steals. If you draft him, you’ll wish you didn’t.

  30. Eric W says:
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    Any love for Josh Fields now that it appears he has the starting gig in Chicago or do you think his 07 was a fluke after the train wreck that was last year for him?

  31. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Eric W: He’s got power, but a big drain on average. He’s like Juan Uribe at 3rd base.

  32. NoonTime says:
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    HanRam batting 3rd this year… Does this make him #1 pick? Does this bump him down?

  33. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @NoonTime: He’s a potential #1 pick, I’d still prefer Arod.

  34. Tony says:
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    @NoonTime: Its crazy i really dislike AROD, and I love Hanley, but fantasy wise you almost HAVE to grab AROD or dare i say WRIGHT in the first 3 picks. Third base falls off the cliff after the big dogs are gone. Alot of injury risk, uknowns, and guys i dont want filling my 3B slot. You can’t go wrong with any of those 3 I just like my late SS options MORE than i like my late 3B options.

  35. IowaCubs

    IowaCubs says:
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    Don’t forget John Baker of the Marlins. He has the starting job there if they don’t do something stupid and sign Pudge. 305/10 potential and he’s going undrafted.

  36. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @IowaCubs: He’s a great name for NL-Only owners to remember. In mixed leagues, he’ll probably be the guy you pick up after you drop Wieters.

  37. Baron Von Vulturewins

    Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    @Ashley: Keep in mind that by trading Quentin AND Hamilton for Markakis AND Kemp you’re potentially trading 70 HRs for 40. That’s a 30 HR difference — or one very good player.

    Markakis and Kemp are both developing power but they had 38 HRs between them last year. Carlos alone had 36.

  38. Baron Von Vulturewins

    Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    @Grey: Don’t you think the SBs will drop off with the As? I think he goes from 20 to 10, which hampers his value (even more) severely.

  39. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Baron Von Vulturewins: Now his over/under is at 20 and I’d take the under rather than the over. I don’t think he’ll drop all the way to 10 steals without an injury.

  40. Steve says:
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    @Grey: Sorry to not stick this in the newest post, but wanted context, yo!

    Haven’t done any Yahoo mocks (draft app won’t load behind work firewall), but in the 12-teamers at Couchmanagers I was able to get him pretty consistently in the 12th or 13th from memory.

    He has no catcher eligibility at ESPN, so couldn’t draft him in mocks there obviously.

  41. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Oh, you’re saying Yahoo has him ranked there… Gotcha. Yeah, Yahoo pretty much sucks.

    EDIT: Typo. Words.

  42. cleaver596 says:
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    I was just able to snag Napoli in round 19. I was holding off to grab clement or another sleeper, but I have every spot on my roster filled except Catcher, plus I all ready have two guys on my bench. I feel like Jed Clampett when he shot the ground and found some black gold. I know Napoli isn’t the cream of the crop, but the potential for 25 HR that late, plus my league uses OBP, so his average isn’t gonna hurt me.

  43. sickmangarner says:
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    @Tony: Had the same insight about 3B vs. SS last night in a mock when I took HanRam with the #1 pick and then had to either stretch for a 3B in the early rounds or end up with someone like Atkins. Meanwhile, Furcal, Jeter and Tulo were there for the taking in rounds 5-9.

  44. Tom says:
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    Weird Question. Two years ago, Ronny Paulino was considered a top catching prospect, right? Does he have ANY chance at getting a shot in Philly? I always like looking for the Gavin Floyd/Carlos Quentin types that are just forgotten top prospects. I don’t think Paulino really falls in that category, plus he doesn’t effect Fantasy unless Philly loses their starter, but I thought I would ask anyway.

  45. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Tom: It’s a fair question, and it’s important to look at prospects that don’t catch on immediately, pun noted, but unavoidable. But Paulino is the kind of guy that you only look for in very deep leagues once he’s assured playing time. He’s not going to be snatched up and if he is, then he’s very replaceable. For a top prospect that hasn’t emerged yet, but could, look at Clement.

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