1. Jorge Posada
At 36, easily his best year since 2003. If you saw this year coming, kudos to you. Maybe you should start your own blog called, “I Lied About Knowing How Well Posada Was Going To Do This Year.” Sixty points above his career average spells one thing: F-L-U-K-E. But if you had Posada, you got tremendous value from someone you thought you might have to replace at some point. This would’ve been my thinking right after the draft, “Maybe I’ll drop Posada and take a chance on Iannetta.” Then after Posada started well, “I guess I can give Posada a month.” Then when he continued to produce, “Well, I’ll hold onto him for a little bit longer. Worse case scenario is I’ll pick up Torrealba.” Chances are you never picked up Torrealba. BTW, as you’ll see, the top catcher this year has the distinction of being nothing more than the cream of the crap.
2. Victor Martinez
(See Top Ten 1st Basemen, or don’t. I’ll be fine.)
3. Russell Martin
A true throwback to the bygone days of Benito Santiago and vintage Kendall. (I guarantee no one will ever Google “vintage Kendall” so I did. Results are for an old bottle of crappy wine.) Martin faded a bit as the season wore on with only 5 steals post All-Star break. No matter, you got very good value from Martin for where you had to draft him. But if you’re drafting a catcher needing 20+ steals, you’re drafting incorrectly. More than likely Martin’s steals were icing.
4. Brian McCann
Guys and doll faces, this is your number #4 catcher (#2 in NL-only). What a crappy position. Isn’t it clear why everyone says ad infinitum not to draft a catcher too high? Position scarcity-schmarcity. You’re better off waiting to the late rounds. As for McCann, he had a couple of play-through-it injuries this year, which drained him of his power during the middle of the year. But catchers are always dinged up, so it’s hardly an excuse.
5. Bengie Molina
The number #5 catcher in all of baseball didn’t break 40 runs. This is pathetic. I’ve got an idea. How about steroids are allowed for anyone who is going to play 120 games or more at catcher? It’s such a tough position, they obviously need a little help. It could also add a bit of strategy with the management of a club deciding who they want to put on steroids, “Let’s roll the dice and let Jason Bay catch this year.” Also, it could extend more careers than the DH. I can see it now, “Batting fourth and catching, Barry Bonds.”
6. Joe Mauer
Wow, what a year! Aren’t you glad you drafted him with your third round pick? Write this down above your computer, “Don’t draft a catcher before the 12th round.”(Add an exclamation point if you need to shout at yourself to listen.) The scary thing is, you know Mauer has no power. These numbers are more or less what you should be expecting. Maybe 20 points higher in average, but big whoop.
7. Kenji Johjima
Do you think Kenji gets more press back home because he plays with Ichiro Suzuki? Or do you think he only gets press of an afterthought nature? Such as this being the coverage in The Japanese Rising Moon paper, “The great Ichiro Suzuki ground out to evil Howie Kendrick in two trips to bat, then he sacrifice himself for team and take fastball off elbow pad. In related news, Kenji Johjima hit home run.”
8. Jason Varitek
In the Year of Crappy Catchers, I’m kinda surprised Varitek didn’t finish a bit higher on this list. His average was the killer here. His post All-Star break average was .225. Yeah, that sucks.
9. Ivan Rodriquez
Has there ever been anyone skinnier whose nickname implies a fatty? Obviously people started calling him Pudge before steroids testing, but now whenever someone calls him Pudge tell me you don’t find it a little baffling. Sit someone in front of the TV who has never seen Rodriguez and tell them he’s called Pudge. Immediately they wonder if it’s meant sarcastically. Now, I think it might be. Anyway, his numbers are neither here nor there. He ain’t winning leagues for you, that is fo’ sho.
10. Ronny Paulino
The only top ten list Paulino should be on is, “Top Ten Players the Average Fan Does Not Know.” Actually, I could have probably put a dozen other names next to Paulino’s stats and no one would’ve known the difference. And if you’re telling me you would have known had I, say, put Pierzynski’s name there, you should go join the “I Knew How Well Posada Was Going To Do” liar’s blog.
As for the rest of the catchers, more crap.