Went over the top 20 for 2011 fantasy baseball and top 10 for 2011 fantasy baseball.  Now, friends, it’s time for the top 20 catchers for 2011 fantasy baseball.  The top 20 catchers are the glass of warm milk right before you go to sleep.  Hey, I just drafted Jorge Posada!  Snooze.  I love Kurt Suzuki this year!  Yawn.  I don’t draft top catchers in one catcher leagues.  Because I ignore the top catchers doesn’t mean I’m starting the top 20 catcher list at number twenty-one (Chris Snyder?  Belch.); some of you might want to know the top catchers.  You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them draft Napoli.  In two catcher leagues, catchers are a little more valuable, but I’d still prefer to avoid them.  You can see other top 20 lists for 2011 fantasy baseball under 2011 Fantasy Baseball Rankings.  Listed along with these catchers are my 2011 projections for each player and where the tiers begin and end.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 catchers for 2011 fantasy baseball:

1. Brian McCann – This is the first tier.  This tier goes from here until Posey.  This tier is called, “I’ll draft any of these guys if they’re still on the board four to six rounds after their Average Draft Position.”  I ended up putting McCann above Mauer in these rankings for a simple reason.  I want 20+ home runs way more than I want a .320+ average.  If McCann gets his stupid eyes figured out and hits like he should for a 27-year-old, this will be his season.  I know Posey is way more exciting than McCann, but unless you’re dating Posey’s sister, exciting isn’t going to get you laid in fantasy baseball.  2011 Projections:  80/25/95/.280/3

2. Joe Mauer – It’s amazing to me how fickle fantasy baseball ‘perts are.  Read recently a ‘pert talking about how Mauer will never hit 20 home runs again.  These are, of course, the same people that swore his 28 homers in 2009 was the real deal.  Can’t anyone separate what someone did the previous year compared to what they will do.  I don’t think he will hit 28 home runs either, but I didn’t think he’d do it 2010 and thought it was fluky as shizz in 2009 when he actually did it.  Search the site if you’re new to Razzball.  It’s all there.  Mauer is a 14-17 home run hitter with a great average.  If he gets lucky, he hits 20 homers.  If he’s unlucky, he hits 9 homers like last year.  It’s not brain surgery.  And it is a’ight, but I won’t own him because of where he’s drafted.  2011 Projections:  90/15/90/.325/3

3. Victor Martinez – I already went over my Victor Martinez fantasy when I took a scalpel to his Tigers signing.  If you click that link, it’ll transport you to a whole new post.  It’s magic!  2011 Projections:  70/18/85/.300

4. Buster Posey – I suppose he could be the best catcher for 2011, but what about Mike Napoli?  I mean, Mike Napoli’s mom is showing you nips and you still got no love for him?  You don’t like MILF nips?  You a prude?  Are you one of our three girl readers?  If so, then maybe I should stop now before we end up with no girl readers.  I don’t dislike Posey.  All I’m saying is Wieters looked like a surefire bet going into 2010 too.  For where you have to draft Posey, I’m not going near him.  2011 Projections:  75/18/80/.310

5. Mike Napoli – This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here until Posada.  I call this tier, “I’ll try to grab a catcher from this tier and if it doesn’t happen then c’est la vie.”  Honestly, you probably don’t have to draft Napoli because whoever drafts him will probably drop him by mid-April.  No one wants to own Napoli.  You’re all a bunch of Sciosciapaths!  He hits 20+ home runs and steals a few bases.  That’s all you need from a catcher.  Stop trying to turn your catcher slot to eleven.  Oh, and his move to the Rangers ups his power a bit, but he’s not suddenly going to hit for .300.  2011 Projections:  65/24/75/.255/5

6. Matt Wieters – Now that Wieters’ draft position has come down to earth, I don’t mind him at all.  Could easily be the top catcher for fantasy in 2011.  That ain’t idle chatter.  He’s just needs to emerge from his nasty sophomore slump and do what he’s capable of.   He was unlucky last year and his walk rate went up while his K-rate went down.  They’re all good signs.  Here’s to him getting back on the map.  (And because no Oriole mention is complete without a Wire mention, I was pulled over the other day for talking on my phone while driving.  I know, Oprah would’ve been so disappointed.  I’m also the jackhole who usually yells at other drivers, “Hands free!” but I just got a phone call at the wrong time.  Anyway, the cop walks up to my window and I read his name tag and immediately yelled out his name, “McNulty!”  He’s like, “Do I know you?”  “No, but I watch The Wire.”  He sighs like he’s heard it a thousand times before and gives me a ticket.  Woo-hoo, I got a ticket from McNulty!)  2011 Projections:  60/18/85/.280

7. Geovany Soto – In 105 games last year, he hit 17 home runs.  Yes, he too can be the number one catcher in 2011 fantasy baseball.  Now that Piniella and his infatuation with Koyie Ugly is out of town, Soto should see all the ABs he can handle.  Tough break for The Koyie Hill Fan Club, which affectionately calls itself The Koy Pond.  2011 Projections:  60/18/75/.270

8. Miguel Montero – Unlike Napoli, Wieters or Soto, Montero doesn’t have the big power upside.  With my projected 15 home runs I’ve given him, I’m probably just about touching his ceiling.  He’ll probably get tiresome at some point in the season making you want to drop him for a hot-as-of-right-now waiver wire catcher.  If you do Ron Popeil him, he should be able to give you a solid, if unremarkable catcher season.  2011 Projections:  55/15/70/.275

9. Jorge Posada – After about ten years of ignoring Posada, I think his value has finally caught up with his draft position.  I’d like to say his BABIP was low last year, but his skills are declining.  He might not hit over .260 again without some luck.  Also, like a preacher, he has Jesus breathing down his neck.  Still, the ballpark, the lineup around him and the fact he’ll see DH ABs, makes him attractive.  2011 Projections:  50/17/70/.255

10. Carlos Santana – This is a new tier.  This tier is just Carlos Santana.  This tier I call, “I’m not owning Carlos Santana unless he falls very far in my drafts.”  Bill James has Carlos Santana down for 22 homers.  Bill James is smoking crack cocaine.  Carlos Santana might be great in 2011, but I need the ulcer to see if he’s healthy?  I have enough stress in my life.  I’m letting Carlos Santana prove his mettle on someone else’s team.  What, I’m gonna miss out on a 15-homer, .280 season from a catcher?  Big whoop, friend.  Big effin’ whoop.  2011 Projections:  55/15/65/.280

11. Kurt Suzuki – This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here until Carlos Ruiz.  I call this tier, “I’m only listing them so you know I don’t want them on any teams.”  I stared at the screen for three minutes trying to think of something positive to say about Suzuki.  What you ended up with was me confessing to you that I had nothing positive to say about him.  That about sums it up.  2011 Projections:  60/14/70/.260/3

12. Yadier Molina – Oh.  My.  God.  Get me the hell out of this tier.  For reals.  2011 Projections:  40/7/55/.270/7

13. A.J. Pierzynski – Not only is he a terrible pick but his last name is impossible for me to spell.  Just let Tyler Flowers flourish or flounder, for suck fake. (Say that fast 117 times.)  2011 Projections:  50/12/55/.275

14. Carlos RuizCarlos Ruiz makes Kurt Suzuki seem like an upside pick.  2011 Projections:  35/10/55/.265

15. Chris Iannetta – This is a new tier.  This tier goes until the end of the post.  I call this tier, “It’s late in the game and I’m taking some upside.”  You might look at the tier names and think to yourself, why doesn’t he just move Iannetta above Suzuki if he’s ignoring Kurt?  I guess I could, but I’m not taking Iannetta or any of these late names until the guys above them are already drafted.  So by listing Iannetta here you know who has to come off the board before you draft one of these late round fliers.  If you were to draft Iannetta before, say, Ruiz is off the board, I wouldn’t be mad at you, but you might be reaching.  As for Iannetta, “Meh, at least he’s got some upside.”  2011 Projections:  40/15/60/.245

16. Russell Martin – I don’t like Martin then he went to the Yankees and I was slightly more interested.  Put a big flashing sign on “slightly” to emphasize it.  In the absolute last round of a draft, I’d consider him.  There, I said it.  Are you happy you’ve embarrassed me?  2011 Projections:  70/10/60/.270/10

17. J.P. Arencibia – First, let’s see what I said when he was first called up, “In Triple-A, Arencibia hit 32 homers in 412 ABs.  That’s-a one spicy prospect!  To go all Latin America on you, there’s a caveat.  That was in the PCL, which is like playing on the moon with an aluminum bat.  He’s not quite the prospect of Wieters, Posey or Carlos Santana, pre-Kalish yelling at him, ‘Eat everything off your plate!'”  And that’s me quoting me!  Arencibia might not be a huge impact guy in 2011, but he can be.  At catcher, I like to gamble.  2011 Projections:  40/15/55/.240

18. Ryan Doumit – He never stays healthy but in some ways that doesn’t matter for a catcher.  Since everyone only owns one of them, there’s plenty of catchers on waivers for Doumit’s thrice-annual trip to the DL.  2011 Projections:  35/15/55/.250

19. John Jaso – I look at Jaso’s number and I see a poor man’s Russell Martin.  That’s not a compliment.  But Jaso is a bit more of an unknown so maybe there’s some more upside there.  That’s barely a compliment.  2011 Projections:  60/6/45/.270/6

20. Miguel Olivo – It’s kinda sad when the upside tier has Doumit, Olivo and Russell Martin.  Catchers suck.  2011 Projections:  45/15/55/.235/7

After the top 20 catchers for 2011 fantasy baseball, there’s plenty of names, but here’s three I want to point out:

Jesus Montero – If he gets an everyday job out of Spring Training, which I don’t think he will, he’ll shoot up this rankings list.  I’d move him up to 9th overall.  If he does get the everyday job, his price tag will probably be too steep for my blood though.  I also went over my Jesus Montero fantasy already.  Click that thing-a-ma-boob.  By all means, grab him in keepers if your bench is deep enough, but with the Martin addition, I don’t think we see Montero until late summer at the earliest (barring an injury).  2011 Projections:  20/5/30/.290 in 100 at-bats

John Buck – I usually like to end these top 20 posts with some exciting names, but we’re talking about catchers when I highlight John Buck.  He’s usually forgotten on draft day and he’s good for teen power.  Should you draft him at any point before the final round?  Buck that!  2011 Projections:  40/15/55/.245

Jarrod Saltalamacchia – There was a point in the not that distance past that Jarrod Saltymochachino was a touted prospect.  “Shizz happens, write him off, let’s move on, Grey.”  That’s you talking.  “He’s not quite old; he’ll be only 26 years old in 2011.  In the last round of draft, you got better things to do than to draft an upside catcher in a hitters’ park and lineup?  Yeah, I didn’t think so.”  That’s me talking.  2011 Projections:  55/16/70/.255/5 <– optimistic but whatevs

  1. Mike Sciosa says:

    Hey Grey, I just upped Mathis to a $1.7M extension… Take
    that Napoli-lovers!!

  2. mic says:

    yo grey what is your strategy in 2 catcher leagues?

    and bill james does not smoke crack cocaine, he likes to put grapes in his hooka…

  3. Steve says:

    In the spirit of catcherdom, maybe you should punt these rankings to near the end. Heh.

    Seriously though, last year I think you said you start thinking catcher around about the 100th pick over all. If I have that right, does that hold true for catcher this year too?

  4. Terrence Mann says:

    Okay Grey. The last few weeks was nice. I put together solid mocks. You trashed them. I wish I knew how to quit you. yada, yada…

    Now we can begin to argue. One of the things you nailed last year was that tier of outfielders with the upside guys. McCutcheon, Little Pony, Jay Bruce, Pence. And then, I noticed that you failed to get those guys in many of your drafts. You got Hamilton in a lot of leagues, but then failed to go with your gut and drafted “safe” players instead of the guys you were pimping on your readers. If you would have grabbed Hamilton in the 6th and filled your outfield with your upside guys later, you probably would have won every league you were in.

    Posey screams upside. Batted over .300. Hit 18 HRs in 400 ABs. The NL West pitchers aren’t that scary. The best ones are on his own team. I’ve been able to get him in the 5th round in just about every mock when the pool of talent starts to get pretty thin…and catcher is a relatively scarce position if you’re talking about someone that can blow up and help win a league for you. And really, what is Posey’s floor? There doesn’t seem to be much risk drafting him in the 5th. And you have him ranked below Mauer? When Mauer’s HR upside is below Posey’s ho-hum season? Huh? You know Target affects Twins HRs and that 9 is closer to who Mauer “is” than 28.

    You know in your heart you like Posey better than any other catcher out there. You know he’s a great value in the 5th with little risk. Cowboy up, follow your heart, draft him there and tell your readers to do the same.

    I look forward to the 1B rankings.

  5. Paulie Allnuts

    Paulie Allnuts says:

    Grey, what I can’t quite understand is why the guy on the left of the picture with Donna Napoli isn’t oogling the wardrobe malfunction. And that Donna seems completely unaware of the slippage. Hopefully, my wife isn’t reading the column today – Sandra is potential Razzball gal reader number 4. However, she is hard to scare off.

    The tiers sound right to me, although I think that Posada could drop to the tier below, as he shouldn’t ever catch again, and the Yankee DH position could get crowded. Then again, when I see the schmohawks listed under him, you prolly got it right.

    A conundrum – if there are only 10 catchers that you would want on your team, and you don’t want to draft a high tier catcher unless he is a fairly high number of rounds under his prospective draft position, it seems likely that you might have to draft one of the lower ten equivelant to their draft value, or you could be screwed. In a 12 team league, two managers will get crappola. There could be a late round run to avoid the offal, and you might be left out of the party if you don’t watch out. Or perhaps, it doesn’t matter all that much.

  6. Paulie Allnuts

    Paulie Allnuts says:

    clarification – one of the lower catchers of the top ten. One wouldn’t want to draft any of the catchers in the bottom ten. Except Santana in keeper leagues.

  7. cruisinkc says:

    As always, great stuff Grey! Look forward to the rest of the 2011 rankings.

    One of the three girl readers back and looking for some advice for my keeper league. It is a 12 team league, 6 X 6 roto scoring. Offensive stats include R, 2b/3b, HR, RBI, SB, AVG and pitching stats include W, SV, K, ERA, WHIP, and QS. Each team keeps 5 players and the draft just starts in the 6th round as the first 5 rounds are considered our keeper picks.

    My sure keepers are Ryan Braun, David Wright, Mark Teixeira, and Matt Holliday.

    I am debating between the following players for my last spot:
    Ian Kinsler
    Jacoby Ellsbury
    Kelly Johnson
    Grady Sizemore
    Shane Victorino
    Ben Zobrist

    I don’t have any pitchers worth keeping. Thoughts on who I should choose?

  8. barker says:

    i m gonna go out on a limb and say that grey would go with kinsler there…

    your negative descriptions and outright hate of the catching position are utterly hilarious i liked the jaso one especially — you’ve outdone yourself

    can’t wait for the rest of the rankings — stay classy and moustachey grey

  9. Grey,

    Do you ever happen to play in 2 catcher leagues. I’ve been in one for years (wish I could convince the other managers to change that setting). Would your philosophy change?

    I feel like I need to get at least one productive backstop. Someone like Soto. And when there are going to be 24 (UGGG) catchers drafted, I always feel forced to reach with that first pick.

    I generally punt my second catcher, and just search for upside in the last few rounds. Really I’ll take anyone who plays most days and can occasionally add a run or RBI.

  10. isn’t doumit kind of a bench player at the moment? there’s been some problematic (for him) roster moves in pittsburgh. snyder at catcher, overbay at first, garrett jones / matt diaz platoon in right. nobody at DH because it’s the NL. maybe a spot opens up, maybe he’s traded, but i don’t think i could draft him right now.

  11. schlitzy says:

    You shoulda called that cop “bushy top.”

  12. Bartaksu says:

    14 team, roto, OPS instead of AVG, QS instead of W.

    Would you rather keep Carlos Santana (Round 25) or Jered Weaver (round 9)?

  13. Kid 'n Play says:

    Grey, Can you rank these players in a keeper league:
    – Crispy Young
    – Yonder Alonso
    – Justin Smoke
    – Desmond Jennings

  14. Clyde Prompto says:

    Howdy, Grey. Great rankings as always. I’m in an AL-Only, 2 Catcher league. You haven’t lived until you’ve cursed the Royals for not giving Brayan Pena more AB’s.

  15. Swagger Jackers says:

    @Grey: Aside from Soto and Santana, are there any other sneaky OBP catchers from the list I could target?

  16. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Mike Sciosa: Damn you!

    @mic: Ha! I try to grab one top ten catcher in two catcher leagues. Then punt one.

    @Steve: Yeah, around there makes sense.

    @Terrance Mann: You’re funny.

    @Paulie Allnuts: You’ll end up with a passable catcher in a one catcher 12 team league. Fear not.

    @cruisinkc: Hey, girly! Kinsler…

    @barker: Thanks!

    @Tony: re: Posey — Yup.

    @Mr Punch: I do play in two catcher leagues and I do try and get one productive catcher.

  17. Grey

    Grey says:

    @wily mo: Eh, Doumit always gets his 15 homers and DL stints.

    @schlitzy: Ha!

    @Bartaksu: Carlos…

    @Kid N Play: Krispie, Jennings, Smoak…

    @Clyde Prompto: Oh, I’ve lived.

    @Swagger Jackers: Not especially…

    @royce!: Ha!

    @Smokey: Nice…

  18. Grey

    Grey says:

    @royce!: BTW, I especially enjoyed that the pitcher looks like Fidel. FIP’s for Commies!

  19. Tony says:

    @ grey: were you in that Yahoo! mock?

    I didn’t see anywhere that it listed WHO the participants were, if so which draft slot?

  20. Eddy says:

    I’m actually quite surprised that you have Santana ranked lower than Soto and Posada. For someone who hasn’t exhibited an ISO of lower than .200 since A ball, a walk rate lower than 15% since the same time period, and absolutely dominates OBP, you’d think he’s worth the risk. He’s about the only guy on this list that I disagree with. Quite frankly I’d reach in the 10th-12th for him.

    Then again, my bias is probably because I have BB as a category and my main league is a keeper league :P

  21. xtremehulk says:

    I like Santana over Posada, Montero, and Weiters. I loved owning him last year and think he will be healthy come opening day. He is an xbh machine and has some speed and 20 HR power. Im rolling the dice on him this year. Then again, I just smoked that Jeffrey that Bill James passed on.

  22. KCC26 says:

    nice rankings. Catcher is always the position i most hate to draft as well. I generally wait to take a catcher and then suffer through mediocrity all season, leading to the temptation of going after a top guy the following season. I usually decide against it before drafting, but one of these days I’m sure I’ll have someone beat me to a player and panic-reach for a catcher…

  23. sean says:

    @Grey: I have Carlos “The Black Magic Backstop” Santana in a 20-team keeper league with one catcher. I was able to draft him late and stash him until he got the call. Basically, I’ve been looking at the catching situation (Pierzynski, Posada, Ruiz, Iannetta on the WW) and I just don’t think a catcher, even a stud like Santana, holds that much of an advantage over the marginal catcher in a one-catcher league to really covet him long term. Should I be looking to flip him for a real piece?

  24. Jake in Columbus says:

    Pretty soon we’ll see a banner that says “Help pay Grey’s traffic tickets to say thanks for helping with your team!” Hehe.

    I wrote an article to submit for The Hardball Times’ “Compete Against The Experts” league. It didn’t win, but they’re still going to publish it there. I’ll post a link once they do if anyone’s interested in some pseudo-nerd reading. You never know, you might find it useful.

  25. Badger says:

    Forgive me in advance for asking this again in March when it’s closer to gametime, but I’m trying to forecast my last 2 keepers. 10 team mixed roto keeper league – 8×8 with OPS, Walks, and Total Bases for hitters, Holds, Losses and K/9 for pitchers. Here are my options:

    Grady Sizemore
    Nick Markakis
    Carlos Marmol
    Max Scherzer
    Matt Garza
    Carlos Pena
    Shane Victorino

    In the same league I have the option of keeping all or none of these expired prospects. Who should make the cut on my 25 man roster?

    Brian Matusz
    Justin Smoak
    Mike Leake
    Brett Wallace

  26. ScoutAbout says:

    @Grey: How do you know some of your girl readers don’t enjoy the occasional MILF nips? Cust kayin’. Also, in a 12-team, H2H 2 catcher, auction league, who might you target and what would your approach be with catchers? Thanks as always!

  27. Jake in Columbus says:

    More of a question for Stephen, but do we think we might see anything from Robinson Chirinos in this bigs for 2011? If so, when?

  28. sean says:

    Either I’m getting old or all the crazies are coming out to play. MDC’s ADP from 274 qualifying mock drafts:

    1) Albert Pujols
    2) Hanley Ramirez
    3) Miguel Cabrera
    4) Troy Tulowitzki
    5) Evan Longoria
    6) Carlos Gonzalez
    7) Joey Votto
    8) Adrian Gonzalez
    9) David Wright
    10) Robinson Cano

    Holy schnikes. This top 10 is scary bad. Then again, I’d love for my competitors to race to draft Hanley, Tulo, Cargo, and Cano in front of me. If only someone drafts Halladay and Mauer in the first round too. Then I’d be set for life.

  29. Black Beard says:

    Grey, thanks for throwing some cold water on Santana. I was starting to get lovey dovey for him. I think I’ll save my reach for Mike Stanton.

  30. BigSeph says:

    Grey you will pay for this disrespect of Santana.

    He’ll be the Buster Posey that everyone’s expecting. And Buster Posey will be the Wieters from last year. And Wieters will be the Wieters from 2 years ago. And Napoli should really stop sleeping with Scoscia’s wife.

  31. Mike from Jersey says:

    I looked into the past 3 seasons batting splits with Pedroia and Crawford. Since Francona seems set, at least in the beginning of the year, to lead Ellsbury off, then looking at splits Pedroia is most comfortable in the 2 hole and Crawford 3 hole. It’s better than be comfortable in the Pujols. Anyways, I think your on to something. 110 rbi’s may be a task, but do able. The real question is, hitting third ahead of agonz youk papi could affect his steals because he would run less, no?

  32. Steve says:

    R Soriano to the Yankees.

  33. Ned Shakeshaft says:

    Hey Grey, what would you do in a 2-catcher AL-only auction league? Buck-Buck (I mean $1-$1, not John-John).

    Or would that much scarcity necessitate some spending?

  34. pjtres says:

    hey all. i just want to apologize. i was registered for the mock draft tonight…but i had to take my son tonight (in a last minute change of plans). im sorry i didnt even get the chance to de-register. wont happen again.

  35. Simply Fred

    simply fred says:

    @Big O: You are sneaky. Bury me in working all of those new stat ops–never come up for air! Thanks!

  36. Curt says:

    14 team keeper league, 2 catchers(14 position and 9 pitchers)………I have Santana in the 19 th, should I keep Montero in the 12th or Arencibia in the 18th, or punt both?????

  37. Zobmie says:

    Does Napoli’s move to Toronto change his position on the list at all?

  38. Wade8813 says:

    I dunno if anyone will read my comment this late, but I had to say something.

    You’re projecting McCann for a career high in HR. It’s not an unreasonable projection, but the only reason you can say he’s more valuable than Mauer is the Homers.

    You project Mauer to have 45 more points of BA than McCann, but think McCann’s extra 10 HR is worth more. I’m not going to argue that, but I will point out that if McCann doesn’t hit a career high, but instead hits 21, suddenly you’re paying 45 points of BA for 6 projected HR.

    As far as comparing Posey to Wieters, it seems odd to me that he was supposedly such a surefire bet. His Babip was an insanely high .356 in ’09. You might not have expected it to regress as much as it did, but expecting him to maintain it seems odd. His HR totals for 2010 were about the same rate as in ’09, and his BA wasn’t that much lower than what I would have guessed. The issue with Wieters was everyone was assuming he’d improve.

    But with Posey, we don’t need him to improve to be worth it. But if he DOES improve…. I’m not saying he’s worth a high level pick, but I think you’re underestimating him.

Comments are closed.