I just went over the top 10 for 2014 fantasy baseball and the top 20 for 2014 fantasy baseball.  Most of you know how I feel about catchers.  If you draft a catcher any time before the first 100 picks, you don’t know how I feel about catchers.  Let me freshen up your cocktail with a splash of insight.  I don’t draft top catchers in one catcher leagues.  I Reggie Roby them.  Last year, Napoli was the top ranked catcher at the end of year.  He was the 11th best 1st baseman.  The best catcher can’t spray aerosol deodorant on the top guy for another position.  Everyone was crazy about Buster Posey last year (everyone except me).  Buster Posey did about as much as Kendrys Morales.  Lowercase yay.  In the top five catchers last year were Lucroy, V-Mart, Rosario and Molina.  One guy was drafted in the top 100, and that was barely.  No one should draft a top catcher because there are no top catchers.  They’re all hot garbage with a side order of stank.  Catchers are unreliable to stay healthy; the job is grueling and takes its toll on offensive stats.  There’s not much difference between, say, the tenth best catcher and nothingness.  Jarrod Saltymochachino, Jason Castro and Salvador Perez were the 8th, 9th and 10th best catchers last year.  All of them were on waivers in shallower leagues as late as July.  Only the depth of 2nd basemen is worst, and I say punt them too.  Yes, I am saying punt the positions that are most scarce.  Finally, a reason that is new to this current crop of catchers — they’re actually deep in mediocrity.  You can draft the fifth best catcher or the 12th best and they’re tomato-tomato said with a different emphasis.  Because I ignore the top catchers doesn’t mean I’m starting the top 20 catcher list at number twenty-one; some of you might want to know the top catchers.  You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them draft Wilson Ramos.  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 2014 fantasy baseball under 2014 fantasy baseball rankings.  Listed along with these catchers are my 2014 projections for each player and where the tiers begin and end.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 catchers for 2014 fantasy baseball:

1. Wilin Rosario – This is the first tier.  This tier goes from here until Molina.  I call this tier, “Ain’t draftin’.  Ain’t even got time for the g, G.”  This tier is filled with guys I won’t be drafting unless they fall about fifty spots past their ADP.  Wilin also doesn’t have time for the g, G, but he’s in this tier because I think his drafting slot will finally have caught up to his stats.  If people are still sleeping on him like an underappreciated futon, then I could see giving him a looksie if he falls to around 150 overall.  That is lip service because there’s no way he’s lasting that long on a draft board.  I decided to put him above Posey and others because he’s the only catcher I see as a lock for 20+ homers without killing you in runs, RBIs and average and possessing upside.  Rosario, you are the new cream of the crap.  Hope you’re up to the task.  2014 Projections:  69/24/82/.272/4

2. Buster Posey – Posey is the bomb dot com backslash terrific.  He could win the MVP award again, and, if he does, it will again be with stats that look about as good as the seventh best first baseman.  If he doesn’t have a career year (which I imagine he won’t), then he’s barely as good as, say, Michael Cuddyer.  Sweet!  *snooze*  Oh, no, I slept through my morning cartoons…Damn you, Posey!  2014 Projections:  70/20/88/.308/2

3. Carlos Santana – This is weird.  (Not weird.)  I keep thinking Santana or even Wieters aren’t living up to their potential, but now that I think on it long and hard like a living statue this is their potential.  There’s no 40-homer, .330 catchers anymore.  There may never have been.  Piazza was Keyser Soze.  A puff of air blowing off a steroids-enhanced dandelion.  Wow, beautiful writing by myself, you make me inwardly weep.  2014 Projections:  79/23/85/.260/3

4. Brian McCann – When he signed with the Yankees, I said, “When I saw McCann got nearly $100 million, I felt like McCann.  You know, thinking I had problems with my eyes.  Batting in The House They Built Across The Street From The House Ruth Built won’t hurt his numbers and he should once again be a solid top five option with the outside possibility of being the top catcher as long as I don’t say he could be the top catcher — doh!”  And that’s me quoting me!  2014 Projections: 61/23/77/.251/2

5. Matt Wieters – You email Wieters and he gets back to you four days later with, “Sorry, I didn’t get back to you earlier, do you still need someone to drive you to the emergency room?”  See, he makes terrible contact.  The pitches he doesn’t get under, he dribbles over to 2nd base.  I call BS on his minor league stats that portended him to be a .280 hitter, or maybe I should say pretended.  Take that, portended!  2014 Projections:  62/22/74/.247/3

6. Yadier Molina – I’m done anticipating Yadier Molina falling off.  I’m not done not drafting him.  Double negatives be damned!  2014 Projections:  66/10/77/.310/6

7. Salvador Perez – This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here until Gattis.  I call this tier, “I’m your huckleberry.”  I don’t call this tier that because that line is from Tombstone and Perez mourned at his abuelita’s tombstone for 27 days last June until I went to visit him in the Venezuelan National Gravatorium of Abuelitas and played on a boom box, “B*tch Don’t Kill My Vibe.”  I call this tier that because these are the first guys I could see drafting, depending on how late they go.  I’m totally fine with not getting any of them if they go before 150 overall, but if they fall past that, then it’s on like Donkey Kong and his son, Donkey Kong Jr.  As for Perez, his projections for 2014 will be contingent on the health of his grandfather, Armando.  If Army is fine, then so should Perez.  The great thing about Perez is he plays more than most catchers when his family is alive.  He could get 70+ runs and 80+ RBIs with ease, and that’s far from a common occurrence amongst catchers.  2014 Projections:  72/15/84/.298/1

8. Jonathan Lucroy – This guy is a lot like Rosario going into last year.  Lucroy is young (enough) and coming off a top catcher year, but he’s dropped a bit in the rankings because of the lack of a track record.  If you believe last year, and, really, interjection, there’s no reason to not believe it, then he has a chance for a top three catcher year.  He has a lot fewer flaws then, say, Wieters or McCann.  He hit .320 in 2012 and .280 last year.  He doesn’t strikeout a ton and makes solid contact.  Hard to see him hitting below .275.  Also, the Brewers send him out to the dish as much as any team.  If he gets 140+ games again, he’ll once again challenge the top three at the position.  Yes, that’s not saying much with this group of schmohawks, but it’s something.  2014 Projections:  52/15/72/.286/6

9. Jason Castro – I could’ve, and almost did, split this tier into two tiers.  I like Castro, Ramos and Gattis a lot and they seem more likely to be drafted at a spot where I could grab them.  What other people do is less a concern of mine and more a concern of the Man.  I stick it to the Man.  I make origami of the Man in the most manly of ways with what others do.  Especially with catchers.  Just draft one.  If I had my druthers and had any idea what druthers were (maybe I have them already), I’d grab Castro crazy late…or Ramos…or Gattis if they’re there (stutterer!).  If they’re not there, don’t sweat the small stuff as the pop psychology gambit goes.  Castro’s power came a bit out of nowhere last year and there’s a chance for regression, but his batted balls went much further so his power should hold.  He does make solid contact, when he’s not striking out.  He’s a bit of an enigma wrapped in a hollowed-out zucchini, but worth the gamble.  2014 Projections:  61/16/79/.274/3

10. Wilson Ramos – I already went over my Wilson Ramos fantasy.  I wrote it while slow dancing in an elevator.  2014 Projections:  52/19/67/.269

11. Evan Gattis – Be interesting to see how he adjusts to being the everyday catcher.  After being homeless for a few years, he slid right into a role that made sense for him — picking up McCann’s scraps.  2014 Projections:  58/22/69/.239/1

12. Joe Mauer – This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here until Salty.  I call this tier, “You know what you’re getting, but why are you getting it?”  This is more of a philosophical question.  If no catchers are going to give you anything that spectacular, why bother getting a tried a true one?  If you don’t draft upside at catcher for yourself, you owe it to me.  It’s the least you could do for me after I wrote 3000 words about catchers for you.  *buzzer goes off, flashing lights*  Top 400 check!  It’s that time in our regular scheduled program when I break in and tell you where a guy is in the top 400 to give you an idea of where we are in the big picture.  I have Joe Mauer ranked after 200 overall.  I’m currently in a mock draft with some Yahoo ‘perts and Mauer was drafted around 40 overall.  So, I’m gonna go out on a limb and say I’m a bit lower on him.  2014 Projections:  68/9/66/.304/1

13. A.J. Pierzynski – Here’s what I said when he signed with the Red Sox, “‘Yay…Dah!’  That’s the Red Sox equipment manager after learning he didn’t need to sew Saltalamacchia on the back of a jersey only to learn seconds later Pierzynski was signing in Boston.  You get the sense that major league teams are taking my fantasy advice and punting catcher?  A.J. Pollock, as he’s called in Arizona, will be fine for around league average on the Red Sox.”  And that’s me quoting me!  2014 Projections: 66/15/75/.269

14. Miguel Montero – How’s this sound for a plan?  If you don’t draft Montero, I promise to allow you to drop d’Arnaud when he disappoints and Montero is hitting well on waivers.  Cool?  Cool.  Now fist bump me and turn it into a jellyfish!  2014 Projections:  63/14/68/.261

15. Jarrod Saltalamacchia – Here’s what I said when he signed with the Marlins, “Signed by the Marlins.  But what about… Who was the Marlins catcher before this?  Oh, that’s right.  Rob Kardashian.  Wait, that’s not right.  Jerry Mathis?  Jeff Brantly?  He announces games from behind home?  Any the hoo!  Saltymochachino will now be catching games in South Florida.  If that doesn’t signal to you that Loria is getting serious about making this team competitive, I don’t know what will.  Maybe getting the Real Doll to play 2nd base.  Perhaps Loria saw the ‘No Pepper Games Allowed’ behind home plate and thought he had the perfect complement for that and got Salty.  I imagine Salty will do pretty much the same thing in Florida as he’s done most of his career.  Hit some homers and a lousy average.”  And that’s me quoting me!  2014 Projections:  56/16/63/.241/3

16. Travis d’Arnaud – This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here until Mesoraco.  I call this tier, “Your last chance for anything in one catcher leagues.”  You could make the argument that it’s safer drafting Russell Martin or Carlos Ruiz, but why are you being safe?  You wear oven mitts to bed in case you scratch yourself too hard in the middle of the night?  Do you put on a blinker seventeen times while you parallel park?  Was The Secret Life of Walter Mitty based on you?  Stop being so safe.  Oh, and I went over my Travis d’Arnaud fantasy already.  I only counted four typos in that post.  2014 Projections:  52/16/67/.260/2

17. Mike Zunino – I went over Zunino previously and here’s what I said, “A catcher bat like Zunino only comes once in a lifetime (the lifetime is that of a guinea pig that is being cared for by a 12-year-old, so the lifespan is about 18 months.  Remember, because age is rounded down to the last birthday, on average guinea pigs live a half year beyond their final birthday.  They live as zombies.  Zombie guinea pigs are all around us.  Now, I’m scared.)  Sure, the last once in a lifetime catcher bat also played for the Mariners.  You remember, it was the Jesus who couldn’t catch or hit but could walk on water with the best of them.  So, after turning to Jesus twice (Montero, Sucre), the Mariners are now turning to Rookie Zuninookie.  BTW, Sucre is sugar, and Zunino sounds like Mexican artificial sweetener.  You might remember Mike Zunino from such Scott, our prospect writer, sentences as, “.360/.447/.689 between Low-A and Double-A,” “The third overall pick this past June has been simply incredible since signing,” and my favorite, “His tools profile suggests he’ll eventually develop into a very nice big league catcher, and one you’ll want in fantasy leagues, but most people around baseball don’t see the Travis D’Arnaud/Jesus Montero/Devin Mesoraco-type ceiling with Zunino,” which came when he ranked him 44th in the top 50 fantasy baseball prospects.”  And that’s me copying and pasting me!  I’m concerned Midnight Cowboy and all-around prospblock, John Buck, could steal 60-70 games of playing time from Zunino.  Zunino’s still worth a shot at the end of drafts for upside, but, in reality (which some of us live in, I hear), he’s probably another year away from making an impact in 12-team mixed leagues.  2014 Projections:  53/17/68/.245/3

18. Devin Mesoraco – He hails from the Groundhog’s Day city of Punxsutawney, which is appropriate because every year around this time I get excited about him only to keep stepping in a puddle and running into Ned Ryerson.  Bing!!!  Luckily, the Reds ran The Toothpick out of town along with Ryan Hanigan and now Devin, Andie McDowell and I can finally consummate our one true love and stop running in circles.  His BABIP has been a tad terrible, even for a catcher, so he should be able to beat his .238 average last year with his line drive, walk and K-rates.  What usually happens with young catchers will happen to Mesoraco.  He’ll hit 15-ish homers in his first full year and be ready to make the leap the following year.  2014 Projections:  49/16/62/.250/2

19. Alex Avila – This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here until Flowers.  I call this tier, “Last chance for anything in two catcher leagues.”  In two catcher leagues, you draft Avila hoping a return to his 2011 without seeing anything first.  It’s called blind faith.  If you don’t believe me that it’s called that, there’s really no hope for you.  2014 Projections:  49/13/60/.249/2

20. Josmil Pinto – For a second during the offseason, I thought the Twins might go with Kurt Suzuki as their starting catcher…and they might.  But I’m going to assume the Twins make the right choice and start Pinto.  Pinto has shown power in the minors.  Or as a Puerto Rican mother would say, Pinto beans good in the minors.  UPDATETwins said they’re idiots and going with Kurt Suzuki as their starter. 2014 Projections:  42/11/56/.261/2

20. Yan Gomes – I hear lots of chatter about this guy being a sleeper.  He is.  For deep leagues.  As of right now.  Staccato sentences aside.  I wouldn’t be surprised if Santana still sees around 50 games behind home plate.  Best case scenario is Gomes gets 120 games played.  Worst case scenario, you walk in on him and your girl lying on your Davenport talking about how they want to kill you for the insurance money.  Most likely scenario, he sees around 100 games played and is nothing but a platoon guy.  2014 Projections:  49/12/55/.252/2

21. J.P. Arencibia – When Arencibia signed, I wrote this, “Signed with the Rangers to split time with Geovany Soto.  Since they’re both righties, I’m not sure how that will work out.  Maybe they’ll flip Jurickson Profar and heads it’s Arencibia.  Maybe they’ll flip Soto for a middle reliever.  They really don’t need two garbage catchers.  Maybe they’re waiting for the first Wednesday of the season to see which guy the garbage man picks up.  Lots of questions, and not a whole lot of motivation for me to figure out answers.  Outside of two catcher leagues, Arencibia isn’t a guy you’re drafting.  He’ll be a guy you pick up when he’s hitting during the season.”  And that’s–Well, you know.   2014 Projections:  38/18/49/.220

22. Welington Castillo – Boeuf Welington wants you to draft him for his delicious liver pate and outside chance for 15 homers and puff pastry.  2014 Projections:  47/14/59/.241/2

23. Tyler Flowers – The projections system Oliver, designed by the Brady’s cousin, gives Flowers 26 homers in 2014.  Well, cook me up a bacon alternative and call me Sizzlean.  If you don’t believe he’s going to hit 26 homers, you’re a bit more sane.  Good for you.  You, sane person, you.  2014 Projections:  41/15/50/.216/1

24. Russell Martin – This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here until the end of the list.  I call this tier, “You kiss your mother with that catcher drafting?”  Sure, Martin’s projections look better than Flowers, but you’re not gonna win anything with Martin or Ruiz or Iannetta or any of these guys at the end of the list.  Once the season begins, if your upside pick doesn’t pan out, there will be plenty of time to pick your catcher scab and put in Martin or Jaso or any of these schmohawks.  2014 Projections:  48/16/60/.220/5

25. Carlos Ruiz – Without the help of Adderall, Ruiz’s 2013 suffered.  His trips to the mound quadrupled because he couldn’t sit still and his test scores plummeted.  2014 Projections:  50/7/60/.259/2

26. Chris Iannetta – I’ve been a fan of Chris Iannetta in the past, but now I consider him Chris Iamnada.  Or Chris Ia’intgotta.  Or Chris I’mnotdraftabla.  Or Piss Ugatz.  I much prefer Hank Conger get the starting job, but that’ll likely happen when he’s traded away for five cents on the dollar.  Oh, Sciosciapath.  2014 Projections:  43/13/50/.220/1

27. Kurt Suzuki – Suzuki Samurai + Cruising on the Jersey shore = Dank stench of Drakkar and high-haired ladies.  Hey, that math worked out correctly!  Has nothing to do with Kurt Suzuki’s production, but still.  Then again, there is no such thing as production from Kurt Suzuki.  2014 Projections:  48/7/54/.232/3

28. John Jaso – I feel bad for dyslexics who think Jaso is the first catcher ranked. Then again that might mean they’ll try to draft Osaj, the Nigerian guy in accounting who always brings the most interesting food into the break room.  What do you have today, Osaj?  A meat pie?  2014 Projections:  44/6/52/.260/3

 
  1. Abdoozy says:
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    Underrated at #20, I can see Pinto exploding this season…

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Abdoozy: Like a good bean…

  2. TheNewGuy says:
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    Good stuff, well its not really as catchers stink but you know what I mean.

    Next question on my offseason keeper contracts list, Jason Kipnis ($6). How many years would you go:

    1 year ($9) 2 years ($12), 3 years ($14), or renewable year ($12).

    And talking of catchers, a little side question in case Scotts drunk too much borbon last night and doesnt show up today. Whod you like most outta prospects C-Mart or Zunino long term? Im not huge on either but if one was packaged in a deal. Neither have to be promoted this year either.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @TheNewGuy: 2… Scott will be along today…

  3. TheNewGuy says:
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    18. Devin Mesoraco – He hails from the Groundhog’s Day city of Punxsutawney, which is appropriate because every year around this time I get excited about him only to keep stepping in a puddle and running into Ned Ryerson. Bing!!! Luckily, the Reds ran The Toothpick out of town along with Ryan Hanigan and now Devin, Andie McDowell and I can finally consummate our one true love and stop running in circles.

    Ha, really? Great movie!

    Hope that means his stats dont suffer the same consequences.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @TheNewGuy: Ha, yup… He’s from there…

  4. Rotorankers.tumblr.com says:
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    And I just made an EXTREME overpay for McCann…*sigh*

  5. de nachos says:
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    I paused from reading at Salvador, wanting to savor perhaps the swan song of deceased-grandma stories. Vaya con Diós Abuelita Pérez.

  6. de nachos says:
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    I can’t wait until June when the Marlins trade Real Doll to the Phils to platoon with Utley.

  7. Big League Wood says:
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    I feel dirty asking catcher questions, but I presume it is acceptable today….

    2 Catcher 14 starters 5×5 12 team Auction; Target 2 from the Perez tier?

    Does Santana (rumors who will play some first and third) or Mauer (to 199?) get a bump with increased at-bats? Any other candidates to max ABs ???

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Big League Wood: I like Carlos, obvious from the above rankings… Mauer gets more at-bats, supposedly, I wouldn’t be that excited about his at-bats though

      • Big League Wood says:
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        @Grey: @Grey:

        I guess the genesis of my question relates to chasing at-bats for catchers…

        is chasing ABs prudent in Roto leagues in general and what about specifically for the catcher position?

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          I’d say it’s more prudent to avoid guys that won’t get ABs like Arencibia…

          • Big League Wood says:
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            @Grey:

            thanks

            what is your approach for 2 catcher leagues?

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Aim for one guy around McCann’s level then a flyer at the end with the most ABs…

              • Big League Wood says:
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                @Grey:

                thanks Grey !!!

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  No problem

  8. burningbridges247 says:
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    Grey,
    Phenomenal, as always. Love Rosario, but I’m with you on not loving the price he will probably go for. Also, like you, I’m not impressed with the way 2nd base looks. #1 could perform like #10 and vice-versa. Can’t wait to see your rankings on 2B, SS, and MI. You are my dirty little secret on draft day. Don’t tell anyone!

  9. Big Pappy Chicago

    Chicago Mark says:
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    Hello Grey,
    Is Santana going to play out this year? No, not come out. There’s rumor he’s playing 1B and maybe even 3B. This would increase ab’s and counting stats. AND maybe less w&t on the body. AND, I like multiple and’s…..AND, AND, if you get him cheap enough he might just be a holdover for 2015 as a full time player. If’s and and’s and nuts and buts.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Chicago Mark: I have him down for around 540 ABs…That’s a lot already for a catcher…

  10. Tigres says:
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    Ugh… catchers. I might just shoot a dart blindfolded and hope it doesn’t it “I’ll take Mauer in the 5th”

  11. TheNewGuy says:
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    Selling off Rios due to too many keepers, in order to improve my farm. 2 options, which do you prefer in return.

    1) A first round pick (8th) in our uncoming minor league draft (2014) FOR Rios
    or
    2) A second round pick in the minor league draft (18th) and either Carlos Martinez or Zunino FOR Rios and a 4th round pick (37th).

    You a fan of either Zunino (guessing not) or think C-Mart will ever get out of the pen?

    • James says:
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      @TheNewGuy:

      I would take the bigger package in the 2nd one. Aside from the rare prospect the difference between 8 and 18 is really not that big, they are both lottery tickets, the lower pick may be a 1 in 5 and the 18th may be a 1 in 7, but still both are long shots. Take martinez as a near ready to cash in ticket

      • TheNewGuy says:
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        @Grey: Cool, will check with Scott but think im persuaded.

        Grey, what do you foresee (you are a foreseer after all) this year from C Martinez, think he could eventually start? I like his arm, just fear he’ll get stuck as the perennial set-up guy to Rosenthal. His stock has fallen since his starting days though, so could be worth getting him at a discount.

        (presume you would take C-Mart over Zunino no question).

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          He’ll start at some point, doubt it’s this year…

          • TheNewGuy says:
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            @Grey: Yeah, kinda my thinking too. Guess I have to keep him down on the farm this year, and unleash his nastiness for all to see in 2015. No value in a non-closing reliever, as nasty as he is (as we saw with Rosenthal until that guy got hurt).

  12. Marti says:
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    10 team nl auction league…unlimited keepers 260 budget…players go up by 5 each year…who do u not keep if anybody…the player pool will be thin so I am guessing elite pitchers will go for over 30 and big bats even more. Values are for this year

    Ramos 8
    Au shizz 16 duh
    Rizzo 19
    Frazier 11
    Gyorko 11
    Utley 26
    Marte 11
    D brown 11
    Yelich 8
    Eric young 6
    Schierholtz 7
    Ruf 6

    I was thinking of keeping all those guys except for maybe utley and ruf…thoughts

    Strasburg 23
    Cingrani 6
    Jim Henderson 6
    Matt Harvey 11…was thinking ofvkeeping him as he would make great trade bait for a team out of it for next year…

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Marti: Forget Utley… Can keep Ruf…

      • Marti says:
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        How about Harvey at 11 for trade bait

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Sure, if you think you can move him…

  13. Chris says:
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    Grey-are you assuming injury for Mauer even at 1B? Wondering how many games/AB’s you projected for him.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Chris: I have him down for 541 ABs… Near everyday at-bats, one 15-day DL stint…

      • Jeff P says:
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        @Grey:
        Grey, you are projecting for Mauer to underperform to the tune of 10 less runs and RBI as full time first baseman as opposed to catcher? That’s strange.
        Did you see the jump Mike Napoli got in his counting stats, while only slightly improving his OPS? And Mauer is 2 years younger.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Mauer couldn’t finish last year due to a concussion…I don’t trust him…

          • KB says:
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            @Grey: I’m pretty sure all of Mauer’s injuries since his phenomenal ’09 season have been directly related to catcher with the concussion coming from a foul ball off his mask. He’s also mentioned since news of his position switch came up how often he (and presumably other catchers) would come up to bat some innings and have no feeling in his hand from catching a pitch in an earlier inning, which you’d have to think could impact your at bat.

            I’m not concerned about his health really at all and I think he has to be a Top 5 catcher since his BA (and OBP) is elite and his increased ABs will pad his counting stats, but his surrounding lineup still sucks and his home stadium does him no favors.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              I’m not drafting him, but you can…

              • KB says:
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                @Grey: I guess for me the position switch instills some confidence in his ability to start 150+ games in which case he’s a watered down Votto who you have #13 overall, but he’s eligible at C instead of 1B and outside of Trout, Cabrera and Votto is probably the safest bet for a .300+ BA in baseball, which is almost as rare as power these days. But, you’re much better at this than I am, so your ranking and blurb does give me some pause when considering him … I’m guessing based on your projections you think he’ll start close to the 113 games he did last year (or less?). Even then he was still the 8th best C according to ESPN player rater. In 2012 in 147 games he was 3rd … 12th just seems low, but I could see why you would pass on him in the 4-5th rounds of a draft.

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  Watered down Votto is pretty generous… Mauer is projected for 9 homers…His lineup is terrible, his park is bad and he is coming back from a concussion, something Morneau had and it took him two years to get better…

                  • KB says:
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                    @Grey: It really comes down to the health and how much you value position scarcity which might depend on league size – in his last full season (’12), Mauer finished 68th overall. In his last full season (’13), Votto finished 32nd overall. They’re not worlds apart. I think both come to the plate with a similar approach – don’t make an out. In some ways, from a fantasy perspective, both are still cruising on the fumes of one elite year – Mauer in ’09 and Votto in ’10. Everything published to this point indicates Mauer is completely free of concussion symptoms and the point of the switch is to avoid similar risk in the future. I can definitely make an argument for not drafting Mauer 40th overall or even in the Top 80 or so, but 12th at the position seems low. I’d be willing to bet ’11 is the only year in his career he’s finished out of the Top 10. In a short year last year he finished 8th, w/ Napoli and Martinez both ahead of him, neither of which are C this year.

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Votto isn’t quite on fumes… He’s had respectable seasons for the past five years… Mauer’s had legitimately terrible seasons mixed in with some just okay ones…

                    • KB says:
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                      @KB: No one is arguing that Votto is the better overall player. But, I think relative to their positions, both Votto and Mauer share a lot of the same strengths and weaknesses. Obviously Mauer’s seasons are terrible when compared to a 5-Cat contributing outfielder, but compared to others at his position, his contributions put him among, at the very least, the Top 10 at the position and I’d bet he has had more Top 5 finishes at the position in the last 9 years than any other catcher. If you’re looking for HR or SB from your C than obviously you will want to ignore Mauer, but that doesn’t mean that what he does provide isn’t valuable in relation to other C.

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Yup, gotcha… Just would be careful about taking any catcher too high…

                    • SteveNZ says:
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                      @Grey: @KB: Same geezer has Carlos Santana at #11 overall…

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      He fell down his own rabbit hole… Once you put Mauer that high, you start justifying to yourself having every catcher in the top 50…

  14. Hawk says:
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    “There’s no 40-homer, .330 catchers anymore. There may never have been. Piazza was Keyser Soze. A puff of air blowing off a steroids-enhanced dandelion.”

    Sniff…sniff…that’s poetry man. Beautiful…

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Hawk: Thanks!

  15. Bill says:
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    Mauer & salty in the same tier lol

    And Bill James’ Chris Davis prediction was ridiculous

    Yep

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Bill: Who was better last year? Salty or Mauer? I’ll give you two guesses…

      • Bill says:
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        @Grey: lol yes, and Soriano outperformed Bruce

  16. Count de Monetball says:
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    I know it’s amonth away until pitchers and catchers report and I’m in a redraft leagues that has not drafted yet, however I have a question for you. As I am feeling the need to use up one of my roster moves, we have 100, Should I a) drop Salty for Pierzynski ; b) drop salty for le beoff Wellington? C, there is no c; d) Cram my preseason catcher question up my cram hole; or e) Realize that I don’t have anybody on my roster yet and the league has not officially opened and be patient waiting for January Grey to give me those sweet, succulent, full rankings I’ve longed for so much since his 2013 rankings won me the championship?

        • Prez says:
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          @Cram It: this has to be the happiest day of your life!! Haha Why arent you going apeshit?

          • Cram It says:
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            @Prez: Ha. I’ve been training all off-season to not be a total D come season questions!

            Also, it IS a post about catchers. So you have to expect catcher related questions in all forms.

            • J-FOH says:
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              @Cram It: hey, you are who you are and we love, never stop being a D….never!

  17. TuloWindowTuloWall says:
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    Hey Grey,

    Who are some of the guys who turned “the corner” last year. Guys like Max Sherzer and Chris Davis who last year who helped carry a lot of teams without wasting top picks. They were also pretty darn good the last half of 2012. In other words, who should I/we be targeting in the 5th to 15th rounds.

    Thanks Grey.

  18. aethomp1 says:
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    I may have missed it, but did v-mart lose c eligibility?

    • Hawk says:
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      @aethomp1:

      He only played 3 games at C last year.

    • Fungazi says:
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      @aethomp1: Seems like he would be 1b only?

      • Steve d says:
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        @Fungazi: 11 games at first base last year. Depends on your league rules.

  19. Ralph Lifshitz

    Ralph Lifshitz says:
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    January Grey you magnificent bastard, welcome back. How were the bath salts in Costa Rica? It was Costa Rica right?
    This article should be called guys you shouldn’t draft and the people you’ll pickup when they are hot schomatoing all over this bitch.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Ralph Lifshitz: Haha… Costa Rica was too hot and I return to this?! January Grey’s never happy…

  20. Drew says:
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    Grey,

    With B-Harp #10 on your current list of ranks, how many spots higher does he go for you in a keep-forever league? Would you prefer him over McCutchen?

    Thanks

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Drew: Around 5th overall

      • Charlie says:
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        @Grey:

        Grey, I think you mentioned in the comments yesterday or maybe two days ago that you would be releasing a keeper rankings? Please tell me I didn’t dream that up…although I do often have dreams of Razzball…

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Jay Wrong’s doing keeper rankings in Feb.

          • Charlie says:
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            @Grey:

            Fucking fantastic!

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Ha

  21. Seano says:
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    I hate spending on catchers but I love those owners who do.

    Won my AL only league last year with 2 $1 catchers, John Jaso and Carlos Corporan. Take the extra $ and spent it on getting Miguel Cabrera.

  22. Fungazi says:
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    Well I’m excited! This will be the first year since 2011 that I don’t draft Jesus Montero. Nope, I’ll draft some other mid-round catcher which will be dropped by May for a waiver pick-up that will end up top-5 that no one even thought possible.