The 2014 Fantasy Baseball Draft season is officially upon us. As a part of our draft packet for this season, we’re going to examine the elite options at each position. Let’s take a look at our top 5 fantasy catchers for 2014, and compare our rankings to their current ADP (average draft position) in mock drafts. As always, if your thoughts differ from these, please comment below or make use of our Fantasy Baseball Forum to share.
1. Buster Posey
Posey was probably already the top offensive catcher of the grouping, and now his move to 1B cements him as our top overall C. He’s just 26, already has MVP and World Series titles to his credit, and has never homered less than 15 times in a full season. He’ll probably see 600 AB for the first time in his career, and Steamer projections have him conservatively at 21 HR, 80+ Runs / RBI, and a .304 AVG. The Giants wisely signed him to a fat contract early, and owners who want to benefit from his studliness will have to pony up similar draft day coin.
2. Carlos Santana
Continuing the theme of top fantasy catchers playing other positions, early reports are that the Indians are going to give a long look at Santana for the 3B job. He’s already C and 1B eligible from last year, and the multiple eligibilities are just one reason he’s our second ranked C. The other reason is that he can simply rake, and he’s still getting better: His AVG, OBP, and BABIP have all increased each year of his short career. He’s always been between 18 and 27 HR, on an Indians team which is improving offensively each year, he could be primed to bust out in a huge way in 2014.
3. Wilin Rosario
Although he only has two full seasons under his belt, Rosario has already established himself firmly in the upper tier of fantasy catchers. He’s averaged 24.5 HR, 75 RBI, and a .281 AVG thus far. It doesn’t hurt that he plays half his games in the elevation at Coors Field, and on top of that, the Rockies are saying he’ll get in some time at first base so they can give him a rest and still have his bat in the lineup at the same time. He doesn’t take many walks, and strikes out 23% of the time, but for his level of production, we’re not going to be picky. Rosario is an elite option at C and well worthy of a 5th-6th round pick.
4. Joe Mauer
Finally healthy and free of concussion symptoms, Mauer will begin 2014 (and all future years with the Twins) at 1B. There had been rumblings that this move should occur for some time, but a succession of foul tips toward the end of last season finally did the trick. One positive of this move is that he should definitely be able to accrue 600 AB’s this season, another being that he won’t be subjected to the rigors of catching and will be able to focus more on his hitting than ever before. Mauer is a line-drive machine who sprays the ball to all fields, and in that respect isn’t your typical high HR / low AVG catcher. He’s quite the opposite in fact, with only a single season over 20 HR to his credit. But his lifetime AVG is .323 and OBP .405. He’s a true, top 50, elite batter – the fact that for one last year he qualifies at C is more than enough reason to warrant a selection in the middle rounds of any draft.
5. Brian McCann
There really isn’t much to dislike about Brian McCann signing with the Yankees. Unless you’re a Braves fan. Which I am. GAH! Ok, let us move on amicably. McCann was the #1 free agent Catcher, and the Yanks had a huge hole at the C slot last year, so it made sense. What makes even more sense is that Yankee stadium has a short porch in right field, and if you check out McCann’s batting spray chart for 2013, it looks like there are at least 8 more hits to right that would have been HR at Yankee stadium. That would have given him 28 HR in 408 at bats, well beyond elite for any position. The stadium is made for him, and he can also DH in the American League. Assuming health, he could attain 30+ HR for the first time in his career. With an ADP of 80.2, McCann looks like a steal waiting to happen.
Yadier Molina, Salvador Perez, Matt Wieters, Jonathan Lucroy, and Evan Gattis round out our top 10 at the position. A lot can change during spring training, so be sure to check out our most up-to-date catcher rankings.