Catcher Rankings Updated

With the calendar flipping to May, it’s time to re-visit the 2011 Catcher Rankings and see who has climbed closer to the top and who’s been dropping like a stone.  As you may recall, the RotoGraph writers got together before the season began and constructed a composite catcher rankings.  However, after gaining some feedback from all of you, I have decided to make my adjustments to the rankings based on the following criteria:

1.  Current performance level
2.  Expected performance for rest of season
3.  Value based on standard 5×5 categories (avg over OBP)

The arrows are used to highlight a player moving up or down in tier, but you’ll also notice some minor tweaks within the tiers as well.  Some that will obviously have more impact than others.  So without further ado, you may now cue the theme song to The Jeffersons

Penthouse on Park Avenue
Buster Posey
Brian McCann
Joe Mauer
Victor Martinez

The top four overall stay the same but with some obvious movement within the tier.  Consider it something like Mauer getting bumped from the master bedroom to one of the kid’s rooms, if you will.  However, I won’t push him or Martinez from the group just because of early season injuries.  There’s plenty of season left to go. Posey gets the best room in the place due to his contributions in the counting stats and a better slugging percentage.  He’ll also bring that average and OBP back up to much more respectable levels soon.

Comfy Living
Carlos Santana
Russell Martin
Miguel Montero
Mike Napoli
Matt Wieters
Geovany Soto
Jorge Posada

Yes, yes, I know.  If we were talking OBP leagues, Santana would be in the top tier.  I’ve heard you all loud and clear.  His power numbers keep him at the top of the group, but his average and OBP are going to need to increase if he’s going to stay.  Posada and Soto get to stay for now, but both may be on shaky ground come the end of the month.  Napoli’s at bats situation is rough, but his power numbers are still strong.  A big welcome to Martin who has performed beyond expectations already and to Montero for starting to live up to his.

Small House in the ‘Burbs
Alex Avila
Nick Hundley
Kurt Suzuki
J.P. Arencibia
Yorvit Torrealba
Yadier Molina
Carlos Ruiz
Chris Iannetta

Avila and Hundley have performed admirably and deserve to move to a bigger place this month.  Their numbers are rock solid and they should continue to play at their current levels.  Arencibia’s power is just starting to develop and Torrealba is getting plenty of PT in Texas and is putting up solid numbers for the position.  The rest of the guys are in a bit of a holding pattern, but none of them are deserving to move up or down just yet.

Shoebox Apartment
Jonathan Lucroy
Wilson Ramos
John Buck
A.J. Pierzynski
Miguel Olivo
Rod Barajas
Humberto Quintero
John Jaso

Ramos has taken over the majority of playing time from Pudge and Lucroy, who missed the first two weeks with a finger injury, was handed the starting job once he got back.  Both are playing well and deserving of a bump in tier, but both need to prove they can sustain this level.  Each of them could easily lose some time with a slump.  Quintero joins the group as the new primary in Houston and Buck, as expected, gets knocked down a tier, with his lackluster play in Florida.

Sharing a Room
Chris Snyder
Ryan Doumit
Hank Conger

Josh Thole

Ramon Hernandez
Ryan Hanigan
J.R. Towles
Matt Treanor
Brayan Pena
Jarrod Saltlamacchia

Doumit drops down because he is splitting time now with Snyder who may start to get the bigger end of the stick eventually.  Thole drops with under-performance and the return of PEDs advocate Ronny Paulino.  We welcome Conger, who stayed with the big club and has seen an increase in playing time recently, Towles for doing the same in Houston, and the tandem of Treanor and Pena who have taken over for the injured Jason Kendall.  Hernandez gets a slight bump based on performance (Hanigan drops because of it) while Salty is right on the cusp of being bumped down — but we’ll give him another shot before we do.

Ivan Rodriguez
Ronny Paulino
Kelly Shoppach
Jeff Mathis
Jason Kendall*
Jason Castro*
Jesus Montero

With the play of Martin, it’s going to be difficult for Montero to get an opportunity this year, so he waits in Shanty-town for at least another year.  Everyone else is….well, everyone else.

* injured player

Howard Bender has been covering fantasy sports for over 10 years on a variety of websites. In addition to his work here, you can also find him at his site,, Fantasy Alarm, RotoWire and Mock Draft Central. Follow him on Twitter at @rotobuzzguy or for more direct questions or comments, email him at

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I’m not sold on Posey being the hitter most think he will be. Outside of that 20+ game hitting streak, he is a .250 hitter. I know you can’t take away what he did over that 3 week period, because he did do it, but everything he has done outside of that 3 weeks isn’t all that impressive. I’m still waiting to see what he can do over a full season.


Over 500 at-bats… .294/.347/.479 isn’t good enough?


His 3 week hitting streak last year makes those numbers look much better than they might otherwise. I’m not saying it should be taken from him, because you can’t do that. However, he had a .445 BABIP in that 3 week period, and I don’t expect him to have a streak like that too many more times in his career. His July ’10 was incredible. The rest of his ’10 season was mediocre. He hit something like .260 outside of that month last year.

I’m just not sold on him at this talent level.


Trying to pick out small sample BABIP streaks is lunacy.


Maverick: WAY OFF. Anyone can twist statistics to prove whatever point they want to make.
Separating someone’s hot streak or hitting streak, or whatever, from his other stats is lunacy and ruins your cred.