- Buster Posey (Auction $28): He's been atop the catcher rankings lists for a few years now and deservedly so. Normally, I'm not on the Posey bandwagon, not because I don't want to be, but because my projections aren't in line with where he's being taken in drafts. People tend to bump him up draft boards based on catcher scarcity and over-draft him, however this year he seems to be going right in line with where my projections have him. I love the fact that he's essentially a first baseman now with catcher eligibility. I expect him to play close to a full season of AB's where most other catchers are time will be reduced from days off. I can see myself having a few shares of Posey this year.
My projections for Posey: 75 / 21 / 88 / 0 / .313
- Kyle Schwarber (Auction $16): While I have Schwarber as my #2 catcher on my big board, there's a significant drop off from Posey's value. I'm certain I won't end up with Schwarber on any of my teams. I have him projected lower than just about anyone else. I don't even think I'm being that conservative with him, I just need to see a bit more at the big league level before I'm all in on him. He's still a bit raw and pitching will adjust to him based on what they saw last year. A mini sophomore slump wouldn't shock me at all. His power is legit, I just see a bit more downside to him this year than most.
My projections for Schwarber: 74 / 26 / 79 / 4 / .262
- Jonathan Lucroy (Auction $13): Lucroy is coming off of a down season, mostly due to toe and hamstring injuries. With that behind him, I expect him to bounce back to close to what he was in 2014.
My projections for Lucroy: 65 / 12 / 70 / 2 / .298
- Salvador Perez (Auction $10): Perez is a guy I think I may have on a good amount of teams this year. Looking around at others projections, I seem to be a bit higher on Perez than most. I love the Royals lineup and his role in it. Everyone in it is a solid hitter and he should have a good amount of run and RBI opportunity. He also plays more games than most other catchers which is a nice luxury at the position. He has a little pop and should hit for good average.
My projections for Perez: 53 / 20 / 72 / 1 / .276
- Brian McCann (Auction $6): Here's another catcher I won't have any shares of this year. In Yankee stadium, the power potential is there, but so many other things have started to decline for McCann, we cannot expect to see the McCann of old. Average will likely be a particular drain on your team.
My projections for McCann: 62 / 22 / 77 / 0 / .246
- Travis d'Arnaud (Auction $4): Like my last few, everyone else is higher on d'Arnaud than I. Similar to Schwarber, I just want to see him do it at the big league level just a bit longer. Catchers have so much to learn outside of hitting compared to other positions, it just takes them a bit longer in many cases to come along. I think d'Arnaud will be a star, just not this year.
My projections for d'Arnaud: 54 / 18 / 63 / 1 / .261
- Russell Martin (Auction $3): I've always liked Martin and had him on my teams often in previous years. This year for me though, he falls into the same bucket as McCann. I love his home park and the lineup around him. I just think the wheels start to fall off this year. Entering his 11th year at age 33, I expect a reasonable drop off.
My projections for Martin: 66 / 18 / 67 / 2 / .246
- Stephen Vogt (Auction $3): Vogt is interesting. Essentially a career minor league catcher until 2 years ago, he has produced at an unexpected level. Now, coming off of elbow surgery and possibly missing most of spring training, I think you may be able to get Vogt at a discount in drafts. If his recovery goes well, he' someone I can see getting as a value.
My projections for Vogt: 54 / 14 / 65 / 0 / .268
- Devin Mesoraco (Auction $3): How this guy has fallen. Going into last year, he was a consensus top catcher going into drafts. Then, an entire season of injuries led to him being one of the biggest disappointments of 2015. So where does that put him for 2016? If you look at a number of sources, his projections are all across the board. I went conservative with my projections for Mesoraco. Recovering from hip surgery couldn't be more of a red flag for a catcher for me. I understand he's 27 and doesn't have a lot of tread on those legs yet, but I expect it will take him time to bounce back this year.
My projections for Mesoraco: 55 / 17 / 67 / 3 / .253
- Matt Wieters (Auction $1): I don't know if this guy has ever once lived up to his name. A stigma that has followed him through his whole career. He's a fine catcher, but to me, that's all.
My projections for Wieters: 54 / 17 / 60 / 2 / .255
- Derek Norris (Auction $1): Norris had a couple of solid seasons now and while San Diego is an easy team to forget, I can see him produce at a similar level this season, with some power upside.
My projections for Norris: 58 / 15 / 60 / 4 / .255
- Yan Gomes (Auction $1): Rounding out my top 12 is Yan Gomes. Another catcher like Wieters that has been a bit more hype over the years than his actual production. People thought that after 2014 he would have 20+ HR power going forward, however that was his outlier season in my opinion. He should be a fine productive catcher, but I don't have expectations for him as high as most.
My projections for Norris: 52 / 16 / 58 / 1 / .260
- J.T. Realmuto (Auction $1): 50 / 11 / 52 / 10 / .252
- Francisco Cervelli (Auction $1): 53 / 7 / 48 / 2 / .285
- Wilson Ramos (Auction $1): 46 / 16 / 64 / 1 / .253
- Welington Castillo (Auction $1): 49 / 18 / 50 / 1 / .250
- Yasmani Grandal (Auction $1): 52 / 17 / 51 / 1 / .249
- Yadier Molina (Auction $1): 44 / 7 / 59 / 0 / .274
- Blake Swihart (Auction $1): 50 / 8 / 40 / 5 / .271
- Nick Hundley (Auction $1): 43 / 11 / 43 / 3 / .266
- A.J. Pierzynski (Auction $1): 38 / 10 / 53 / 0 / .270
- James McCann (Auction $1): 41 / 9 / 44 / 3 / .268
- Miguel Montero (Auction $1): 40 / 14 / 51 / 1 / .244
- Jason Castro (Auction $1): 44 / 13 / 50 / 0 / .242
- Robinson Chirinos (Auction $1): 38 / 14 / 43 / 0 / .233
- Cameron Rupp (Auction $1): 31 / 11 / 33 / 0 / .240
You can see in my projections, there are a few catchers that I project well above average, however there is also a large clump that I think will be very similar this year. I'm really not partial to any of them, however knowing where others are drafting catchers, I know there are many of them I simply won't have on my teams. I would be completely fine getting 2 lower tier catchers, so long as it meant that I invested wisely in my earlier picks and got values I was happy with.
Check out my other positional breakdowns:
First Base: here
Second Base: here
Third Base: here
Designated Hitter here
Starting Pitching: here
Relief Pitching: Coming soon