OpinionAugust 11, 2011

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Fantasy Catcher of the Year

By Brandon Gray

Catchers have contributed quite a bit of production this year for fantasy owners.  There are several eligible catchers hitting over or close to .300 and a few putting up very nice power numbers.  If you are competing for a title this year, there’s a good chance you own one of the current top-five catchers.  Let’s take a look at the top-five catchers of this year and pay some respect to some unsung heroes.

Current Rankings

  1. Mike Napoli
  2. Brian McCann
  3. Victor Martinez
  4. Miguel Montero
  5. Alex Avila

Close Call: Carlos Santana

Mike Napoli has certainly made his mark in his usual limited work.  He has jacked 18 home runs in only 224 at bats.  His .998 OPS is well above anyone else at the position.  He’s also batting a career high .295.  Brian McCann is having himself another solid season.  Despite the recent oblique injury, McCann is easily No. 2 on this list.  He is third among catchers with 55 RBI and tied for first with 18 home runs, and sports the second highest OPS.  Just another superstar season from the veteran backstop.  Victor Martinez is proving he doesn’t need to hit in Fenway Park to retain his hitting skills.  The often-used DH leads all catchers in batting with a remarkable .325 average and 64 RBI.  However, Victor has seen a power decrease this year, yielding only six home runs.  His lowest home run total in his career in a full regular season is 16.  If Martinez can get in a power groove, he could make a run at the top.  Miguel Montero has quietly obliterated right handed pitching this year.  He has a .300 average and .879 against them.  Despite his woeful struggles against left handed pitchers (.185/.250/.272), he is putting together the finest year of his career.  He has a legit shot at 18-20 homers and 75-80 RBI.  Finally, Alex Avila surprised the fantasy world with his pre-All-Star break contribution.  Despite the second half struggles, he is still carrying a .288 batting average and .867 OPS.  His HR and RBI numbers are top notch as well.  Unfortunately, he is merely average in runs scored (36) due to lineup position and talent.  I suspect Carlos Santana will crack the top five by the end of the year.

If you care to discuss or argue the catcher rankings, or pat yourself on the back for drafting one of these studs after Buster Posey and Joe Mauer were off the board, do so in the comments.

Brandon can be found at home being a dad and novice landscaper, in the corporate office being a hamster, on the diamond being a softball coach, or at Fenway Park enjoying a frank. You can follow Brandon on Twitter (@bginda2g).
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