Is Joe Mauer Still the #1 Fantasy Baseball Catcher?
SWEET SWINGER: Joe Mauer
He’s a .327 career hitter, but is he still the #1 catcher in fantasy baseball?
Joe Mauer hit for his career average in 2009 with 9 homers and 75 RBI in 2010, certainly productive, especially for a catcher. But, it appears as though Mauer’s 2009 MVP season was a bit of a fluke, at least the 28 homers he hit. Hitting in cavernous Target Field certainly doesn’t help Mauer’s homerun totals.
Which brings us to Buster Posey, ranked # 4 in Fantasy Baseball Dugout’s 2010 off-season catcher rankings. Posey was a major reason for the Giants World Series title in 2010. Posey was called up earlier than expected on May 29, 2010. In 406 regular season at bats, Posey clubbed 18 homers, 67 RBI and hit .306. Project those stats out for the entire season and Posey would have had about 27 homers and 89 RBI, topping Mauer in both categories.
Brian McCann was our # 2 ranked catcher. While McCann had his third straight season of 20+ homers, he did see his batting average drop in each of the past three seasons, from .301 to .281 to .269. Is McCann on the way down the National League average average of .249?
Then, there’s Victor Martinez, our # 3 guy. V-Mart, 32, is old by catcher standards, but he still managed to club 20 homers, hit .302, and led all MLB catchers in RBI in 2010 with 79. Martinez has averaged 22 homers and 97 RBI’s since 2004. He’s a career .300 hitter. Martinez has been the mark of consistency with his only down year coming in 2008 when injury limited his playing time to 266 at bats.
Is Posey the guy to take over as the number 1 backstop in the MLB?
GIANT SURPRISE: Buster Posey
I looked over the Blogosphere and, after reviewing 2011 catcher rankings on about 25 fantasy baseball blogs, only Fake Teams had the guts to turn over the top slot to Posey.
Top Fantasy Baseball Catcher Analysis: While Posey’s post-season performance was not overwhelming, it just seemed like he could absolutely rake. Our advice, however, is always to go for consistency and Mauer and Martinez are certainly the mark of consistency. While Martinez is probably the better choice for homeruns, Mauer’s gigantic batting average can simply not be overlooked. Mauer is still the # 1, but after watching Posey in the playoffs and World Series, I wouldn’t call you foolish if you chose Posey instead. That being said, we think Posey needs to prove himself over an entire season before we are ready to make him the top backstop in the league. As a pure value pick, Posey is probably the better choice as a fourth rounder versus Mauer in the first round.