It’s a simplification of the process and one you probably already do in your head. If Joe Mauer is projected to hit 21 or 22 home runs you’re going to think of him as a 20-homer catcher anyway.
Similarly, if some projections have Brian McCann driving in 94 runs in 2010, that 94 is going to be fairly indistinguishable from a 95 by the end of a 500 at-bat season. Remember, your projections are only part of a holy fantasy baseball trinity that you need to keep in mind when building your cheatsheet.
Speaking of cheatsheets, you came here looking for catcher rankings. Catcher rankings we have:
1. Joe Mauer — If we were doing tiers and, yep, I think we’re about to, this tier would go from here to Martinez because there’s no way I’d own either player. Position scarcity is overrated. We’ve talked a lot about Mauer on this site in 2010, but if you want the projections that go along with this series, check our Top 20 for 2010.
2. Victor Martinez — After an injury-plagued 2008, Martinez put up the kind of numbers last year that Mauer’s going to put up this year, minus a little average. Projections: 75/20/95/1/.295
3. Brian McCann — This tier goes from here to Wieters. They’re still overrated, but if it was time to change things up, this is the absolute earliest catcher I’d pick. McCann is available in the fifth round and hit 21 homers despite missing 24 games in 2009. His OBP and SLG were both below his career marks and his K rate was higher than his career mark. Projections: 70/25/95/5/.290
4. Matt Wieters — There’s a lot of downside risk here. If he wasn’t overpriced he’d have his own tier. I’d think about owning McCann, but unless you’re in a dynasty league, let someone else pick Wieters. Projections: 65/20/75/1/.295
5. Jorge Posada — This tier goes to Martin and I don’t want to own anybody in this tier. Posada will be 39 in August. Catcher is a demanding enough position that younger players struggle to play a full season. Projections: 60/20/70/1/.270
6. Kurt Suzuki — Out of these three players, Suzuki’s the only one I could see myself owning. He’ll be 27 in October, so he’s in his prime. It’s more than likely a boring prime though. Projections: 65/10/65/5/.275
7. Russell Martin — This is not the Russell Martin who broke into the majors years ago. and he’s going to miss four to six weeks (including opening day) with a groin pull. Projections: 65/10/70/10/.275
8. Miguel Montero — This is a new tier it includes Soto, too. I’m going to own both of these guys in a bunch of leagues. Projections: 60/15/70/1/.275
9. Geovany Soto — Consider what Soto did before last season. You can’t afford to let someone else take the chance on him. He needs to be your catcher in 2010. Projections: 70/20/80/1/.280
10. Bengie Molina — Bengie gets his own tier because he’s boring. That 20 homers he hit last season at age 35 is his ceiling. Consider his projection an over-under bet and I’m taking the under. Projections: 50/20/75/0/.265
11. Mike Napoli — This is another new tier, it runs through Doumit. It wouldn’t be awful owning these guys and if you don’t have a starter after these three your going to be in trouble. Napoli doesn’t hit lefties, but he still puts up good numbers. Projections: 50/20/75/0/.265
12. Chris Iannetta — Like Napoli, Iannetta doesn’t hit lefties. He also doesn’t hit righties quite as well as Napoli. Projections: 55/20/55/0/.255
13. Ryan Doumit — He’ll put up some good numbers considering he’s only going to have around 400 ABs. Projections: 55/15/60/5/.280
14. Yadier Molina — This a weird tier. From here through Martinez, I’d own Posey, the others deserve to be on the waiver wire. Projections: 45/10/60/5/.285
15. AJ Pierzynski — Steady, boring production. I’ll probably pick him up off the wire in a league or two this year. Projections: 60/10/60/1/.280
16. Miguel Olivo — If you’re fishing for a little extra power, Olivo will get you some. Projections: 45/20/60/5/.250
17. Carlos Ruiz — Projections: 45/10/50/5/.255
18. Buster Posey — I’d own Posey because of the potential upside. Notice I said own not start. You don’t want anybody this low on the list as your opening day starter in 2010 unless they have an amazing spring. Maybe Posey doesn’t live up to the hype, but at least it’s more exciting than picking Ruiz or Olivo. Projections: 50/10/40/1/.270
19. John Baker — Projections: 55/10/45/1/.270
20. Ramon Hernandez — Projections: 45/10/55/1/.255
There are some players far more exciting than Ramon Hernandez outside of the top 20:
Jarrod Saltalamacchia offers 10-to-15 homers and 50-50 runs and RBIs. Kelly Shoppach will get you plus homers but he’ll hurt your batting average. Alex Avila‘s got the upside thing and that upside will manifest in power numbers. Jesus Flores has upside power, too.
Check out all of our baseball rankings so far on our 2010 fantasy baseball page.