Tag Archives: Kelly Shoppach

Fantasy Rankings in Review – Catchers


Back in February, I took my first shot at attempting to rank players for fantasy purposes. After a full season, I thought it wise to take a look back at how they went, and compare them to how it actually turned out and see if there is anything to be gained from it, starting with catchers.

Original Draft Series: #10 – Boston Red Sox


For those that missed the guidelines I am using for this series of posts, you can find them here.

Team #10: Boston Red Sox

General Managers(since 1994)

Dan Duquette (1994-2001): 656-574
Mike Port (2002): 93-69
Theo Epstein (2003-Current): 660-474

Team Performance

Playoffs Division Finish
WC League Playoff App 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Last
2 2 9 2 10 2 2 0

All information is drawn from Baseball Reference.

Position Name Acquired Years with Org.
Stats with Organization
Left?
C Kelly Shoppach 2001 – 2nd Rd 4 9 gm, 0-15 Traded to CLE – 1/27/06
1B Kevin Youkilis 2001 – 8th Rd 9 2 All Star Appearances, 1 Gold Glove
.294/.394/.497, 112 HR, 470 RBI, 23 SB
Currently with Org.
2B Dustin Pedroia
2004 – 2nd Rd 6 2007 AL Rookie of the Year, 2008 AL MVP, 3 All Star-Appearances
554 gm, .305/.370/.461, 54 HR, 253 RBI, 55 SB
Currently with Org.
3B Freddy Sanchez 2000 – 11th Rd 3 32 gm, .220/.250/.260, 4 RBI Traded to PIT – 7/31/03
SS Hanley Ramirez Int’l FA – 2000 5 2 gm, 0-2 Traded to FLA – 11/24/05
LF David Murphy 2003 – 1st Rd (17) 4 23 gm, .250/.357/.500, HR, 2 RBI Traded to TEX – 7/31/07
CF Jacoby Ellsbury 2005 – 1st Rd (23) 5 349 gm, .291/.344/.405, 20 HR, 130 RBI, 136 SB Currently with Org.
RF Josh Reddick 2006 – 17th Rd 4 38 gm, .167/.205/.321, 2 HR, 6 RBI, SB Currently with Org.
DH Ryan Kalish 2006 – 9th Rd 4 12 gm, .300/.326/.400, HR, 4 RBI, SB Currently with Org.
SP Jon Lester 2002 – 2nd Rd 8 1 All-Star Appearance
54-23, 3.51 ERA, 711 IP, 647 K, 259 BB, 1.295 WHIP
Currently with Org.
SP Carl Pavano 1994 – 13th Rd 3 No Major League Appearances with Org. Traded to MON – 11/18/97
SP Daisuke Matsuzaka Int’l FA – 2007 3 45-24, 4.02 ERA, 535 IP, 496 K, 253 BB, 1.387 WHIP Currently with Org.
SP Clay Buchholz 2005 – 1st Rd (42) 5 1 All Star Appearance
25-19, 3.95 ERA, 317 IP, 248 K, 135 BB, 1.379 WHIP
Currently with Org.
SP Justin Masterson 2006 – 2nd Rd 3 9-8, 3.76 ERA, 160.1 IP, 135 K, 65 BB, 1.279 WHIP Traded to CLE – 7/31/09
RP Manny Delcarmen 2000 – 2nd Rd 10 11-6, 3.83 ERA, 282 IP, 242 K, 127 BB, 1.348 WHIP Currently with Org.
RP Frank Francisco Int’l FA – 1996 6 No Major League Appearances with Org. Traded to CHW – 7/31/02
RP Ron Mahay 1991 – 18th Rd 7 4-1, 3.00 ERA, SV, 51 IP, 36 K, 26 BB Selected by OAK – 3/30/99
RP Rafael Betancourt Int’l FA – 1993 6 No Major League Appearances with Org. Released – 11/18/99
RP Daniel Bard 2006 – 1st Rd (28) 4 3-4, 2.80 ERA, 4 SV, 103 IP, 120 K, 40 BB, 1.087 WHIP Currently with Org.
CL Jonathan Papelbon 2003 – 4th Rd 7 4 All Star Appearances
18-16, 2.04 ERA, 348.2 IP, 392 K, 97 BB, 1.004 WHIP
Currently with Org.
BN David Eckstein
1997 – 19th Rd 3 No Major League Appearances with Org. Selected by ANA – 8/16/00
BN Hideki Okajima Int’l FA – 2006 4 16-7, 3.17 ERA, 6 SV, 224.1 IP, 200 K, 76 BB, 1.248 WHIP Currently with Org.
BN Anibal Sanchez Int’l FA – 2001 4 No Major League Appearances with Org. Traded to FLA – 11/24/05
BN Jeff Suppan 1993 – 2nd Rd 5+1 12-10, 5.87 ERA, 220.2 IP, 131 K, 74 BB, 1.55 WHIP Taken in the Expansion Draft – 1997
BN Cla Meredith 2004 – 6th Rd 2 3 gm, 2.1 IP, 27.00 ERA Traded to SD – 5/1/06

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The Week in Review: May 31-June 6


If the Playoffs Started Today

Texas Rangers (30-26) vs. Tampa Bay Rays (37-20)
New York Yankees (35-22) vs. Minnesota Twins (33-24)

Los Angeles Dodgers (33-24) vs. St. Louis Cardinals (33-24)
Atlanta Braves (33-24) vs. San Diego Padres (33-23)

League Leaders

Batting Average – Justin Morneau (MIN) – .370
Runs – Kevin Youkilis (BOS) – 50
Home Runs – Jose Bautista (TOR) – 18
Runs Batted In – Miguel Cabrera (DET) – 52
Stolen Bases – Rajai Davis (OAK) – 23

Wins – Ubaldo Jimenez (COL) – 11
Saves – Matt Capps (WAS) – 18
ERA – Ubaldo Jimenez (COL) – 0.93
Strikeouts – Tim Lincecum (SF) – 89
WHIP – Ubaldo Jimenez (COL – 0.93

Roster Movement

To the Disabled List: Doug Fister, Oliver Perez, Brett Anderson, Luis Castillo, Derek Holland, Jason Bartlett

Return from the Disabled List: Jon Niese, Kelly Shoppach Scott Hairston, Jorge Posada, Franklin Morales, Jim Edmonds,

To the Minors: Mat Gamel

Up to the Show: Danny Valencia

Trades

Top Stories and Weekly Links

  • On Monday, Roy Oswalt was ejected from his start for arguing with the umpire. At least that’s what the reason was anyway. He was yelling at something else (or someone else) on the field, not any of the umpires, and umpire Bill Hohn apparently did not appreciate it. Hohn is looking at some disciplinary action, as it really appeared from the footage that Oswalt really didn’t do anything or say anything that should have earned him that ejection.
  • After being designated for assignment, the Tigers were able to trade struggling starting pitcher Dontrelle Willis to the Diamondbacks for relief pitcher Billy Buckner. It’s kind of sad that his tenure in Detroit ended like this, but Willis has simply not been getting the job done in any shape or form for them. The Tigers also took on quite a bit of Willis’ salary in order to get the trade done.
  • Carlos Zambrano, it was announced, would return to the rotation this week, and ended up making that start on Friday. He went 4 1/3 innings, taking the loss after giving up 3 earned runs. Clearly, this is where he should be pitching, as his contract and skill level both dictate that he is a starting pitcher. Hopefully he will be better in his next start.
  • On Thursday, about 3 hours before their game, Mariners’ outfielder Ken Griffey Jr announced his retirement, effective immediately. I wrote up my thoughts about it here, but the retirement was essentially lost in the shuffle with other events…
  • Also on Thursday, Tigers’ pitcher Armando Galarraga nearly threw a perfect game, if not for a missed call by umpire Jim Joyce. I wrote it up as well, and thankfully now by Sunday the story seems to have died off, and moved forward from it.
  • Ubaldo Jimenez made two starts this week, and his ERA actually went UP to 0.93, and ending his scoreless inning streak at 33 innings.
  • It was announced that Stephen Strasburg will make his major league debut on Tuesday, and it also appears that Marlins top prospect Michael Stanton will also make his major league debut on Tuesday as well.

Scheduled Posts for this Week

Friday will have last week’s trade retro of the Jermaine Dye trade. I am also going to be starting my Original Team series, where I will look at the roster of each team based upon the team that they started to play for initially as a professional in the US. There will be a post up later explaining the series.

The Week in Review – April 12-April 18


It’s been a pretty busy week, what with a 20 inning game, a no-hitter, and some really excellent performances.

If the Playoffs Started Today (Which Clearly, They Don’t)

Tampa Bay (WC) vs. Minnesota (C)
Oakland (W) vs. New York (E)

St. Louis (C) vs. Philadelphia (E)
Florida (WC) vs. San Francisco (W)

Last Week’s Top Performers

Shin-Soo Choo (CLE) – .579/.680/1.211, 3 HR, 11 RBI, SB, 5 R
Jose Guillen (KC) – .462/.500/.885, 3 HR, 5 RBI, SB, 7 R
Brett Gardner (NYY) – .385/.529/.385, 5 R, RBI, 4 SB
Denard Span (MIN) – .381/.552/.524, 8 R, 3 RBI, 3 SB
Ty Wigginton (BAL) – .348/.385/.913, 6 R, 4 HR, 10 RBI
Derek Jeter (NYY) – .500/.500/.955, 5 R, 3 HR, 7 RBI
Ivan Rodriguez (WAS) – .476/.500/.714, 7 R, 7 RBI, SB
Dan Uggla (FLA) – .464/.484/.821, 7 R, 2 HR, 7 RBI
Chase Utley (PHI) – .333/.481/1.048, 8 R, 5 HR, 8 RBI
Matt Kemp (LAD) – .333/.414/.875, 8 R, 4 HR, 8 RBI, SB
Andre Ethier (LAD) – ..423/.464/.769, 4 R, 3 HR, 9 RBI

Adam Wainwright (STL) – 17 IP, 1.06 ERA, 0.76 WHIP, 2 W, 16 K
Matt Garza (TAM) – 16 IP, 0.56 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, 2 W, 10 K
Ricky Romero (TOR) – 16 IP, 1.69 ERA, 0.63 WHIP, W, 18 K
Clayton Kershaw (LAD) – 12 1/3 IP, 2.19 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, W, 16 K
Ubaldo Jimenez (COL) – 9 IP, 0.00 ERA, 0.67 WHIP, W, 7 K (no-hitter)
Felipe Lopez (STL) – 1 IP, 0.00 ERA, 2.00 WHIP

Roster Movement and Job Changes

The biggest changes involved all the disabled list movement:

  • Chris Getz of the Royals was placed on the disabled list, and Alex Gordon was activated to take his spot on the roster.
  • Jimmy Rollins of the Phillies was placed on the disabled list, with Juan Castro replacing him in the lineup. Rollins should be out a few weeks.
  • Esmailin Caridad of the Cubs was placed on the disabled list
  • Aaron Rowand of the Giants was placed on the disabled list.
  • Brian Roberts and Felix Pie of the Orioles were both placed on the disabled list. It sounds like Roberts may be out for an extended period of time.
  • Kelly Shoppach of the Rays.
  • Aaron Hill of the Blue Jays
  • Brian Fuentes of the Angels was placed on the disabled list, and Fernando Rodney immediately filled the closer’s role for him.

Also of some note last week was that 2nd year pitcher Brett Anderson signed a contract extension that could take him through the next 6 seasons. Risk on both sides, but I think that the A’s have probably locked up an ace for these next 6 seasons at minimal cost.

Top Rookie Performers

Jason Heyward continues to be the story, as he is now hitting .302/.423/.581 with 3 HR and 15 RBI in just the first two weeks of the season. He finished up last week with a 3-rbi day yesterday, including a walk-off 2 run single. At this rate, I would be shocked if anyone was able to keep up with him for the Rookie of the Year. Jamie Garcia of the Cardinals had a good outing as well, throwing 7 shutout innings during Saturday’s 20 inning matchup.

In the American League, Austin Jackson of the Tigers has gotten off to a hot start, hitting .340/.389/.500 with 9 runs and 5 rbi. Of some concern is the fact that he has struck out 15 times to only 4 walks so far, but he is producing well at the top of the lineup to this point.

Top Stories and This Week’s Links

  • The biggest story of the week was the first no-hitter of the season, thrown by Ubaldo Jimenez of the Rockies on Saturday. He did this in spite of walking 6 batters throughout the game. And apparently on Sunday he went for a 6 mile jog to help clear his mind for his next start.
  • The Cardinals and Mets put on a clinic in poor lineup and bench management on Saturday. Their game went 20 innings, during which time the Mets ran out of players, warmed up their closer nearly every inning from the 8th onward, and had the starter from 2 days’ prior come on to get the save. However, the Cardinals won the award for the worst performance, as they ran out of pitchers after the 17th inning. So come the top of the 18th inning, 3B Felipe Lopez was called on to pitch, and managed to get through the inning without allowing a run. So in the 19th, they moved Lopez back to 3B and put the new 3B Joe Mather in for the next 2 innings, where he gave up 2 runs and ended up taking the loss.
  • Craig Calcaterra of NBC Sports has a really good article about what a simulated game is. It’s a really interesting read for anyone who has heard the term but wasn’t sure what it meant exactly.
  • Vin Scully marked his 60th year with the Dodgers. He is retiring at the end of this season, and even though I’m not a Dodger fan, it is truly remarkable that Scully has continued to work with the Dodgers for all these years.

    Team Preview – Tampa Bay Rays


    Roster Makeup
    Lineup Pitching Staff
    Pos Name Role Name
    C Kelly Shoppach SP 1 James Shields
    1B Carlos Pena SP 2 Matt Garza
    2B Ben Zobrist SP 3 Jeff Niemann
    3B Evan Longoria SP 4 David Price
    SS Jason Bartlett SP 5 Wade Davis
    LF Carl Crawford Bullpen
    CF B.J. Upton CL Rafael Soriano
    RF Matt Joyce RP J.P. Howell
    DH Pat Burrell RP Dan Wheeler
    Bench RP Grant Balfour
    IF Sean Rodriguez RP Randy Choate
    C Dioner Navarro RP Andy Sonnanstine

    Additional roster information can be found at MLB Depth Charts.

    Off-Season Transactions
    Key Additions Key Losses
    Pos Name How Pos Name How
    C Kelly Shoppach Trade (CLE) 2B Akinori Iwamura Trade (PIT)
    RP Rafael Soriano Trade (ATL) RP Troy Percival Free Agency

    Top Prospects: Desmond Jennings (OF), Jeremy Hellickson (P), Tim Beckham (SS)

    2009 Review

    The Rays were riding high off of their improbable World Series appearance in 2008, and expectations were high for repeat success in 2009. While the Rays didn’t have quite the same success, posting an 84-78 record last season, there was lots of things to be really excited about.

    The offense was led by the breakout season of Ben Zobrist. Zobrist played all over the field, mostly at 2B, SS, and RF, and hit everywhere he played. He posted a .297/.405/.543 line with 27 HR, 91 RBI, and 17 SB. A rather amazing season, especially when the Rays were expected to be led by 1B Carlos Pena (39 HR, 100 RBI), 3B Evan Longoria (.281, 33 HR, 113 RBI), and LF Carl Crawford (.305, 15 HR, 60 SB).

    The pitching staff was inconsistent, and really appeared to be the reason that the Rays didn’t return to the playoffs. The only starters to post sub-4.00 eras were rookie Jeff Niemann (13-6, 3.94), and Matt Garza (8-12, 3.95). The late season trade of Scott Kazmir was a bit curious, but the Rays had decided at that point that they would not catch the Red Sox, and were able to get a pretty good package for a still very young pitcher.

    Team Outlook for 2010

    The Rays will look to make another playoff run this season, acquiring C Kelly Shoppach to help address a lack of offensive production behind the plate. They also helped to solidify the back end of their bullpen with the acquisition of Rafael Soriano to be the closer. This is a team that would probably win the Central division on a consistent basis if they were in it, but unfortunately for them, they are not. The records they have posted in spite of having to play the Yankees and Red Sox 19 times each are a credit to manager Joe Maddon and general manager Andrew Friedman.

    I think that they will be in the hunt for the majority of the season, but are going to need some luck to catch the Red Sox or the Yankees. Something to watch for throughout the season is how long it takes for the Rays to call up top prospect Desmond Jennings. If Matt Joyce struggles early on, look for him to get the call sooner. Something else is the impending free agency of LF Carl Crawford. Rays’ fans are hopeful that the sides will work out a contract extension before he hits free agency, but the Rays are likely to be priced out of the market if he gets there. As a result, the Rays could look to move Crawford if they fall out of the race early on and don’t believe that they will be able to get anything for him besides the 2 draft picks for type A free agents.

    Fantasy Outlook for 2010

    OF Carl Crawford was a top-tier outfielder with his 60 stolen bases last season, although he had a precipitous drop off in success after the first two months of last season. Nearly every other everyday player for the Rays is ownable in standard fantasy leagues, with 2B/SS/OF Ben Zobrist and 3B Evan Longoria being the cream of the crop. The pitching staff also is mostly ownable, although I personally have been burned by James Shields one too many times for me to recommend him. Garza should have a better won-loss record this season, and Niemann will hopefully build on his excellent rookie campaign.

    Prediction for 2010

    The Rays need a bit of luck to help get them past Boston and New York, and should be in this race until very late in the season, possibly even the last weekend. Unfortunately, I think that they’re going to come up a bit short, and have another excellent season that ends with no games in the postseason.

    88-74, 3rd in the AL East

    Fantasy Preview – Catchers


    I’m starting a new series on my personal fantasy rankings by position for the upcoming season. This series will be primarily posting on weekends, although I will also be posting occasionally during the week on fantasy as well.

    The schedule can be found on the fantasy previews page at the top.

    A note about my rankings: I am assuming a standard scoring league (5×5) with the following categories:

    R, HR, RBI, SB, AVG, W, SV, ERA, K, WHIP

    Also, I have done a lot of statistical analysis in the past, but I’m not ready to start calculating my own projections statistically. So for me, a lot of this is based entirely on gut feel (which of these 2 players would I want), and looking at previous performance. All statistics are from the 2009 season

    Without further adieu, my top 15 catchers for fantasy baseball in 2010.


    1. Joe Mauer – MIN
    R HR RBI SB AVG
    94 28 96 4 .365
    Mauer is really the class of his position at this point, as he’s a solid contributor in 4 of the 5 batting categories. Whether or not the power will continue remains to be seen, but it would be consistent with his age progression. He’ll be 27 this coming season, and the Twins have been good about making sure that Mauer gets days off from behind the plate, having him DH as well. At worst, you’re going to get a player that is likely to be a batting champion again next season, who will be hitting 3rd. The scary part of the numbers he posted last year was the fact that he still missed a large portion of a month of time as well. They could conceivably get better.



    2. Victor Martinez – BOS
    Also qualifies at 1B
    R HR RBI SB AVG
    88 23 108 1 .303
    It is really going to be interesting to see how Martinez does with a full season playing at Fenway, as he posted a .336/.405/.507 line while with the team. Part of the improvement is probably due to the improved lineup surrounding him, and bodes well for this season also. Martinez also qualifies at 1B, although it seems extremely unlikely you’d use him there in most situations. I think he could potentially see a jump in his power numbers with half his games at Fenway as well.

    3. Brian McCann – ATL
    R HR RBI SB AVG
    63 21 94 4 .281
    McCann seems to me like he’s a bit underrated. Here’s a player who is going to hit 20 homers, drive in almost 100 runs, and hit for a good average at a position that really doesn’t necessarily have a lot of players who do that. And he’s done it in the past, so he’s got a track record as well. The other thing I usually forget about McCann is that he is only going to be 26 starting this season. So potentially he could see a slight improvement in his numbers. Not that he needs them to stay at this ranking.

    4. Miguel Montero – ARI
    R HR RBI SB AVG
    61 16 59 1 .294
    Montero was really an epiphany last season, as he was finally able to get regular playing time. Playing in 128 games last year, I can see him posting a similar batting average while improving his home run total and RBI total as well. Another young catcher (26) who should see some growth as he will come into the season as the starter. He’s a player who is likely to fall in most drafts, as Chris Snyder is still in Arizona, and isn’t as sexy of a name as some of the players I’ll rank below him.

    5. Matt Wieters – BAL
    R HR RBI SB AVG
    35 9 43 0 .288
    One of last year’s favorite sleeper draft picks, many teams were stuck until Wieters’ midseason callup. This time around though, he’ll go into Spring Training as the starter. Wieters probably has more upside than Montero, as he could conceivably hit 20+ homers with a .300 average. The thing that puts Montero ahead of Wieters for me is the fact that you’re most likely going to have to draft Wieters much earlier than Montero. In current average draft position reports, Wieters is going 40 picks before Montero. I’ll wait and get Montero.

    6. Jorge Posada – NYY
    R HR RBI SB AVG
    55 22 81 1 .285
    Posada missed significant playing time last year, playing in only 111 games. At age 38, he’s not likely to improve too much on that game total this season. That said, I can still see him hitting 20 homers and driving in 80 runs in that vaunted Yankee lineup. Just be ready to have someone else to play for when he needs that time off.

    7. Geovany Soto – CHC
    R HR RBI SB AVG
    27 11 47 1 .218
    Soto was expected to build on a 23 hr campaign in 2008 last year, and failed miserably. His batting average on balls in play (.251) was partially to explain, as well as the strained oblique injury he suffered mid-season. Look for Soto to bounce back if that injury is completely healed, and approach 20 homers again.

    8. Kurt Suzuki – OAK
    R HR RBI SB AVG
    74 15 88 8 .274
    Suzuki is another one of those “un-sexy” picks, as his numbers are probably going to be similar to last year. Coming into his age-26 season, the A’s are going to need his production to be similar to 2009, and he shouldn’t disappoint. He’s unlikely to get to 20 homers, or even to repeat the 8 stolen bases he had last year, but at the catcher position he’s not going to kill you in any of the categories, which is pretty good at this point.

    9. Russell Martin – LAD
    R HR RBI SB AVG
    63 7 53 11 .250
    Martin was a big disappointment to his owners last season, as his power, batting average, and stolen base totals all dropped. While I think that he’s not likely to return to either his 19 hr career high, or his 21 stolen base career high, I do believe he will improve on last season, and return to his career batting average of .276, with double digit power and stolen bases. His run total should improve as well with that increase in batting average.

    10. Mike Napoli – LAA
    R HR RBI SB AVG
    60 20 56 3 .272
    I liked Napoli a lot last year, and he posted some solid numbers, especially in the home run category. He played 114 games last season, with 84 starts at catcher. He’s likely to post similar numbers providing he gets similar playing time to last season. The concern I have would be that with Hideki Matsui brought in to DH, he seems unlikely to get very much time as the DH. So he’s going to have to beat out Jeff Mathis to get the most playing time. If there were no concerns about playing time, I’d probably have him as high as 5th or 6th.

    11. Bengie Molina – SFG
    R HR RBI SB AVG
    52 20 80 0 .265
    Molina is another one of those players who’s not really going to kill you at the catcher position. He’s going to provide some good power, and drive in a good amount of runs. If you ever get a stolen base out of him, consider it a small miracle. Of some concern is what the Giants intend to do with prospect Buster Posey, as he is definitely the long-term answer at catcher for the Giants. Something to monitor as you get closer to your draft.

    12. Ryan Doumit – PIT
    R HR RBI SB AVG
    31 10 38 4 .250
    Doumit was injured for a large portion of the 2009 season, and as a result his numbers for 2009 don’t really reflect what he could do, in my opinion. Doumit is a lot more likely to give you somewhere near a .280 average, with between 15 and 20 homers. My only concern would be how he has recovered from the wrist injury he suffered last season, but the fact that he came back and hit .329 with 2 HR in September puts that to rest for me. He’s definitely got some risk, but there’s good upside here as well.

    13. A.J. Pierzynski – CHW
    R HR RBI SB AVG
    57 13 49 1 .300
    A.J. is most definitely not a sexy choice here as a catcher. But he’s probably going to give you double-digit homers, a batting average near .280 or better, and probably drive in about 50 runs. Hopefully, if you’re taking A.J., you’re also drafting a high-upside catcher as well. A.J. isn’t going to kill you at the position, but there’s really no upside here above what you would expect from him when you draft him.

    14. Chris Iannetta – COL
    R HR RBI SB AVG
    41 16 52 0 .228
    Iannetta is one of those players who should be really good for fantasy owners if he can pull it all together on a consistent basis. He has shown good power, and could conceivably hit 20+ in a season, especially in Colorado. He is unlikely to hit much more than about .260 in my opinion, but should have the chance to drive in a fair amount of runs in the Colorado lineup. Of some concern is the fact that Miguel Olivo, fresh off a 23 homer season in Kansas City, was signed to be his backup. Watch Iannetta carefully, as he could potentially lose his starting job at any time during the season.

    15. Yadier Molina – STL
    R HR RBI SB AVG
    45 6 54 9 .293
    Yadier is one of those players who is definitely better in real-life than in fantasy. Although he doesn’t have the upside of some of the players ahead of him on my rankings, he remains likely to hit for a good average, and provide a little bit of power and a few steals. He’s the type of catcher who is probably best for a lineup with a pair of 40 homer hitters. Someone to look for if you still have no catcher later on, and are just looking for someone who isn’t going to kill any specific category.

    Some prospects and deep-league sleepers to watch for:

    Buster Posey (SF) – Posey was slated to be the starting catcher for the Giants until they resigned Bengie Molina. Lately, there have been rumors that Posey will work in the infield during spring training. However, it seems to me that if they are planning on him staying at catcher long-term, he’d be best served going back to AAA until they need him at the Major League level.

    Carlos Santana (CLE) – Santana probably needs a full season at AAA, but if he gets the call and sees some consistent playing time, he could conceivably provide double-digit power and a high average even as a rookie. The only player standing in his way once he’s been at AAA is Lou Marson, who is a much better real-life catcher than fantasy player.

    Adam Moore (SEA) – Moore is going into Spring Training as the starter for the Mariners. Another player who isn’t likely to provide a lot of fantasy value, Moore’s value really comes in 2-catcher leagues, as at-bats are crucial in those types of leagues.

    Kelly Shoppach (TAM) – Shoppach was acquired by the Rays to be their starting catcher, and is only a season removed from a 21 homer, 67 rbi season. Consistent playing time is likely to help him further, but the Rays do still have last year’s starter Dioner Navarro on the roster.