As I sit here getting ready for my first full team fantasy baseball draft of the season; I figured I would take a few minutes to detail some of my opinions on what players will be truly worth your time. I will try my best to not interject my feelings on the New York Yankees (even though I would never draft a member of that particular team). I’ll rank the top 5 players per position and try to give a reason for why the player is ranked as high as he is, and what round you should look at taking them. For the sake of comparison I will stick to the basic stats and avoid stats such as total bases and holds.
We will start with the backbone of any team the Catcher. This position has one player that is far and above the best player at the position from a fantasy standpoint and many talented and serviceable players after the best player.
1 Joe Mauer MIN: After signing his 10 year 184 million dollar contract you would think that this could be a let down year for the leader of the Twins. However I think his .365 average and 96 Rbi are just a sign of things to come for this truly complete catcher. The only worry is that he could break down considering the demanding physical toll the position puts on a player but that can be said for any catcher in the league. Proj. mid to late 1st round pick
2. Brian McCann ATL: McCann is coming off of an injury plagued season where he hit .281 with 21 HR and 94 RBI. Considering the issues he had with his eye sight and the lack of offense on the Braves it is hard to believe that this 26 year old will not improve and have a break out year. Proj. mid to late 2nd round pick.
3. Victor Martinez BOS: V-Mart will be in his first full year with the Red Sox and it is also a contract year for him. He was a good hitter last year with a line of .303-23-108 and will hopefully benefit from having a full season in Fenway Park. The one issue with V-Mart is his numbers seem to fall when he catches and the Red Sox will be looking for him to catch most of the time. Proj. Mid to late 2nd round pick
4. Matt Wieters BAL: The young rookie catcher for the Orioles will finally get his chance at the major league level, and if you are lucky enough to have him as your catcher after missing out on the top three you won’t be disappointed. After getting the call on May 29th he hit .288-9-43 for an Orioles team that couldn’t do anything from an offensive stand point. This young man has all the tools to be a top notch player and will be a great mid round pick. Proj. late 5th round early 6th round pick.
5. Russell Martin LAD: Most fantasy experts had Martin towards the top of their lists last year and he disappointed many fantasy baseball owners early and often. He suffered major setbacks in all of the major offensive categories. At .250-7-53 he was much worse than his down year in 2008 and well below his breakout year in 2007. He is only 27 and plays for a good offensive team but it seems that the more he catches the worse it gets which isn’t good for a starting catcher with a lackluster backup. Proj. late 7th round early 8th round pick.
The best of the rest: Kurt Suzuki OAK, Jorge Posada NYY, Mike Napoli LAA, and Geovany Soto CHC
Check back next time for the best first basemen…