In order to add some substance to our rankings, Michael Ryan and Cody Crosby discussed some of the hot topics surrounding this year's catcher pool.
's number one ranking, ' sophomore season, expectations surrounding and , and the rankings discrepancies of and are discussed below.
Cody: Obviously Joe Mauer is the #1 catcher. What do you expect of him in 2010 and can anyone challenge him for production from a catcher?
Michael: I don't think anyone expects Mauer to repeat 2009 and he doesn't have to in order to be the top catcher; few, if any, players in baseball have the upside that Mauer brings. He may never hit 28 homers again but a .330+ average and 20+ HR is a pretty safe bet from a healthy Mauer in 2010.
If I am drafting for home runs and RBIs I would lean towards Vmart, who is about as consistent as you can get from the catcher position. He's a .300 hitting catcher with 20-25 home run power and should eclipse 100 RBI in Boston again. Mauer's average and overall upside still makes him the top catcher in my book, however.
Cody: You have Soto ranked at #5 while I have him at #10. Are you banking on 2008 numbers from him?
Michael: Catcher is a risky and thin position to begin with which has me willing to take even more chances on the guys with upside. I don't think 2008 was a fluke and am betting on a bounce-back in 2010.
Soto had an o.k. start to 2009 before injuries hampered him and even with the down year he improved his strikeout to walk ratio. His current average draft position in a 12 team league has him going late in the 11th round which is a steal even if he can't fully replicate his 2008 numbers.
Michael: You and I clearly don't agree on Jorge Posada; you have him ranked 4th while I have the 38 year old backstop at 7th. Is this a vote of confidence in his ability to stay healthy and continue to produce or more your lack of confidence in the other catchers around the league?
Cody: Even in a season of 111 games, Posada still managed to hit 22 dingers and knock in 81 ribbies. Given that the rest of the class below him under-produced in 2009 or gave us minimal production, I am buying him based on 120 games in 2010...in the hope that he produces similar numbers to 2009.
Michael: After all the hype surrounding Matt Wieters' debut, who put up decent but not mind-blowing numbers in his rookie campaign, what can we expect from Baltimore's savior in his sophomore season?
Cody: Wieters had solid post-All Star numbers in 2009. His .301 avg in those 65 games showed promise with a .765 OPS. He's still young at 23 going into 2010 and will increase his power numbers during the season. The Orioles outfield is quite exciting but their infield leaves something to be desired. If the Orioles are unable to make some moves in the offseason then temper your expectations of Wieters in 2010. I'm looking around 65 runs, 16 HRs, 80 RBI, and a .290 avg.
Michael: Our only other two large discrepancies appear to be over Miguel Olivo and Chris Iannetta. You had big love for Iannetta going into last year and clearly he disappointed. On the other hand, Olivo, at age 31, had a breakout year in terms of power with a career high 23 home runs. Clearly I'm buying a bounce back for the Rockies backstop while you're saying to go with the free agent Olivo. Why should people side with you when drafting their catcher?
Cody: Olivo is obviously nothing special from a fantasy standpoint. If you are waiting to pick him up you have waited too long to draft a catcher. He's had solid RBI and HR output when given the opportunity to play and I see a team signing him for 450 at-bats next season. He could bust out another 20+ home run season.
As for Iannetta, it is obvious that the Rockies have little faith in him as the everyday catcher. They are hoping to re-sign Yorvit Torrealba or find another FA catcher (Olivo?). If a team doesn't have faith in their catcher, then I no longer have faith in that catcher. I was high on Iannetta last season because of his solid production in the 2009 World Baseball Classic but he won't be able to do that to me again this season.