No one's saying Mauer, the reigning American League MVP, cannot duplicate 28 homers, 96 RBIs, .365 batting average and 1.031 OPS again ... we're just saying it won't collectively occur in the same season for the foreseeable future. With that said, Mauer is still the runaway choice for No. 1 catcher. Just lower your expectations a little bit.
Only Atlanta residents can truly appreciate McCann's numbers from 2009 (21 HRs, 94 RBIs, .281 average). Day after day, we were bludgeoned with news reports of McCann's vision problems -- before and after the LASIK surgery; and to come reasonably close to his yearly averages, given all the drama of being less than 100 percent, is commendable.
If V -Mart should play 140-plus games for Boston, he's a solid choice for No. 2 catcher behind Mauer (sorry, McCann). And if the word "platoon" never gets whispered in his direction -- in association with
It's easy to dismiss Posada as old (he'll be 39 on June 8) and predictable. But as long as he's a day-in, day-out fixture in the Yankees' lineup, he's going to produce. And unless hotshot prospects
The conservative fantasy analyst in me wants to predict that Wieters will have modest across-the-board improvements from his '09 rookie campaign -- something like 13 HRs, 66 RBIs, 73 runs and .294 BA for 2010. However, the rambunctious, tangibly reckless analyst in me wants to scream the following projections:
There is no guarantee Martin will equal or surpass his amazing production from 2007 (19 HRs, 87 RBIs, 21 steals). On the other hand, we're absolutely certain he won't repeat last year's woeful lows in the same categories (7 HRs, 53 RBIs, 11 steals in 143 games -- ouch!). Talk about a bad news/good news proposition, which is why he's firmly behind the big-name studs -- and comfortably ahead of the up-and-comers.
Astute readers of the 2009 Fantasy Baseball Preview may remember that Montero failed to crack our top-30 list; and ironically enough,
Meet the Midwest version of
It's easy to dismiss Napoli as a second-rate fantasy producer, but there's no doubting his consistency: 20 homers and a .270-ish average. That's decent bankability for a low-round pick -- especially since he may have to assume a larger role in the Angels' scaled-down offensive attack. Here's one more nugget in Napoli's favor: In my mind, he's the home-run king for midweek 'getaway' games.
By most accounts, Molina should be the No. 7 or 8 catcher based on a deceptively strong track record in recent years (55 HRs, 256 RBIs from 2007-09). However, with the expected emergence of
With any other ballpark to come home, Suzuki would most likely be a top-10 catcher in the preseason -- a reasonable occurrence for someone with 7/49/.311 splits on the road last year. But when you play in Yellowstone National Park, er, Network Associates Coliseum in Oakland, it's hard to go ga-ga over the occasional trip to The Ballpark in Arlington, Camden Yards or Fenway Park.
Pierzynski is the baseball equivalent to the "comfortable old shoe," a certifiable lock for
It's difficult to identify Doumit's fantasy ceiling -- even though he's almost 30 -- which explains the ambiguous ranking here. Bottom line: As long as Doumit keeps teasing us with 20-HR, 75-RBI, 70-run potential, he still represents a super-sleeper pick in later rounds. After all, he'll reach the 135-game summit at some point, right?
Speaking of launching pads, how is it possible that Hernandez clubbed only five homers last season while playing half his games at cozy Great American Ballpark? Talk about a fluke occurrence. With the assumption of 130 games,
No one is predicting a