So far we’ve gone over getting started in a league, the draft, and keeper leagues so its time to get into the players themselves. We’ll go over the top 10 for each position and this writer will give predictions on each player. Afterwards, sleepers and such in each position will be listed as well.
Catchers has always been considered, along with second and shortstop, as the shallowest positions in fantasy. Meaning that there aren’t a lot of useable players in the draft to really field the team and this makes owners a little more trigger happy to draft a top tier catchers.
But this really isn’t the case anymore, or is more of a half-truth. Catching has actually become a reasonably deep position over the last few years and it’d do to more catching prospects stepping up and making names for themselves. Saying it’s a half-truth, however, that is referring to how small the players in each tier of talent are and how fast the drop off is. While there are more usable catchers in the game today, there aren’t many that you can say are 100% trustworthy.
2015 Prediction: .290/.350/.450, HR-20, RBI-85, R-70, SB-5
Not only is this writer predicting a big year for Lucroy, there also is major confidence in him as a player and his talent. Lucroy has an equal BB% and K% so you can predict a steady OBP and that will lead to more runs. The biggest issue with Lucroy is that he doesn’t have that many strong OBP guys in front of him so RBI’s could be an issue.
2015 Prediction: .300/.340/.500, HR-19, RBI-85, R-60, SB-0
It’s a very tough choice between Posey and Lucroy and if you wanted to flip the two this writer wouldn’t argue with it. Posey has been a staple for fantasy teams delivering consistent numbers throughout his career. Posey seems to have struggles in the first half of the season but always turns it around and becomes a driving force for a very shallow offense.
R’s and RBI’s won’t come easy for Posey this year since the Giants offense has taken a slight hit but he’s never really been a homerun guy until 2014. One thing any team considering drafting Posey is where he’ll need to be drafted. Posey will likely be a early 3rd round to mid 3rd round pick and considering the other catchers on this list won’t be such a downgrade in production it could be a sound strategy to pass on him and let someone else grab him.
2015 Predictoin: .280/.320/.490, HR-21, RBI-80, R-75, SB-0
Its been said that catching prospects are the slowest to develop since they have to split their attention between learning the pitching on the other team and their own. This seems to be the case for once top prospect Matt Wieters but 2014 saw Wieters start to show the signs that he could finally be reaching his offensive potential. Then tragically after only 26 games in his season was ended because of Tommy John, such a pity.
Before becoming heavily invested in Wieters just remember that it was a very small sample size and there were signs that what he did during those 26 games was a little luck based and regression is likely. Much like Lucroy and Posey, he will cost a team a higher pick but unlike Lucroy and Posey the safety isn’t there.
2015 Prediction: .280/.320/.450, HR-21, RBI-70, R-60, SB-1
Coming out of nowhere, and performing good enough to push Carlos Santana from the position, Gomes has made a name for himself. He’s not the sexiest name out there but he is proving to be a consistent hitter and has a good amount of pop for a position not known for its power hitters. Gomes isn’t an OBP wizard so if you play in an OBP league just remember that your getting him for the HR’s not the OBP.
2015 Prediction: .290/.340/.400, HR-10, RBI-70, R-60, SB-7
Molina has had some health issues in the last few years and with his health back we could see a bounce back. 2014 wasn’t a great year for Molina only hitting .282/.333/.386 with only 7 HR’s and 38 RBI’s but he also only played in 110 games. If he proves healthy then he’s worth a look but if he starts having issues have a backup plan just in case.
2015 Prediction: .260/.320/.520, HR-28, RBI-80, R-60, SB-1
Calling Mesoraco’s first season as the Reds regular catcher a success would be quite the understatement. In 404 plate appearances he hit a very impressive 25 HR’s and 80 RBI’s while keeping the slash line at .273/.359/.534. Looking at the numbers though shows us that regression might happen but to what extent we don’t know just yet. He swings quite a bit as his 23.4% strike out rate shows but he’s also showing signs of developing patience with his 9.3% walk rate. He could end up higher on this list by season end but at the moment come caution may be needed but his ceiling his high and his basement is Evan Gattis type numbers.
2015 Prediction: .265/.333/.400, HR-12, RBI-68, R-50, SB-0
Martin is coming of one of his most successful seasons in his career and at his age that is worrisome. That doesn’t mean he should be avoided, however, since he’s still a valuable fantasy option. The move from Pittsburgh to Toronto won’t affect his power numbers too much since A) he’s not known for his homeruns and B) both stadiums are pitchers parks anyways.
The major fear with Martin is his age and his ability to capture even just a little of that glory from 2014. His other major issue is in fact his 2014 season may push his stock up higher than his potential deserves so you may have to draft him higher than anyone would like.
2015 Prediction: .250/.310/.550, HR-35, RBI-78, R-50, SB-1
Lets throw this out now; this writer is not a Gattis fan and even if he’s on my Astros, yours truly doesn't think too highly of him. Given that, we all can’t overlook his skills and strengths and Gattis does do two things exceptionally well: hit for power and strike out. Houston’s friendly left field wall will be a joy to Gattis owners this year since he’ll be able to actually pull for some power.
The down side of course is he strikes out quite often, 24.2%, and doesn’t walk often so drafting him is for the power alone not the batting skills. One thing to keep an eye out for is what position Gattis will actually play in 2015. With the signing of Colby Rasums, the Astros have moved him out of LF where he was scheduled to play and with both Jason Castro and Hank Conger at catcher, it’s unlikely he’ll see much time behind the plate.
The likely position he’ll play is first base where he will have to face off against Jonathan Singleton and Matt Dominguez to win the position. It’s likely his to lose but if you’re thinking of drafting him then a backup plan is a must.
2015 Prediction: .270/.310/.405, HR-20, RBI-70, R-48, SB-0
Being a fan of Perez for the last few years it is a shame he hasn’t developed into the player we thought he could be. While the power is a nice plus his minor league numbers and his skills he showed made him look more of a .300/.350/.400 hitter than the .260/.289/.403 we saw in 2014. Perez is still young enough to change this but he is overpowered by LHP and does swing at bad pitches just a little to often. As this writer has said, the power is a nice bonus so he still has some value. If he is a .260 hitter it's still not a terrible average.
2015 Prediction: .270/.340/.480, HR-18, RBI-65, R-50, SB-0
New place and a new team should do wonders for this veteran. This writer has a little more faith that Montero can bounce back from a disappointing 2014 and there’s plenty of good signs that it is a possibility. Though with a few disappointing seasons under his belt it’s hard to take a leap of faith on him with a high pick. Right now he is a great backup plan to someone like Molina or Martin but this writer doesn't advise gunning for him to start unless you truly believe in him.
Devin Mesoraco - Already talked about him so won’t be going into any more details other than saying he’s got a nice future ahead of him.
Travis d’Arnaud - This young catcher was the centerpiece in the trade that sent SP R.A. Dickey from the Toronto Blue Jays to the New York Mets. While only having 553 plate appearances to his name the 2014 season was a big step forward for this young man, well at least the second half of his season was. A break out could be on the way so keep an eye on him and is a great keeper option.
Yasmani Grandal - A trade from the unfriendly PECTO park will only help this young man who’s talent is well regarded among scouts. Grandal’s name isn’t without some concern since he was suspended for taking illegal performance enhancing drugs back in 2014. He may be a risk if you take higher stock in the suspension but the talent is there and in LA he may be a starter sooner rather than later.
Yadier Molina - Even though he’s on the main list that doesn’t mean Molina is someone to hold onto anymore. At 32 his best years are behind him and we can expect to see a rather sharp decline in some of the more important fantasy stats like homeruns, RBI’s, and runs. The numbers don’t show a major decline in his ability to get on base or hit for average but he is quickly becoming a one stat player and it’s a stat that can be found elsewhere.
Russell Martin - This writer mentioned many of the fears on Martin in the top 10 section and the main issues is his age. Much like Molina he’s past his prime and this writer doesn’t see him repeating last years numbers. Personally don’t think to look for him to even come close to those numbers. A high pick will be put on him during the draft and it’s a pick that a smart owner will wait on so someone else to draft him.
Brian McCann - Age is a killer in all sports and McCann plays like a very old 30 year old. McCann has been showing the signs of regression since 2012 but he still has value. Unlike the other two players listed here, the major regression isn’t his power, since he’s averaged over 20 homeruns since 2008, but his contact and walks declining as last year he hit a career low walk rate at only 5.3%. His BABIP was far lower than his career line in 2014 but it doesn’t mean he’s going to bounce back. Take at your own risk.