2014 Catcher RankingsMonday, July 22, 2013
Here are some very preliminary 2014 catcher rankings for your perusal. Try not to take the lists all too seriously; I haven't actually done projections for any of these players and many, many changes will be in store for the first official rankings in January.
Players set to become free agents this winter are listed without a team, while players with contract options are listed with stars. Players are listed at positions they're likely to qualify at next year, though there are still question marks there. Edwin Encarnacion is probably the biggest; he has 10 games in at third base so far. That's where I'm listing him, but he's far from a sure thing to qualify.
These aren't true keeper rankings, since only the 2014 season is being taken into consideration here. But if you're looking to make trades in keeper leagues in the coming weeks, I hope this piece will help you along.
Follow us at @Rotoworld_BB and @matthewpouliot on Twitter.
Click to see other preliminary 2014 rankings:
Top 300 | SP | RP | OF | 1B | 2B | SS | 3B | C | DH
2014 Catcher Rankings
- McCann, Ruiz and Saltalamacchia will be the top catcher free agents, and all should land multiyear deals this winter. One figures McCann is a goner in Atlanta, with the Braves instead relying on Gattis and Gerald Laird. The Phillies and Red Sox, on the other hand, will work hard to keep their catchers. Both Phillies catcher prospects -- Tommy Joseph and Sebastian Valle -- have been big disappointments and can no longer be included in Philadelphia's 2014 plans. The Red Sox have Lavarnway, who has improved defensively, to potentially replace Salty if the price tag gets too high. I have a feeling the Yankees will end up with one of the three. The Rangers, Dodgers, Mets, Cubs and Rays could also be in the market for starting catchers.
- After the big three, the best free agents are Pierzynski, Suzuki, Buck and Navarro. Hundley and Lavarnway are trade candidates.
- Given d'Arnaud's injuries this season, the Mets can't pencil him in as their 2014 starter. I imagine they'll sign a stopgap, with the hope that d'Arnaud could come up and win the job in June. Perhaps they'll simply re-sign Buck at a pay cut.
- The Cubs were hoping Castillo would emerge as their long-term catcher, but I'm not sure he has much upside beyond what he is now. Since contending in the NL Central next year is a reasonable possibility, they should look to improve.
- Lobaton has been a nice surprise while splitting time with Jose Molina in Tampa Bay this season, hitting .270/.330/.393 and playing quality defense. He's probably not someone who should start 120 games, but the Rays won't necessarily need to sign someone to play over him.
- Jesus Montero should be done as a catcher, and his chances of starting at first base or DH for the Mariners next year have taken a hit due to his month-long absence following knee surgery and Justin Smoak's improved play in Seattle. He's also a Biogenesis player, adding to the mystery. That said, there's still quite a bit of upside here. He could be a top-10 fantasy catcher or entirely worthless.