A list of the top catchers to draft for 2014 fantasy baseball.
1. Wilin Rosario Colorado Rockies
Despite being limited to 466 plate appearances due to late-season injuries, Rosario delivered his second consecutive 20-homer campaign, cementing himself as one of the top-tier fantasy catching options. While the power numbers were to be expected from the young catcher, his lofty .292 batting average was a more pleasant surprise. Much of that mark was aided by his unusually high .344 BABIP, and that combined with Rosario’s troubling 3.2 percent walk rate suggests some regression can probably be expected in that department. But even with a modest drop in batting average, Rosario’s uncommon power-hitting ability make him a coveted commodity at his position, though it remains to be seen how long he’ll remain catcher-eligible. Rosario has graded out as a well below-average defender the past two seasons, and his poor receiving skills were concerning enough for the Rockies to kick the tires on Carlos Ruiz in free agency before bowing out of the bidding. Unless he makes noticeable gains in 2014, a full-time switch to first base could be in his future, a move that could hurt his value in dynasty formats.
2. Buster Posey San Francisco Giants
Posey didn't put up numbers close to his MVP season in 2012, but he still produced at an elite level for catchers in 2013. After posting a .325 average coupled with 13 homers and 56 RBI in the first half, many thought he could repeat his numbers from 2012. But that wasn't the case as Posey completely disappeared in the second half, hitting just .244 with just two home runs and 16 RBI after the All-Star break. There was no apparent injury to report with Posey, and he actually improved his BB/K (0.96) in the second half, so it is tough to pinpoint what exactly went wrong with the All-Star catcher. Despite his second-half struggles, Posey will remain one of the most consistent options at catcher in 2014.
3. Joe Mauer Minnesota Twins
Mauer will move to first base in 2014 as the Twins decided it was better to keep him healthy and in the lineup after his second injury-plagued season in three years. Mauer was having his typically productive season at the plate, but with a bit more power than usual (second best home run rate of his career) before suffering a concussion in late August. He wasn't able to play again during the season, but he's said to be back to full strength heading into spring training. Mauer has outstanding plate discipline (he was third in the AL in OBP) and an ability to drive the ball to all areas of the field. Although not a prodigious home run hitter, he has a strong enough bat to still be a positive player at first base as his OPS would have ranked sixth among AL first baseman. Whether the Twins will get enough value for his $23 million annual salary without his defense and bat at catcher remains uncertain. For fantasy purposes, he'll still qualify at catcher in almost all formats in 2014, and the elimination of his injury risk – always his biggest concern – should make him perhaps the top fantasy catcher. It's also possible that Mauer may still get behind the plate for a few games as the Twins have called his move to first base a “transition” and Mauer had resisted a move before the concussion. However, it's clear that Mauer's days as an everyday catcher are over, which will hurt his fantasy value in the long run. Still, his ability to hit for average and the added boost he'll get from playing nearly every day at first base should boost his fantasy value in 2014.
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2014 Fantasy Rankings
Who are the top players you should be considering in your fantasy baseball drafts this year? Find out by browsing our overall rankings for 2013.
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