After much anticipation (and I’ve gotten plenty of emails asking when this would debut), it’s finally time for The Fantasy God’s official rankings. Each day this week I will rank a different position. Why should you listen to The Fantasy God? Because if you would put him in a league with all the other “fantasy experts” of the world, The Fantasy God would win the championship. Fact. The viewers of Baltimore Sports Report immediately took me seriously last season when I told them all to draft Michael Pineda in the late rounds. Two weeks into the season I was flooded with emails and comments asking me question after question for fantasy advice. I will be available all season long to do the same. Don’t forget that my fantasy cheat sheet is available featuring the top 1,180 players in a color coded format. The sheet will tell you exactly who to draft this year. For a preview and information on getting the cheat sheet click here.

2012 Fantasy Catcher Rankings:

1. Joe Mauer (MIN)
2. Buster Posey (SF)
3. Matt Wieters (BAL)
4. Carlos Santana (CLE)
5. Brian McCann (ATL)
6. Miguel Montero (ARI)
7. Mike Napoli (TEX)
8. Alex Avila (DET)
9. Jesus Montero (SEA)
10. JP Arencibia (TOR)
11. Devin Mesoraco (CIN)
12. Wilson Ramos (WAS)
13. Jonathan Lucroy (MIL)
14. Miguel Olivo (SEA)
15. Geovany Soto (CHC)
16. Jarrod Saltalamacchia (BOS)
17. Russell Martin (NYY)
18. Chris Ianetta (LAA)
19. Yadier Molina (STL)
20. Wilin Rosario (COL)
21. Kurt Suzuki (OAK)
22. Nick Hundley (SD)
23. John Buck (FLA)
24. Ramon Hernandez (COL)
25. Rod Barajas (PIT)
26. Ryan Doumit (MIN)
27. Josh Thole (NYM)
28. Carlos Ruiz (PHI)
29. AJ Pierzynski (CWS)
30. Salvador Perez (KC)
31. AJ Ellis (LAD)
32. Chris Snyder (HOU)
33. Brayan Pena (KC)
34. Jose Lobaton (TB)
35. Jose Molina (TB)

Full rebound for Joe Mauer.  He’s looked perfectly fine this spring.  Expect an average over .320, which is something that no other catcher, and maybe no other player in baseball will touch.  He isn’t a power hitter, and will only hit about 10 HR’s, but you really can’t rely on power from a catcher anyways.  The important thing is that he will keep your team consistent.  Posey will do enough to be #2.  My favorite catcher, Matt Wieters, will continue to progress.  25+ HR’s is likely out of him, with an improved average.  Eventually he projects to be a .300+ hitter.  He probably won’t hit that high this year, but his numbers will be good enough to be #3 overall.

Santana, McCann, Montero, and Napoli are all similar.  Santa is ranked as the #1 catcher on most lists, but he shouldn’t be.  All of these guys will hit at least 20 HR.  Montero has the best average of the bunch, but also has the least amount of power.  He will reach 20 HR though.  Napoli won’t play everyday, will see a huge drop in average, and won’t reach 30 HR again.  He can still hit 25 HR.

Then come the young guns.  Avila, Montero, Arencibia, Mesoraco, and Ramos.  Avila showed what he could do last year and should do pretty much the same thing.  Montero will experience some growing pains, but he’s good for 15-20 HR, and will play everyday.  He has massive power.  Eventually he’s a 25+ HR guy.  I don’t see it happening this season though.  Arencibia should repeat similar numbers to last season.  Mesoraco has a ton of upside.  He is a pretty big sleeper.  You won’t find him ranked this high in the free agent pool of any fantasy league.  Mesoraco has the same upside as guys like Carlos Santana, and Brian McCann.  I expect him to start hitting this season.  He won’t reach his potential for another year or two, but he’s still worth a late round add on your team, if you wait on catching.  I’d prefer to get one of the top ranked catchers between rounds 5-7.  Ramos will continue to improve in all categories.  He’s a solid hitter.

Since most fantasy leagues are 12 teams, the rest of these guys aren’t really worth having.  Lucroy is solid during streaks and is still young.  Olivo, Soto, Saltalamacchia, Martin, and Ianetta will all hit between 15-18 HR’s.  None of them carry a good average.  Yadier Molina had a career year last season, which he will not repeat this year.  His HR total and average will both drop.  I’d avoid him.  Wilin Rosario is a good contact hitter, so he could produce a decent average eventually.  Suzuki, Hundley, Buck, Hernandez, Barajas, and Doumit will all start.  Doumit either in the outfield or at DH.  All of them are completely mediocre in every way possible.

The rest of the guys aren’t even mediocre.  They are all starters though.  Salvador Perez would have been higher if he wouldn’t have gotten injured this past week.  He had some nice upside, but he will miss about 3 months of the season.  His backup Pena isn’t very good.  Both of the platooning Tampa Bay Jose catchers round out the bottom.  I love it that they are actually the worst at something.

First base rankings will be up on Tuesday.  Second base on Wednesday.  Third base on Thursday.  Shortstops on Friday.  Closers on Saturday.  Starting Pitching next Monday.  You can get my thoughts on every player in the league immediately with my fantasy cheat sheet.  If your interested in that you can click here.

Listen to this past week’s Baltimore Sports Report podcast.  I joined the cast to talk fantasy baseball drafting.  You can listen to my sleepers, busts (cough cough Mike Napoli), and late round picks by clicking here.

The Fantasy God’s First Base Rankings
The Fantasy God’s Second Base Rankings
The Fantasy God’s Third Base Rankings

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