Mar 23, 2009

Fantasy Baseball Rankings V: Quick Hits-Catchers and Closers

For me, normally, these are positions I wait on.

For catchers, if you're not willing to sacrfice a 4-6 round pick on McCann, Martin, or Mauer(barring continuing injury), then you might as well wait. There is serious reaching for Matt Wieters in experts' drafts. Will he be worth it? He might not even start the season with the MLB club. His talent though is undeniable. There are other catchers (Soto, Doumit) who can offer the same production, and also have a track record. Just don't hurt yourself in all the categories when you pick one. Be ready to cut them if they're not working out since a good starting catcher normally starts only 115-130 games per season, depressing their overall numbers compared to other positions. If someone emerges during the season, don't hesitate to replace a mediocrity at the position. The same type of tiering system applies as previous rankings; these are similar groupings of players based on projected stats.

Tier 1
Brian McCann
Russell Martin
Joe Mauer

Tier 2
Geovany Soto
Victor Martinez
Ryan Doumit
Tier 3
Matt Wieters
Kelly Shoppach

Tier 4
Mike Napoli
Bengie Molina
Chris Ianetta
AJ Pierzynski
Jorge Posada

Tier 5
Chris Snyder
Jarod Saltalamacchia
Dioner Navarro

For closers, I've mentioned not to draft one too early, but this doesn't mean to overlook them. Try to draft 3-4 during the draft, and maybe also a middle reliever with a high K/9 and K/BB rate (i.e. Carlos Marmol, J.J. Putz). The only considerations with closers are opportunities, effectiveness at converting opportunities, situation stability, and injury. The rest is not as important because most only pitch 60-80 innings per year, which have a miniscule effect on ERA and WHIP. Although grabbing one with a high K/9 can help in maximizing Ks (assuming you have an inning limit in your league; for head to head leagues, it doesn't matter at all).
Tier 1 (Stable Situation and Effective)
Brad Lidge
Francisco Rodriguez
Jose Valverde
Mariano Rivera
Jonathan Papelbon
Joakim Soria
Joe Nathan

Tier 2 (Stable Situation with Concerns about Effectiveness)
Matt Capps
Francisco Cordero
Jonathan Broxton
Bobby Jenks

Tier 3 (Threatened Situation but Effective with Opportunity)
Matt Lindstrom
Mike Gonzalez
Brian Wilson
Heath Bell
Huston Street
BJ Ryan
George Sherrill
Brad Ziegler
Brian Fuentes
Kerry Wood
Chad Qualls

Tier 4 (Threatened Situation with Effectiveness (including injury) Concerns)
Joel Hanrahan
Kevin Gregg
Troy Percival
Brandon Lyon
Frank Francisco
Trevor Hoffmann

Tier 5 (Unsettled Situations)
Cardinals (frontrunner: Jason Motte)
Mariners (frontrunner:???)
Middle relivers to consider
JJ Putz
Hong-Chi Kuo
Justin Masterson
Takashi Saito
Rafael Soriano
Carlos Marmol
Manny Corpas
Scott Downs
Brandon League
Chris Ray
Joey Devine
Jose Arredondo
Carlos Villanueva

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