2010 Post-Season Fantasy Analysis - Catcher

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - British statesman and philosopher Edmund Burke (1729 - 1797) once said, "Those who don't know history are destined to repeat it."

How does this pertain to fantasy baseball you may ask?

As the World Series gets underway for baseball fans, those of us who play fantasy baseball are already looking ahead to next year's draft. And the best way to get ready is by analyzing last year's results.

In the first part of a series, we will evaluate last year's players in a position-by-position analysis, beginning with catchers.

In getting an overall view of the position, from an offensive point of view, I am struck by the sheer mediocrity of their performances.

Whereas in 2009 there were six catchers who knocked in at least 80 runs, led by Victor Martinez's 108 RBIs, there were zero in 2010. There were seven catchers who hit 20-or-more homers in 2009 and just four in 2010.

Joe Mauer (ADP 13) and Martinez (ADP 31) were top draft choices in 2010 and for the most part they failed to live up to the lofty expectations. For this reason, the strategy of drafting one of the two catchers early in the draft, who were presumably a step above the rest of the field, failed.

Many expected Mauer to continue to hit home runs at the 28 home run pace he set in 2009. Instead, he hit just nine in 2010, returning to his 2004-2008 average (8.8).

Martinez led all catchers with 20 home runs and 79 RBIs, but he too was a bit disappointing, as those totals were a drop of three homers and 29 RBIs from the previous season. Still, he batted over .300 for the fifth time in the last six seasons.

For 2011 we should learn from our mistake and wait before selecting a catcher. As you can see below, three of the top-10 catchers this season were free agents and seven of the top-10 were either drafted in the 12th round-or-later, or not at all.

Of course, for every rule there is an exception and for this one the exception could be San Francisco Giants rookie catcher Buster Posey.

Posey wasn't called up to the Giants roster until May 29th but the rookie played like an All-Star right from the start. In just 406 at-bats and 108 games, the 23-year-old batted .305 with 18 homers and 67 RBIs. His slugging percentage was .505 and his OPS a stunning .862.

Posey was also a free agent in most fantasy leagues (ADP 416) making him the TSN Best Bargain Award winner for 2010 at the catching position. Just imagine how good he will be with a year under his belt and playing the full season in 2011. Selecting him ahead of Mauer and Martinez is not out of the question.

Top-10 Fantasy Catchers for 2010
Rank Player Team AB R H HR RBI SB AVE OPS ADP*
1)Joe MauerMIN5108816797510.3270.87113
2)Victor MartinezBOS49364149207910.3020.84431
3)Buster PoseySF40658124186700.3050.862416
4)Brian McCannATL47963129217750.2690.82832
5)John BuckTOR40953115206600.2810.803427
6)Geovany SotoCHC3224790175300.2800.890169
7)Miguel OlivoCOL39455106145870.2690.764409
8)Mike NapoliANA45360108266830.2380.784146
9)Jorge PosadaNYY3834995185730.2480.811163
10)Kurt SuzukiOAK49555120137130.2420.669147

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at sschwarz@sportsnetwork.com.

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