In 56 games with Boston last season, Victor Martinez posted a .336 batting average.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
The title says it all. I believe that despite all the hype that the "media machine" has published idolizing Minnesota catcher Joe Mauer, Red Sox catcher Victor Martinez will have the better fantasy year.
Both players had magnificent seasons in 2009, blowing away all other catchers in respect to fantasy performance.
Mauer, posted career highs in hits (191), home runs (28), runs batted in (96), batting average (.365), on-base percentage (.444), slugging percentage (.587) and OPS (1.031). And that was despite the fact that he didn't start his season until May 1st because of an ailing back. Had he played from the beginning of April, you could have added runs, doubles and walks to the list.
But I'm here to tell you that Martinez will have a better 2010.
Blasphemy you say?
While Mauer was having his "career" year and on the cover of every sports and fantasy magazine, Martinez was quietly putting together a similar season in Cleveland/Boston.
Martinez played 99 games in Cleveland before being traded to the Red Sox before the July trading deadline. In the 56 games with Boston, he posted a .336 batting average and an OPS of .912 with eight home runs and 41 RBIs. For the season he batted .303 with 23 HR and 108 RBI. Those numbers were admittedly second-best to Mauer's, but still more than 100 fantasy points better than the third best catcher.
But here is the key to 2010, Martinez's statistics were much closer to his normal production than Mauer.
Unless you truly believe that Mauer has stepped up his game to a completely new level, his 2010 season is likely to more closely resemble his career average. For Mauer, between the years 2005-2009 that means averaging 574 at-bats, 80 runs, 13 HR, 76 RBI, a batting average of .328 and an OPS of .889. Nice numbers, but is he worth the No.8 overall pick it will take to get him?
For Martinez, his average season from 2005-2009 was 577 at-bats, 70 runs, 17 HR, 86 RBI, a batting average of .303 and an OPS of .845 including an injury- shortened 2008 in which he played just 73 games with an elbow injury that took away all his power (he hit just two homers that season). In addition, Martinez is eligible at first base, not a big deal, but certainly it gives you more flexibility in your lineup.
You can get get Martinez in the third round as his current ADP (Average Draft Position) is 35. So not only should you get better, or at least equal numbers, but Martinez will cost you a lot less!