Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
While the major league baseball playoffs unfold over the next few weeks, for fantasy owners the season is long over. It's all about examining the past year, finding our successes and our failures so we will be better in 2010.
We will begin our position-by-position analysis with catcher and then swing around the infield, outfield and finally to the pitching staffs.
Fantasy catchers are usually regarded as a necessary evil. You start one because the rules say you have to, not because you want to. That is, of course, unless you drafted Minnesota catcher Joe Mauer.
Mauer was easily the most dominant player at any position. Despite the fact that he didn't play his first game until May 1st (back problems), he led all catchers in runs (94), home runs (28), hits (191), walks (76), batting average (.365), on base percentage (.444), slugging percentage (.587) and OPS 1.031.
Mauer has always been a good hitter (he won his third American League batting title in the last four years), but he added power to his repertoire. His 28 homers were more than double his previous high of 13 which he hit in 2006.
Behind Mauer, far behind Mauer, were three closely matched receivers - Victor Martinez, Brian McCann and Jorge Posada. Posada was the best hitter of the three, but because he had 200 less at-bats than Martinez and 100 less than McCann, ended up placing fourth on the list.
Oakland's Kurt Suzuki is a player on the rise, posting career highs in at-bats, runs, doubles, home runs, runs batted in and stolen bases. He put up the numbers fantasy owners were hoping to get, but didn't, from Russell Martin.
But Martin wasn't the most disappointing at the catching position, that dubious award goes to Chicago Cubs catcher Geovany Soto. Coming off a NL Rookie of the Year campaign in 2008, Soto's numbers dropped across the board. After a surprising 23 HR, 86 RBI, .285 rookie season expectations were high. Soto had an Average Draft Position of 54 - a fifth-round pick. Unfortunately, he couldn't live up to those expectations and gave owners an ugly season, one in which he had just one homer and a .216 batting average through the end of May. Many owners released him so even his finishing statistics are misleading because he was likely a free agent for most of his season total 11 homers and 47 RBIs.