Buster Posey once again enters the 2016 as the No. 1 catcher. However, there are some young talents that could make the race much closer.
The catcher position is one that many fantasy owners add a lot of hype to, but feel disappointed at the end of the season. This past season was no different. San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey was atop the catcher rankings heading into this season. There were some up-and-coming stars in the top five, but none had the value Posey had. However, I think the tides are slowly turning heading into 2016.
Posey undoubtedly is the No. 1 catcher next season. I won’t kid you. There is no other catcher who possesses the skill or fantasy value that Posey does. Over the last four seasons, Posey hit 80 home runs, 359 RBI and a .315 batting average in 593 games. After a couple of injury-plagued seasons, Posey stayed healthy and became a superstar.
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Of the top-10 catchers based on ADP this season, only one catcher has more home runs than Buster Posey in that span. His name is Brian McCann. Russell Martin has 10 fewer home runs from 2012 to 2015. There are more catchers in the 40-50 range.
However, this is only one aspect of Posey’s game. Despite the power, he has excellent contact. In those four seasons, he has a combind .381 on-base percentage. That is good for No. 1 among all catchers with at least 700 games played. Getting on base results usually results in runs scored, which Posey has 285 of from 2012 to 2015. Again, Posey tops the charts.
While it looks like Buster Posey is the be-all and end-all among catchers, that is not the case. He has great production, which is hard to find later in drafts, but it will cost you. In ESPN leagues, Buster Posey had a 25.2 ADP, third round. The next catcher drafted was not taken until the eighth round, which was Jonathan Lucroy.
Lucroy finished 14th among catchers on the Player Rater. Veteran catchers Russell Martin and McCann finished No. 2 and 3 respectively. Martin’s ADP of 198.3 and McCann’s was 159.8, 17 and 13 rounds after of Posey.
Thinking of the future, there were two undrafted catchers that finished in the top 10, J.T. Realmuto and Kyle Schwarber. Realmuto played in 126 games and showed signs of power and speed, which is rare from a catcher. He had 10 home run, 47 RBI and eight steals. I think there is a 15/50/10 season in his future. Schwarber, one of the Chicago Cubs rookie sensations, crushed the ball. In just 69 games, he hit 16 home runs and 43 RBI. Both players provide upside at the catcher position for years to come.
The catcher position is still Buster Posey’s to own in 2016. But, take note that the gap between he and the rest of them is closing. Personally, I would not draft Posey in the first five rounds. That’s not how I view the catcher position. With young talent on the rise and some veterans still making the rounds, I would wait on one of those players.
Projections: 161 hits, 18 home runs, 87 RBI, .312 batting average
Draft: Round 3