Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
      
Fantasy Football Today
Gameday Inactives
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Get Your Draft Board
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Red Zone Stats
Teams
Schedules
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Playoff Challenge
Commissioner
Prize Leagues
Free
Office Pool Manager
Game Pick'em
Player Challenge
Fantasy Baseball Today
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Projections
Teams
Schedules
Probable Pitchers
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injuries
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Message Boards
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Downloadable Draft Kit
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
No Fantasy Teams Found
 
 
 

Catcher tiers for Draft Day 2013

Senior Fantasy Writer
  •  

Remember when the catcher position consisted of Victor Martinez (whose eligibility at the position is up for debate entering 2013), Joe Mauer, Brian McCann and everybody else? It wasn't so long ago, really.

The Tiers Approach to Draft Day
Tiering is a method of doctoring positional rankings so that players of similar value are bundled into groups. A new group begins whenever the next player down in the rankings has a vastly different projected outcome from the player preceding him. Reducing a position to five or six tiers instead of 30 or more individuals gives you a blueprint to follow as your league's draft unfolds. Naturally, the position to target is the one whose active tier is closest to completion. -- Scott White

Tiers: C | 1B | 2B | SS | 3B | OF | SP | RP

But when you compare the position now to the position then, it seems like ancient history.

For us longtime Fantasy owners, catcher is as deep as ever, and it was made only deeper last year with the emergence of Wilin Rosario, Salvador Perez and Jonathan Lucroy.

Of course, a deeper position has its drawbacks. The key to gaining an advantage at any position is to recognize when the biggest drop-off in talent occurs and to wait until just before that point to strike.

But the more bountiful the tiers, the more they tend to bleed together ...

The Elite: Buster Posey, Joe Mauer, Carlos Santana

The Near Elite: Yadier Molina, Miguel Montero, Matt Wieters, Wilin Rosario

The Next Best Things: Brian McCann, Salvador Perez, Jonathan Lucroy, Mike Napoli, Jesus Montero

The Fallback Options: A.J. Pierzynski, Ryan Doumit, Carlos Ruiz, Alex Avila, Travis d'Arnaud, Yasmani Grandal

The Last Resorts: John Jaso, J.P. Arencibia, Russell Martin, Mike Zunino, Wilson Ramos, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, A.J. Ellis

The Leftovers: Chris Iannetta, Kurt Suzuki, Welington Castillo, Tyler Flowers, Erik Kratz, Rob Brantly

The potential for overlap begins with the first tier, which Posey could have conceivably filled all by himself. Then again, most positions have a clear top player. If each occupied his own tier, you'd have no idea which position to target first because each active tier would be on the verge of completion. When establishing your tiers, you don't want every jump in talent reflected, only the most significant. Creating a bunch of one-player tiers doesn't do anybody any good.

Sometimes, it's justified, like in the case of Miguel Cabrera at third base, but in this case, Mauer's and Santana's most-likely scenarios are close enough to Posey's that settling for one wouldn't be a huge downgrade at the position. Shoot, Mauer finished only 27 points behind Posey in Head-to-Head leagues last year, and that wasn't even the best he can do (as we saw in 2009).

Check out our Fantasy Baseball podcast!
Stay a step ahead of your competition in 2014 by checking out our popular Fantasy Baseball Today podcasts. Adam Aizer, Scott White and Al Melchior will entertain you and help you dominate all season.
Latest episode | Subscribe!

The blending of the tiers is even more evident among The Near Elite, with Rosario the main point of contention. Part of me says he has to be in the same tier as Perez and Lucroy, seeing as their narratives are so similar to this point, but putting Lucroy in the same tier as Molina certainly doesn't feel right. Ultimately, I decided Rosario's power potential, which is shaping up to be tops at the position, is enough to set him apart from the other two in Rotisserie leagues, though the effect his poor plate discipline figures to have on his Head-to-Head numbers might just convince me to drop him to The Next Best Things in those formats, leaving a second tier of Molina, Miguel Montero and Wieters.

So far in my early drafting, I've found that Lucroy is typically the last of The Next Best Things to go off the board, most often to me. I think he's half a step better than Napoli and Jesus Montero -- or at least safer than those two -- but if tiering them all together prevents me from reaching for the Brewers catcher, so be it. It's not like having to settle for Napoli or Montero would be some great tragedy.

Among The Fallback Options, you'll find your overachievers (Pierzynski), your underachievers (Avila) and the players who, for one reason or another, won't be available at the start of the season (Ruiz, d'Arnaud, Grandal). Yeah, you'll want to make contingency plans for that last group, but they're all worth stashing, at least to start out. If everything breaks their way, they'll perform at the level of The Next Best Things.

Many of The Last Resorts are legitimate candidates to be drafted in standard mixed leagues, and naturally, players like Jaso, Arencibia, Zunino and Ramos could end up paying big dividends. But unlike in past years, when waiting to gamble on a high-upside catcher in the late rounds was an advisable move, doing so now with all the high-end options available at the position puts you in an early hole.

In order for it to work out, you'll really need for your guy to pan out.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us on Twitter @CBSFantasyBB or Scott White at @CBSScottWhite . You can also e-mail us at fantasybaseball@cbsinteractive.com .

  •  
 
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
Scott Kazmir strikes out six in no-decision vs. Astros
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:56 am ET) Athletics pitcher Scott Kazmir wasn't a factor in Tuesday's decision, giving up two runs (one earned) on seven hits and one walk in seven innings and striking out six in his team's extra-innings game against the Astros.

Kazmir wasn't able to pick up his third straight win despite holding the opposition to one earned run or fewer for the fourth straight start. The Oakland pitcher has been at the top of his game over the last few months, aside from an ugly seven-run outing in late June. Kazmir owns a 2.32 ERA, 0.99 WHIP and 114:28 K:BB ratio in 124 1/3 innings. He's slated to take on the Rangers Sunday.


Brett Oberholtzer gives up two runs in no-decision Tuesday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:56 am ET) Astros pitcher Brett Oberholtzer didn't factor into the decision Tuesday after surrendering two earned runs on six hits and two walks in seven innings and not recording a strikeout in his team's extra-innings game against the A's.

Oberholtzer was handed a 2-0 lead after the top of the third innind, but he gave back one run in the bottom of the frame and the other on a sacrifice fly in the sixth inning. He has given up two runs or fewer in five of his last six starts, but he hasn't earned a win since rejoining the team in late June. Oberholtzer owns a 4.32 ERA and 51:19 K:BB ratio in 77 innings. He'll likely be taken out of the rotation if Collin McHugh is ready to return this weekend.


Michael Wacha may not pitch again this season
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:45 am ET) Cardinals pitcher Michael Wacha admitted before Tuesday's game that team doctors told him he might not pitch again this season after discovering a shoulder "fissure," the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

Wacha had an MRI and CT scan over the weekend but wasn't cleared to resume throwing Monday. He'll rest for a few more weeks before being re-evaluated. A best-case scenario would find Wacha getting a couple of starts in September, and the pitcher remains optimistic he'll be able to return before the end of the season.


Mike Trout slugs 24th home run Tuesday vs. Orioles
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:41 am ET) Angels outfielder Mike Trout provided his team's only offense Tuesday, going 1 for 4 with a two-run home run in his team's 4-2 loss to the Orioles.

Trout was one of only two Angels to get a hit in the game, and while his hit sailed over the outfield fence for a home run, it wasn't enough to avoid the loss. He has hit .309/.395/.610 with 24 home runs, 76 RBI and 10 stolen bases in 369 at-bats.


Jonathan Schoop knocks eighth home run Tuesday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:39 am ET) Orioles second baseman Jonathan Schoop went 2 for 4 with a two-run home run in his team's 4-2 win over the Angels Tuesday.

After J.J. Hardy drove in the first run of the game with a double in the sixth inning, Schoop immediately followed with a home run to give his team the cushion needed to hang on to the win. He has hit .220/.256/.338 with eight home runs and 26 RBI in 287 at-bats, but two of his homers have come since the All-Star break.


Mariners send Erasmo Ramirez to Triple-A
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:36 am ET) The Mariners optioned pitcher Erasmo Ramirez to Triple-A Tacoma after Tuesday's loss.

Ramirez pitched well Tuesday, giving up just two runs in seven innings while striking out 10, but he still loses his roster spot to Wednesday starter Taijuan Walker. Ramirez owns a 4.12 ERA and 43:11 K:BB ratio in 54 2/3 innings over nine starts with Tacoma.


Lucas Duda slugs 15th home run Tuesday vs. Mariners
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:34 am ET) Mets first baseman Lucas Duda went 2 for 4 with a solo home run in his team's 3-1 victory over the Mariners Tuesday.

Duda gave his team an insurance run with his eighth-inning blast, and he now owns a modest six-game hitting streak. The first baseman has hit .261/.357/.485 with 15 home runs and 50 RBI in 299 at-bats.


Aaron Hill slugs eighth home run Tuesday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:32 am ET) Diamondbacks second baseman Aaron Hill went 1 for 3 with a solo home run and three RBI in his team's 5-4 win over the Tigers Tuesday.

Hill started his day with a blast over the left-field fence in the first inning to tie the game at 1-1. He added another RBI on a sacrifice fly in the third inning and drove in a third run on a groundout in the sixth. Hill has put together a seven-game hitting streak to help boost his line to .251/.284/.380 with eight home runs and 48 RBI in 363 at-bats.


Zach Britton strikes out two in 18th save
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:23 am ET) Orioles pitcher Zach Britton recorded two strikeouts in a 1-2-3 ninth inning Tuesday, picking up his 18th save in his team's 4-2 win over the Angels.

Britton threw nine of his 12 pitches for strikes and got ahead 0-1 against all three of the batters he faced. He was rocked in the second-half opener but has settled down since, tossing 2 1/3 perfect innings with four strikeouts. Britton owns a 1.78 ERA, 0.93 WHIP and 42:14 K:BB ratio in 50 2/3 innings.


Miguel Gonzalez surrenders two runs in win vs. Angels
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:21 am ET) Orioles pitcher Miguel Gonzalez earned a win Tuesday, giving up two earned runs on three hits and four walks in 7 2/3 innings and striking out five in his team's 4-2 victory over the Angels.

Gonzalez (5-5) rejoined the Orioles Tuesday after spending the break in the minors, and he put together seven scoreless innings before surrendering a two-run home run in the eighth. He owns a 3.91 ERA and 74:36 K:BB ratio in 96 2/3 innings. Gonzalez is lined up to face the Mariners Sunday.


 
 
 
Rankings