Ranking catchers: Does Carlos Santana provide value?

Indians starting catcher, Carlos Santana, has been cleared to resume all on-field activities. His season was abruptly ended last year on Aug. 2 after he tore a ligament in a home-plate collision. His six-month checkup passed and will begin agility drills next week. He should see “game” time during the first week of spring training.

How’s this going to affect his fantasy play? Can he be trusted? He was a rookie last year after a call up in June. Prior to the injury, he batted .260 with six homers and 22 RBI’s in a small 46 game sample. What would that translate into for a whole season you say? 21 homers and 77 RBI’s.

Signed by the LA Dodgers in 2004, he was traded in 2008 to the Indians for Casey Blake. Hard to determine who won that trade at this point, there was cash and another player involved.

He excelled after call up. Batted over .300 in his first month, but then he dropped around the Mendoza line the following month before he was injured. Did pitchers figure him out? My opinion: How can we tell? We only had a 46 game sample. Jason Heyward batted low .200 for a month; did the pitchers figure him out? Maybe a little but then he adjusted. My point is, we can’t use those first two months as any indication that he will be an above average player, or what I would like to call, a fantasy impact. He certainly showed glimpses of it. But we are missing the main logic here; can he adjust? That question alone racks the minds of fantasy baseball players, and it does as well for Major League Managers.

So, I guess you’re wondering what I would rank him in the catcher’s rankings. One positive for Santana was the fact that he had a .401 OBP. He showed he could get on base and also showed he can strike out. If your league takes off per strikeout, you might want to proceed with caution. He will strike out over 100 times and I will bet it will be closer to 150.

I would expect Santana to start off slow but then again, it all depends on how much play he gets during spring training. He’s good for 25-30 HR’s throughout the course of the year. I think his average will be around .250 for the year though. Here’s my catcher rankings, again this is my fantasy rankings, who can get the most overall points, not who I think is the better catcher, there’s a difference:

1. Joe Mauer
2. Buster Posey
3. Victor Martinez
4. Brian McCann
5. Mike Napoli

Just missed the cut was Carlos Santana at 6 and Kurt Suzuki at 7, Matt Weiters (Alex Gordon 2.0) is at 8. Mauer, Posey and Martinez will contribute in multiple categories to earn you points. McCann and Napoli are sole two category players.

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