Our 2011 fantasy baseball projections will be released one-by-one until the top 100 players have been revealed. These rankings consider past achievements, current performance and expected future results based on standard 5×5 H2H settings.
Yesterday I made a bold statement that has caused an uproar from fellow fantasy baseball enthusiasts. Simply put, I believe Carlos Santana will be a better fantasy catcher than Buster Posey in 2011 and beyond.
Keep in mind scouts were split in their opinions of which would be the better player at this point last season. Since then, Santana has underwent knee surgery, forcing him to miss the last two months of 2010. Posey, however, out-performed his most optimistic projections last season while leading the Giants to their first World Series win since 1954.
It’s clear to see why most favor Posey at this point, but there’s much more to the story.
After hitting 25 HRs in 631 career minor league at bats (25.24 AB/HR), Posey erupted with 18 HRs in 406 at bats with the Giants last season (22.55 AB/HR). 33 percent of Posey’s HRs last season qualified as “just enough” according to Hit Tracker Online, slightly above the league average. This suggests that perhaps a small amount of luck aided his 2010 HR total.
Further, Posey’s strikeout rate (13.5 percent) was incredibly low (MLB average 20.7 percent) considering his minor league totals:
- 2009 (High-A): 15.5 percent
- 2009 (Triple-A): 17.6 percent
- 2010 (Triple-A): 17.4 percent
This, in turn, helped produce an incredible 83.4 percent contact rate (MLB average 80.7 percent), which ultimately resulted in a .315 batting average for the 23-year-old rookie.
I know the kid is good, but this good, this soon? I’m not buying it.
Posey’s home/away splits last season reiterated the fact that AT&T Park is one of the least home run-friendly stadiums in the majors, and hints at why he was so successful overall.
- Home: 198 ABs, six HRs, .258/.304/.419
- Away: 208 ABs, 12 HRs, .351/.406/.587
Posey was actually a below average hitter at home last season, while his unrealistic road splits were aided by a .367 BABIP and 19.7 HR/FB rate.
Look, I’m not hating on Posey. He’s a bright, young star who carries himself like a veteran. His leadership and makeup are off the charts. Unfortunately, his 2010 rookie campaign was simply too good to be true. Looking forward, Posey is a player who is more valuable to his MLB team than to his fantasy teams.
Expect a regression to the norm at the plate from Posey in his first full season at the Giants catcher. Even still, he should produce solid HR and RBI totals while hitting for an average that wont hurt your team. He’s the fifth catcher on our 2011 big board, No. 62 overall.
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Image courtesy of: Dave Nelson
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