Just like years past, 2011 is loaded with All-Star first basemen to roster on your fantasy baseball team.
Last season, 15 different first basemen hit 25 home runs. That’s not including Justin Morneau, Kevin Youkilis or Kendrys Morales, whose seasons were cut short due to injury.
This year, 15 first basemen made my 2011 Big Board, including an astounding eight in the top 20. Bottom line: there’s plenty of pop at the position to go around...
This year, there are four catchers widely accepted as top-50 players: Joe Mauer (ADP 20.59), Brian McCann (29.93), Victor Martinez (29.95) and Buster Posey (45.46). Yet despite this general belief, it’s highly unlikely that any catcher will finish the season as a top-50 player.
Andy Behrens recently dug up some mind-boggling numbers that explain this theory. To paraphrase, only two catchers in the past decade (Javy Lopez in 2003, Joe Mauer in 2009) have finished inside the top-50 overall according to Baseball Monster rankings. In five seasons since 2001, one or zero backstops have finished in the top-100 overall.
So why do we continue to draft catchers so high?
Over the past few weeks, we’ve announced the top 70 players on our 2011 big board. Click on each player’s name for a more in-depth analysis, including 2011 projections!
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...
In 2010, Baseball America editors Jim Callis, Will Lingo and John Manuel had differing opinions on catching prospects Carlos Santana and Buster Posey. Santana ranked as high as No. 7 on Lingo’s top-50 prospect list, while Posey was listed as high as No. 8 by both Lingo and Callis. Either way, one thing was certain: both were perennial All-Stars in the making.
Fast-forward one year, and most everyone now agrees Buster Posey is the superior fantasy option. Posey’s current ADP on Mock Draft Central is 48, compared to Santana’s current draft position of 127. ESPN’s Matthew Berry has a similar opinion, ranking Posey No. 47 overall, Santana No. 129. Yahoo! composite rankings peg Posey at No. 39, while Santana checks in at N0. 70. You get the point.
I’m willing to go out on a limb, however, and say Santana will be the more valuable fantasy catcher; not only in 2011, but in the future as well. Here’s why...