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2012 projections review: catcher

Oct 24, 2012, 12:00 AM EDT

Joe Mauer AP

I’ll be doing some projection reviews over the next couple of weeks, starting with catcher here. Along with running down my preseason top 10 (for fantasy purposes) from each position, I’ll also present a few more that are of interest. Requests of players not listed can be made in the comments.

1. Carlos Santana – Indians
Projection: .273/.382/.485, 25 HR, 85 R, 90 RBI, 4 SB in 524 AB
2012 stats: .252/.365/.420, 18 HR, 72 R, 76 RBI, 3 SB in 507 AB

Turned in a vastly improved second half (.281/.389/.498, 13 HR, 46 RBI) after a bad start.

2. Buster Posey – Giants
Projection: .307/.385/.493, 19 HR, 67 R, 78 RBI, 2 SB in 475 AB
2012 stats: .336/.398/.549, 24 HR, 78 R, 103 RBI, 1 SB in 530 AB

The likely NL MVP. I thought my projection was bold, all things considered.

3. Matt Wieters – Orioles
Projection: .285/.358/.494, 25 HR, 72 R, 81 RBI, 0 SB in 502 AB
2012 stats: .249/.329/.435, 23 HR, 67 R, 83 RBI, 3 SB in 526 AB

I kept looking at his modest strikeout totals and thinking a higher average was on the way. Unfortunately, he fanned 28 more times his year than last.

4. Joe Mauer – Twins
Projection: .317/.406/.444, 9 HR, 81 R, 70 RBI, 1 SB in 480 AB
2012 stats: .319/.416/.446, 10 HR, 81 R, 85 RBI, 8 SB in 545 AB

5. Brian McCann – Braves
Projection: .267/.353/.465, 23 HR, 65 R, 80 RBI, 3 SB in 490 AB
2012 stats: .230/.300/.399, 20 HR, 44 R, 67 RBI, 3 SB in 439 AB

McCann may well have peaked young. Injuries have been a factor, but even before 2012’s big drop off, his OPS fell slightly three straight seasons.

6. Mike Napoli – Rangers
Projection: .267/.358/.509, 24 HR, 66 R, 70 RBI, 3 SB in 401 AB
2012 stats: .227/.343/.469, 24 HR, 53 R, 56 RBI, 1 SB in 352 AB

I should have stuck with my 2011 projection, which called for Napoli to hit .251/.338/.475 with 20 homers and 57 RBI in 362 at-bats. Of course, he was a whole lot better that season.

7. Alex Avila – Tigers
Projection: .276/.358/.449, 16 HR, 63 R, 75 RBI, 2 SB in 468 AB
2012 stats: .243/.352/.384, 9 HR, 42 R, 48 RBI, 2 SB in 367 AB

8. Miguel Montero – Diamondbacks
Projection: .268/.339/.450, 18 HR, 61 R, 70 RBI, 1 SB in 473 AB
2012 stats: .286/.391/.438, 15 HR, 65 R, 88 RBI, 0 SB in 486 AB

Among the things I didn’t see coming this year: Montero finishing third (or fourth, if you want to slot in Joey Votto) in the National League in on-base percentage.

9. Yadier Molina – Cardinals
Projection: .286/.347/.402, 10 HR, 49 R, 60 RBI, 5 SB in 458 AB
2012 stats: .315/.373/.501, 22 HR, 65 R, 76 RBI, 12 SB in 505 AB

Molina added 60 points of OPS to a 2011 total that appeared to be the product of a career year. Unfortunately, the increased power was nowhere to be found in the postseason.

10. Geovany Soto – Cubs/Rangers
Projection: .263/.351/.448, 18 HR, 53 R, 65 RBI, 0 SB in 422 AB
2012 stats: .198/.270/.343, 11 HR, 45 R, 39 RBI, 1 SB in 324 AB

12. Russell Martin – Yankees
Projection: .258/.348/.383, 11 HR, 53 R, 50 RBI, 9 SB in 400 AB
2012 stats: .211/.311/.403, 21 HR, 50 R, 53 RBI, 6 SB in 422 AB

Martin’s isolated slugging percentages by year: .154, .176, .116, .079, .084, .171 and now .192. However, even with the career high in homers, he had just about his worst season for runs and RBI.

18. A.J. Pierzynski – White Sox
Projection: .277/.310/.387, 8 HR, 46 R, 47 RBI, 1 SB in 419 AB
2012 stats: .278/.326/.501, 27 HR, 68 R, 77 RBI, 0 SB in 479 AB

Pierzynski busting out with a 27-homer season at age 35 qualifies as one of the biggest stunners of the year. If it had happened five years ago, people would be crying steroids. His previous career high was 18 homers. He had nine homers in 2010 and eight in 2011.

24. Jonathan Lucroy – Brewers
Projection: .251/.324/.372, 9 HR, 44 R, 46 RBI, 3 SB in 403 AB
2012 stats: .320/.368/.513, 12 HR, 46 R, 58 RBI, 4 SB in 316 AB

With all of the surprising catcher seasons around, I wonder if anyone even noticed Lucroy’s .881 OPS. He struck out 99 times in 430 at-bats in 2011 and 44 times in 316 at-bats this year.

26. Carlos Ruiz – Phillies
Projection: .266/.363/.386, 7 HR, 43 R, 42 RBI, 1 SB in 376 AB
2012 stats: .325/.394/.540, 16 HR, 56 R, 68 RBI, 4 SB in 372 AB

33. Kelly Shoppach – Red Sox/Mets
Projection: .233/.327/.430, 8 HR, 24 R, 26 RBI, 0 SB in 172 AB
2012 stats: .233/.309/.425, 8 HR, 23 R, 27 RBI, 1 SB in 219 AB

Sorry, had to toot my own horn the once before finishing with a couple of ugly ones.

34. A.J. Ellis – Dodgers
Projection: .257/.361/.317, 2 HR, 30 R, 25 RBI, 1 SB in 265 AB
2012 stats: .270/.373/.414, 13 HR, 44 R, 52 RBI, 0 SB in 423 AB

35. Wilin Rosario – Rockies
Projection: .226/.259/.400, 7 HR, 22 R, 24 RBI, 1 SB in 190 AB
2012 stats: .270/.312/.530, 28 HR, 67 R, 71 RBI, 4 SB in 396 AB

Not that Rosario’s power was in doubt, but the .270 average was really encouraging. Also, his 25 walks were more than he had Double-A last year (19 in 405 AB).

  1. brewcrewfan54 - Oct 24, 2012 at 12:24 AM

    I would like to know how the projections are calculated, generally speaking. And I don’t mean that in an ass hole type of way for a change at this time of night.

    • Matthew Pouliot - Oct 24, 2012 at 12:47 AM

      They’re all done by hand, subject entirely to my whims. Typically the best projection systems in any given year will beat me on OPS for hitters, but I do better than them at projecting playing time, runs and RBI.

      • proudlycanadian - Oct 24, 2012 at 7:03 AM

        By whim or intuition! Thanks for letting us into your secret. From now on I will take your projections seriously.

  2. maccm8 - Oct 24, 2012 at 1:27 AM

    How about Salvador Perez?

    • Matthew Pouliot - Oct 24, 2012 at 2:19 AM

      The lefty killer.

      Projection: .271/.306/.389, 5 HR, 28 R, 30 RBI, 0 SB in 247 AB
      2012 stats: .301/.328/.471, 11 HR, 38 R, 39 RBI, 0 SB in 289 AB

  3. xjokerz - Oct 24, 2012 at 5:36 AM

    How about Yasmani Grandal?… i know its the padres but still….

    • icanspeel - Oct 24, 2012 at 9:21 AM

      Grandal got off to a good start while calling Petco his home. .863 OPS in 60 games is pretty good production from a catcher.

    • Matthew Pouliot - Oct 24, 2012 at 11:50 AM

      Wasn’t expecting anything from him this year.

      Projection: .229/.289/.329, 1 HR, 7 R, 5 RBI, 0 SB in 70 AB
      2012 stats: .297/.394/.469, 8 HR, 28 R, 36 RBI, 0 SB in 192 AB

  4. sisqsage - Oct 24, 2012 at 7:08 AM

    Rosario is a great offensive talent for the ROX and should only get better with age. But they should seriously consider moving him to another position. He had to come close to breaking a record for passed balls. He is a big defensive liability at this point at catcher.

  5. illogic87 - Oct 24, 2012 at 7:11 AM

    I’m very impressed with your Joe Mauer projections!

    • dwrek5 - Oct 24, 2012 at 8:39 AM

      Did Mauer have the best season that no one noticed? Thats a heck of a slash line.

      • mntreehugger - Oct 24, 2012 at 11:13 AM

        “We” were too busy pissing and moaning about his contract and his inability to hit 40 homers to notice. And by “we” i mean local media and casual fans.

      • Kleinz 57 - Oct 24, 2012 at 11:14 AM

        It is.

        The worst part is that Mauer still gets plenty of Target Field boos and radio flack for ‘underperforming.’ Absurd.

      • ezthinking - Oct 24, 2012 at 11:25 AM

        No, he’s a 6’4″ wuss. And it’s not Target Field, he just swings with weak wrists.

  6. stex52 - Oct 24, 2012 at 8:39 AM

    What’s your take on Jason Castro for the future?

    • Matthew Pouliot - Oct 24, 2012 at 11:54 AM

      Projection: .246/.328/.356, 7 HR, 40 R, 35 RBI, 1 SB in 362 AB
      2012 stats: .257/.334/.401, 6 HR, 29 R, 29 RBI, 0 SB in 257 AB

      I was surprised by just how well he hit righties this year. It didn’t make for a great line, since he was injured and he was brutal against lefties. Still, the Astros should be feeling better about him as a starter going forward.

  7. greymares - Oct 24, 2012 at 8:56 AM

    maybe because i see him play everyday but your projections on Carlos Ruiz baffle me.

    • pdowdy83 - Oct 24, 2012 at 9:32 AM

      No offense to Ruiz but I’m not sure that anyone, even people that see him play everyday would have projected his batting average, homerun total and slugging to be that high. His previous career high was 9 homers. Before this year 2010 was the only season he eclipsed .300 and he never slugged above .447 before this year. I would say his projection was pretty solid at the time it was made.

  8. stlouis1baseball - Oct 24, 2012 at 9:23 AM

    M.P.: How about Ryan Hannigan?

    • Matthew Pouliot - Oct 24, 2012 at 11:56 AM

      Projection: .273/.359/.367, 5 HR, 32 R, 32 RBI, 0 SB in 275 AB
      2012 stats: .274/.365/.338, 2 HR, 25 R, 24 RBI, 0 SB in 317 AB

      The stats have never really done Hanigan justice.

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 24, 2012 at 1:56 PM

        “The stats have never really done Hanigan justice.”
        Yeah really. The guy is a fine MLB Catcher. Thanks for the work.

  9. crali - Oct 24, 2012 at 11:47 AM

    How did Kurt Suzuki do after the trade to the Nats? He’s so good behind the plate but it seemed like the A’s wore him down year after year until he his offensive production was severely diminished.

    • Matthew Pouliot - Oct 24, 2012 at 12:01 PM

      Projection: .258/.322/.388, 13 HR, 60 R, 66 RBI, 2 SB in 484 AB
      2012 stats: .235/.276/.328, 6 HR, 36 R, 43 RBI, 2 SB in 408 AB
      With Oak: .218/.250/.286, 1 HR, 19 R, 18 RBI, 1 SB in 262 AB
      With Was: .267/.321/.404, 5 HR, 17 R, 25 RBI, 1 SB in 146 AB

      It likely did help Suzuki in Washington that this is the one year the A’s didn’t run him into the ground. In retrospect, I shouldn’t have projected him to beat his 2010 and ’11 OPSs. Still, once he got to Washington, he was the Suzuki of old.

      • Jeremy T - Oct 25, 2012 at 3:11 PM

        It was a good year for players named Suzuki who switched from the west coast to the east. What was your Ichiro projection?

      • Jeremy T - Oct 25, 2012 at 3:11 PM

        Oh wait… I guess that will come when you get to outfielders… My bad :)

  10. deaninajijic - Oct 24, 2012 at 5:12 PM

    How about the Angels and Ianetta

    • Matthew Pouliot - Oct 24, 2012 at 5:17 PM

      Was looking really good if not for the break.

      Projection: .231/.337/.415, 16 HR, 50 R, 47 RBI, 5 SB in 381 AB
      2012 stats: .240/.332/.398, 9 HR, 27 R, 26 RBI, 1 SB in 221 AB

      Prorating his stats to 381 AB gives him 16 HR, 47 R and 45 RBI.

  11. delchef9 - Oct 25, 2012 at 2:51 AM

    Great job Matt…. I even like when someone asks how someone not on you list did, your “oh him…right here…oh them gotit….blah blah… difin. cool…MATTY!!!!! You need a good job nickname…..MATTY the STATTY…

  12. mspauto - Oct 25, 2012 at 10:20 AM

    Who’s it gonna be for the Nats – Suzuki or Ramos?

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