Earlier today, Jeff Sullivan re-introduced this year’s positional power rankings. Hopefully, you are familiar with our methods for producing these rankings, but if not, a brief reminder: all 30 teams are ranked based on projected WAR from our depth chart projections. With those in place, our writers endeavor to provide additional commentary, some of it useful and some less so. We begin this year’s rankings with catchers.
The catcher rankings start, as they tend to do, with Buster Posey and the Giants. After a gap, the rankings cover the next 28 teams on a slow steady decline, and then there’s the Phillies. While Gary Sanchez and Willson Contreras represent a youthful contingent, the top of the list is still dominated by veterans, with Posey, Jonathan Lucroy, Brian McCann, Salvador Perez, Yadier Molina, and Russell Martin all placing their teams in the top 10. The last-place Phillies could make a big move up this list if former prospect Jorge Alfaro can take a leap forward.
One aspect of these rankings somewhat unique to the catching position is the gap between the quantified and the less quantifiable. The power rankings seen here don’t take into account framing, which can make a big difference in a player’s value. Calling a game and interacting with pitchers is nearly impossible to put into a run value of any sort. That can make ranking catchers more subjective than other positions where value is more easily captured. Where possible, these aspects are mentioned in the rankings. Let’s begin with a face that should be very familiar.
Craig Edwards can be found on twitter @craigjedwards.