Originally posted on Razzball  |  Last updated 10/8/12

It feels like yesterday the baseball regular season started.  You wrote “I heart baseball” in permanent marker on your arm, then you met a girl who wrote “I heart guys who heart baseball” on her arm, then, during sex in September, you screamed out “I love you, Chris Davis!” and now you don’t have baseball or a girlfriend, unless your girlfriend was Bill James.  C’mon, calendar, make like a soldier and turn to March.  The only cure for the post-baseball season blues — recapping the preseason top twenty lists and being hand-fed Doritos.  First up, Cool Ranch and our preseason Top 20 Catchers for 2012.  It’s important to look back before we look ahead to 2013. To paraphrase the one and only B-Real, “How do you know where you’re at, if you don’t know where you’ve been? Understand where I’m coming from?”  It wouldn’t be fair for me to preseason rank the players, then rank them again in the postseason based on my opinion, so these postseason top 20 lists are ranked according to our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater.  It’s cold hard math, y’all!  Anyway, here’s the top 20 catchers for 2012 fantasy baseball and how they compared to where I originally ranked them:

1. Buster Posey – Weird year for catchers.  I really only left three catchers off from my top 20, if you count that I mentioned A.J. Pierzynski and Carlos Ruiz and said don’t draft them.  Also, one of those catchers (Rosario) got a sleeper post by our fantasy football writer, Sky, and I was more than open with you about grabbing him.  Only mentioning him just about every other day he played a home game.  The rest of the guys, whether they were ranked or not, you knew about.  It was a good year to be a veteran catcher.  As for Posey, in his short career, he’s proven that he’s absolutely F-I-N-E as long as he stays healthy, this year he did it.  May your Pablos stay fat and may your Poseys stay healthy.  Amen.  Preseason Rank #5, 2012 Projections:  65/20/75/.300, Final Numbers:  78/24/103/.336/1

2. Yadier Molina – About a week ago, Rudy was looking through my preseason rankings.  This was the first time I think he looked through my rankings.  He likes to look after the season to mock me.  So, naturally, he thought it was hilarious that I didn’t even rank Yadier.  I did; I just said don’t draft him.  You can say what you want, but he was a $1 flyer at the end of drafts, and, even if you took the $1 flyer, you weren’t excited about it back in March.  You had a counting stats guy.  Turned out you had an every-stat guy.  Insane year for Yadier.  Career highs in every single category at the age of 30.  This will be a recurring theme in our recap, this year catching was an older player’s game.  Maybe it was that catchers’ fantasy offseason camp hosted by Carlton Fisk.  Maybe all catchers are really cougars.  I know the opposite is true.  Hey now!  Preseason Rank #19, 2012 Projections:  45/9/50/.280/5, Final Numbers:  65/22/76/.315/12

3. Joe Mauer – Wanna hear a stat that doesn’t seem right?  This year was Mauer’s third year hitting double digit homers and his first since 2009 when he hit 28.  Think it’s fair to say 28 homers was taking Mauer’s ceiling, knocking a hole through it, standing on your tippy-toes on the roof, reaching up and there were the 28 homers.  Preseason Rank #7, 2012 Projections:  80/10/85/.310/3, Final Numbers:  81/10/85/.319/8

4. A.J. Pierzynski – 35 years old is the new 27 for catchers.  ”Hey, Mesoraco, come back to me when you’ve got 1200 games under your belt and you can’t crotch down because there’s no cartilage in your knees.”   Maybe this whole year for catchers was perpetuated by Hollywood to generate buzz for Bull Durham II:  Shooting the Bull.  Crash and Nuke are player/co-managers standing around talking about how Susan Sarandon went commando-cougar and is dating a rookie 57 years her junior.  Will be interesting to see if Tim Robbins signs on or if it’s too close to home.  Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers:  68/27/77/.278

5. Wilin Rosario - As previously mentioned aforementionedly, Wilin is the only young rookie to really make an impression this year.  Hey, maybe he can hook up with Sarandon.  I’m gonna be all about Wilin next year.  To get it started, I’ve already told you how I’m gonna be all about him and then pointed out how I already mentioned it and now I’ve painted myself into a corner with this sentence where I can just keep mentioning how I mentioned my Wilin love or just stop abruptly.  Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers:  67/28/71/.271/4

6. Matt Wieters - Since I put very little weight on average (because of how fickle it is), Wieters will probably be ranked around 3rd again next year.  Once again, he had a solid season and my favorite part of it is he raised his walk rate.  He’s a fraction of a breakout away from a 30 homer, .280 season.  Also, we’re deep enough into catchers to point out the obvious… There’s no 100 runs or 30 HRs catchers, and only one with 100 RBIs.  If you don’t punt, you’re a fool.  Preseason Rank #3, 2012 Projections:  80/24/85/.280, Final Numbers:  67/23/83/.249/3

7. Miguel Montero – His final stats are pretty close to where I had him in the preseason, but he ended up ranking a bit higher.  Know why?  Hint:  Offense is down once again.  Actually, that’s not a hint.  That’s the whole shebang….Shebang!  Shebang!  Preseason Rank #8, 2012 Projections:  60/17/75/.270, Final Numbers:  65/15/88/.286

8. Carlos Ruiz – In the preseason rankings, I said I’m not going to rank Ruiz, but he’d be ranked #21.  Then I belched.  Sorry, I should’ve laid off the Welch’s and should have known he’d get new career highs across the board and have an insane BABIP at the age of 33.  Riiiiiiight.  Extra I’s aren’t because my keyboard got stuck.  I’m trying to keep these recaps focused on what just happened rather than looking forward, but someone’s going to get burned on Ruiz next year.  Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers: 56/16/68/.325/4

9. Carlos Santana - Supernatural is officially all over the map for what he’s going to give you year-to-year.  In 2011, his HR/FB% went up and his average went down.  His HR/FB% wasn’t obscene in 2011, but this year it went down and his average went up to respectable levels.  Maybe he’s the Prince Fielder of catchers, and next year he’ll hit 25+ homers again.  The positive takeaways are he lowered his K-rate and upped his line drive rate.  Some would say as long as he stays away from duets with Rob Thomas, it’s all positive.  Preseason Rank #1, 2012 Projections:  80/25/90/.260/5, Final Numbers:  72/18/76/.252/3

10. Ryan Doumit – I know you stayed up night wondering what Doumit would give you if he ever got a full season of at-bats.  You can sleep easy now; he’s barely a top ten catcher.  Preseason Rank #16, 2012 Projections:  45/14/55/.260, Final Numbers:  56/18/75/.275

11. Jonathan Lucroy - Actually, had a decent year if you consider he played in only like 95 games.  Actually II, This Is Actually The Sequel:  He didn’t have a great year, but hit one team (Cubs) insanely well, and that’s all you need to get in the top 11 for catchers.  Preseason Rank #18, 2012 Projections:  50/13/60/.260/3, Final Numbers: 46/12/58/.320/4

12. Mike Napoli - In the preseason, I dropped a Mike Napoli overrated post on you and told everyone to stay away unless you played in a league where you got extra points if the player’s mom had a nip slip.  Nip Slip leagues aside, prescient isn’t just a word you need a dictionary to define.  Also, to give you an idea of how weak catchers were/are/always will be, Napoli was ranked 15th a week ago.  You hit a few homers over the last week and you can jump a Mordecai Brown handful of catchers.  Preseason Rank #4, 2012 Projections:  60/25/70/.250/3, Final Numbers:  53/24/56/.227/1

13. Jarrod Saltalamacchia – Saltymochachino was one of the bright spots for the Red Sox this year, which is to say there were no bright spots when a catcher hitting in the .220′s is your bright spot.  He finally made good on his power over a full season and also clearly illustrated what a 30%+ K-rate will do to your batting average.  Preseason Rank #15, 2012 Projections:  45/15/60/.220, Final Numbers:  55/25/59/.222

14. Brian McCann – This year was the nail in the coffin for my McCann love.  He can take his stupid contact lens/getting Lasik surgery twice a year/”I’m gonna wear goggles now” issues that seem to plague him every year and go find a fantasy baseball ‘pert that cares.  Preseason Rank #2, 2012 Projections:  70/25/85/.275/3, Final Numbers:  44/20/67/.230/3

15. Jesus Montero – According to our Player Rater, he was valued at $11 in the preseason and he ended up giving you a negative two dollars’ worth of value.  That means he was better off dead.  Now give me two dollars!  The scary thing is he wasn’t really that far off from the stats I thought he’d have.  Yeah, catchers are an exciting position to recap.  Preseason Rank #9, 2012 Projections:  55/17/70/.285, Final Numbers:  46/15/62/.260

16. Russell Martin – I don’t care about Russell Martin, you don’t care about Russell Martin, Alyssa Milano barely cares about Russell Martin, so I’ll keep this short… Scott Proctor thought he was abused by Joe Torre?  Maybe 145 games at catcher wasn’t the best idea.  Martin is about the oldest looking 29 year old I’ve ever seen.  Aside from The Situation.  Preseason Rank #17, 2012 Projections:  50/10/60/.240/9, Final Numbers:  50/21/53/.211/6

17. J.P. Arencibia – Almost exactly the same catcher he was in 2011 only this past year he battled injuries.  But since his name stands for Just Punt, let’s look at what I got in a 12 team mixed league for catcher after punting.  Usually, I advise you Ron Popeil your catcher slot to “Set It and Forget It” and not change your catcher.  But this year I drafted Geovany Soto, and as this list shows, I couldn’t hold onto him.  So I had Arencibia, Yasmani and Soto, losing all three of them to injuries, until I was able to Ron Popeil Pierzynski.  Yes, catchers are so weak that the number four catcher in all of baseball was on waivers as late as July.  61/20/52/.227 in 440 ABs is what I pieced together with all my catchers.  I also bring this up now because I basically Frankenstein’d my way to Arencibia’s stats.  So, do you Set It and Forget It or do you struggle to piece together the 17th best catcher in a 12 team, one catcher league?  Preseason Rank #12, 2012 Projections:  50/21/70/.235, Final Numbers:  45/18/56/.233/1

18. A.J. Ellis – Besides it being a good year to be old and have a career year, it was an excellent year to have initials as your first name.  Too bad J.D. Salinger died, and couldn’t ever get in front of a breaking ball in the dirt.  Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers:  44/13/52/.270

19. John Jaso – John Jason Jingleheimer Schmidt wasn’t your catcher and he wasn’t my catcher too.  Whenever we go out, the people always shout, on waivers there goes John Jaso Jingleheimer Schmidt!  Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers:  41/10/50/.276/5

20. Salvador Perez – For accuracy sake, I told everyone to not draft him when it was announced he would miss three months with an injury, but he was originally ranked 14th overall.  For what it’s Wuertz, Perez had a perfectly respectable half a season.  Personally, literally, extra wordly, I’d want Perez more than some of the guys above in this list for when he was healthy.  Now “for when he was healthy” has to get back to modifying Tulowitzki.  Preseason Rank #14, 2012 Projections:  50/10/65/.280, Final Numbers:  38/11/39/.301

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