The period of the offseason immediately following the postseason is the loneliest of all for the avid baseball fan. There are generally few trades and players aren’t eligible for free agency yet. So, it is high time to start the process of rating the players. Obviously, some will depend on where certain guys wind up, but we can always look at what players did in the past and project some for the future. We will look at total points, five, and six category formats. We will start with total points

The idea behind total points is to encompass more of what a player contributes offensively. It includes all extra base hits and penalizes for negative events. Each platform uses its own formula, so we will use ours. Obviously, you will need to adjust as your personal needs allow. Our formula is listed below.

Total Bases + Runs + RBI + BB + SB + HBP – SO – CS – GIDP = Total Points.

Buster Posey—San Francisco Giants

G TP Rank TP/G Rank
2017 140 348 2.49
2016 146 382 2.62
2015 150 423 2.82
2014 147 403 2.74
2013 148 351 2.37
AVG 146 381 1 2.61 2

DRS: +2

Contract Status: Signed Through 2021

Buster Posey is the king. Long live the king. He is obviously in a different category not only because of his talent, but because the Giants utilize him a lot at first base. So, he plays 20 to 30 more games than most other catchers. That obviously has a huge impact on his season long numbers that gives him a sizeable lead in total points. However, we saw that he was eclipsed in total points per game. It might be the first chink in the armor for a player that has been the best in baseball for half a decade.

Wilson Ramos—Tampa Bay Rays

G TP Rank TP/G Rank
2017 64 110 1.72
2016 131 318 2.43
2015 128 183 1.43
2014 88 158 1.80
2013 78 183 2.35
AVG 98 190 12 1.94 9

DRS: -5

Contract Status: Signed through 2018

The Rays wisely signed Ramos to a two-year deal at a discount because he was recovering from an ACL tear. It is the kind of measured risk a team with a low budget payroll has to make. He rewarded them by playing fairly close to career norms in the second half once he returned. This year he should be in line to produce somewhere between 2015 and 2016 numbers. If he splits the difference he, the Rays, and fantasy owners will likely be happy.

J.T. Realmuto—Miami Marlins

G TP Rank TP/G Rank
2017 141 304 2.16
2016 137 255 1.86
2015 126 219 1.74
AVG 135 259 6 1.92 11

DRS: -5

Contract Status: Arbitration

Back in the good old days, teams built champions with players like Realmuto. He has gotten better in each of his three seasons and that’s the model most teams want. He might plateau or he might take another step. Either way, he has transformed himself into a top ten catcher. He’s even improved some with the glove. Like Posey, he has also played the occasional first base. Therefore, the aggregate you see above is probably on the pessimistic end of the spectrum.

Cameron Rupp—Philadelphia Phillies

G TP Rank TP/G Rank
2017 88 109 1.24
2016 105 169 1.61
2015 81 100 1.23
AVG 91 126 26 1.38 24

DRS: -10

Contract Status: Arbitration

Rupp is the kind of guy losing teams throw out there when they have no one else to use. He was good enough to hold down the fort until something better came along. Something better has come along in the form of Jorge Alfaro. Still, Rupp should be a good guy to keep around to catch 40 or 50 games. That shouldn’t find its way onto anyone’s fantasy roster, but it is enough for Rupp to get a paycheck.

Gary Sanchez—New York Yankees

G TP Rank TP/G Rank
2017 122 341 2.80
2016 53 173 3.26
AVG 88 257 7 2.92 1

DRS: +1

Contract Status: Pre-Arbitration

The playoffs have a way of exposing a player one way or the other. Sanchez came up a little small defensively in the ALCS. That might affect him in the future when it comes to how much he actually gets to catch. They may DH him on some occasions to get him into the lineup. He finished the regular season on a hot streak offensively, so hopefully that will continue.

Kevan Smith—Chicago White Sox 

G TP Rank TP/G Rank
2017 87 117 1.34
AVG 87 117 27 1.34 26

DRS: -6

Contract Status: Pre-Arbitration

Maybe it was coming out the other end of a multi-year rebuilding phase in Houston, but I enjoy watching rebuilding phases from afar. Yes, individual games get ugly, but it is fun watching which players make it and which ones don’t. The Sox have two catchers in Smith and Omar Narvaez that could make it. Of course, neither of them could make it. Smith hit for a very healthy average, but did little else last season. He will need to develop some power or patience (or both) to make it long-term.

Kurt Suzuki—Atlanta Braves 

G TP Rank TP/G Rank
2017 81 222 2.74
2016 106 188 1.77
2015 131 185 1.41
2014 131 258 1.97
2013 94 143 1.52
AVG 109 199 10 1.83 12

DRS: +4

Contract Status: Signed Through 2018

On the statistical/fantasy level we know Suzuki can’t sustain what he did last season. Furthermore, the average is thrown off by the one season of outrageous production. On a human level, you root for a guy that has spent an entire career in relative obscurity. He’s been solid defensively for years, but he has always been a mediocre catcher overall. At least he had one season of glory before he hangs them up.

Stephen Vogt—Milwaukee Brewers 

G TP Rank TP/G Rank
2017 99 145 1.46
2016 137 259 1.89
2015 136 276 2.03
2014 84 154 1.83
2013 47 66 1.40
AVG 101 180 13 1.78 13

DRS: -6

Contract Status: Arbitration

What the numbers above don’t show is that Vogt had pretty much became himself once he went to Milwaukee. That’s the good news. The bad news is that while his struggles in Oakland were overblown, he has been slipping since he became an everyday catcher in 2015. He is probably not a regular fantasy catcher, but he’s close. He’s certainly a good second catcher option in any fantasy format.

Matt Wieters—Washington Nationals/Free Agent 

G TP Rank TP/G Rank
2017 123 172 1.40
2016 124 230 1.85
2015 75 108 1.44
2014 26 68 2.62
2013 148 290 1.96
AVG 99 174 16 1.76 14

DRS: -3

Contract Status: Player Option

Bless his heart, Scott Boras tried to claim his client was in such demand because of his work with pitchers. If only there were statistics that chronicled such a thing. GMs weren’t buying it last offseason as he was the last guy to sign at the position. If Wieters were smart he would opt back in and get paid another ten million dollars. He probably wouldn’t get that on the open market, but Boras is more than welcome to try.

Mike Zunino—Seattle Mariners 

G TP Rank TP/G Rank
2017 124 193 1.56
2016 55 86 1.56
2015 112 48 0.43
2014 131 149 1.14
2013 52 59 1.13
AVG 95 107 29 1.13 29

DRS: +4

Contract Status: Arbitration

Conventional wisdom says that Zunino discovered something late in 2016 that has transformed him as a player. Sure, he is still very flawed, but he contributes enough power to warrant a spot. In this case, the aggregate doesn’t really apply. It is certainly possible that he could turn back into a pumpkin, but given the minimal investment it would take to get him, the risk is not that great.

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