Projections: Pitchers and Catchers
| By Lucas Ruprecht and Brian Mead|
It's not too early start thinking about 2007. For starters, PROTRADE has released its first edition of the most comprehensive, analytically sound projections for next season. Let's start with pitchers and catchers.
Starters and relievers. Two sides of the same coin.
While one pitcher from either group can put your fantasy team -- or PROTRADE Sports Stock Market portfolio -- in contention, there's simply no such thing as a 21st-century hurler who can cover all five fantasy categories with value to spare. In other words, the days of Mike Marshall are long behind us.
And so they exist together, despite having different roles with slightly different goals.
The names near the top of this list will surprise no one.
Johan Santana has been the best pitcher in the world since 2004, and our 2007 projection for him reflects that. There aren't many pitchers, let alone players, who show this type
of consistency, but Santana is one of them. As a result, the difference between him and the second-best
pitcher in the Majors is gargantuan. But will he stay healthy enough to earn the $260 we're projecting for him? It seems that only a bum elbow could keep him from doing it.
While the names at the top of the reliever rankings are just as predictable, it's interesting to consider how much things can change in a year's time. J.J. Putz? Takashi Saito? These hurlers have certainly earned their spots among the bigger names, but who could have predicted a year ago that they would be here? And does this say more about closers as a group or Putz and Saito as individuals? Research would suggest the former, so when it comes to investing in relievers, remember those two famous words: Buyer beware.
Long regarded as little more than dead weight on a fantasy roster, the catching position has seen a renaissance over the last 10 years, and the good times don't look they'll be stopping soon. With the likes of Joe Mauer, Victor Martinez, Brian McCann and an aging but productive Mike Piazza still filling out MLB rosters, the current crop of signal callers is productive as ever.
And even if you're unable to snag one of the three elites, there's potential value to be had in other places as well. Josh Bard, for instance, is coming off a career year in San Diego, hitting .338 with 28 extra-base hits in just 260 plate appearances. We currently have him ranked 20th at his position. Will he keep it up and obliterate that $80 projection? And what about Kenji Johjima of the Mariners? KJ hit .291 with 18 homers in his first exposure to American League competition. Will a greater familiarity with the league translate into increased production, making that $136 projection seem antiquated?
At this point, only time will tell.
| Catcher Projections (12/12/06) |
| Player || Team || AVG || HR || RBI || R || SB || EARN |
|Joe Mauer ||Twins ||.333 ||16.3 ||83.3 ||85.3 ||6.3 ||199.21 |
|Victor Martinez ||Indians ||.303 ||20.8 ||92.6 ||75 ||0 ||175.18 |
|Brian McCann ||Braves ||.315 ||22.7 ||85 ||63.5 ||3.4 ||172.90 |
|Mike Piazza ||Athletics ||.280 ||26.1 ||80.5 ||61.6 ||0 ||146.62 |
|Jorge Posada ||Yankees ||.265 ||26.6 ||86 ||67.3 ||0 ||146.43 |
|Ivan Rodriguez ||Tigers ||.297 ||11.8 ||72.1 ||67.1 ||5.7 ||143.65 |
|Russell Martin ||Dodgers ||.293 ||13 ||65.2 ||66.4 ||6.3 ||136.74 |
|Kenji Johjima ||Mariners ||.290 ||15.1 ||70.6 ||62.1 ||4.1 ||136.17 |
|Ramon Hernandez ||Orioles ||.266 ||19.5 ||77.6 ||65.4 ||1.7 ||130.45 |
|A.J. Pierzynski ||White Sox ||.291 ||13.2 ||68.5 ||60.4 ||0.7 ||125.71 |
|Jason Kendall ||Athletics ||.299 ||1.4 ||48.7 ||79.3 ||7.3 ||123.95 |
|Michael Barrett ||Cubs ||.283 ||15 ||65.9 ||62.4 ||0 ||121.25 |
|Paul Lo Duca ||Mets ||.304 ||7.8 ||55.2 ||59.2 ||2.6 ||119.36 |
|Jason Varitek ||Red Sox ||.266 ||15.6 ||70.4 ||60.6 ||3.2 ||118.87 |
|Mike Napoli ||Angels ||.237 ||22.1 ||62.4 ||61.9 ||2.4 ||112.28 |
|Miguel Olivo ||Marlins ||.245 ||17.2 ||59.1 ||54.9 ||3.6 ||97.63 |
|Johnny Estrada ||Brewers ||.290 ||10.2 ||59.5 ||39.9 ||0 ||95.32 |
|David Ross ||Reds ||.246 ||19.8 ||56.5 ||44.8 ||0 ||94.40 |
|Bengie Molina ||Blue Jays ||.272 ||11.3 ||57.3 ||45 ||0.9 ||90.63 |
|Josh Bard ||Padres ||.279 ||9 ||44 ||45.8 ||0 ||80.40 |
Lucas Ruprecht and Brian Mead are analysts with PROTRADE.com: the Sports Stock Market. For more analysis, weekly projections and a new spin on fantasy, visit PROTRADE. On PROTRADE.com, the Sports Stock Market, the Fantasy baseball season never ends. The 2007 crop of MLB players has now been released for traders to buy and sell. Join our 'Hot Stove Challenge.'Build the 2007 MLB portfolio that appreciates the most and win prizes and cash. It's free.