Over the next few weeks I will be ranking each position of the NL East teams (C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, LF, CF, RF, Bench, SP, and RP). First on the docket are the men who don the tools of ignorance, catchers.
1. Atlanta Braves
Brian McCann (26)
.269/.828, 63 R, 25 2B, 21 HR, 77 RBI, 4.7 WAR. 5 straight All-Star selections, won Silver Slugger 4 out of last 5 seasons, and throws runners out at a 24% clip.
2. Philadelphia Phillies
Carlos Ruiz (32)
.302/.847, 43 R, 28 2B, 8 HR, 53 RBI, 4.4 WAR. Handles the pitching staff with authority and confidence; 29% caught stealing in 2010. Chooch has been an integral part of the Phillies success over the past few years.
3. Florida Marlins/John Buck (30)
.281/.802, 53 R, 25 2B, 20 HR, 66 RBI, 3 WAR (with Toronto). Is below average defensively, but has enough pop in his bat to warrant playing time. Caught 28% of base thieves last year.
4. New York Mets/Josh Thole (24)
.277/.723, 1.4 WAR in 202 at bats. Makes good contact, but has very little power. Surprised many by gunning down 44% of would be base burglars (compared to 18% in Triple-A). Will likely split time with Ronny Paulino.
5. Washington Nationals/Ivan Rodriguez (39)
.266/.640, 32 R, 18 2B, 4 HR, 49 RBI, 1 WAR. Is on a quest for 3000 hits (183 shy of goal), but bat has gone cold and weak past few seasons. Remains a quality defender behind the dish, nabbing 34% of stolen base attempts. Expect Pudge to play less in lieu of prospect Wilson Ramos.