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Congratulations to the Kansas City Royals on winning the 2015 World Series! The long grind of the baseball season is over and I’m happy about it.

Sacrilege you say? Hear me out. I’m happy the current season is over, because that means my favorite part of every baseball season is on its way. I love watching baseball and enjoy in-season Fantasy Baseball action, but for me the most fun comes before the players even head to Spring Training.

Winning your leagues is great. There’s nothing like the feeling when seven months of work ends up in a league championship. I’m convinced though, that the very best Fantasy Baseball players love the preparation stages just as much as the actual season. You wouldn’t think much could change from one season to the next. Most Fantasy relevant players had 600 or more plate appearances which is a pretty nice chunk of data. Yet, there is no question that every baseball season is an entirely separate beast, and taming that beast is where Fantasy Baseball legends are made… Ok, I just went all Sandlot on you, but that’s how I feel about getting ready for the coming season. It’s time to go pickle the beast!

The first step in my offseason process is to get a handle on the player pool for the coming season. Even for the best of us, a lot of stuff that happened in the last few months of the season slipped right past us. Starting my projections requires me obviously to look forward, but it’s also a chance to look back and catch up on anything I missed. While I’m projecting individual players, I also want to start sizing up each position as a unit. There’s no better way to do that than laying out some early Fantasy Baseball Rankings. Yeah it’s early and there will be plenty of changes, but the player pool is ever-changing and it’s never too early to start sizing it up.

With that in mind, we here at So-Called Fantasy Experts have recruited some of the finest minds in Fantasy Baseball to share their early rankings with us. Along with the rankings each member of our panel will be asked to name early sleepers and busts for each position. We’re going to do a position a week, starting things out behind the plate and heading around the diamond. We  should be finishing up with relievers right around the new year.

Early 2016 Fantasy Baseball Rankings – Catchers

Our cast of experts for the week:

Ray Guilfoyle – Ray is the managing editor at Fake Teams, covering fantasy baseball, football, basketball, hockey and even some English Premier League soccer.

Jake Ciely – Jake Ciely, also known as the All-In Kid, is a Senior Writer at RotoExperts, who treats life like poker, and has an extreme hatred of two-catcher leagues.

Jim Finch – Jim is one of the main men over at Fantasy Assembly. It’s from him that I blatantly stole the idea of doing rankings with an associated podcast from. They were selfish at Fantasy Assembly and kept their rankings in house. We’ll forgive Jim since he’s sharing with us now. He’s on probation though.

David Kerr – David ran FantasySquads.com and contributes advice and player notes at Fantasy Alarm.

Fabian Taylor – Fabian is one of our own. His work for So-Called Fantasy Experts has been extraordinary. He’s one of the top new baseball writers in the industry and you’ll be hearing a lot more from him. Check out all his work at SCFE.

Joel Henard – Joel joined the SCFE team just recently and the podcasts we’ll do around these rankings will be the real kick-off of our relationship. He’s the voice behind The Fantasy Insiders and we’re looking forward to the skills he brings to the mic. On a side note of weirdness, Joel and I recently found out that we were born in the same hospital. He’s a few years younger than me so the separation at birth rumors hold no water.

And now onto the show… or rankings. We’ll do the corresponding podcast Monday night and discuss some of the player we didn’t seem to agree on. I’ve already got a bone to pick with Mr. Finch and his No. 10 ranking of Kyle Schwarber. Schwarber is like the illegitimate offspring of Johnny Bench and Mike Piazza. No one doubts the Schwarber!

Player
Guilfoyle
Ciely
Finch
Kerr
Taylor
Henard
Anderson
Consensus
Buster Posey
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
Brian McCann
2
3
5
2
2
4
3
2
Kyle Schwarber
3
2
10
4
3
2
2
3
Travis d’Arnaud
5
4
3
3
5
3
5
4
Jonathan Lucroy
6
5
2
5
4
5
4
5
Salvador Perez
8
7
4
8
7
7
6
6
Russell Martin
7
6
8
7
6
6
8
7
Stephen Vogt
10
9
9
11
8
8
7
8
Yasmani Grandal
9
11
16
9
10
16
13
9
Devin Mesoraco
4
20
6
6
13
NR
11
10
Derek Norris
13
10
13
14
9
13
20
11
Yan Gomes
12
14
7
10
17
20
14
12
Blake Swihart
14
8
15
12
15
14
18
13
Wilson Ramos
15
13
14
18
11
15
12
14
Welington Castillo
16
16
20
15
19
12
10
15
Matt Wieters
11
15
12
19
14
NR
15
16
Nick Hundley
19
17
NR
17
12
17
9
17
J.T. Realmuto
NR
12
11
NR
16
10
16
18
Francisco Cervelli
20
18
17
13
18
9
NR
19
Yadier Molina
18
NR
19
16
NR
11
17
20
Miguel Montero
17
19
NR
20
20
18
19
21
Caleb Joseph
NR
NR
18
NR
NR
NR
NR
22
James McCann
NR
NR
NR
NR
NR
19
NR
23

 

So where’d we go wrong? Are we drinking the Fantasy kool-aid on Schwarber? Will Jonathan Lucroy and Yan Gomes bounce back? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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