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Fantasy Fix: Catching Hell

Catcher is often one of the shallowest fantasy baseball positions. This year, it's not only shallow, but completely vexing. The only player you could call a sure thing, Victor Martinez, is out for the year. One of the best young catchers, Buster Posey, is coming back from a terrible injury and no one knows what to expect. Joe Mauer has fallen out of favor. Alex Avila is - who is he again?

My top 10 catchers:

Carlos Santana, CLE: Not so confident in this ranking, given his .239 average last year. Betting that 27 HRs, 79 RBIs, 84 runs, 5 SBs was just the beginning for a player with huge potential.

Mike Napoli, TEX: Break-out year from the big man: .320 average, 30 HRs in just 113 games in 2011. Average could dip, but could he hit 40 HRs if he plays another 25-30 games?

Brian McCann, ATL: The most consistent fantasy contributor at this position. I wouldn't blame you for ranking him first, but his power is a notch below Santana and Napoli.

Matt Wieters, BAL: Seemed to find his power swing last season, and his numbers and consistency are close to McCann's.

Alex Avila, DET: Surprised last season, so some want to call him a one-year wonder, but a near .300 was second at the position and he'll hit some near Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder.

Miguel Montero, ARI: 18 HRs, 36 doubles and 86 RBIs last season. He could easily be third on this list, and he's playing for a new contract.

Buster Posey, SF: Tough call. He had been on a hitting tear when he got hurt last year and has all the tools, but you have to wonder if he'll try to do too much in his comeback bid.

Joe Mauer, MIN: Supposedly healthy, he is a comeback of the year candidate to many. I don't doubt his hitting chops, but his MVP-year power seems like a distant dream, doesn't it?

J.P. Arencibia, TOR: Great power, horrendous average. If he has figured out how to miss less often, watch out.

Russell Martin, NYY: A little bit of speed and re-discovered power sweetens his sinking average. Could play above this spot with Jorge Posada and Jesus Montero out of his way.

Just missed: Yadier Molina, STL; Geovany Soto, CUBS; Wilson Ramos, WAS.

Expert Wire
* ESPN's catcher rankings look a little different than mine. They'll take Napoli's power over Santana's promise.

* Bleacher Report isn't so sure about Yoenis Cespedes.

* Yahoo! High Fives lists one CUB and one WHITE SOX outfielder among its top five late-round lottery picks. Guess who. Hint: The CUB will spend more time at first base.

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Dan O'Shea welcomes your comments!

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