As pitcher and catchers get set to report, there aren't many battles among catchers to watch this spring for fantasy baseball. The Twins' Joe Mauer is still the top catcher despite a 19-homer decline. Target Field turned out to be unfavorable to hitters, but it's just one year of data.
Don't expect another power outburst from Mauer. The 28 home runs in 2009 can be attributed to a 20.4 percent home run/fly ball rate, while his career average is 10.6 percent. Mauer hits too many ground balls, but he gives you elite production in runs, RBIs, and average at the position even if he hits 10-15 homers.
Victor Martinez (Tigers), Brian McCann (Braves), and Buster Posey (Giants) should follow Mauer in drafts. Carlos Santana (Indians) suffered a knee injury in a collision at home plate to cut his rookie year short last season. He has excellent plate discipline and an .868 OPS in 150 at-bats. He has been cleared for all spring activities and is legit.
The move to Texas is excellent for Mike Napoli. There's still competition for at-bats, but he should get 500 playing catcher, first base, and designated hitter. Napoli received a career-high 453 at-bats last season and hit 26 home runs. He's hit at least 20 home runs in three consecutive seasons. While he batted .238 last season, he hit .273 in 2008 and .272 in 2009, and his batting average on balls in play (BABIP) was slightly below his career mark, so the average should be better.
Matt Wieters (Orioles) is a good post-hype sleeper. He made slight improvement last season and the power should surface more this season in an improved lineup. Injuries have slowed Geovany Soto (Cubs) the last two seasons, but he still has the ability to hit 20 home runs. Miguel Montero (Diamondbacks) is a nice value pick. He missed two months with a torn right meniscus. He has good power and could break out. Kurt Suzuki (Athletics) is a solid option because he gets a lot of at-bats which give him solid run and RBI numbers. He has played in at least 131 games in three consecutive seasons.
Jorge Posada (Yankees) will benefit from being at DH most of the time and still has power, but at age 39 he is on the way down. His contact rate is declining so don't expect a high average. I'm not giving up on Chris Iannetta (Rockies). He strikes out often, but does have a good walk rate. He hit just .197 in 188 at-bats last year, but a low BABIP of .212 indicates his average won't be that low again. He did hit nine home runs in addition to 16 in 2009 and 18 in 2008. The power is legit and he hits a lot of fly balls. In a full season, 20 home runs are a lock. J.P. Arencibia (Blue Jays) has excellent power, but strikeouts will limit his average.