By Andrew Bilbo
Position scarcity and catcher have been synonymous over the years. While you can win without one of the top eight or so catchers, it's not so easy. Two catchers who are fairly similar statistically, Victor Martinez and Brian McCann, have found themselves on many great fantasy baseball teams over the years. Personally, I would take either one of them in a standard roto league and would struggle to justify why I would pick one over the other. I lean more towards McCann because of where the two are in their respective careers.
Brian McCann: .269/21/77/63/5
McCann is just hitting 26 years old and has his prime years in front of him. He gets plenty of AB which helps him solidify his position as one of the better hitting catchers in the game. He also gets a handful of steals every season which is an added plus for fantasy owners. Owners can expect his batting average to increase somewhat as well.
Victor Martinez: .302/20/79/64/1
Martinez has been at or close to the top of the catcher rankings for some time now. Martinez is 32 years old and could transition away from playing catcher at some point soon. But this position shuffling will not hurt you this season (or the next for that matter). In fact, this position jumping could help you as he will be eligible at first base.
Brian McCann: .269/21/77/63/5/74/98/.453/.828
Victor Martinez: .302/20/79/64/1/40/52/.493/.844
Martinez always has an exceptional BB/K ratio which is rewarded in most H2H leagues. On top of that Martinez is also the beneficiary in leagues which include slugging percentage and OPS. This info leads me to lean pretty solidly towards Martinez. They are currently being drafted near the same place as Mock Draft Central has McCann's ADP at 28.81 and Martinez's at 29.10.
As always health is a big factor when it comes to catchers and these two players are definitely no exception. However, I would argue it is hard to decide who has a decided leg up in that area. While Martinez has missed more time recently in his career he is going to be playing a lot of designated hitter in Detroit where as McCann will be playing a ton of games at catcher. Either guy could just as easily sustain an injury that affects their value, but until then I'll take Martinez in H2H leagues.