Do you ever meet someone for the first time, shake his or her hand and then completely forget the person's name three seconds later? This happens to me frequently, and then I have to make like George Costanza and cook up some scheme to figure out the person's name without having to ask them again.
Anyway, as I sat down to start fantasy baseball rankings for 2007, I realized that if I forget names so easily in real life, I probably need a refresher on how these guys performed on the fantasy front in 2006. So in the next week or so, we'll take a look at the top-10 finishers at each position from last season. Keep in mind that this is based only on how they ranked at the end of 2006 and is not a prediction of how they'll perform in 2007. Let's start with the catchers:
1. Brian McCann, Braves
He led all catchers in home runs (24) and tied for the position lead with 93 RBIs to go along with a .333 average. Consider he just turned 23-years-old yesterday, and McCann has the talent to be a fantasy stud for years to come.
2. Joe Mauer, Twins
Either he's the American League version of McCann or McCann's the National League version of him. Mauer became the first catcher in 64 years to win a batting title as he hit .347 for the Twins. Mauer has yet to put up big power numbers (16 homers, 82 RBIs in '06), but keep in mind that he's only 23-years-old. In the offseason, he signed a four-year, $33 million extension with Minnesota.
3. Victor Martinez, Indians
He struggled defensively, but Martinez was a productive fantasy player, hitting .316 with 16 homers and 93 RBIs. Martinez is one of the most consistent producers at catcher. His three-year averages: .301, 20 homers, 94 RBIs.
4. Jorge Posada, Yankees
At 35-years-old, he's not the fantasy stud he once was (30 homers, 101 RBIs in 2001). However, as you can see by his ranking, Posada was still among the top catchers in 2006 as he hit .277 with 23 homers and 93 RBIs.
5. Ramon Hernandez, Orioles
He set career-highs with 23 homers and 91 RBIs in his first season with Baltimore. Hernandez also set a career-high with 501 at-bats and appeared to slow down at times in the second half of the season (he hit .188 in July). He wants to be in the lineup everyday, but the O's addressed their backup catcher situation in the offseason, which could mean fewer at-bats for Hernandez.
6. Ivan Rodriguez, Tigers
The 35-year-old doesn't have the power he used to. In 1999, he hit 35 homers to go along with 113 RBIs. He also put together a stretch of five straight seasons with at least 20 homers. Pudge can still hit for average though, having reached .300 in two of the past three seasons. Last year, he batted .300 with 13 homers and 69 RBIs.
7. Kenji Johjima, Mariners
The 30-year-old put together a solid rookie campaign, hitting .291 with 18 homers and 76 RBIs. He broke the record for hits (147) by a rookie catcher.
8. Mike Piazza, Athletics
He's experienced more offseason change than the others in the top-10. Last year, Piazza caught 99 games with the Padres and hit .283 with 22 homers -- his highest total since 2002 -- and 68 RBIs. He now finds himself in Oakland, where he's likely to hit cleanup as the team's designated hitter.
9. A.J. Pierzynski, White Sox
He hit .295 with 16 homers and 64 RBIs in his second season in Chicago. The White Sox brought in Toby Hall in the offseason so Pierzynski could often find himself on the bench against lefties in 2007.
10. Johnny Estrada, Brewers
He hit .302 with 11 homers and 71 RBIs with the Diamondbacks last year. Arizona dealt him to Milwaukee in the offseason