MLB Power Rankings Week 9! This week we will be looking at how every team’s catcher has looked through the first eight weeks of 2021.
*Stats and scores from games on 6/1/21 and 6/2/21 are not included.
MLB Power Rankings: 1-10
1. Tampa Bay Rays Record: 35-20 Previous: 3
Having gone 15-1 in their previous 16 games, the Rays enter week nine with the best record in baseball and atop the power ranking. Behind the dish, Mike Zunino has had a power resurgence in 2021, with 12 home runs in 35 games while posting an OPS of .862.
2. San Francisco Giants Record: 34-20 Previous: 7
The most underappreciated team in MLB, the Giants have maintained the best record in the NL, heading into week nine. At age 34, Buster Posey is having a career resurgence, having posted an OPS of 1.009 through 37 games, holding off Joey Bart from taking his spot.
3. San Diego Padres Record: 34-21 Previous: 1
After going 5-2 in week eight, the Padres dropped two spots in the ranking due to no fault of their own. Austin Nola was expected to be the Padres’ everyday catcher, but injuries have slowed him down, and Victor Caratini has struggled to replace him.
4. Los Angeles Dodgers Record: 32-22 Previous: 2
After seemingly getting back on track, the Dodgers had a tough series in week eight, losing three of four to the Giants. Will Smith has been great behind the dish for this team, having posted an OPS of .823 while playing 43 of 54 games, a great mark for a catcher.
5. Chicago White Sox Record: 33-21 Previous: 6
The White Sox had a solid week eight, sweeping the Orioles in four games while splitting a two-game set with Cleveland. Yasmani Grandal has been largely disappointing at the plate, but Zach Collins has been a pleasant surprise defensively for Chicago.
6. Boston Red Sox Record: 32-21 Previous: 5
Postponements affected the Red Sox, who split a two-game set with Atlanta and took both games of a two-game set with Miami last week. After great seasons in 2019 and 2020, Christian Vazquez has struggled in 2021 but will still play every day due to his defensive ability.
7. New York Mets Record: 26-20 Previous: 12
With Jacob deGrom off the IL, the Mets are finally streaking, having won straight games heading into week nine. However, James McCann has been one of the biggest disappointments in the league in 2021, currently posting an OPS of .588 through 39 games.
8. Oakland Athletics Record: 31-25 Previous: 8
The Athletics had an underwhelming week eight, losing two of three to Seattle and two of four to the Angels. Sean Murphy has continued to improve in his third MLB season but doesn’t have the best arm, having only thrown out 7% of runners in 2021.
9. New York Yankees Record: 29-25 Previous: 4
After a great week seven, the Yankees had an abysmal week eight, notably getting swept by the Tigers. Gary Sanchez is putting together another disappointing season, with only six home runs and an OPS of .709 through 38 games.
10. Houston Astros Record: 29-24 Previous: 9
The Astros dropped down one spot after splitting a two-game set with the Dodgers and losing two of three to San Diego last week. While Martin Maldonado does not provide much at the plate, his defensive ability will keep him in the lineup, ahead of Jason Castro.
MLB Power Rankings: 11-20
11. Chicago Cubs Record: 30-23 Previous: 13
The Cubs continue to rise the rankings after sweeping the Pirates and taking two of three from the Reds last week. Willson Contreras remains a top-five catcher in baseball, currently posting an OPS of .764 with eight home runs while playing 48 of 53 possible games in 2021.
12. St.Louis Cardinals Record: 30-24 Previous: 10
The Cardinals rebounded from losing a series to the White Sox by taking three of four from Arizona in week eight. At age 38, Yadier Molina is off to the best offensive season of his career since 2013, has posted an OPS of .847 through 37 games.
13. Milwaukee Brewers Record: 29-25 Previous: 14
After losing two of three games to the Padres, the Brewers were able to sweep the Nationals in three games last week. After an awful 2020, Omar Narvaez has rebounded in 2021, with an OPS of .843 at the plate, while splitting time with Manny Pina.
14. Cleveland Indians Record: 29-24 Previous: 11
The Indians had a down week eight and moved down three spots after losing two of three to the Blue Jays. With Roberto Perez dealing with injuries, Austin Hedges and Rene Rivera have struggled mightily, making catcher a weakness for Cleveland.
15. Toronto Blue Jays Record: 27-25 Previous: 16
After an awful week seven, the Blue Jays got back on track last week, taking two of three from the Indians and Yankees. Danny Jansen has been atrocious behind the dish for Toronto, and it will be interesting to see if Alejandro Kirk or Reese McGuire begin to take his playing time.
16. Kansas City Royals Record: 26-26 Previous: 19
With Adalberto Mondesi back from injury, the Royals have gotten back on track, taking two of three from Minnesota last week. After missing all of 2019 due to injury, Salvador Perez has become Mr. Reliable once again for Kansas City, having played all 52 games behind the dish.
17. Seattle Mariners Record: 28-27 Previous: 22
The Mariners proved that they remain in contention in week eight, winning six of seven games against the Athletics and Rangers. Tom Murphy and Luis Torrens have split time behind the dish, but both have struggled massively at the plate, posting an OPS of .580 and .519, respectively.
18. Atlanta Braves Record: 25-26 Previous: 15
Rain delays prevented the Braves from having a typical week as they were limited to three games in week eight. With Travis d’Arnaud out indefinitely, William Contreras has done a decent job filling in behind the dish for Atlanta through 21 games.
19. Cincinnati Reds Record: 24-28 Previous: 21
The Reds had a decent week eight, losing two of three to Chicago while taking two of three from Washington. Tucker Barnhart is having a solid season at the plate as one of the best defensive catchers in baseball, having thrown out 25% of runners in 2021.
20. Miami Marlins Record: 24-28 Previous: 17
The Marlins split a four-game series with the Phillies prior to losing a two-game set with Boston in week eight. Catcher has been a weakness for Miami as Jorge Alfaro, Chad Wallach, and Sandy Leon are all posting a respective OPS under .600 through 52 team games.
MLB Power Rankings: 21-30
21. Philadelphia Phillies Record: 25-29 Previous: 18
The Phillies hit their lowest spot on the ranking heading into week nine after going 2-4 against Miami and Tampa Bay last week. JT Realmuto has been solid but missed time, and Andrew Knapp has struggled to fill in his absence.
22. Los Angeles Angels Record: 24-30 Previous: 25
The Angels moved up three spots after going 4-2 against the Athletics and Rangers last week. In his first year with the team, Kurt Suzuki has struggled mightily, while Max Stassi has had to miss a ton of time due to concussion issues.
23. Minnesota Twins Record: 22-31 Previous: 24
The Twins made some progress towards getting back to .500 last week, taking four of six games from the Orioles and Royals. 2021 is a make-or-break year for Mitch Garver, who has posted an OPS of .840, but his inability to play defense may cost him playing time.
24. Washington Nationals Record: 21-29 Previous: 20
The Nationals dropped four spots after enduring a week in which they lost five of six games to the Reds and Brewers. While he’s a league-average defender, Yan Gomes has struggled at the plate for Washington, currently posting an OPS of .691 through 34 games.
25. Texas Rangers Record: 22-33 Previous: 23
The Rangers had an awful week eight, in which they got swept by both the Angels and Mariners. Jose Trevino has been awful behind the dish for Texas, but with limited organizational depth at catcher, he will likely continue to get regular playing time.
26. Detroit Tigers Record: 22-32 Previous: 29
The Tigers have reached their highest ranking since the first week of the season after sweeping the Yankees in week eight. In his first year with the team, Wilson Ramos has been decent at catcher for the Tigers, although his all-star days are behind him.
27. Pittsburgh Pirates Record: 20-33 Previous: 28
The Pirates rebounded from getting swept by the Cubs by taking two of three from Colorado last week. One of the most underrated catchers in baseball, Jacob Stallings has played for the Pirates, posting an OPS of .748, while playing solid defense.
28. Colorado Rockies Record: 20-34 Previous: 26
The Rockies had another rough week, losing three of four to the Mets and two of three to the Pirates in week eight. Dom Nunez and Elias Diaz have platooned behind the dish for Colorado, but neither has played well, currently posting an OPS of .635 and .381, respectively.
29. Arizona Diamondbacks Record: 19-36 Previous: 27
The Diamondbacks continued to struggle but were able to snap their 13 game losing streak against the Cardinald last week. Carson Kelly was having an all-star caliber season, but the entire team has struggled significantly since he went on the IL.
30. Baltimore Orioles Record: 17-37 Previous: 30
Now the easy selection for the bottom spot, Baltimore saw their losing streak extend to 14 games, heading into week nine. Pedro Severino and Chance Sisco have struggled behind the dish for this team, and it will be interesting to see if the team decides to call up top prospect Adley Rutschman.
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