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Rob Reed  
Subject:  Where to draft catchers?
Date:  3/21/08, 3:00pm (Last Edited: 3/21/08, 3:01pm)
I don't know for sure what happened to the fantasy roundtable thread that I mentioned on the latest podcast. I think it might have something to do with a few folks not getting their submissions in on time.

So, for now, I'll give you a little taste with my response to the question: "Is it important to you to get a top 5 catcher, or do you prefer waiting until rounds 15-25? After Victor Martinez and Russell Martin, what catchers should go next and when? What catchers should be targeted late? What is your strategy, especially if your league requires starting two of them?"

In a serpentine draft, it is fantasy suicide.

The bottom line is that even the best catchers usually won't place themselves in the top 100 offensive fantasy players. ranks the top 4 catchers according to their fantasy stats from 2007 as follows: Martin (111), Posada (139), Vmart (146), and then the HUGE drop off... McCann (311). The majority of catchers, in fact, appear in the bottom 150.

In one of my serpentine drafts this year, a team chose Vmart with the 30th pick (3rd round). Here are the players who followed that pick (in order): Webb, Markakis, Aramis, Manny, Papelbon, Rios, Bedard, Haren, Beckett, Magglio, Putz, Granderson.

In the 4th round, Martin was selected, followed by Sabathia, Atkins, Derrek Lee, Hamels, Krod, Chipper. Forgetting position, from a fantasy statistic perspective, I would rather have most, if not all, of the players that followed the catcher picks.

Proponents of this concept will reasonably argue position scarcity. However, the loss of key players at other positions (where numbers are generally in higher quantity because a catcher that gives you 500 ABs is a rarity) is not worth any benefit her. This is because the majority of teams in your league will get a catcher who generates LOUSY stats when compared to other position players.

Further, and perhaps most importantly, when you draft the catcher position early to get the 111th best offensive player in fantasy, you have to conform your team around that catcher's deficiencies.

When you choose a catcher later, you have the control to determine what kind of catcher you should draft based upon your strengths. For instance, if you were solid in AVG, but you needed pop, you could get a Ramon Hernandez (or even -- egad -- a David Ross type) late. If you were solid in all categories, but you needed a cheap source of SBs, you might gamble with a Towles.

I hate that we have to have catchers in fantasy. I would like to scrap 'em. Such is life. BUT, I don't want a catcher selection to control how I will draft. I want the control to determine how to stop the bleeding.


The post of all opinions should be up soon at shortly.

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