Fantasy Baseball: Catchers

In all of fantasy baseball the hardest position for me to draft is the catcher position.  So since I see it as the hardest I’m going to get it out of the way first so I can talk about fun positions later on.

The problem with drafting this position is that some of the best catchers in the game are defensive catchers, and unless you have a really unique fantasy league, defense is worth about as much as those coupons that say they are worth 1/100 of a penny.

Buster Posey (Photo from NYTimes taken by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Buster Posey (Photo from NYTimes taken by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Buster Posey instantly stands out as being the top catcher and with his stats I have no problem with someone picking Posey late in the first round.  He isn’t worth a top 5 pick but that won’t stop some people from reaching to get him that early on.  Yahoo has him ranked #20 and I’m a little surprised that he wasn’t ranked between #12-15.

After Posey the next catcher to appear in the rankings doesn’t show up until #70, which is Joe Mauer.  This is the player that is going to trip up a lot of fantasy drafters.  A lot of casual players will think back to Mauer’s amazing years and will draft him way to early because of the most dangerous word in fantasy sports, POTENTIAL.

Now I know that a lot of people have been lucky by drafting guys because of potential, but I will tell you that fantasy owners will lose far more games because they draft for potential instead of drafting for what a guy is doing.

Depending on what you are hoping to get out of your catcher there are some pretty good selections that can be found mid draft. Miguel Montero, Brian McCann, and Wilin Rosario are all solid players for fantasy owners.

Here are things you need to check on before deciding who you want to pursue in a fantasy draft. First is whether or not a team is going to platoon at the catcher position. This could instantly cut your production at catcher.  No catcher is going to play every day but a platoon can cost you an additional 30 to 40 games in a season.

Second you need to check and see if the catcher will get playing time at other positions. Mike Napoli and Victor Martinez were always great to have on a fantasy team because even when they weren’t catching you could count on them to DH or play 1st.  That gives you extra at bats, without your player having to be behind the plate for every game.

John Jaso

John Jaso

Finally you need to know if there is a threat that the starting job can be taken away from your catcher. Jesus Montero is a solid pick for fantasy owners but with the very real possibility that Mike Zunino could get promoted during the season and take a lot of at bats, his draft stock will probably take a hit.

Out of all of the catchers there is one catcher that can be taken late in a draft and just might be a steal.  John Jaso was the top hitter for the Mariners when he was playing, but never got to see regular playing time. With Oakland don’t be surprised if he is given a lot more opportunities to demonstrate his ability to get on base.