Let me preface this post with some no holds barred truth: I hate catchers. I don’t just hate them, I deep down inside loathe them so realize how painful this post is going to be. I’m going to offer you a strategy that is palatable but realize I’ll likely not follow it. The first catcher I’ll be drafting will go in a round after 18 in my league. I just don’t put much faith in drafting high on a position that you’re not going to get 150 games out of. Last I checked, Buster Posey and Joe Mauer were going to light the world on fire last year. They combined to play 127 games total for 2011. In my league – which is also a keeper – the one team that made the playoffs with his keeper Mauer traded him for spare parts by the All-Star Break and the Posey keeper finished 8th. Relying on Catcher numbers is something I refuse to do. Compromise you say? Alright, I could talk myself into taking Yadier Molina as my first catcher off the board in the 15th round and round that out with a Russell Martin chaser in the 21st. Molina should balance out Martin’s BA drain and Russell provides the pop. Plus you’ll get a sneaky 10 to 15 SB from your Catcher position. See what happens when you compromise? No one is happy!
Any Catcher taken in the first 10 Rounds – You think I’m going to change my principles after how I started this post? Tigga Please! If somehow any of those guys fell outside of the first 10 rounds, I’d jump all over them but until then, I’m busy, don’t bother me.
Devin Mesoraco – But, but, he’s going after the 20th round! Consider this the Dusty Baker Rule. Devin needs to be one of two things to start for Dusty: A wily veteran or a pitcher. I don’t care what pitcher, Dusty will find a way to have you throw 300 innings. There’s already talk that Hanigan is the man in Cincy and my bet is the best case scenario for Devin is that no one wins and he and Ryan Hanigan split the season ABs. I don’t mind platoons with upside but Baker pretty much Debbie Downer’s this one for me.
I’ll go for:
Salvador Perez – Rumor has it that Salvador used to sit with a spoon in his hand hovering over a metal pan and would fall asleep. When the spoon hit the pan, he’d wake up from the sound and be inspired to make acid flashback-like paintings. What does a story about Dali have to do with Perez, you ask? Absolutely nothing, I just don’t like Catchers and felt like talking about something else. Like seemingly every Royals prospect, he has a low walk rate but a low strikeout rate as well. He should help you in average with 10 HR power. I shall call him mini Molina. No, not the slow Molina. The Molina I talked about earlier, Yadier.
Ryan Doumit – I am just as stunned as you are to be writing a post about this guy. But go look at Mauer’s 2011 line and Doumit’s. Go on, look! Ok, I’ll ruin the surprise. They both played around 80 games and hit for a decent average. I don’t think Doumit will hit .300 this year but .275 with 15 HRs is not unreasonable. Couple that with him going into the season as the de facto team DH and Doumit might actually stay healthy enough to deliver on that promise. And if he doesn’t, well I curse at him using his last name in vain and move on. Its a better feeling than yelling ‘Mauer!’ after your 8th round pick goes down. One sounds like a curse word while the other leaves you sounding like you have Tourettes.
C Situation to Monitor: Chi-Sox
A.J. Pierzynski is a decent Catcher. He doesn’t blow you away at any spot in his line, but doesn’t really hurt you either. He’s also 35 years old which in catcher’s years is closer to fossilized. Meanwhile, Tyler Flowers came up in 2011 for a brief stint and set the world on fire (looks back at stats). Woah, Tyler did terrible! Draft A.J.! The thing is the Sox are in rebuild mode and if a contending team loses their starting catcher for the year or need help at the position, I can’t see how the Sox don’t make A.J. available. If that happens, get ready to watch Flowers bloom…I can’t believe I just typed that. Anyways, his K rate is atrocious and will lead to a poor BA, but he walks at a healthy clip and his ISO shows he’s good for 17 to 20 HRs given a decent amount of at-bats. If you’re willing to draft J.P. Arencibia, you shouldn’t have any problem putting Tyler on your radar.