A New View: Valuing Catchers
A New View: Valuing Catchers

This article is part of our Baseball Draft Kit series.

One of the intriguing aspects of draft strategy is how to handle catchers. The pool is notoriously weak while the position is prone to injury. What follows is a guide to properly ranking catchers relative to the rest of the field.

Now, more than ever, there's homogeneity within the hitter pool. First basemen and outfielders no longer rule the roost. The first round is dotted with middle infielders and third basemen. Position scarcity is no longer a thing.

Well, almost, as the catcher inventory is historically weak. Further, many believe lower end receivers yield a negative return on investment.

The key to understanding catcher valuation is the concept of useful stats. Not all a player's production, regardless of position, contributes to your team's points-scoring potential. The best way to demonstrate is setting up a two-person league with a four-player pool. We each need a fruit and a color.

If every homer were equal, Apple would be the most valuable, but obviously Green is the logical first pick since the 55 combined homers from Green and Banana exceed the 50 from Blue and Apple. The proper way to consider the above is for Banana and Blue to contribute no useful homers with Green hitting 15 and Apple 10 dingers that count.

While this may seem like an oversimplification, it's an accurate microcosm of the current player pool where fruit represents non-catchers and color corresponds to catchers. Let's expand the home run derby dynamically over the hitting categories. While it's true that

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Todd Zola
Todd has been writing about fantasy baseball since 1997. He won NL Tout Wars and Mixed LABR in 2016 as well as a multi-time league winner in the National Fantasy Baseball Championship. Todd is now setting his sights even higher: The Rotowire Staff League. Lord Zola, as he's known in the industry, won the 2013 FSWA Fantasy Baseball Article of the Year award and was named the 2017 FSWA Fantasy Baseball Writer of the Year. Todd is a five-time FSWA awards finalist.
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