While many of you detest drafting catchers, they are a fact of fantasy life and are not going away. So you should learn to like drafting catchers – they can give you a big advantage over your competitors in two catcher leagues.
That doesn’t necessarily mean drafting them early. Actually I am against that unless it is a hitter who will give you solid production at the position. Mike Napoli was a fine example of that last year – headed to Texas and a superb home park hitting atmosphere and lineup. This year Napoli is I fear being drafted a little too early if you factor in a likely regression in batting average and are even remotely concerned about his ankle problems not yet being resolved. Still the power will be there.
But if you do draft Napoli and want to totally blow off drafting another catcher for most of the draft at least get yourself Yorvit Torrealba late in the game.
I also think that while the Cleveland Indians say Carlos Santana will catch all the time that Lou Marson makes a great end game or even reserve pick whether you own Santana or not. Marson can hit a little himself and if Santana has to play first base or DH for either health or lineup reasons you have a nice option.
Sadly for those who rostered Salvador Perez in early drafts, after knee surgery Perez will be out a minimum of two months, more likely a full three months. Temporarily that makes Brayan Pena a starting catcher in AL only leagues and even (as I suggested before) makes Max Ramirez assuming he makes the Royals opening day roster at least a consideration in deep leagues – especially if you own Perez and will have him coming back.
In auction leagues this makes a nice draft day play – even more so in keeper leagues. Your opponents will not be thinking about Perez so you should be able to get him for a buck or two and then replace him with Pena if not drafted or Ramirez if there is not a better option.
Here is another play for you to catch in AL only leagues (or very deep mixed leagues). You should be able to get Jarrod Saltalamacchia for much less than his scrabble value. Salty has power and this should be the year he steps up his game to solidify his position with the Red Sox. If not Ryan Lavarnway will be just a short ride away at AAA Pawtucket. BUT don’t draft the slugging Lavarnway as Saltalamacchia’s backup. That catcher would be Kelly Shoppach who is a decent run producing catcher albeit one with a poor batting average. But you can get Shoppach for a buck and then get Lavarnway in the reserves or minor league portion of your draft and have the Fenway Park home runs by catchers sewn up for a very reasonable single digit price.