Thursday, February 11, 2010

Touching Base Series: Plate discipline

This simple exercise is to highlight position scarcity, where to extract value and what positions should be of emphasis.

Assume 12-team format (Y! default rankings listed below).


1) Joe Mauer (13.56) 94-28-96-4-.365
2) Victor Martinez (24.62) 88-23-108-1-.303
3) Brian McCann (42.62) 63-21-94-4-.281
4) Matt Wieters (103.03) 35-9-43-0-.288 Extrapolate his numbers in 96 games through a 162-game grind: 60-16-73-0-.288
5) Russell Martin (138.53) 63-7-53-11-.250 Disappointing 2008-2009 season for Martin (he was basically unownable during one stretch) but he's too talent to post another sub-par year. His 2007 season was an outlier. At catcher, though, I'm looking for power so I'll be waiting.
6) Mike Napoli (180.00) 60-20-56-3-.272
7) Kurt Suzuki (132.47) 74-15-88-8-.274
8) Benji Molina (160.52) 52-20-80-0-.265
9) Jorge Posada (117.57) 55-22-81-1-.285 I'd endorse him as the ninth catcher off the board, but more than likely, someone will reach.
10) Geovany Soto (154.04) 27-11-47-1-.218
11) Miguel Montero (146.59) 61-16-59-1-.294 The Yahoo! crew has this cat ranked as the fifth catcher in their preseason ranks. I'm not seeing it. Prime age (27), yes, but his minor league track record is spotty.
12) Ryan Doumit (208.57) 31-10-38-4-.250
13) Yadier Molina (232.54) 45-6-54-9-.293 Lack of power means he'll be on none of my virtual teams.
14) A.J. Pierzynski (254.89) 57-13-49-1-.300
15) Miguel Olivo (248.12) 51-23-65-5-.249 Moves to a favorable park coming off a career season but appears to be second on the Colorado depth chart.

Insight: So clearly, after the first three backstops are taken off the board, there is a precipitous drop in production at the position. I strongly urge you to pass on Mauer who won't justify his ADP, and I'd advise you to pass on Martinez as well. Matt Wieters, hyped relentlessly during the '09 campaign, is a good value in the eighth or ninth. I have taken Napoli in each of my four mock drafts. I expect solid seasons out of Soto and Doumit, too, both of whom will bounce back after injury-plagued 2009 seasons. Pierzynski is the least excitable catcher to own; in a 2-catcher league, though, you won't lose money on him. I would avoid the Olivo/Iannetta battle.

Getting a 55-20-70-.275 line out of your catcher position is suffice if you've built a strong offensive foundation with your other picks.

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