Today we will start with the catchers. A few years ago catching was a position where you either drafted the top 3 catchers early or you completely punted the position until your last couple of picks. I myself, see resurgence in the catching position. MLB teams are starting to go away with the need to have a great defensive catcher and now realize that an offensive catcher is much more valuable. A great hitting catcher will win you more games than the great defensive one. The current data is showing that up to 7 catchers this year are projected to have a WAR above 3. That is even with the loss of Victor Martinez for 2012. MLB teams are realizing that a few gaffes “behind” the plate are tolerable if they can get that needed production “at” the plate on a consistent basis.
To break down the need for a quality catcher you must analyze the type of league you are in currently. Remember, we have elite choices at the top of the catching world, solid options in the middle tiers and many prospects to gamble on in the late rounds. With that said, in shallow mixed leagues with 1 catcher you should not reach early for the elite catchers. Plenty will be available late in your draft. In a 2 catcher leagues, catchers are much more valuable. Once the first one comes off the board the frenzy will follow for the next 2 rounds, so be prepared and anticipate what your league mates are up to when drafting.
This is the first year in awhile where players with catching eligibility may not play exclusively at other positions. In the past we had Jordan Pacheco and Jeff Clement types who qualified at catcher but played other positions...that was always a bonus if they could produce. The debate is still out whether Jesus Montero will have C eligibility to start the season. I believe he will. So without any further adieu, here are the top 20 catchers for 2012. So let me know if you agree, disagree, or want to kick me in the knee.