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The Catcher Dropoff

Sometimes a position has a clear dropoff.  Catchers are bunched up that way this year, in my opinion.  I see the five elite, and then a mixed bag of other stuff.  I hate to leave a draft without one of these five.

1. Russell Martin - .286-16-74-82-15 in 504 ABs - $23.20.  ADP: 30.88.  Martin, Joe Mauer, and perhaps J.R. Towles are the only backstops you can look to for double-digit steals.  That is one reason I'd take Martin over V-Mart - Martin provides more balance to your lineup.  Plus, Martin is only 25.  Compare this projection to his '07 numbers - I'm not calling for a repeat, but imagine if you get it!  Gravy.

2.  Victor Martinez - .297-20-93-78-0 in 546 ABs - $22.21.  ADP: 29.28.  The market says V-Mart and Martin are almost identical and value, and I have them separated by only ninety-nine cents.  If V-Mart pops 22 HRs and drives in 95 instead, he wins. And just like Martin, I'm not calling for a repeat for Martinez but his '07 shows what he can do.

3.  Joe Mauer - .309-11-71-76-9 in 492 ABs - $21.12.  ADP: 59.13.  Instead of using a very early third-round pick for one of the above two, you could roll the dice a bit and wait til the fifth.  This projection is something of a middle ground of Mauer's last two seasons.  Like Martin, it's his age 25 season and there's room for growth.  The guy won the batting title in '06.         

4.  Brian McCann - .290-20-85-62-1 in 481 ABs - $18.17.  ADP: 55.89.  If Mauer is Martin Lite, then McCann is V-Mart Lite.   Just 24, McCann knocked in 92 runs in an "off year" in '07.  The low run total kind of stinks though.

5. Jorge Posada - .284-19-78-74-2 in 466 ABs - $17.22.  ADP: 91.23.  Wow, eighth round for Posada?  To me, the lack of respect is an overcorrection.  People think, "Posada, he can't hit .338 again!  And he's old!"  So what?  A repeat of his '06 would be worth $18.98.  There is no good reason for the ADP gap between Posada and Mauer/McCann.  This is not an aggressive projection for Posada.  It is very achievable and worthy of better than the eighth round. 

After Posada there's a clear dropoff.  Soto and Towles at $12, Johjima at $11, Molina at $9, Ruiz, Pierzynski, Pudge, and Ramon Hernandez around $7.  Johjima typically kicks this tier off in the 11th round.  I see nice value for Molina and Ruiz if I stoop to this tier.  And I have to say again - why the hell is the market putting Salty in this group?  No.

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