On draft day, it's all about value.
Starting today (and going on a writing binge until I get them all done) I'll take a position-by-position look at what players I will personally target and in what round(s) as well as the players that I will stay away from.
YPNM: Your Problem, Not Mine, is a term I grew fond of while listening to MLB.com's Fantasy 411 back in the MLB.com Radio days..
These target rounds assume a standard 12 team 5x5 format.
Round 1-2: Nobaaaady.
Round 3-6: Joe Mauer, Victor Martinez, Brian McCann
It may not be realistic to think that Mauer will fall to round six, but it could happen given the work that has been done on his knee this spring. Despite the emergence of Buster Posey and possible emergence of Carlos Santana, these three catchers remain my top three targets due to their track record and consistency.
Round 7-9: Buster Posey, Carlos Santana
Though Buster Posey came in ranked ahead of McCann in my dollar value rankings (these are based on projections), I still see enough risk to try and wait a little longer before drafting him. I realize it may be very unlikely for Posey to last until round seven, but I'd gladly refocus my attention to Carlos Santana at that point, who has the upside to be a top three catcher in 2011.
Round 10-15: Mike Napoli, Geovany Soto, Matt Wieters, Kurt Suzuki, Miguel Montero
While it might be a stretch to go after any of these catchers in round 10, it really all depends on how my team is shaping up to that point. If I feel good about my other positions, I might be inclied to go ahead and sure-up my catcher spot with a guy like Napoli or Soto.
The same goes for the other catcher on this list. I'd prefer to start looking at them in rounds 14 and 15, but I wouldn't mind looking a round or two earlier depending on my roster and draft position.
Round 15-20: Chris Iannetta, J.P. Arencibia, A.J. Pierzynski, Yadier Molina, Nick Hundley
Before being tugged in-and-out of the lineup and spending time at triple-A in 2010, Chris Iannetta has posted AB/HR rates of 18.5 in 2008 and 18 in 2009. If he can get back to hitting the ball out of the yard with that frequency, he would hit 20-25 home runs over 450 at-bats. The Rockies finally seem committed to Iannetta this season, so 450-plus at-bats is a real possibility.
While I think J.P. Arencibia is a fine late-round flier pick for around 20 home runs, I'm not expecting him to help much in the AVG department. Very much a power-oriented hitter, Arencibia might hit too many fly-balls and too few line drives to hit much over .250. This late in the draft, however, 20 home runs from the catcher position still holds value.
Nick Hundley is another low AVG/decent power potential type of pick. Though he shouldn't be looked at as a starting catcher in 12 team leagues, deeper formats might want to take a flier. The Padres are set to give him a career high number of at-bats this season.
Jorge Posada - I know a lot of people have Posada as a sleeper, but I'll continue to stay clear of the 39 (40 in August)-year-old in 2011. At some point, the bend has to break and Posada has missed significant time with injuries over the past three years. Sure, he's moving to DH, but that won't help him from fending off a decline in bat speed.