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Fantasy Baseball Position Primer: Catcher

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In leagues with standard Yahoo settings, there are basically two acceptable ways to address the position of catcher on draft day:

1) Get Buster Posey in the early rounds, or...

2) Wait it out and find a value — and when it seems like you've finally waited long enough, wait another round or two.

[Yahoo Sports Fantasy Baseball: Sign up and join a league today!]

Seriously, with the exception of Buster, this position is really a minefield of uninteresting numbers and grossly inflated prices. Last season, Posey was the only catcher to finish among the top-50 overall fantasy assets in the year-end ranks (No. 42). In fact, over the past 15 years he's one of just four backstops to have delivered that sort of value. Here's the full list of the catchers who've achieved top-50 status in recent seasons:

2014 – Posey
2013 – none
2012 – Posey
2011 – none
2010 – none
2009 – Joe Mauer
2008 – none
2007 – none
2006 – none
2005 – none
2004 – none
2003 – Javy Lopez
2002 – none
2001 – none
2000 – Mike Piazza

That's it, that's all. No more. Four guys in a decade and a half. Victor Martinez had a couple close calls back in his catcher-eligible days, but he never quite cracked the overall top-50 until he became a DH.

The scarcity devotees may urge you snag a luxury catcher in the early rounds, but, generally speaking, that's a sure way to take a loss. Due to the physical demands of the position, it's rare for any catcher to appear in more than 140 games — only three exceeded that total in 2014. Counting stats will be low. Steals almost never happen. Injuries are incredibly common. No catcher has seen the 30-homer plateau since Lopez in '03. No catcher scored 75 runs last season.

[Related: Dishing on Gattis, and other catchers]

We can find low-level power among the backstops, and Evan Gattis gets a bump because he'll be out from behind the plate. But, again, this is not a spot where you'll want to spend big, unless you're eying Buster. (Or unless you're playing in a two-catcher A.L./N.L.-only league, which isn't the norm at Yahoo. There, you're trying to avoid getting Arencibia'd.)

Posey is the one player who might reasonably give us a 70-20-90-.320 season. Everyone else reeks of 60-14-65-.270. And if you don't believe me, just check last year's average stats...

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Position averages for the top-15 fantasy catchers, last three years

2014 — 53.0 R, 15.7 HR, 68.5 RBIs, 1.6 SB, .270 AVG
2013 — 60.4 R, 17.2 HR, 71.9 RBIs, 2.1 SB, .279 AVG
2012 — 61.3 R, 19.8 HR, 73.6 RBIs, 2.9 SB, .278 AVG

TIER ONE

Buster Posey

TIER TWO

Carlos Santana
Devin Mesoraco
Jonathan Lucroy
Evan Gattis

TIER THREE

Yan Gomes
Salvador Perez
Yadier Molina
Brian McCann
Matt Wieters
Russell Martin
Wilin Rosario

TIER FOUR

Wilson Ramos
Miguel Montero
Yasmani Grandal
Mike Zunino
Jason Castro
Stephen Vogt
Travis d'Arnaud
Derek Norris
Chris Iannetta

TIER FIVE

Tyler Flowers
Jarrod Saltalamacchia
Carlos Ruiz
Alex Avila
John Jaso
Josmil Pinto
Michael McKenry
Christian Bethancourt
Rene Rivera
Christian Vazquez
Robinson Chirinos
Kurt Suzuki
Dioner Navarro
Hank Conger
Nick Hundley
Francisco Cervelli
A.J. Pierzynski
Welington Castillo
A.J. Ellis