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High Fives: Dishing on Gattis, and other catchers

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In conjunction with our Catcher position primer, Brandon Funston, Dalton Del Don and Scott Pianowski offer their top-5 takes on various topics concerning the fantasy catcher position, including the backstops that are most overvalued and undervalued for '15 drafts, as well as a nod to both the future and the past. Let's get to it ...

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Top 5 catcher draft values, based on Yahoo ADP

1. Evan Gattis - Expect him to push 30 HRs now that he'll be out from behind the dish in HOU

1. Matt Wieters No. 5 catcher on my board yet not top-10 according to Yahoo ADP

1. Yasmani Grandal A solidified gig, better lineup, friendlier park, still just 26

2. Wilin Rosario  - His bad D is a fantasy blessing as COL looking to play him more at 1B and OF

2. Brian McCannNot a stretch to call him the favorite to lead all Cs in HRs as a LHB in Yankee Stadium

2. Yan GomesHe’s done it twice in a row, price remains reasonable

3. Wilson Ramos - Good health will go a long way - 27 HRs in past 164 games

3. Travis d'Arnaud - Hit 13 HRs over 385 ABs as a 25-year-old last season.

3. Travis d'ArnaudStrong second half, always had impressive pop, pedigree

4. Mike Zunino - Hit 22 HRs in 1st full MLB season, and BA has nowhere to go but up

4. Miguel Montero - Not top 20 in ADP despite averaging 14 HRs, 72 RBI over the past 4 seasons

4. Miguel Montero - Just let him rake against righties, that’s fine with me

5. Brian McCann - Hit 8 HRs in September - should definitely be inside the top 10 mix at C

5. Yasmani Grandal - 242.9 ADP despite being the starting C on a good LAD team with ZiPs projecting a 117 wRC+

5. Carlos SantanaGrandfathered in, affordable play if you need two backstops

 

Bottom 5 catcher draft values, based on Yahoo ADP

1. Yadier Molina - Top 100 cost for a high-mileage C that is now essentially a one-trick pony (batting average)

1. Buster PoseyI'm a SF homer, but I can't see drafting a catcher in the first 2-3 rounds unless you're in a two-C format

1. Evan GattisWon’t score a lot of runs, BA collapse possible, no obvious position

2. Jonathan Lucroy - No doubt he can hit, but won't waste a top 75 pick on a high-volume C starting year with a hammy issue

2. Wilin Rosario - Love his bat, but all signs point to the Rockies moving on thanks to his horrific defense

2. Matt WietersWaiting for Guffman, Waiting for Godot, Waiting for Wieters

3. Buster Posey - Taking a C inside the top 30 is too big a risk given the rigors of the position

3. Salvador PerezHe's been worked extremely hard, so it's tough to justify taking him over McCann and Wieters

3. Wilin Rosario Crummy glove, team isn’t married to him

4. Kurt Suzuki - Luckier than ever in '14 (BABIP), no power and I like backup Pinto more

4. Dioner Navarro - No way to explain him being drafted (18%) after Martin signed in Toronto

4. Brian McCannThose New York optimists are downright adorable

5. Matt Wieters - Draft d'Arnaud if it's 20+ HRs with a .240-.250 BA that you're fishing for

5. Kurt SuzukiHe's a safe option but hit three homers over 452 ABs last year

5. Kurt SuzukiCareer .257 hitter with limited pop, no thanks

 

Top 5 Home Run bets for '15 among the C-eligible crowd

1. Evan Gattis - Averaging 32.7 HR per 162 games in MLB career, and will play more than ever in '15

1. Brian McCann20+ HRs in 7 straight seasons and home park increased HRs for LHB the most in the AL over the last 3 years

1. Carlos SantanaSay it again, he’s catcher-eligible in the Y!

2. Brian McCann - Finished '14 on a power surge and his home ballpark set-up is ideal for LHBs

2. Evan Gattis - He has the advantage of not actually having to play catcher.

2. Devin MesoracoFunny how he blossomed after Dusty left

3. Carlos Santana - Likely to get the most ABs among C eligibles - paced position in '14 (27 HR)

3. Carlos SantanaHe has the advantage of not actually having to play catcher

3. Evan GattisI’m not paying, but he’ll rain some into the Crawford Boxes

4. Devin Mesoraco - Hit 25 HRs as a 25/26-year-old in '14

4. Devin Mesoraco GAB has increased RHB HRs as much as any MLB park over past 3 years

4. Mike ZuninoTries to hit every pitch 1,000 miles

5. Mike Zunino - In 1st full season, 1 of 3 catchers with ISO above .200 (.205)

5. Buster PoseyIt's crazy the Giants won the WS without Posey having an XBH in the postseason

5. Brian McCann Has fleas, but pop is consistently there

 

Top 5 projected fantasy backstops for the year 2020

1. Buster Posey - Assuming he manages to get at least 5 starts behind the dish in '19

1. Buster Posey - Real chance he'll have moved permanently to 1B by then, but for the purposes of this exercise ...

1. Buster Posey Team is smart to give him occasional 1B work

2. Salvador Perez - Won't yet be 30 years old come the 2020 draft season

2. Devin Mesoraco - He's 26, but crazy projecting any player 5 years from now, let alone a catcher

2. Devin MesoracoLooking for Groundhog Day career from Punxsutawney kid

3. Travis d'Arnaud - Has the pedigree and really turned things around after MLB mid-season return in '14

3. Matt WietersWho knows, and DH is an option here

3. Salvador Perez If Ned Yost doesn’t break him first

4. Blake Swihart - BoSox backstop being hailed as the next Posey

4. Jonathan LucroyHis mileage is low at least

4. Jorge Alfaro - Big pop, big arm, hitter-friendly park

5. Kyle Schwarber - Can flat-out hit - another in a long line of can't-miss Cubs prospects

5. Blake Swihart 22-year-old whom Keith Law currently ranks as a better prospect than Joey Gallo

5. Blake SwihartIn Ben Cherington I trust

 

Top 5 favorite MLB catchers of all-time

1. Gary Carter - HOFer always played with a smile - met him after his career was over and he couldn't have been nicer

1. Buster Posey - Has won ROY, Comeback POY, MVP and 3 World Series titles. His wRC+ is all time highest among Cs - no big deal

1. Yadier Molina A clinic behind the plate, a gamer at the dish. Closing in on HOF resume

2. Mike Piazza - Greatest hitting C of all-time, and respect for staying classy vs. punk Clemens in Subway Series

2. Mike Piazza - I'm eschewing "favorites" and going with "best" from here on out: 38 more career HRs than any other catcher

2. Carlton FiskCranky New Englander who played game the right way

3. Tony Pena - Loved his leg-out squat behind the dish, laser arm and competitive fire

3. Johnny Bench - He leads all catchers in career WAR (74.8) by a wide margin

3. Victor MartinezAn artist at the plate, no weaknesses

4. Johnny Bench - Much love for the Baseball Bunch - I know the Pianowman is with me

4. Ivan Rodriguez - Easily the best defensive backstop of all time

4. Darren Dalton - Before he went completely off the reservation.

5. Jake Taylor - Versed in Moby Dick, bunts for base hits and gets the girl in the end

5. Yogi Berra - It gets late real early here

5. Johnny Bench - He’s here strictly for the Baseball Bunch value