In between posting various iterations of prospect lists (John Sickels' book shipped yesterday so I am not close to finished!), I am begining to list players at the various their position-eligible positions for 2008 fantasy baseball auction drafts and assign dolalr values. These values represent nothing you will see anywhere else. As a result, i expect disagreement and disparagements of my fantasy acumen.
These are based on my draft experiences in AL- and NL-only 4x4 keeper leagues with 14- or 15-man protect lists and up to five minor league protects. Therefore, they must account for expected inflation. And by "expected", I mean a general sense based on past experiences. For example, last year Vladimir Guerrero and Dave Ortiz went for $46 in my AL-only and Jose Reyes went for $52 and Albert Pujols went for $46 in my NL-only.
However, this doesn't mean every player fetched a 33-50% inflation premium. There are roster limitations that will result in $14 shortstops going for $4. Once the free-for-all of the the first round or two of player biddding is over, inflation is limited by bids into the low $20s.
What is notable is how shallow the catching depth is. Beyond Russ Martin and Victor Martinez, there aren't any catchers I see going for more than $22. Braves' backstop Brian McCann is a possibility, but his failure to follow-up his excellent 2006 season with a repeat performance has me doubting it was more than the high water mark for his career.
Amongst the NL catchers, the $8-$14 group really consists of $8-$10 players with the exception of Geovany Soto who I'd risk going a little higher on based on his potential to match Benji Molina's output (18/60/280).
AL Catcher Values:
|$15-22||Jorge Posada||Joe Mauer||Kenji Johjima|
|$8-$14||Jason Varitek||Dioner Navarro||Ramon Hernandez||Gerald Laird|
|AJ Peirzynski||Kurt Suzuki||Ivan Rodriguez|
|$1-7||Greg Zaun||Rod Barajas||Mark Redmond||Jeff Mathis|
|Brandon Inge||Kelly Shoppach||Toby Hall||Miguel Olivo|
NL Catcher Values:
|$23-29||Russ Martin||Brian McCann|
|$8-$14||Carlos Ruiz||Paul LoDuca||Geovany Soto||Dave Ross|
|Ronny Paulino||Miguel Montero||Josh Bard|
|$1-7||Brian Schneider||Ramon Castro||Johnny Estrada||Jason Kendall|
|Yadier Molina||JR Towles||Ryan Doumit||Chris Snyder|
|Micheal Barrett||Chris Iannetta||Eliezer Alfonzo|