Person #1: You look a lot better. How are you feeling?
Person #2: Thanks. I feel better. The medication I'm on has really helped to contain my position scarcity.
Person #1: Is your position scarcity itchy?
Person #2: Oh my god yes. Especially in the armpits of my knees.
At this point, you are probably wondering, what the heck was that? And, can a knee have an armpit? And, if knees did have armpits, wouldn't they be called kneepits? Almost every catcher is a pretty bad deal. But you have to draft one. So the idea here is to limit the damage as much as possible. If each catcher were to repeat his 2008 stats in 2009, the catcher who would be the least damaging to fantasy teams is Kelly Shoppach:
So let's pretend that we are confident that Shoppach can at least match his numbers from last season if he gets the playing time. The logical next question is, how much will that Shoppach dude play this year?
The answer? To be determined. Victor Martinez looks like he's back and healthy (he hit two home runs in a recent spring training game), and you have to believe the Indians will give Travis Hafner every chance to claim the DH role. So that leaves Shoppach fighting with Ryan Garko for playing time. The Indians' manager claims Shoppach will play "a little more than he did last year," and if that is the case Shoppach would be a great guy to have as your fantasy catcher. Last year, Shoppach had 62 at bats in the first two months of the season combined, and then 69, 66, 93, and 60 at bats in the following four months. The Prognosticators project Shoppach to average about 60 at bats per month this year (360 total) and hit between 17 and 19 home runs for the season.
Conclusion: Hard to say what sort of playing time Shoppach will get but there is a decent chance he's worth his current 19th round draft pick.
Other reading on the syllabus:
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