Over the years, many fantasy baseball aficionados viewed the catching position as one that could largely be ignored in auctions and drafts. While there have always been a handful of catchers worth owning, they often went for too much money in auctions or far too early in drafts, so many owners filled their slots with $1 pick-ups (auctions) or late-round fliers in drafts. The best thing these owners could say about their catchers was “His batting average won’t kill me” or “He will not get enough at-bats to skew my average.”

This viewpoint was not a ringing endorsement of the talent (or lack thereof) an owner was able to stick behind the plate.

As we look ahead toward the 2013 baseball season, the position appears much deeper than it has been in many years, with four guys who appear to be something of a sure thing in terms of fantasy production and value. Among the next half-dozen backstops there are several who have asterisks after their names, either because of injury or the lack of a substantive track record.

In compiling my rankings, I have taken injury history into account (i.e., Victor Martinez), and I have added value to those players who qualify at multiple positions (Joe Mauer, Carlos Santana and Mike Napoli).

(NOTE: If not for his qualifying at multiple positions, Napoli wouldn’t have made the list due to his horrific batting average and potential hip problems (can you say Bo Jackson?), but the fact he can be slotted at catcher while playing most days at 1B or DH forced me to put him on my list. Barely!)

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