This article is part of our MLB Barometer series.
Continuing my series of general research pieces to pass the time while we wait for a steady stream of baseball news to arrive, this week's introduction will look at the value of top-tier catchers.
I'm a big fan of using projection systems and auction calculators as part of my draft preparation. While I'm certainly not a slave to our robot overlords, I turn to them frequently as a check on my intuitions. Sure, much of the skill in being a good fantasy owner comes in identifying players who will beat their projections, but there's also an undeniable echo chamber involved in fantasy analysis. Looking at what a computer program that's never read a single fantasy article thinks can be quite useful for offsetting our collective biases.
One thing I've noticed as a recurring theme with auction calculators is that they universally seem to think we should be drafting the top catchers higher than we typically do. Are we collectively biased against catchers as drafters? Sure, they definitely produce at a lower rate than the other hitters we could grab at the same slot, but are we perhaps underestimating just how low the floor is at the position?
To get a clearer sense of whether I should agree with the calculators on this issue, I considered a roster with, say, J.T. Realmuto at pick 46 (his NFBC ADP since the start of March) versus one of the top non-catcher hitters typically available at that spot. Since you have to pick up