Is Yankees’ Catcher Gary Sanchez Worth a Second-Round Pick?

Dr. Roto looks at Yankees' catcher Gary Sanchez while discussing position scarcity. Is Sanchez worth a second-round pick or should owners wait to select their catcher?

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Gary Sanchez (High 11, Low 42) – ADP: 20

Dr. Roto’s Analysis: Assuming most leagues have 15 teams, pick 20 places Sanchez in the early part of the second round. I get why people take him there—I can just tell you that I won’t be selecting him. Ideally, I would take Sanchez somewhere in the middle of the third round at the earliest. Sadly, I think his being a Yankee inflates his value as does position scarcity.

What does position scarcity even mean? Position scarcity means that players’ values increase at drafts because they play difficult positions to fill. To wit, because there is a dearth of star catchers, Sanchez becomes a second-round pick because someone in your league is trying to get differentiation from the rest of the league at the catcher position. While I understand the thinking, the truth is that Sanchez has to have a monster season in order to achieve second-round value.

My projections for Sanchez are: .285-35-90-80-1. Those numbers are terrific indeed, but I am not going to spend the No. 20 pick in the draft to find out.

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Mike Zunino (High 114, Low 212): ADP – 161

Dr. Roto’s Analysis: For what it’s worth, I think Zunino at 161 (middle of the 10th round) is stupendous value. Assuming Zunino hits .250, I think the rest of his numbers might look like: 25-65-60-1.

Let’s compare those numbers to Sanchez:

  • Batting Average—Sanchez significantly higher
  • Home Runs—Sanchez +10
  • RBIs—Sanchez +25
  • Runs—Sanchez +20

Is Sanchez a better player? Absolutley. But, taking Sanchez in the second round means that you must pass on players such as Francisco Lindor, Cody Bellinger, and Anthony Rizzo—three players I would gladly take instead of Sanchez and wait for Zunino in Round 10.

The bottom line is that in a perfect world Mike Zunino will give you “Gary Sanchez-light” numbers. To me, that makes him a preferable play in the mid-rounds.

Chris Iannetta (High 200, Low 469): ADP – 300

Dr. Roto’s Analysis: If you are one of those Fantasy owners who likes waiting on catchers, Chris Iannetta might be the perfect choice for you. His ADP is Round 20 and he is the type of catcher who “won’t kill you” in drafts. What makes Iannetta especially exciting this season is that he is playing in Colorado after signing a two-year deal worth $8.5 million in the off-season. Might Iannetta lose time to Tony Wolters and/or Tom Murphy? Sure. But there is also a great chance that Iannetta gets 350+ at bats and hits 20 home runs in the thin air of Colorado. Assuming that Iannetta gives you “Mike Zunino-light” numbers, he very well could be a late round steal at the end of your draft. More importantly, with a 20th Round ADP, it allows you to fill out the rest of your roster before settling on your catchers.