In eight years of playing fantasy baseball, spanning 60-plus leagues, I have never sprung for a catcher in the early rounds.
After all, what's the point of surrendering a high pick on a temperamental talent, at a demanding position, when most mixed leagues call for only one starting catcher?
This reasoning is an abstract prelude or warning to the following statement: If you believe Mike Napoli is MLB's closest thing to Mike Piazza in his heyday ... you will be severely disappointed in my preseason assessment of the Top 20 Catchers for 2012. There's really no way around it.
On the flip side, if you subscribe to the rationale that Buster Posey, Joe Mauer, Brian McCann, Carlos Santana, Matt Wieters, Miguel Montero and Napoli are largely interchangeable pieces in the elite strata from year to year, you may endorse my high-end, risk-reward appreciation for a pair of 25-and-under studs who are primed for monster seasons.
Either way, let's start the show!