category scarcity is another concept that you will often see mentioned in the preseason magazines right alongside position scarcity. Most player values are figured out by how much a player wll contribute to the OVERALL numbers of a category (ex: 30 steals is a higher percentage of ALL steals than 30 hrs is of ALL hrs)
this is also a FACT but gets over-used. When my league first switched from s-draft to auction 6 (7?) years ago, some nimrods were actually using the suggested auction prices straight out of the magazines. This is a horrible mistake because usually they are for al or nl only, not mixed and because most magazines dont even bother to only have their dollar values equal the standard league salary cap of 3,120. (12 teams, $260 per team)
Besides the problem of ALL players being more expensive in the magazine than in reality, people immediately realized they were paying WAY too much for steals and saves. Over the years, I have simply stopped paying for saves completely (culminating in 2002s $1 bullpen of guardado,gagne and scrubs that was by far the best bullpen) and only pay for steals in the form of possible 20-20 or better guys (beltran is on my team every year, derrek lee has been for 2 years and will continue to be)
i predicted juan pierres huge steals year, but couldnt bring myself to pay for him on draft day and continue to hate myself for it.
i'm tryign to decide if it was a one-time error, or a sign that ive become a slave to my own rules, and didnt "change with the times" and realize that steals are so rare now that you have to pay for them again. im actually leaning toward the latter.
I actual WARN new players in my league that if they go by general magazine/internet prices they will get hosed on draft day, and that they should try to proceed cautiously until they get a feel for our prices. Because ANY player, even experienced, will be amazed at just how LITTLE our league winds up paying for closers and steals. its my fault, i know, because rather than bidding people up , i started just dropping out of auctions all together (for time's sake we just go around the table, if you pass, youre OUT) and eventually my league mates started to do the same to save money to bid against me for other players. but with the exception of starting to pay for saves (will NEVER happen) or steals , theres nothing i can do about it.
actually, maybe i should pay for gagne next year, just to try to get the wheels of change turning...
anyway, the point is just that categorical scarcity is just as real as position scarcity but they are just one more factor and not the be-all , end-all.