36-Year-Old Catcher – Free Agent
2017 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
There was no outlook written for John Baker in 2017. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
John Baker Contract Information:
Released by the Mariners in May 2015.
Baker was released Wednesday, MLB.com's Greg Johns reports.
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John Baker: MLB Games Played By Position
John Baker Split Stats (View Full Split Stats)
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John Baker: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for John Baker.
You have one buck to spend on your second catcher at the end of the draft. You're looking for someone who might luck into playing time. Get a few homers. Steal a base or two. Hit for a can't-hurt-you batting average. Maybe he's young enough that he hasn't hit his peak yet. John Baker is none of these things. The 34-year-old backstop is nearing the end of the line.
At 32 years old, Baker has little left to offer fantasy owners. In 2012, he produced a modest bounce back from what was a useless 2011 campaign. If he was in a strict platoon and only faced lefties, he might actually be of some small use to owners as he is a career .274/.353/.388 hitter against southpaws. However, when one takes into account the fact that he'll be playing half his games at Petco Park, it's tough to see how Baker, who makes modest contact and has no power (zero home runs in 2012), will fit into most owners' plans for the 2013 season.
A slow recovery from Tommy John surgery basically scuttled his 2011, and he was mostly limited to DH and pinch-hitting duty even when he did get back onto the field. His numbers in 2009 were decent, but moving to the cavernous Petco Park for half of his games will likely stifle his limited pop. Traded to the Padres, he'll provide solid on-base skills as Nick Hundley's backup if he's now fully recovered.
Baker struggled with a forearm issue all season last year, which eventually required Tommy John surgery in September. The delay in getting diagnosed means he may be limited to pinch-hitting duties when the season begins, and the John Buck signing relegates him to backup duties anyway even when he does get fully healthy. Scratch him off your list of potentially useful endgame catchers.
Baker's excellent walk rate over 61 games in 2008 tumbled to merely OK during the 112 games he played last season, which makes him much less useful from a reality standpoint. In fantasy terms, though, his solid batting average and adequate power makes him one of the better cheap catcher options around.
Just as it started to look like Baker's defense was going to pigeon-hole him as a Triple-A lifer, injuries behind the plate forced the Marlins to give him a chance. He proved to be better than advertised with his glove and exactly as advertised with the bat, and he'll enter spring training as the starting catcher. His batting eye and ability to make solid contact pegs him as an excellent candidate for the No. 2 slot in the batting order, and if he wins that role he'll probably have a bit more value in 5x5 leagues than traditional 4x4.
Thud. That about sums up Baker's 2005 campaign, which he started out playing in the A's organization at a higher level than fellow older prospect Jeremy Brown, but ended with Baker posting a putrid .667 OPS at Triple-A Sacramento. Claimed off waivers by the Marlins, he could win a spot in the majors with a nice spring, but may need another year at Triple-A.
Baker enjoyed a solid season at Double-A Midland, hitting .280/.355/.477, but he did strike out 95 times in just 440 AB. He spent a brief stint at Triple-A Sacramento, which is where he figures to spend the bulk of the 2005 season. Oakland's trade for Jason Kendall clouds his immediate future in the organization.
One of Billy Beane's Moneyball picks from the 2002 amateur draft. Baker slumped badly following a mid-season promotion to Double-A, hitting just .240 and slugging .280 in 43 games. He's behind Jeremy Brown among A's catching prospects.