31-Year-Old Catcher – Free Agent
2016 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
There was no outlook written for Mike McKenry in 2016. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
Mike McKenry Contract Information:
Signed a minor league contract with the Rangers in December of 2015.
McKenry opted out of his minor league contract with the Rangers on Saturday and will become a free agent, Stefan Stevenson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports.
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Mike McKenry: MLB Games Played By Position
Mike McKenry Split Stats (View Full Split Stats)
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Mike McKenry: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Mike McKenry.
Though he failed to claim the backup catching gig with the Rockies in spring training, McKenry unseated Jordan Pacheco for those duties by June and wound up seeing more starts than anticipated when No. 1 backstop Wilin Rosario battled injuries in the second half. Despite his low expectations, McKenry shockingly morphed into one of the team’s most effective hitters when he was in the lineup, slashing .315/.398/.512 over 192 plate appearances. McKenry’s .910 OPS was nearly 200 points above his career mark, illustrating what kind of aberrant results can come to fruition when quality on-base skills collide with a .381 BABIP. That latter figure allowed the 30-year-old’s bat to remain effective outside of Coors Field, but it would be unwise to bet on him enjoying that level of luck again in 2015. Moreover, if Rosario manages to stay a bit healthier, McKenry isn’t likely to pose much of a threat for stealing away at-bats, given that he’s only a marginal upgrade defensively and is probably in line for a steep regression at the plate.
McKenry struggled mightily in 2013 before tearing up his knee July 27 and finishing the season on the 60-Day DL. Coming off a 2012 in which he hit 12 homers in 240 at-bats and posted a .762 OPS, McKenry hit just .217/.262/.348 in 115 at-bats last year. The 29-year-old was designated for assignment in November in favor of Chris Stewart, primarily because of Stewart's superior defensive skills. McKenry has shown the ability to stay hot for a couple weeks at a time -- even in a down year last summer he went 8-for-14 before his injury. He could serve fantasy owners as an in-season, waiver-wire pickup, but there's little reason to take him in drafts.
McKenry carved something of a major league role for himself in 2012. After spending parts of six seasons in the minors, McKenry hit .233/.320/.442 with 12 homers in 240 at-bats. He ranked 16th among all catchers with at least 200 at-bats with a .762 OPS, just behind Ryan Doumit (.781) and Matt Wieters (.764). From June 24 to August 13, the backstop batted .372/.429/.733 with eight homers and 26 RBI. He was an easier out the rest of the way, however. McKenry had just 13 knocks in his final 88 at-bats for a .148 batting average, giving Pittsburgh little reason to believe he's capable of handling full-time duty. With the addition of Russell Martin, McKenry remains firmly in a backup role in 2013.
McKenry figures to serve as a backup for Pittsburgh in 2012. He came out of nowhere in 2011 and hit .289/.329/.421 in July. Unfortunately, the long-time minor leaguer couldn't sustain those numbers and batted .159/.260/.254 the last two months of the year. McKenry represented the feel-good portion of the Pirates' surprising midseason dalliance with first place, but in the end he returned to reality, just like the Bucs. A 14:49 BB:K ratio portends a tough go in 2012. It would be surprising to see him even stick on the roster all season long.
McKenry is a short and stocky prototypical catcher with excellent defensive skills. He has plus arm strength and accuracy with a quick release and good footwork. Offensively, McKenry flashes a power bat and he has the ability to drive in runs. His hitting mechanics are not great, as he has a tendency to reach for pitches and he's a bit impatient at the plate. With Chris Iannetta set to take over the full-time catching duties, it may leave room for a rookie, defensive type backup with some pop. However, he probably needs more seasoning and will likely land at Triple-A. Look for him to compete for the No. 2 job in 2011.
Loosely speaking, McKenry is a backup Chris Iannetta with a better glove. He threw out nearly half of basestealers at Modesto last year, which supports the good reputation for defense he carries. Long term, he looks like Dave Ross or Ramon Castro in the majors, a backup with power and defense, but a low batting average.