31-Year-Old Outfielder – Free Agent
2015 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
With a mere 12 extra-base hits (no homers) in 497 at-bats with Triple-A Gwinnett in 2014 and just seven home runs in his 10 minor league seasons, Constanza's utter lack of power is well documented. He...
The Braves released Constanza on Friday, David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
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Jose Constanza: MLB Games Played By Position
Jose Constanza: Minor League Games Played By Position
Jose Constanza Split Stats (View Full Split Stats)
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Jose Constanza: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Several injuries to the Braves' outfield resulted in Constanza getting the call to the majors in mid-July, after he spent the first three and a half months of the 2013 season at Triple-A Gwinnett. Constanza made only a handful of starts for the big club, and spent the rest of his time with Atlanta in a reserve/pinch-hit role. All in all, Constanza went 8-for-31 (.258 average) with zero extra-base hits while up, and was caught stealing on all three of his attempts, though he did swipe 21 bags in 30 attempts with Gwinnett (83 games). Now 30 years old, Constanza hasn't slugged above .375 in any of his last three seasons in the minors, and while he has hit with consistency at the Triple-A level (.306 average), it's unlikely he'll see enough playing time to contribute significantly at the dish or on the basepaths in 2014.
Despite a strong minor league on-base percentage throughout his career with the Indians and Braves, Constanza has never been a real prospect. Now 29, he made the majors for the first time in 2011 and hit well enough to briefly win a platoon role in right field. Constanza took a big step back in 2012, though, with a sub-.600 OPS. That has left Atlanta searching for another backup outfielder. There is still a strong possibility Constanza sees time on the major league roster, though. His minor league numbers have always been good and the Braves will have to replace one and maybe two starting outfield spots before worrying about the bench.
Constanza looked like a possible late bloomer after posting decent on-base numbers the past few years in the minors, but didn't get much notice from big league clubs. He finally got a shot in July when the Atlanta outfield was hit hard by injuries and he caught fire. He hit .372 with a .904 OPS and seven steals in his first 23 games, even supplanting Jason Heyward in the starting lineup for most of August. However, he was out of the lineup for a few days in late August with an ankle injury and lost his magic at the plate, hitting .129 with no stolen bases and falling into a reserve role the rest of the season. Constanza doesn't have enough power to maintain a regular job, but makes good contact, draws some walks and offers speed for fantasy purposes. He'll try to win a reserve outfield role again with Atlanta this spring.