29-Year-Old Catcher – Free Agent
2017 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
There was no outlook written for Hank Conger in 2017. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
Hank Conger Contract Information:
Signed a minor-league contract with the Diamondbacks in February of 2017. Released by the Diamondbacks in July of 2017.
Conger will catch and bat eighth in the order during the Diamondbacks' Cactus League game Tuesday against the Mariners, Nick Piecoro of The Arizona Republic reports.
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Hank Conger: MLB Games Played By Position
Hank Conger Split Stats (View Full Split Stats)
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Hank Conger Defensive Stats
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Hank Conger: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Hank Conger.
Acquired by the Astros via trade prior to last season, Conger was hampered by a wrist injury during spring training, but entered 2015 healthy as the No. 2 catcher behind starter Jason Castro. In the backup role, he logged 73 games for Houston and finished with career-highs in home runs (11), RBI (33), OBP (.311), SLG (.448), and OPS (.759), all while balancing a terrible 69 percent contact rate against a solid 10 percent walk rate. Conger posted an elite .219 ISO and was generally considered one of the better backup catchers in the league, offensively. Following an offseason trade to Tampa Bay, Conger now finds himself tentatively atop a team's depth chart at catcher, but the Rays have options a plethora of options behind him including Curt Casali, Rene Rivera, and Justin O'Conner.
Conger was long thought to be the catcher of the future in the Angels' system after being selected in the first round of the 2006 draft, but the 27-year-old never quite put it together offensively as a member of the Halos, tallying a .618 OPS in just 80 games in 2014 while ceding the majority of time behind the plate to veteran Chris Iannetta. While Conger's power showed a sharp drop off (.104 ISO), he was able to increase his walks and cut down on strikeouts a bit in 2014. With a career punchout rate of 21.4%, he may continue to have a hard time getting his average above the .250 mark. Conger was traded to the Astros in November for catcher Carlos Perez and pitcher Nick Tropeano, which could conceivably give him a better avenue to becoming a full-time catcher, as incumbent Jason Castro hit just .222 in 126 games last season.
While platooning with Chris Iannetta, Conger played 92 games in 2013, his highest total yet in the big leagues. While Conger may provide some pop (.155 ISO in 2013), his high strikeout rate (23.9%) could limit his ceiling going forward. Though he certainly has flaws offensively, his 101 OPS+ last season may be an indication that he will be able to hit enough to be serviceable at what is perennially a defense-first position. Conger will likely continue a platoon with Iannetta in 2014 unless one of the catchers can begin to pull away from the other at the plate.
Conger barely sniffed the big leagues last year, but his future remains promising after posting a .295/.347/.473 batting line in 288 plate appearances for Triple-A Salt Lake City. He's considered the favorite to serve as the backup to Chris Iannetta this year, but may have to compete with John Hester for that job. While it's hard to imagine that Hester could win the spot over Conger, manager Mike Scioscia has become known for his unusual decisions regarding catchers, and seems to heavily favor defensive-minded backstops. Conger could stumble into some fantasy value this year if Iannetta misses a significant chunk of time with an injury, but otherwise his value figures to be limited.
Conger posted an .851 OPS at Triple-A over the last two seasons, but he hit just .209 in 177 at-bats with the big club last year. It's clear he knows how to hit Triple-A pitching, but his offensive struggles with the Angels last season prompted the club to acquire Chris Iannetta in the offseason. While Conger remains the Angels' catcher of the future, he'll either open 2012 as Iannetta's backup, or back at Triple-A at age 24 to get regular playing time.
Conger had little trouble figuring out the pitching in his first Triple-A season, finishing with a .300 batting average, 11 home runs, 49 RBI and an .848 OPS. Conger, the team's top selection in the 2006 draft, appears ready for the big leagues, but several other experienced catchers on the roster still block his way. Conger will likely do no better than split the playing time behind the plate at any point this season, but expect the Angels to get him enough playing time to potentially take over the full-time duties in 2012.
A slow start tamped down his numbers, but Conger showed significant gains in plate discipline and in throwing out runners. That last part is critical, as not everyone is sold on him as a catcher, and he needs to stay behind the plate to sustain his value. He'll reach the majors this year, but with Mike Napoli and Jeff Mathis ahead of him, Conger may not get real playing time until 2012.
Conger batted .303 with 13 home runs and 75 RBI for High-A Rancho Cucamonga last season. He's proving to be very effective at the plate, but he still needs to work on his ugly 14:55 BB:K ratio. The Angels' first-round pick in 2006, Conger is progressing nicely through the system, but he’s still a year or two away from contributing to the major league squad.
Conger battled injuries in 2007, but he was impressive when he was on the field. In only 84 games, Conger hit .290 with 11 home runs and 48 RBI at Low-A Cedar Rapids. Though not as good defensively as other catchers in the system, Conger may have the best bat of the bunch. Conger is a long ways away from Anaheim, but he should solidify his prospect status in 2008 with another big year at the plate. Don't expect him to make his debut until mid-to-late 2009.