34-Year-Old First Baseman – Free Agent
2018 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
There was no outlook written for John Jaso in 2018. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
John Jaso Contract Information:
Signed a two-year, $8 million contract with the Pirates in December of 2015.
Jaso, who will become a free agent this offseason, said Sunday that he'll likely retire from professional baseball, Elizabeth Bloom of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. "Honestly, this is probably it for me, as far as baseball goes," Jaso said. "I don't know, I've played this game for a while, it's done a lot of great things for me, and I got to meet a lot of really cool people along the way. But I don't know, my mind is going elsewhere and everything like that. We'll see. I mean I can't say anything for sure. I can't really tell you what the future holds or whatever. But if I left now, it would be a really good feeling to leave right now, if I did. These last couple of years with the Pirates were good."
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John Jaso: MLB Games Played By Position
John Jaso Split Stats (View Full Split Stats)
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John Jaso Defensive Stats
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2017 Stat Review for John Jaso As compared to the top 200 hitters in 2016 (min 410 PA)
Patience at the plate often leads to positive outcomes.
A couple of useful stats for evaluating a hitter.
Good contact skills often lead to better fantasy stats.
SLG and ISO are useful indicators of power.
John Jaso: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for John Jaso.
Jaso proved that starting on an everyday basis might be a bit above his pay grade. While starting regularly, he batted .298/.367/.426 in 211 plate appearances through June 10. His transition from the outfield to first base went better than anyone could've expected, but he seemed to tire from the workload. Over the next two-plus months, he batted .192 and lost playing time. He then settled into a part-time role and was one of Pittsburgh's better hitters (.339/.406/.661 in his final 69 plate appearances). His path to playing time in 2017 is narrower following the emergence of Josh Bell and the late-season extension given to David Freese. At $4 million, Jaso becomes an expensive bench player in an organization with tight pockets. The Pirates have talked about giving him repetitions at third base, but unless the team suffers several crippling injuries, it's unlikely he sees another 432 plate appearances.
Jaso walked in his first plate appearance of the season on Opening Day. He attempted to steal second base, but injured his wrist sliding into the bag and missed three months as the injury lingered on much longer than expected. He has always been able to draw plenty of walks, but Jaso is more of a doubles guy than a home-run hitter and he doesnít hit lefties at all. Further, Jaso hasnít seen 400 plate appearances since his rookie season in 2010, and after signing with the Pirates in the offseason that isn't likely to change in the near term. Most importantly, he has lost his catcher eligibility. Perhaps he has the inside track for playing time at first base entering spring training, but Jaso figures to eventually give way to prospect Josh Bell.
For the second straight season, Jaso's campaign ended early due to concussions. Jaso was having a decent 2014, even showing a bit of pop with nine homers in 307 at-bats. One concerning aspect of his season was his usually excellent OBP (.394 in 2012 and .387 in 2013) fell down to .337 in 2014, as his walk rate was cut almost in half from over 15.0% in 2012 and 2013 to 8.1%. His power increase enabled him to put up a .767 OPS in 2014, a very solid number for a catcher. The issue for big league teams is figuring out what to do with Jaso position-wise with the growing concussion issues. While he is a great hitter for a catcher, he is a very poor defensive catcher, and he graded out among the worst defenders behind the plate last season. Assuming health, Jaso will be in the lineup against righties, but it might be at first base or at DH following a January trade back to Tampa Bay, a move that will help to keep him healthy and make him a sneaky second catcher in two-catcher leagues as he will still have catcher eligibility.
The A's acquired Jaso in January of 2013 and immediately slotted him into the starting catcher role. Jaso provided a lot of value for the A's in 207 at-bats with his .387 OBP, the main reason the A's coveted him, but concussion symptoms ended his season in July. Jaso does not have a lot of power, but does have value in leagues with OBP as a category and as long as he is healthy, he should be back to starting behind the plate when the A's face righties while drawing a large supply of walks and potentially hitting higher in the batting order than the typical discounted catcher.
A seemingly minor move last offseason turned into a major find for the Mariners in Jaso, who was the team's best hitter last season. His biggest problem was earning manager Eric Wedge's trust behind the plate. He didn't catch his first game until May and played more games at DH than catcher last year. †He likely won't have similar problems this year as he was dealt to Oakland in January. Jaso makes consistent contact and works the count; his 1.10 BB:K by far led the Mariners last season, and his 56 walks were only three less than team-leader Dustin Ackley in more than 300 fewer plate appearances. Jaso likely goes to camp as the No. 1 catcher, though his struggles against left-handers could lead to a platoon. †Even if he can't hit lefties, though, the A's likely didn't acquire Jaso to not give him †more at-bats than the 294 he had last season.
The signing of veteran Jose Molina coupled with a pair of young catching prospects ready to contribute in Tampa Bay made Jaso expendable, and he was traded to Seattle. Jaso cooled off in his full second season, seeing his batting average drop 39 points to a paltry .224 and a decreased walk rate led to a 74-point drop in his OBP. Jaso should see a slight boost in those stats but is an endgame filler given his new home ballpark and backup role with the Mariners.
Jaso was one of the bigger surprises for the Rays last season, taking advantage of an early injury to Kelly Shoppach and a slumping Dioner Navarro to become the team's primary catcher. Jaso ended up hitting leadoff most nights when he was in the lineup, using an outstanding batting eye (59:39 BB:K ratio) to a .372 OBP. He'll share catching duties with Shoppach now after Navarro was non-tendered and should get the lion's share of playing time out of that platoon. He's a decent choice as a No. 2 catcher (especially if your league uses OBP); just be sure to realize the likelihood for limited power and speed numbers.
Jaso has a solid batting eye (46:48 BB:K ratio) but isn't as good defensively as Shawn Riggans or Jose Lobaton. With the addition of Kelly Shoppach and the glut of catchers on the 40-man roster, it will take a couple of injuries for him to get a shot at time with the Rays.
Before his September cup o'joe with the big club, Jaso held his own in a relatively tough hitters' environment at Double-A Montgomery and also did well at the plate in a brief Triple-A stint. We'll see how much of a challenge Jaso gives Shawn Riggans for the backup catcher job in the spring; the Rays like Jaso's bat, but they love Riggans' defense more at the moment.
Jaso's bat really blossomed last season. His defense is still holding him back, however; as a catcher, he's a heck of a DH. Still, the Rays don't yet have long-term solutions in place at the major league level at either catcher or DH, so Jaso is still in the organization's plans. He could fill a role as the left-handed part of a DH platoon, especially if he can also convince folks that he could enter the game as a third catcher and not contend for the league lead in passed balls. Jaso likely starts 2008 at Triple-A Durham for the Rays, with a chance for a big league callup before season's end.
Jaso has great on-base skills and good left-handed power, but injuries have really held him back. He also may not be a catcher much longer. Still, a bat like this will find a chance somewhere. Likely a year or more away from the bigs, heíll take more time if asked to learn a new position.