Alex Avila
Alex Avila
34-Year-Old CatcherC
Washington Nationals
2021 Fantasy Outlook
Avila provides on-base skills, defensive prowess and a left-handed bat in a backup catcher role. He continues to draw walks with a 17.7 BB% last season and a strong .355 OBP. His power declined sharply with just one home run and a .286 SLG. His 85.3 mph exit velocity, according to Statcast, was by far a career low. His defense also took a step back as he was just in the 31st percentile in pitch framing, according to Baseball Savant, and his DRS went from +7 in 2019 to 0 last season. He's a steady veteran backup who can at times work his way into a platoon, but he'll need to provide more power to challenge for more than a start or two per week. He'll be a do-no-harm second catcher in deep OBP leagues. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
#599
ADP
$Signed a one-year, $1.5 million contract with the Nationals in January of 2021.
Supplies only offense in win
CWashington Nationals
April 21, 2021
Avila went 2-for-3 with two doubles and an RBI in Wednesday's 1-0 win over the Cardinals.
ANALYSIS
The veteran catcher came into Wednesday having gone 0-for-6 to begin his tenure with the Nats, but Avila was the only Washington hitter to have much success against Carlos Martinez and drove in Josh Bell in the second inning with his first two-bagger. Yan Gomes remains the starter behind the plate, but Avila could earn more playing time if he keeps making the most of his opportunities.
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Batting Stats
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2021
2020
2019
2018
2017
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Batting Order Slot Breakdown
vs Right-Handed Pitchers
vs RHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
5
3
vs Left-Handed Pitchers
vs LHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2019
 
 
+9%
OPS vs RHP
2021
 
 
+12%
OPS vs LHP
2020
 
 
+3%
OPS vs RHP
2019
 
 
+17%
OPS vs RHP
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2019vs Left .697 55 4 1 9 0 .222 .364 .333
Since 2019vs Right .758 236 24 9 20 1 .196 .356 .402
2021vs Left .750 4 0 0 1 0 .000 .750 .000
2021vs Right .671 26 0 0 2 0 .182 .308 .364
2020vs Left .650 15 1 0 1 0 .250 .400 .250
2020vs Right .670 45 5 1 1 0 .171 .356 .314
2019vs Left .681 36 3 1 7 0 .219 .306 .375
2019vs Right .795 165 19 8 17 1 .205 .364 .432
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2019
 
 
+37%
OPS at Home
2021
 
 
+53%
OPS at Home
2020
 
 
+27%
OPS at Home
2019
 
 
+37%
OPS at Home
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2019Home .868 138 17 6 21 0 .232 .377 .491
Since 2019Away .635 153 11 4 8 1 .172 .340 .295
2021Home .824 14 0 0 2 0 .231 .286 .538
2021Away .538 16 0 0 1 0 .100 .438 .100
2020Home .764 24 3 1 2 0 .167 .375 .389
2020Away .602 36 3 0 0 0 .207 .361 .241
2019Home .896 100 14 5 17 0 .247 .390 .506
2019Away .654 101 8 4 7 1 .169 .317 .337
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Stat Review
How does Alex Avila compare to other hitters?
This section compares his stats with all batting seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 400 plate appearances)*. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.

* Exit Velocity and Barrels/PA % are benchmarked against 2019 data (min 400 PA) and Hard Hit Rate is benchmarked against last season's data (min 400 PA). See here for more exit velocity/barrels stats plus an explanation of current limitations with that data set.
  • BB/K
    Walk to strikeout ratio
  • BB Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a walk.
  • K Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a strikeout.
  • BABIP
    Batting average on balls in play. Measures how many of a batter’s balls in play go for hits.
  • ISO
    Isolated Power. Slugging percentage minus batting average. A computation used to measure a batter's raw power.
  • AVG
    Batting average. Hits divided by at bats.
  • OBP
    On Base Percentage. A measure of how often a batters reaches base. Roughly equal to number of times on base divided by plate appearances.
  • SLG
    Slugging Percentage. A measure of the batting productivity of a hitter. It is calculated as total bases divided by at bats.
  • OPS
    On base plus slugging. THe sum of a batter's on-base percentage and slugging percentage.
  • wOBA
    Weighted on-base average. Measures a player's overall offensive contributions per plate appearance. wOBA combines all the different aspects of hitting into one metric, weighting each of them in proportion to their actual run value.
  • Exit Velocity
    The speed of the baseball as it comes off the bat, immediately after a batter makes contact.
  • Hard Hit Rate
    A measure of contact quality from Sports Info Solutions. This stat explains what percentage of batted balls were hit hard vs. medium or soft.
  • Barrels/PA
    The percentage of plate appearances where a batter had a batted ball classified as a Barrel. A Barrel is a batted ball with similar exit velocity and launch angle to past ones that led to a minimum .500 batting average and 1.500 slugging percentage.
BB/K
0.75
 
BB Rate
20.0%
 
K Rate
26.7%
 
BABIP
.267
 
ISO
.174
 
AVG
.174
 
OBP
.367
 
SLG
.348
 
OPS
.714
 
wOBA
.330
 
Exit Velocity
78.1 mph
 
Hard Hit Rate
33.3%
 
Barrels/PA
3.7%
 
Advanced Batting Stats
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Additional Stats
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Defensive Stats
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Batted Ball Stats
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Stats Vs Upcoming Pitchers
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Alex Avila
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Juan Pablo Aravena breaks down Tuesday's Twins at Cardinals game for Dream11 contests.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2020
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
Avila was worth 1.3 wins above replacement over 201 plate appearances with the Diamondbacks, but that value was tied mostly to his quality defense and on-base skills (17.9 BB%). He has been around or below the Mendoza Line in each of the last two seasons and failed to reach double-digit home runs in both of those campaigns as well. He agreed to a one-year, $4.25 million contract with the Twins to work as the backup to Mitch Garver. Minnesota needed a placeholder in the backup catcher spot, but it's possible that top catching prospect Ryan Jeffers could unseat Avila from that role at some point in the final months of the season. Avila is a do-no-harm second catcher in deep OBP leagues, but projects to be a net negative in leagues that use batting average.
There was hope that the move to Arizona would provide a boost to Avila's value and make him a decent bargain in 2018. Oops. Avila maintained his willingness to accept walks, but cratered across the line and even a 16% walk rate could not pull his on-base percentage over the .300 mark. His strikeout rate was an abysmal 39% last year, marking the sixth consecutive season in which Avila has struck out in at least 30 percent of his plate appearances. At this point of his career, he is Adam Dunn without the homers at the plate but remains a solid defensive catcher behind the dish. His 2015-2017 seasons were good OBP seasons and he could do that again, so there is your silver lining if you are in a OBP league and must draft two catchers. In single catcher leagues, let someone else roster this risk.
Avila had his best season at the plate since 2011, returning to the Tigers after a one-year stay with the White Sox to hit .274/.394/.475 over 77 games before a midseason trade to the Cubs. Once he was traded, Avila was a temporary starter in Chicago while Willson Contreras was on the DL, and while he continued to get on base at a steady clip in the second half (.369), his average (.239) and slugging percentage (.380) plummeted while his strikeout rate jumped to 35.7 percent. Now 31, and with a significant injury history that includes multiple concussions, Avila is ideally suited for part-time duty at catcher. He figures to lead a three-headed catching timeshare in Arizona after signing a two-year deal in January.
Avila's past few seasons have been like a broken record, as he consistently puts up meager numbers while battling a multitude of injuries. Last year was no different, as he was limited to 57 games on the season due to hamstring issues. The 29-year-old's time on the field wasn't great, either, as he batted just .213 while striking out a whopping 37.3 percent of the time. He continued to display excellent patience as his 18.2 percent walk rate suggests, but his contact rate sunk like a rock to a dreary 54 percent. Avila returned to the Tigers this offseason, inking a one-year deal. He has a bit of a niche as a left-handed-batting catcher, but given his injury history and declining production, Avila isn't worth consideration for a fantasy roster spot anymore.
Avila missed 49 games in 2015 because of a knee injury. By the time he returned, his starting role with the Tigers was gone and he found himself on the short side of a platoon with James McCann. His batting average, OBP and slugging percentage have been declining since his Silver Slugger season of 2011. But in 2015, Avila became a complete liability at the plate and finished with an abysmal .191/.339/.287 slash line. His .131 average against lefties made Mario Mendoza look like a stud. Simply put, Avila is a declining player with too many miles and injuries on the odometer. His best days are definitely behind him, and considering the White Sox gave Dioner Navarro $1.5 million more than they did Avila for one year, it seems likely Avila will play second fiddle.
While his path was different this time around, the final results of Avila’s most recent campaign were similar to past seasons. Avila struggled once again, hitting .218/.327/.359 with 11 home runs, 47 RBI and 44 runs in 124 games. His final line was almost identical to his 2013 output, albeit with an additional 60 at-bats in 2014. Unlike past seasons when Avila would have a second-half surge that would lead to optimism for his next campaign, the Tigers' catcher struggled throughout the entirety of the season. Despite playing over 120 games for just the second time in his career, Avila dealt with numerous injuries throughout the 2014 season, including a postseason concussion, which spurred conversation as to whether he should consider retirement. Avila was pronounced symptom-free shortly after the Tigers' postseason exit, and the team picked up his option for the 2015 campaign. Avila will open the season as the Tigers' primary backstop, but his lack of production and history with concussions could open the door for James McCann to earn a larger role.
Avila followed up his disappointing 2012 campaign with another lackluster showing in 2013. He finished the season hitting a career-low .227 with 11 homers and 47 RBI in 330 at-bats. The 27-year-old catcher saw a noticeable drop in plate discipline, as his BB/K ratio dropped from 0.59 to 0.39 and his contact rate dipped to a career-worst 66 percent. Minor injuries and a prolonged hitting slump in the first half of the season led to a drop in playing time, allowing Avila to appear in just 102 games – his lowest total since 2010. Despite seemingly hitting rock bottom in the first half of the season (.177/.279/.293), Avila was able to bounce back after the All-Star break. In 44 second-half games, Avila hit .303/.376/.500 with five homers and 26 RBI. At 27, Avila is seemingly just entering his prime, and his strong finish to the 2013 season hints that he could still revert back to the breakout form displayed during his All-Star campaign in 2011. He’s once again locked in as the Tigers’ primary catcher, which will lead to plenty of at-bats if he’s able to stay healthy.
Avila took a step back from his All-Star caliber play of 2011, hitting just .243/.352/.384 with nine homers and 48 RBI in 367 at-bats. Avila's drop in power from 19 homers to nine can be attributed to spike in his G/F ratio, which rose from 0.9 to 1.6. If Avila can start getting the ball in the air more, we should see a bounce back in power numbers from the 26-year-old backstop. Although he was not forced to miss significant time because of injury, Avila dealt with some knee problems that carried over from the second half of the 2011 season and a concussion. The minor injuries paired with his struggles at the plate resulted in backup former Gerald Laird seeing more action against left-handed pitching as the season progressed. The good news is Avila has not reported any health issues this offseason and should be the only proven veteran behind the plate for the Tigers, which means ample playing time going forward as Detroit plans to use Victor Martinez primarily at designated hitter. His struggles last season may have hurt his value for shallow mixed leagues that start just one catcher, but Avila should still be a factor in most formats.
The breakout many were expecting from Avila in 2010 came a year later. After a lackluster 2010 campaign, Avila emerged as one of the better hitting catchers in the majors last season. The Tigers brought in one-time mentor Gerald Laird to back up Avila, so he may lose a few at-bats to lefties, but that's probably for the best considering Avila was overworked and appeared worn down near the end of the 2011 season. The knee injury that slowed him late in the year didn't require surgery, and he's expected to be at full strength for spring training. At 25, Avila is one of the better young catchers in the league and has room to develop.
After a solid 29-game stint with the Tigers in 2009, Avila came into the 2010 season with high expectations. Unfortunately he struggled in his first full season, finishing with a .228/.316/.340 line in 294 at-bats while splitting time with Gerald Laird behind the plate. The Tigers brought in Victor Martinez this offseason, but the plan is to ride Avila as the team's No. 1 backstop, giving him the majority of starts against right-handed pitching. With that gig, Avila could eclipse 400-plus at-bats in his sophomore season. His struggles at the plate in 2010 will push away some suitors, but Avila has the skills to put up a decent average with some pop. He's worth a look in deep leagues and formats that start two catchers.
After brief stints with Low-A West Michigan and Double-A Erie the past two seasons, Avila saw a promotion to the big leagues in August last year. He filled in nicely as Gerald Laird’s backup, hitting .279/.375/.590 in 61 at-bats. The success he had during his callup has locked Avila in as the backup catcher for the start 2010 season. If Laird continues to struggle with the bat, the left-handed Avila could turn his role into more of a timeshare situation than the expected backup gig.
More Fantasy News
Returns from COVID IL
CWashington Nationals
April 9, 2021
Avila was activated from the COVID-19 injured list Friday.
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Heads to COVID IL
CWashington Nationals
Not Injury Related
April 6, 2021
The Nationals placed Avila on the COVID-19 injured list Tuesday, Jessica Camerato of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Likely out due to COVID protocols
CWashington Nationals
Not Injury Related
April 4, 2021
The Nationals are expected to be without Avila due to COVID-19 protocols if MLB clears the team to begin its season during the upcoming week, Jesse Dougherty of The Washington Post reports.
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Set for No. 2 duties
CWashington Nationals
March 21, 2021
Avila has gone 4-for-20 (.200) through eight Grapefruit League games with a double, a home run and a shaky 1:9 BB:K.
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Lands with Washington
CWashington Nationals
January 28, 2021
Avila signed a one-year, $1.5 million contract with the Nationals on Thursday, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports.
ANALYSIS
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