Jake Bauers
Jake Bauers
24-Year-Old First Baseman1B
Cleveland Indians
2020 Fantasy Outlook
The Indians acquired Bauers from the Rays last offseason, intrigued by his plate discipline and athleticism. They knew Bauers exhibited contact issues and unfortunately, they persisted throughout the 2019 season. Bauers failed to build on his rookie campaign, eventually being sent to Triple-A Columbus for most of August. His patience waned as his walk rate dropped from 13.9% in 2018 to 10.6%. It wasn't all bad as the lefty improved quality of contact versus southpaws, slugging better against same-side pitching. Bauers' minor-league strikeout rate was 17.1%, so there's room to improve on his career 24.6% MLB mark. Despite struggling previously in the outfield, Bauers' best path to regular action is left field with Carlos Santana and Franmil Reyes earmarked for first base and designated hitter. There's playing time available, but to this point Bauers has done little to instill confidence he'll take advantage. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
#554
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$Signed a one-year contract with the Rays in March of 2018. Traded to the Indians in December of 2018.
Won't break camp in majors
1BCleveland Indians  AAA
July 22, 2020
ANALYSIS
Bauers evidently didn't do enough in camp to even earn a bench spot. The 24-year-old hasn't done much through his first 213 big-league games, hitting a modest .214/.314/.377, not nearly good enough for a player limited to first base and the outfield corners defensively.
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Batting Stats
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2019
2018
2019 MLB Game Log
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2018 MLB Game Log
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Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2018
 
 
+10%
OPS vs RHP
2020
No Stats
2019
Even Split
2018
 
 
+24%
OPS vs RHP
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2018vs Left .644 234 23 7 22 0 .207 .283 .361
Since 2018vs Right .710 577 71 16 69 9 .218 .326 .384
2020vs Left 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2020vs Right 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2019vs Left .682 128 13 5 14 0 .231 .289 .393
2019vs Right .683 295 33 7 29 3 .224 .322 .361
2018vs Left .595 106 10 2 8 0 .176 .276 .319
2018vs Right .740 282 38 9 40 6 .211 .331 .409
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2018
 
 
+9%
OPS on Road
2020
No Stats
2019
 
 
+51%
OPS on Road
2018
 
 
+31%
OPS at Home
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2018Home .663 417 49 12 46 8 .201 .310 .353
Since 2018Away .720 394 45 11 45 1 .229 .318 .402
2020Home 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2020Away 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2019Home .538 198 20 5 17 2 .166 .258 .280
2019Away .812 225 26 7 26 1 .279 .360 .452
2018Home .782 219 29 7 29 6 .235 .358 .425
2018Away .595 169 19 4 19 0 .160 .262 .333
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Prospect Rankings History
Advanced Batting Stats
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Additional Stats
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Defensive Stats
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Jake Bauers
The Z Files: Monitoring American League Camps
40 days ago
Todd Zola previews the current state of American League rosters and notes that Aaron Judge and the formidable Yankees offense should be fully healthy for Opening Day.
Regan's Rumblings: 10 Sleepers on My Mind
80 days ago
Dave Regan discusses sleepers he’s been pondering lately, including the Mets’ J.D. Davis who should be an everyday left fielder if the season comes to fruition.
The Z Files: Winning Tendencies, Part Four
87 days ago
Todd Zola continues his breakdown of last year's NFBC Main Event rosters and explains why he thinks Christian Yelich showed up on so few league-winning squads.
Regan's Rumblings: Regan's Sleepers
111 days ago
Dave Regan shares his sleepers for the 2020 season, including Houston's Lance McCullers, whose strikeout rate could pay off.
Spring Training Job Battles: Early March Update
157 days ago
Erik Halterman analyzes the latest spring training job battles, including the Diamondbacks bullpen where Archie Bradley has yet to be named the closer.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2019
2018
2017
2016
Bauers is not your prototypical first baseman. He does not hit with the power that we associate with the position, but he has better-than-average pop. He has enough athleticism to play both first base and the outfield, and has stolen 36 bases over the past two seasons. He has had double-digit home runs and steals in each of the past two seasons, most of which has been spent at Triple-A Durham. His rookie season was a disappointment, hurt mostly by a terrible stretch over the summer where he became a three-true-outcome player. Over 85 plate appearances in August and September, Bauers hit .058/.202/.072. He struggles against lefties, and will likely be platooned even following an offseason trade to the Indians. One has to hope the summer struggles were an adjustment period and not a sign of things to come.
If the ball stays juiced, Bauers could end up being one of the most underrated prospects in the minors. He has an elite approach and quality hit tool, which could lead to on-base percentages north of .360. Bauers is an average runner with great instincts on the bases -- a rare skill for a Triple-A first baseman. He also has above-average raw power, but doesn't access all of it in games yet. This is where he becomes impossible to project. If Jesse Winker can get to the big leagues and hit seven home runs in 47 games, then Bauers is capable of being a 20-plus homer bat from Day 1, but it's unclear if this power environment will continue in perpetuity. The outfield experiment was a flop, and he should take the reins as the everyday big-league first baseman early in his age-22 season. His plate skills and modest speed contributions provide a solid floor, but his power output will determine whether he is a sought after fantasy first baseman or a corner-infield replacement option in standard leagues.
Bauers' 2016 numbers with Double-A Montgomery may not jump out at a glance, but considering his age relative to level, it was a highly successful campaign. The 21-year-old outfielder/first baseman's OBP represented a 41-point improvement over the number he generated in his 285-plate appearance sample at the Double-A level in 2015 -- a product of Bauers walking a career-high 73 times over 581 plate appearances (pushing his walk rate from 7.4 percent to 12.6 percent). He also showed an ability to make consistent contact, striking out at just a 15.3 percent clip. Bauers figures to start 2017 back at Montgomery, and whether he will stick at his corner infield spot or settle permanently in the outfield remains in question. He may have better overall long-term viability in the latter role, as the lefty hitter doesn't project to hit for elite power at the highest level, although there is still room for projection in that department.
Simply put, first base prospects have to hit a lot to make it in the big leagues. Nobody questions Bauers' hit tool, but forget plus power, he may not even have above-average power. Every now and then a player like James Loney or Casey Kotchman is able to carve out a career as a starting first baseman despite never hitting 20 home runs in a season, but it is a pretty rare feat. Additionally, those players are usually afterthoughts in fantasy. The fact that Bauers hit .276 in 285 plate appearances at Double-A as a 19-year-old is incredibly impressive, but that does not change his long-term outlook. He played the outfield in the Arizona Fall League, where his offensive profile would be a better fit, but it remains to be seen if he has the ability to handle an outfield corner in the upper levels. If he remains a first baseman, he will be a low-upside option, due to the lack of projectable power, but he becomes more interesting in dynasty leagues if there is a permanent transition to the outfield.
More Fantasy News
On roster bubble
1BCleveland Indians  AAA
March 26, 2020
Bauers was on the roster bubble when camp was suspended, MLB.com's Mandy Bell reports.
ANALYSIS
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Confident entering 2020
1BCleveland Indians  AAA
February 19, 2020
Bauers has been working on his swing mechanics all winter and says his confidence is high entering 2020, Mandy Bell of MLB.com reports. "I've never felt as good hitting as I do now," Bauers said. "It's not just BP, either. We're in the cage hitting off the velo machine. I could never hit that thing and I'm squaring balls up. I'm just excited to get into games, because obviously that's where it matters. You can be the best 5 o'clock hitter in the world. It doesn't matter. I'm just excited to get into games and see how it plays."
ANALYSIS
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Situated on bench
1BCleveland Indians  AAA
September 17, 2019
Bauers isn't in the starting lineup for Tuesday's game against the Tigers.
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Sits again Sunday
1BCleveland Indians  AAA
September 15, 2019
Bauers remains on the bench Sunday against the Twins.
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Sits for Game 2
1BCleveland Indians  AAA
September 14, 2019
Bauers is not in the lineup for Game 2 of Saturday's doubleheader against the Twins.
ANALYSIS
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