Austin Barnes
Austin Barnes
31-Year-Old CatcherC
Los Angeles Dodgers
2021 Fantasy Outlook
Barnes has minimal power and has posted an xBA below .200 each of the past three seasons, but the catcher carved out a sizable role with the Dodgers due to his work behind the plate. Among big-league backstops who logged at least 50 innings in 2020, Barnes ranked sixth overall in catcher framing runs saved (3.2) and second in strike-zone runs saved (four). The defensive work was enough to push the offensively superior Will Smith to DH at times late in the season and into the playoffs, a move that paid off when Barnes batted .320 during the postseason. The average was a stark contrast to his .230 career regular-season mark, though he has provided added value with a 12.7 BB% and 15 stolen bases over 347 contests. Still, Smith is clearly the Dodgers' future at the position, and Barnes does not pack the kind of offensive punch to be worth consideration while in a backup role. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
#553
ADP
$Signed a two-year, $4.3 million contract with the Dodgers in February of 2021.
Pinch-hit RBI
CLos Angeles Dodgers
April 29, 2021
Barnes was 1-for-1 with an RBI single as the Dodgers lost to the Brewers, 2-1 on Thursday.
ANALYSIS
Barnes pinch hit for Trevor Bauer and drove home Chris Taylor with two outs in the ninth to bring the Dodgers within one run in the eventual losing effort. It was just the third hit for the backstop over the last two weeks.
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Batting Stats
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2021
2020
2019
2018
2017
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2020 MLB Game Log
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2019 MLB Game Log
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2018 MLB Game Log
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Batting Order Slot Breakdown
vs Right-Handed Pitchers
vs RHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
11
vs Left-Handed Pitchers
vs LHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
1
1
Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2019
 
 
+12%
OPS vs RHP
2021
 
 
+48%
OPS vs RHP
2020
 
 
+4%
OPS vs LHP
2019
 
 
+13%
OPS vs RHP
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2019vs Left .585 103 12 1 9 0 .217 .291 .293
Since 2019vs Right .658 298 32 5 30 6 .215 .328 .331
2021vs Left .432 12 1 0 1 0 .182 .250 .182
2021vs Right .641 46 2 0 4 0 .222 .391 .250
2020vs Left .697 21 5 0 0 0 .316 .381 .316
2020vs Right .669 80 8 1 9 3 .231 .346 .323
2019vs Left .578 70 6 1 8 0 .194 .271 .306
2019vs Right .656 172 22 4 17 3 .207 .302 .353
More Splits View More Split Stats
Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2019
 
 
+10%
OPS at Home
2021
 
 
+16%
OPS on Road
2020
 
 
+38%
OPS at Home
2019
 
 
+4%
OPS at Home
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2019Home .677 179 24 5 19 3 .230 .298 .379
Since 2019Away .616 218 20 1 20 3 .208 .341 .275
2021Home .540 22 2 0 1 0 .176 .364 .176
2021Away .628 36 1 0 4 0 .233 .361 .267
2020Home .831 40 4 1 7 1 .333 .359 .472
2020Away .602 57 9 0 2 2 .205 .375 .227
2019Home .645 117 18 4 11 2 .204 .265 .380
2019Away .618 125 10 1 14 1 .202 .320 .298
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Stat Review
How does Austin Barnes 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
0.71
 
BB Rate
17.2%
 
K Rate
24.1%
 
BABIP
.303
 
ISO
.021
 
AVG
.213
 
OBP
.362
 
SLG
.234
 
OPS
.596
 
wOBA
.291
 
Exit Velocity
77.8 mph
 
Hard Hit Rate
27.3%
 
Barrels/PA
0.0%
 
Advanced Batting Stats
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Additional Stats
Games By Position
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 Austin Barnes
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2020
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
Barnes began 2019 as the Dodgers' primary catcher but spent much of the second half in the minors amid his second straight season of tepid offensive production. He attempted to redefine his plate approach by increasing his average launch angle to 16.0 degrees and his flyball rate to 42.0% (up from 4.4 degrees and 26.2% respectively in 2018), but the dramatic shift did little to improve his power output as Barnes popped only five home runs and posted a subpar .137 ISO. Even his patience at the plate -- possibly his greatest offensive strength -- wavered; his 3.88 P/PA and 9.5 BB% were both easily career lows. After two seasons hitting barely above the Mendoza Line, Barnes' strong 2017 campaign has largely been forgotten. With Will Smith's late-season emergence in 2019 and strong organizational depth behind the plate, Barnes will likely need a change of scenery to be given another chance at a starting role.
Barnes took over as the No. 1 during the 2017 postseason, starting 13 of 14 games after Yasmani Grandal started Game 1 of the NLDS, and many thought that he would end up being the primary backstop for most of 2018. Yeah, about that... Barnes logged just 238 plate appearances for the Dodgers and took a massive step back in terms of performance. His strikeout rate soared from 16.4% to 28.2% and in turn he lost more than 80 points from his batting average. Barnes' line-drive rate fell more than five percentage points and his rate-power stats absolutely cratered (.085 ISO, down from .197). Is all hope lost for the 29-year-old? He was an above-average contributor at every single stop on the farm and had a 142 wRC+ in 2017, so we'll say no and bet on a bounce back. With Grandal declining a qualifying offer, the door is open for Barnes to take over as the top option behind the plate, but he'll have to cement his spot atop the depth chart in spring training.
The Dodgers turned to Barnes as their backup catcher for most of 2017, using him for 55 games behind the plate (49 starts) and another 21 as part of their rotation at second base. While most of his pop came against southpaws (six of his eight homers, .514 SLG), he handled right-handed pitching capably, and became more valuable to manager Dave Roberts as a result. Barnes controls the strike zone very well, walking nearly as much (14.9 percent) as he strikes out (16.4 percent), and he is athletic enough to chip in a handful of stolen bases well, having converted 4-of-5 chances last season. Barnes emerged as the preferred backstop during the postseason, but Yasmani Grandal is still on the roster. That leaves the playing-time split unclear entering 2018, but if there is a trade, Barnes will immediately become a viable first catcher in mixed leagues.
He started and ended the 2016 season in Los Angeles, but for four-and-a-half months in between he was watching fireworks in the minors. Barnes has had a couple disappointing cups of coffee in the majors, but that only includes 74 plate appearances over three short stretches. Meanwhile, he has hit a combined .304/.384/.460 in 166 games over the past two seasons at Triple-A Oklahoma City. His game is founded on walks and doubles, so Barnes is a player whose potential value shoots up immensely in leagues that value on-base and slugging percentage. He has also played second base and some third base over the past couple seasons, giving Barnes added real-life utility. Still, playing time will be limited as long as Yasmani Grandal is healthy.
Barnes came over from the Marlins in the blockbuster deal involving Dee Gordon and quickly played his way into the organization's good graces. In 292 Triple-A at-bats, Barnes hit a healthy .315/.389/.479 with nine home runs and a surprising 12 stolen bases. That athleticism allowed him to make one-game appearances at second base and third base, but his real long-term home is likely behind the plate. Barnes made his big league debut in May, but ultimately received just 29 MLB at-bats due to the presence of Yasmani Grandal and A.J. Ellis. Going forward, Barnes' OBP skills and average power would seem to point to him at least being an average big league offensive catcher. Ellis turns 35 this year, so Barnes could eventually slot in as the No. 2 catcher while making the occasional appearance elsewhere on the diamond. That said, it would not be a surprise to see him start in Triple-A and await an opening.
Barnes received time at High-A Jupiter and Double-A Jacksonville in 2014, seeing 78 games at the higher level and carrying an impressive .296/.406/.507 line. At age-24, the numbers are less surprising from a steady college bat with his level of experience, but Barnes' ability to serve as a useful catcher makes him intriguing as a potential super utility player if he continues to hit. Barnes played exclusively as a catcher at High-A last season, but he saw time at second base and third base at Double-A. A career .298/.390/.431 hitter in the minors, Barnes showed more pop at Jacksonville last season, and he now has a .503 slugging percentage at the level. Traded to the Dodgers in December, Barnes' path to the big leagues is more obstructed -- at least temporarily -- in Los Angeles.
More Fantasy News
In lineup as expected
CLos Angeles Dodgers
April 3, 2021
Barnes (hand) will catch and bat eighth Saturday against the Rockies, J.P. Hoornstra of the Los Angeles Daily News reports.
ANALYSIS
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Suffers cuts to hand
CLos Angeles Dodgers
Hand
April 1, 2021
Barnes sustained cuts to his hand during a play at the plate Thursday against the Rockies, but he's still expected to start Saturday, Eric Stephen of SB Nation reports.
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Exits with apparent hand injury
CLos Angeles Dodgers
Hand
April 1, 2021
Barnes exited Thursday's game against the Rockies after looking at his right hand, Juan Toribio of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Draws Opening Day start
CLos Angeles Dodgers
April 1, 2021
Barnes is starting Thursday's game against the Rockies, Juan Toribio of MLB.com reports.
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Viewed as option 1A behind plate
CLos Angeles Dodgers
March 2, 2021
Barnes' role with the Dodgers this season is expected to lean more toward a timeshare than a traditional backup situation, Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times reports.
ANALYSIS
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