Isiah Kiner-Falefa
24-Year-Old CatcherC
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Kiner-Falefa got the call to Texas as an injury replacement in mid-April and surprisingly stuck around for the remainder of the season. His approach survived the transition to the major leagues, as the 23-year-old took walks at close to an average clip while putting bat to ball with good consistency (15.7% strikeout rate). Unfortunately, he didn't drive the ball with much authority when he made contact -- 29.3% hard-hit rate, .096 ISO. He hit the ball into the ground a lot (51.2%) and that combined with only modest speed resulted in 14 GDPs in 396 plate appearances. After Elvis Andrus returned from injury, the Rangers chose to transition Kiner-Falefa to a catching role rather than send him back to the minors, which was surprising given his limited experience behind the plate in the minors. It spoke to how highly the team thinks of Kiner-Falefa. That said, he's not a starting-caliber player in real life, and is an unexciting second catcher in 15-team leagues. Read Past Outlooks
Set for even split behind plate
CTexas Rangers
March 15, 2019
Kiner-Falefa will split time evenly with Jeff Mathis behind the plate this season, T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
The news contradicts reports from earlier in the offseason, when the team suggested Mathis would start the majority of games. Kiner-Falefa's .261/.325/.357 line as a rookie wasn't anything special, but it's certainly better than Mathis' .198/.258/.306 career mark. Mathis has a much better reputation as a defender, but the 23-year-old Kiner-Falefa is far more likely to be a part of the team's future than the 35-year-old Mathis, so the Rangers have reason to let the young backstop work through any potential defensive struggles in what figures to be a rebuilding season.
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Batting Stats
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Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2016
 
 
+29%
OPS vs LHP
2018
 
 
+29%
OPS vs LHP
2017
No Stats
2016
No Stats
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2016vs Left .801 133 17 1 14 0 .288 .368 .432
Since 2016vs Right .622 263 26 3 20 7 .248 .302 .319
2018vs Left .801 133 17 1 14 0 .288 .368 .432
2018vs Right .622 263 26 3 20 7 .248 .302 .319
2017vs Left 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2017vs Right 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2016vs Left 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2016vs Right 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2016
 
 
+2%
OPS on Road
2018
 
 
+2%
OPS on Road
2017
No Stats
2016
No Stats
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2016Home .676 191 23 0 22 6 .270 .332 .345
Since 2016Away .687 205 20 4 12 1 .253 .318 .368
2018Home .676 191 23 0 22 6 .270 .332 .345
2018Away .687 205 20 4 12 1 .253 .318 .368
2017Home 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2017Away 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2016Home 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2016Away 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
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Stat Review
How does Isiah Kiner-Falefa 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.
BB/K
0.45
 
BB Rate
7.1%
 
K Rate
15.7%
 
BABIP
.306
 
ISO
.096
 
AVG
.261
 
OBP
.325
 
SLG
.357
 
OPS
.682
 
Advanced Batting Stats
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Additional Stats
Games By Position
Defensive Stats
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Stats Vs Upcoming Pitchers
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2018 Fantasy Outlook
Injuries have opened the door for Kiner-Falefa, a fourth-round pick out of Mid Pacific Institute High School in 2013. He is expected to play regularly at second base while Rougned Odor is out with a hamstring injury, but Kiner-Falefa has not displayed mixed-league-worthy skills in the minor leagues. The 23-year-old's batting eye is respectable -- he had a 7.2 percent walk rate and 12.6 percent strikeout rate in 570 plate appearances at the Double-A level in 2017 -- but there is a total absence of power with Kiner-Falefa. His career-high ISO on the farm is .101, a number buoyed by the favorable conditions in Frisco (the most hitter-friendly park in the Texas League). He had just a .368 SLG on the road that year and his ISO has not exceeded .064 at any other stop. Further, while Kiner-Falefa ran some last season, totaling 17 stolen bases, he hasn't been efficient as a base stealer in the minors (51-for-77) and he will likely be stuck at the bottom of the order when he's playing for Texas.
More Fantasy News
Doubles in two
CTexas Rangers
February 28, 2019
Kiner-Falefa went 1-for-2 with a double, two RBI and a run scored Thursday against the Angels.
ANALYSIS
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To stick with catching
CTexas Rangers
February 9, 2019
The Rangers plan to have Kiner-Falefa concentrate more on catching than the infield in 2019, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Telegram reports.
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Maintaining average as catcher
CTexas Rangers
August 26, 2018
Kiner-Falefa made his 23rd start at catcher Sunday and went 1-for-3 win a 3-1 loss to the Giants.
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Has four-game, multi-hit streak
CTexas Rangers
August 9, 2018
Kiner-Falefa went 3-for-5 with two doubles and three runs scored in Wednesday's 11-7 win over the Mariners. It was his fourth straight multi-hit game.
ANALYSIS
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Homers in back-to-back games
CTexas Rangers
July 29, 2018
Kiner-Falefa went 2-for-5 with a solo home run in Saturday's 7-3 win over the Astros.
ANALYSIS
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