Wily Mo Pena
Wily Mo Pena
36-Year-Old OutfielderOF
Cleveland Indians
2018 Fantasy Outlook
There was no outlook written for Wily Mo Pena in 2018. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
$Signed a minor-league contract with the Indians in January of 2017.
Signs minor league deal with Indians
OFCleveland Indians  AAA
January 31, 2017
Pena agreed to a minor league deal with the Indians on Tuesday, Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports.
Pena last appeared in the MLB in 2011 and has more recently spent his 2012 through 2015 seasons in the Japan Pacific League. At 35 years old, Pena will desperately need to regain his early-career form if he hopes to find his way on to the Indians major league roster.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Pena revitalized his career in Japan and hit .255/.344/.486 with 32 home runs for the Orix Buffaloes last season. He is seeking to return to the majors. Pena has shown outstanding power in the minors and put on amazing batting practice shows, but he never found a steady role in the majors as he struck out in nearly a third of his plate appearances. While he's primarily played the outfield, he's likely more suited to first base or DH at age 33 next season. He could find a role in the majors with an AL club as a result.
Pena, who split time last season with the Diamondbacks and Mariners, signed a two-year contract in the offseason with the Softbank Hawks in Japan. Pena has shown outstanding power in the minors and puts on amazing batting practice shows, but he hasn't found a steady role in the majors. It's possible that he could revive his career in Japan and return to the States in a couple years.
Pena suffered through a miserable couple of months at the plate before admitting his left shoulder was bothering him, an injury which ended up being a torn labrum. He should be recovered from his surgery in spring training, but it's hard to see where he'll fit into the outfield picture in Washington with Josh Willingham now in town and Willie Harris re-signed to be the main backup. His power potential will likely earn him a look somewhere else though if general manager Jim Bowden can bring himself to let him go.
GM Jim "Ahab" Bowden finally landed his latest white whale, picking up Pena from the Red Sox in August. Pena responded to the change of scenery, posting numbers with the Nationals in line with his 2006 season, though his splits (.330/.395/.518 vs. LHP, .203/.269/.390 vs. RHP) still seem to label him as a platoon player. Bowden has also moved on to newer, shinier toolsy outfielders in Lastings Milledge and Elijah Dukes, so Pena may no longer be a favorite son in Washington. He may open the season as a starter, but don't expect him to get 500 at-bats, as he profiles best as a fourth outfielder.
Pena's 2006 season served as a microcosm for his entire career: loads of potential marred by injury and/or a lack of available outfield playing time. A midseason wrist surgery caused Pena to miss most of the summer, in a year when he was already platooning in right field with Trot Nixon. In the time when Pena did play, he put up promising numbers, evidenced by his .838 OPS. With the offseason acquisition of J.D. Drew, it looks as if Pena's playing time prospects may not get any better in 2007. To that effect, he has been the subject of many winter trade talks. If he sticks with the Sox, it will be as a fourth outfielder, but if he's traded, look for him to shine with another team.
The trade of Sean Casey cleared the way for Pena to play every day for the Reds, assuming they don't subsequently move him for a pitching upgrade. Pena's power upside is clear, but so is his lack of knowledge of the strike zone. If he gets a full season of at-bats, 40 homers and 200 strikeouts are well within his grasp. Alas, the phrase "within his grasp" won't often apply to his defense, given the creative paths he blazes toward routine fly balls.
While he still hasn't met a slider in the dirt that he didn't want to swing at, Pena made great strides last season. He'll likely never draw 75 walks in a season, but he may very well hit 40 homers someday. While it seems that he's been around the Reds forever, Pena will be just 23 years old this season.
Pena's situation heading into 2004 is strikingly similar to where he was before the 2003 season: no spot to play on a daily basis, out of options, and desperately needing another season in the minors to develop. The Reds are in a trap here, as Pena surely would be claimed if they tried to pass him through waivers, but wasting a roster spot if they bury him on the bench again. He showed glimpses of his potential over the second half of the season, when injuries to all three Reds starting outfielders created a playing time opportunity. Unfortunately, he also showed a glimpse of why he's been considered slow to develop - once refusing to switch from center to left field, and also refusing to go to the Arizona Fall League in lieu of the Dominican Winter League.
Pena's contract, which he signed while still with the Yankees, requires him to be in the majors by 2003, lest the Reds risk someone claiming him on waivers. Pena tore his hamstring early in Arizona Fall League play, hampering his development in a critical year. At age 20, Pena hit .255 with 11 homers in 388 in Double-A in 2002. His BB/K ratio (36/126) there was substandard, but an improvement from the previous season in Single-A (33/177). He really needs another year in the minors, but his aggressive minor league contract could force him to the majors before he's ready and hamper his chances of cashing in big later in his career.
More Fantasy News
OFFree Agent  AAA
November 23, 2014
Minnesota is interested in signing Pena to a contract for 2015, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.
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OFFree Agent  AAA
November 15, 2014
Pena had his best season in Japan in 2014, hitting .255/.344/.486 while cracking 32 home runs.
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OFFree Agent  AAA
December 7, 2013
Pena signed a one-year contract with the Orix Buffaloes of Japan on Saturday, Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca reports.
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OFFree Agent  AAA
December 2, 2011
Pena signed a two-year contract with the Softbank Hawks, the Kyodo news service reports.
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OFSeattle Mariners  AAA
September 5, 2011
Pena is back with the Mariners after missing the past four games, reports MLB.com's Greg Johns.
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