Cliff Pennington
Cliff Pennington
34-Year-Old Second Baseman2B
Texas Rangers
2018 Fantasy Outlook
Pennington had a decent year for the Angels as a bench infielder, putting up a .253/.306/.330 slash line with respectable defense in 217 plate appearances. It was enough to keep him on the team, and will probably be enough to keep him in the majors next year, but his utility in fantasy remains limited to very deep leagues. The veteran infielder hasn't received more than 300 plate appearances since 2012, and nothing he's done in recent years has encouraged teams to expand his role. Pennington could produce a respectable batting average for a part-time middle infielder, but is unlikely to offer much in any other category. He hasn't stolen more than three bases since 2014 and hasn't hit more than three home runs since 2012. Read Past Outlooks
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$Signed a two-year, $3.75 million contract with the Angels in November of 2015.
Signed to minor-league deal
2BTexas Rangers  AAA
May 18, 2018
Pennington signed a minor league contract with the Rangers on Friday.
ANALYSIS
Pennington was dreadful in 16 games for the Reds, as he hit just .138/.265/.138 with no extra-base hits in 29 at-bats. He hasn't posted an OPS above .700 since 2010, and his usefulness, should he make it to the majors with Texas, will mostly lie in his ability to play multiple infield positions.
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Batting Stats
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Minor League Game Log
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Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2016
 
 
+41%
OPS vs RHP
2018
 
 
+139%
OPS vs LHP
2017
 
 
+35%
OPS vs RHP
2016
 
 
+228%
OPS vs RHP
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2016vs Left .448 91 5 0 3 0 .212 .225 .224
Since 2016vs Right .630 348 37 6 28 4 .229 .301 .329
2018vs Left .833 4 0 0 0 0 .333 .500 .333
2018vs Right .349 30 1 0 0 0 .115 .233 .115
2017vs Left .512 64 3 0 3 0 .246 .250 .262
2017vs Right .690 153 20 3 18 3 .256 .329 .361
2016vs Left .190 23 2 0 0 0 .095 .095 .095
2016vs Right .624 165 16 3 10 1 .225 .287 .338
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2016
 
 
+16%
OPS at Home
2018
 
 
+5%
OPS at Home
2017
 
 
+1%
OPS at Home
2016
 
 
+41%
OPS at Home
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2016Home .631 234 20 4 21 2 .247 .296 .335
Since 2016Away .544 205 22 2 10 2 .200 .272 .272
2018Home .411 18 1 0 0 0 .133 .278 .133
2018Away .393 16 0 0 0 0 .143 .250 .143
2017Home .640 112 10 2 14 1 .265 .306 .333
2017Away .631 105 13 1 7 2 .239 .305 .326
2016Home .656 104 9 2 7 1 .245 .288 .367
2016Away .464 84 9 1 3 0 .162 .235 .230
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Stat Review
How does Cliff Pennington 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
0.38
 
BB Rate
14.7%
 
K Rate
38.2%
 
BABIP
.250
 
ISO
.000
 
AVG
.138
 
OBP
.265
 
SLG
.138
 
OPS
.403
 
Advanced Batting Stats
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Additional Stats
Games By Position
Defensive Stats
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
2009
2006
Pennington's calling card was always his defensive versatility more so than his offensive capabilities, but no matter what way you slice it, 2016 showed more decline. The utility infielder's troubles began right out of the gate, as he injured his hamstring in the early going. Then, once it seemed like he was back to full health, he aggravated the injury just a few days after being activated off the disabled list. Even when he was active, however, his production was dreadful. The 32-year-old stumbled to the finish line with a .209 batting average while striking out nearly 30 percent of the time. Pennington is slated to spend the 2017 season as a reserve infielder for the Angels, which limits his already low ceiling for fantasy production. Extenuating circumstances are needed for him to make virtually any fantasy impact going forward.
Pennington was brought in by the Blue Jays at the deadline and went from being a league average player to an emergency fill-in that struggled mightily. In 72 games with the Diamondbacks, he hit for a .237/.314/.281 slash line. However, his real value came in his utility defensively, playing second base, short stop, third base and left field. When acquired by the Blue Jays, he continued providing that same flexibility, but hit a woeful .160 in 75 at-bats. Pennington will have a utility role after signing with the Angels. He won't offer much fantasy value, as the career .245 hitter hasn't hit above .260 since 2011 and has just 30 career home runs. While he stole 29 bases in 2010, he's stolen just 11 total bases since 2013.
Even on a crowded infield depth chart in Arizona last season, Pennington managed to find 201 plate appearances while moving between second base, shortstop and third base. Defensively, he's a very good option in the middle infield, but there have always been questions about his ability to consistently hit big league pitching. Pennington carried a 10 percent walk rate last season, his best mark since 2008 with Oakland. He parlayed that patience into a .340 on-base percentage, fueled by a .265/.368/.429 line against right-handed pitching. As a switch-hitter with the versatility necessary to capably cover three infield positions, Pennington could find his way into brief stretches of regular at-bats while predominantly making spot starts once or twice a week in 2015.
A player more known for his glove and utility, Pennington had a typical year, hitting .242 with just one home run and two stolen bases. It's hard to expect anything more than that from him, as most of his real-life value rests in his glove and his flexibility. The D-Backs have a number of young options capable of handling a middle-infield spot in the big leagues, so Pennington's days in Arizona are likely numbered.
Pennington started the year as the A's starting shortstop, but ended it playing second base after the A's acquired Stephen Drew. Pennington fell off the table offensively in 2012 with career lows across the board. He is a very serviceable defensive infielder, but is better suited as a part-time utility infielder rather than a guy who plays every day. He was traded to Arizona in November and general manager Kevin Towers noted at the time of the trade that he sees Pennington as an everyday player. Beyond being a decent stolen-base threat in a deep NL-only league, Pennington does not offer much for fantasy owners even with the move into a more hitter-friendly environment.
Pennington took a pretty good step backwards in 2011, with his already limited power failing to return following offseason surgery to repair a torn labrum. His slash line and run production was nearly identical to 2010, but he saw a decent dip in K:BB rate and saw his stolen-base totals cut in half from 29 to 14. He showed some signs of life as the season waned, including going 8-for-8 in steal attempts the final two months, but his lifetime .324 OBP doesn't play well if the A's find themselves looking for a new hitter to place in the No. 2 spot in the order following the departure of Coco Crisp.
Pennington struggled with a sore shoulder, eventually requiring surgery in the offseason to repair a torn labrum, which sapped what little power he had as the season progressed. He's expected to be close to healthy by the time spring training starts, and his 29 steals from the shortstop position give him some value in traditional 4x4 or 5x5 leagues if you can cover for power elsewhere.
Pennington's batting eye took a hit last season after a much better 2008. His power ticked upward with three homers and 20 extra-base hits, after he showed very little power throughout his minor-league career. A strong September (.313/.395/.510) in a full-time role has convinced the A's to not strongly pursue another shortstop via free agency, so the starting gig should be Pennington's to lose when spring opens. There's very little internal competition as well, so things are set up well to get Pennington his first full season in the majors. He's swiped 58 bases total the past two seasons in the minors, so there's a definite 20-plus steals upside if he hangs onto the job as expected.
Pennington continues to show a good eye at the plate, drawing 93 walks in 440 at-bats in the minors, but he doesn't have any power to speak off. With the A's already re-upping Mark Ellis for two more years, it's clear that Pennington's not a lock to become a lineup fixture down the road. He could stick around as the utility infielder with his ability to handle three spots in the infield following the departure of Donnie Murphy.
Pennington made his professional debut at Low-A Kane County after the A's made him their first pick in the June draft. He showed limited power but a good eye at the plate and base-stealing instincts.
More Fantasy News
Elects free agency
2BFree Agent  AAA
May 18, 2018
Pennington utilized his opt-out clause and elected free agency Friday.
ANALYSIS
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Removed from 40-man roster
2BCincinnati Reds  AAA
April 28, 2018
Pennington cleared waivers Saturday and accepted an outright assignment to Triple-A Louisville.
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Sent down to Triple-A
2BCincinnati Reds  AAA
April 26, 2018
Pennington was optioned to Triple-A Louisville on Thursday.
ANALYSIS
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Hits bench for third consecutive game
2BCincinnati Reds  AAA
April 12, 2018
Pennington is not in the lineup Thursday against the Cardinals.
ANALYSIS
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On bench again Wednesday
2BCincinnati Reds  AAA
April 11, 2018
Pennington is not starting Wednesday against the Philles.
ANALYSIS
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