Austin Barnes

Austin Barnes

34-Year-Old CatcherC
Los Angeles Dodgers
2024 Fantasy Outlook
Barnes has worked behind the plate for the Dodgers for nearly a decade, but aside from a few short spurts of opportunity, he's never ascended beyond a backup role. Will Smith's emergence as one of the game's best catchers over the past four campaigns has resulted in Barnes' playing time increasingly diminishing, and the latter's 200 plate appearances last season were his fewest (aside from the truncated 2020 campaign) since 2016. Barnes' biggest strength is his defense and skill working with the team's pitching staff, but his offense has fallen to such a degree (he slashed a miserly .180/.256/.242 with just two homers and a career-low 8.7 percent walk rate last season) that he may have trouble holding onto a roster spot much longer. That's especially true given the Dodgers' minor-league depth at the position -- Diego Cartaya is nearing his big-league debut, and both Dalton Rushing and Thayron Liranzo are waiting in the wings as well. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
#364
ADP
$Signed a two-year, $7 million contract extension with the Dodgers in July of 2022.
Filling in for resting Will Smith
CLos Angeles Dodgers
May 26, 2024
Barnes will start at catcher and bat ninth in Sunday's game against the Reds.
ANALYSIS
Barnes will start for the first time in a week while top backstop Will Smith rests for the day game. Over 45 plate appearances this season, Barnes is hitting .189 with zero home runs or stolen bases.
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Batting Stats
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2024
2023
2022
2021
2020
2019
2018
2017
2024 MLB Game Log
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2023 MLB Game Log
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2022 MLB Game Log
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2021 MLB Game Log
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2020 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
6
vs Left-Handed Pitchers
vs LHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
12
Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2022
 
 
+16%
OPS vs RHP
2024
 
 
+51%
OPS vs LHP
2023
 
 
+123%
OPS vs RHP
2022
 
 
+3%
OPS vs RHP
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2022vs Left .540 164 13 3 15 2 .159 .280 .261
Since 2022vs Right .626 312 36 7 24 2 .220 .303 .322
2024vs Left .703 27 1 0 2 0 .273 .385 .318
2024vs Right .465 37 2 0 0 0 .188 .278 .188
2023vs Left .264 56 1 0 3 0 .080 .164 .100
2023vs Right .589 144 14 2 8 2 .219 .292 .297
2022vs Left .689 81 11 3 10 2 .182 .325 .364
2022vs Right .712 131 20 5 16 0 .230 .323 .389
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2022
 
 
+2%
OPS on Road
2024
 
 
+19%
OPS on Road
2023
 
 
+3%
OPS at Home
2022
 
 
+3%
OPS on Road
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2022Home .592 230 24 4 18 2 .207 .304 .288
Since 2022Away .601 246 25 6 21 2 .192 .287 .315
2024Home .510 30 0 0 1 0 .200 .310 .200
2024Away .609 34 3 0 1 0 .241 .333 .276
2023Home .506 95 9 1 5 1 .181 .277 .229
2023Away .491 105 6 1 6 1 .179 .238 .253
2022Home .694 105 15 3 12 1 .233 .327 .367
2022Away .714 107 16 5 14 1 .191 .321 .393
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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.
  • Expected BA
    Expected Batting Average.
  • Expected SLG
    Expected Slugging Percentage.
  • Sprint Speed
    The speed of a runner from home to first, in feet per second.
  • Ground Ball %
    The percentage of balls put in play that are on the ground.
  • Line Drive %
    The percentage of balls put in play that are line drives.
  • Fly Ball %
    The percentage of balls put in play that are fly balls.
BB/K
0.57
 
BB Rate
12.5%
 
K Rate
21.9%
 
BABIP
.300
 
ISO
.019
 
AVG
.222
 
OBP
.323
 
SLG
.241
 
OPS
.563
 
wOBA
.267
 
Exit Velocity
86.5 mph
 
Hard Hit Rate
23.8%
 
Barrels/PA
1.6%
 
Expected BA
.238
 
Expected SLG
.340
 
Sprint Speed
23.0 ft/sec
 
Ground Ball %
37.5%
 
Line Drive %
25.0%
 
Fly Ball %
37.5%
 
Advanced Batting Stats
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Additional Stats
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Defensive Stats
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Batted Ball Stats
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Stats Vs Upcoming Pitchers
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Latest Fantasy Rumors
Struggling with running game
CLos Angeles Dodgers
April 27, 2023
Barnes allowed three stolen bases during Thursday's 6-2 loss to the Pirates, and he's now thrown out just two of 25 attempted steals this season.
ANALYSIS
Stolen bases are up across the league following MLB's rule changes to the base sizes and pickoff moves, but Barnes has especially been taken advantage of, namely during the three-game set in Pittsburgh. The Buccos totaled 12 thefts in the series without being caught once, not counting a successful pickoff move from Julio Urias. Barnes' playing time will drop considerably once Will Smith returns from the concussion IL, but the former's struggles to contain the run game could force the Dodgers to look elsewhere for their secondary catcher if the trend continues.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2023
2022
2021
2020
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
Barnes slid deeper into a backup role last season, logging 212 plate appearances over 62 games, marking his lowest totals since 2016 (aside from the shortened 2020 campaign). While he tied his career high with eight home runs and boosted his OPS to .704, there's no mistaking that Barnes' primary value to the Dodgers is derived from his work with the pitching staff and his effectiveness behind the plate, as he ranks among the better pitch framers in the league. The Dodgers signed the veteran backstop to a two-year extension last July, so they're clearly comfortable keeping him on board while Diego Cartaya develops in the minors. Barnes is not entirely useless at the plate -- he's always been adept at working walks and reduced his strikeout rate to 17.5 percent last season -- but he's firmly entrenched as the backup to the offensively superior Will Smith.
Barnes has minimal power and has posted an OPS below .675 each of the past four seasons, but the catcher carved out a sizable role with the Dodgers due to his work behind the plate. He'll likely form a battery with Clayton Kershaw on the days the veteran lefty pitches, but beyond that, Barnes may only get an additional start or two per week while No. 1 backstop Will Smith is at full health.
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.
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
Draws starting nod Thursday
CLos Angeles Dodgers
April 25, 2024
Barnes will start at catcher and bat ninth in Thursday's game against the Nationals.
ANALYSIS
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Returns to action Wednesday
CLos Angeles Dodgers
March 6, 2024
Barnes (back) will start at catcher and bat eighth Wednesday in the Dodgers' Cactus League game against the White Sox.
ANALYSIS
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Battling back tightness
CLos Angeles Dodgers
Back
March 5, 2024
Barnes was scratched from the Dodgers' lineup ahead of their Cactus League game against the Angels on Tuesday due to back tightness, Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic reports.
ANALYSIS
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Hits homer in Sunday's win
CLos Angeles Dodgers
September 17, 2023
Barnes went 1-for-3 with a two-run home run and a walk in Sunday's 6-1 win over the Mariners.
ANALYSIS
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Returns to lineup Thursday
CLos Angeles Dodgers
September 7, 2023
Barnes (head) will start at catcher and bat ninth Thursday versus the Marlins.
ANALYSIS
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