Isiah Kiner-Falefa
25-Year-Old CatcherC
2020 Fantasy Outlook
A catcher-eligible player who plays elsewhere is usually highly sought after in fantasy baseball, but the player has to be able to hit for it to matter. Kiner-Falefa retains C-eligibility heading into 2020, but unfortunately, it seems we can safely conclude that Kiner-Falefa cannot hit. His K-rate shot up more than six percentage points, from 15.7% to 22.1%, while his wOBA dipped more than 30 points. He only barreled up two balls all year -- by Statcast's definition of a "barrel" -- and on account of that, Statcast says he overachieved to a significant extent with a .238 BA. Kiner-Falefa logged 22 starts at third base over the final two months of 2019, but he was pretty much unusable, even in deep two-catcher leagues. While the Rangers seem to like Kiner-Falefa's intangibles, he's a utility man at best and will likely see a downgrade in park factors in 2020 with the move to Globe Life Field. Read Past Outlooks
Adjusts stance
CTexas Rangers
March 8, 2020
Kiner-Falefa changed his batting stance during the offseason, T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Instead of an open stance, Kiner-Falefa is now more square to the plate. He feels it puts his legs in better position to drive the ball. "I always felt I could hit, but it was a lot harder to time the ball when I was open," Kiner-Falefa said. "I pretty much had to be perfect. Now when the pitcher comes at me, I can just fire my legs. Now that I am square, I am ready." The improvement has been remarkable. The utility infielder went 2-for-2 with a double, three RBI and a run scored Sunday and is batting .419 (13-for-31) with five extra-base hits, 11 RBI and 10 runs scored over 13 Cactus League appearances.
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Batting Stats
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2019
2018
2019 MLB Game Log
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Scoring
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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
4
15
13
vs Left-Handed Pitchers
vs LHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
8
6
9
Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2017
 
 
+11%
OPS vs LHP
2019
 
 
+23%
OPS vs RHP
2018
 
 
+29%
OPS vs LHP
2017
No Stats
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2017vs Left .707 205 23 1 20 0 .259 .328 .378
Since 2017vs Right .636 413 43 4 35 10 .249 .309 .327
2019vs Left .537 72 6 0 6 0 .209 .254 .284
2019vs Right .661 150 17 1 15 3 .252 .320 .341
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
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2017
 
 
+4%
OPS on Road
2019
 
 
+8%
OPS on Road
2018
 
 
+2%
OPS on Road
2017
No Stats
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2017Home .646 309 37 0 36 8 .261 .312 .334
Since 2017Away .673 309 29 5 19 2 .244 .319 .354
2019Home .598 118 14 0 14 2 .248 .280 .319
2019Away .646 104 9 1 7 1 .225 .320 .326
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
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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.

* 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
0.29
 
BB Rate
6.3%
 
K Rate
22.1%
 
BABIP
.307
 
ISO
.084
 
AVG
.238
 
OBP
.299
 
SLG
.322
 
OPS
.620
 
wOBA
.279
 
Exit Velocity
87.2 mph
 
Hard Hit Rate
36.1%
 
Barrels/PA
0.9%
 
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 Isiah Kiner-Falefa
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15 days ago
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42 days ago
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228 days ago
Clay Link looks at appearances by position and makes note of multi-position eligibility and lost eligibility for 2020.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2019
2018
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.
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
Goes yard again
CTexas Rangers
March 4, 2020
Kiner-Falefa went 2-for-2 with a home run and a walk in Tuesday's spring game against the Giants.
ANALYSIS
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Hits second spring HR
CTexas Rangers
March 2, 2020
Kiner-Falefa went 2-for-3 with a solo home run and a second run scored in Sunday's spring game against the Dodgers.
ANALYSIS
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Collects two hits Saturday
CTexas Rangers
September 29, 2019
Kiner-Falefa went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored in Saturday's 9-4 win over the Yankees.
ANALYSIS
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Behind dish Saturday
CTexas Rangers
September 22, 2019
Kiner-Falefa started at catcher and went 0-for-4 in Saturday's 12-3 loss to the Athletics.
ANALYSIS
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Starts again
CTexas Rangers
August 30, 2019
Kiner-Falefa started at third base and went 1-for-3 with a double and an RBI in Thursday's 5-3 loss to the Mariners.
ANALYSIS
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