D-Backs Sign Alex Avila, Solidify Catching Position
The Diamondbacks have added some offensive punch at catcher with the signing of Alex Avila. While Avila will be sharing time, he has some decent fantasy value if used correctly.
Avila’s production has been a roller coaster over the years with last season being one of the ups. He hit .264/.387/.447 with 14 homers, his best numbers since 2011. His power is legit with a 24% HR/FB% the past two seasons with the juiced ball. While his power should continue, I expect his batting average to regress closer to his career .243 mark. And he’s for sure not stealing any bases, something he hasn’t done since 2012.
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The knock against Avila is that he’s one of the league’s worst framing catchers. For fantasy purposes, owners shouldn’t worry about his framing unless he’s catching one of their starting pitchers. They should also worry if it costs him at-bats.
As for Avila’s usage going forward, it’s tough for him to be useful in most leagues if he’s getting only 300 plate appearances. It’s just not enough at-bats compared to most full-time catchers. He’s probably only playable in two-catcher formats where 24 or more catchers are rostered. Additionally, he could be useful in daily lineup leagues when he’s in the lineup.
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