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2/18/1981 (36 y, 1 m, 6 d)
1999 June Amateur Draft - Round: 1, Pick: 19, Overall: 19, Team: Toronto Blue Jays
$11M / 1 Years (2015) + 1 Option Years
Rios's club option was not picked up for 2016, Andy McCullough of The Kansas City Star reports. (11/4/2015)
The 2015 American League Gold Gloves, by the Numbe»
August Fagerstrom (FanGraphs)
Contract Crowdsourcing 2015-16: Day 8 of 15
Carson Cistulli (FanGraphs)
MASH Report (3/30/15)
Jeff Zimmerman (RotoGraphs)
The Royals Spending Poorly Wisely
Jeff Sullivan (FanGraphs)
Alex Rios And Problems of Perception
Drew Fairservice (FanGraphs)
(Click Year to Expand /
Year in Review:
After establishing a career-high with 32 steals in 2008, many expected Rios to be a 30-30 player in 2009. Instead, Rios was on a 20-20 pace when Toronto placed him on waivers and let him go to Chicago for free, just to get out from his contract. Many expected a renaissance with the move to the White Sox, but Rios finished the year with a .199/.229/.301 line in 154 plate appearances with Chicago. His strike-zone judgment fell apart with the White Sox. Rios had a 0.21 BB/K rate, half of what it was with the Blue Jays, and one that would have tied for second-worst in the Majors had he done it over a full season. He swung at more pitches outside the zone (27.2% vs 25.7%) and his O-Contact% dropped precipitously, going from 62.4% in Toronto to 46.7% in Chicago.
The Year Ahead:
Few players are as uncertain as Rios entering the 2010 season. Can he bounce back to his lifetime .323 BABIP? Rios will need to show a marked improvement in his strike-zone judgment after posting a .277 BABIP last year, which included a .228 in his stint with the White Sox. Another thing making Rios difficult to project is his place in the lineup. He batted in every slot except second in his 41 games with Chicago. One thing that does seem certain is that, barring a U.S. Cellular spike, Rios is not a candidate for 30 homers. His HR/FB rate has never topped 11.0%. If you give him that personal-best HR/FB rate along with his career high in at-bats (643), he would need a 41.8 FB% to reach 30 homers. His lifetime FB% is 37.4. Rios’ stolen-base attempts did not change much when he moved to Chicago, so he should be a good bet to steal 20-plus bases again in 2010. (Brian Joura)
Alex Rios had a nightmarish 2009 during which he was flipped from the Blue Jays to the White Sox for nothing in return. He got off to a monster start in 2010, and, while he tailed off to finish the season, he did manage to restore faith in his abilities. Rios is an above-average player in reality, but is a protypical "better in fantasy" player for those in 5x5 leagues. He doesn't get an excessive number of walks, but makes enough contact to probably hit around .280. He doesn't have monstrous power, but the park will help him hit around 20 home runs over a full season. The White Sox like to run, so he'll probably add in 20 steals, too. He hit in the middle of the order for much of 2010, and, if that repeats itself, he'll get his share of RBI opportunities. A .280/.330/.450 line isn't all that mind-blowing, but his situation will generate the kind of counting stats that will likely make Rios very valuable to fantasy players in 2011. (Matt Klaassen)
The Quick Opinion:
Rios cooled off from his monster start in 2010, but given his combination of power, speed, and situation, he'll be a very valuable outfielder in 2011.
From 2006 to 2008, Alex Rios could be counted on for double-digit home runs and a near .300 average. Since then, he has been able to continue hitting home runs, but the average has dropped. The main reason for the decline has been a drop in batting average on balls in play from near .325 for 2006-2008 to one nearly 50 points less (.275) over the next three years. The drop in BABIP continued all the way to a .227 average in 2011. Also, he is showing signs of aging with his home run and fly ball distances going from 284 feet in 2009 and 2010 to 260 feet in 2011. The other main hit against Rios in 2011 was that he only had 11 stolen bases -- a career low. For 2012, draft him as a 15-homer .250-average and 10-stolen-base player. With this strategy, his downside will be limited and any surplus can be enjoyed if he produces like he has in the past. (Jeff Zimmerman)
The Quick Opinion:
Alex Rios is showing the signs of an aging player. His best days are behind him, and they weren't that good to begin with.
If I ran an amusement park, I would absolutely open a ride called the Alex Rios. The highest highs, the lowest lows, and never a dull moment in between. After three straight years with a wRC+ between 110 and 122, Rios has alternated 77, 108, 59, and 125. The thing is, there is clear pattern that has to do with more than odd and even numbered years: what you really see is five years of 108-125 wRC+ with two heavily-(negatively)-batting-average-on-balls-in-play-influenced seasons mixed in. In 2009 and 2011, he posted BABIPs of .247 and .227 while the other five yeras have been between .284 and .304. Last year was a career year and he won't quite repeat, but I would put my money (or draft slot) on a decent BABIP and a another .800+ OPS with around 20 HR and 20 SB. (
The Quick Opinion:
The only givens in life are death, taxes, and Alex Rios alternating awesome and terrible seasons. The pattern says 2013 will be down; logic suggests it will be in the middle -- worse than 2012, better than 2011, and well worth drafting.
Alex Rios is one of the quintessential "far better in fantasy than in reality" players in contemporary baseball. In real baseball, a league-average hitting corner outfielder just is not all that valuable. Sure, his baserunning and defense make him about an average player, but there is a big difference between "average" and "star." In traditional fantasy leagues, though, Rios is a multi-tool threat. Most years he hits around 20 home runs, he usually hits around .280 and sometimes flukes into .300. Perhaps the best news is that he has started stealing again. After stealing just 11 bases for the White Sox in a miserable 2011 season, he stole 23 in 2012, then stole 42 during a season split between Chicago and Texas. Part of the package with Rios is his "inconsistency." In seasons like 2009 or 2011, he was not valuable in either fantasy or real baseball. Rios never walks much, and his strikeout rate at this point is just a big better than average. "Consistency" is not in itself a useful analytical category, but Rios' reliance on balls in play makes him a bit riskier. He will also be 33 to start the season. Still, Rios is something of an iron man, playing at least 145 games a year every season since 2007, and that is important in fantasy. He is now in Texas, which is even more hitter-friendly than The Cell. The lineup around him will improve his counting stats. Rios should clearly be drafted in all traditional leagues, and he is probably a second-tier outfielder in most leagues, too. (Matt Klaassen)
The Quick Opinion:
Alex Rios may be overrated in real baseball because of his fantasy prowess, but we are talking about fantasy baseball here. His combination of respectable average, 15-20 home run power, 20-25 steal potential, and a good Texas park and lineup (not to mention good health) make him a five-category threat in traditional fantasy leagues.
The roller coaster career that Rios has experienced sees no end. The 33-year-old former power and speed threat became just a speed threat as his power evaporated. His pitiful 2.9% home run per fly ball rate was 12th-worst among qualified batters. He also posted his lowest fly ball rate since 2005 and highest strikeout rate since 2006. Unfortunately, things aren't looking much better for 2015, as he signed with the Royals and now moves to a much less power-friendly home park. And since he has been just about average defensively in right field over the last couple of seasons, he could be frequently replaced in the late innings by Jarrod Dyson, which will cut into his at-bat total. The one positive is that the team likes to run, as they led baseball in stolen base attempts. So Rios should again flirt with the 20 steal plateau as he seemingly hasn't lost a step just yet. The power can't be completely gone, but his chances of rebounding to near the 20 homer level have been severely dampened. That said, he should still carve out some mixed league value. (
The Quick Opinion:
Rios' chances of enjoying a power rebound have been reduced after he signed with the Royals, but his stolen base output should be safe. He clearly has less to offer fantasy owners now than he had in previous seasons, but the potential for 10+ homers and 20+ steals is still valuable in mixed leagues.
After a few good years in Toronto, Alex Rios became a bizarrely inconsistent player. He seemed to alternate one or two very good seasons with a truly terrible season during which he could not do anything right, then the next year return to his usual modus operandi: playing good defense in right field, making contact at a slightly above average rate, just enough walks to keep his on-base percentage respectable, having above average power with about 20 home runs a year, and, of particular value in category leagues, sometimes even throwing in 30 or more stolen bases. Indeed, in traditional 5x5 leagues, in his good years Rios could be extremely valuable, far more than in real baseball, as a five-category contributor. Rios had one of his lousy years for the Rangers in 2014. The Royals, badly in need of a right fielder, understandably bet on Rios pre-214 track record and hoped he would be able to return to something resembling earlier form, if in lesser fashion. A one-year deal made sense. Just as with Omar Infante, Rios totally busted, but the Royals won anyway. Rios had the worst offensive year of his career, hitting just .255/.287/.353. He hit just four home runs. His walk rate, never wonderful, dropped to a career worst, and his power disappeared. He was hurt for part of the season, but his age and 2014 performance make it unlikely that the injury was the main factor. Assuming Rios finds his way onto another team, do not expect much playing time, as his defense, while still decent, is not enough to make playing his bat worth it. Rios was a fun and useful player for a long time, but when a guy is losing playing time to the likes of Paulo Orlando, he's probably toast. Rios has surprised us many times before, so he might have some endgame draft value in deep leagues if he signs onto a team and looks like he will get a starting slot. (Matt Klaassen)
The Quick Opinion:
Alex Rios used to alternate one or two good years with a horrible year. Now in his mid-thirties, Rios has had two dreadful seasons in a row and looked finished for most of 2015. He is a free agent as of this writing, but even if he signs with a team, he only has endgame value in deep leagues if he looks like he somehow will get a starting slot.
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Updated: Friday, March 24, 2017 3:37 AM ET
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