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6/3/1977 (39 y, 9 m, 24 d)
1996 June Amateur Draft - Round: 31, Pick: 18, Overall: 923, Team: Texas Rangers
$2M / 1 Years (2013)
Hafner has joined the coaching staff for the baseball team at Notre Dame College in Ohio, The News-Herald reports. (1/16/2014)
The First Base (and DH) Train Out of Texas
Matt Klaassen (FanGraphs)
Daily Fantasy Strategy – 7/14 – For Draftstreet
Blake Murphy (RotoGraphs)
Daily Fantasy Strategy – 7/3 – For Draftstreet
Blake Murphy (RotoGraphs)
The Fortnight - 6/4/13
Paul Swydan (FanGraphs)
Travis Hafner and Trevor Rosenthal: Waiver Wire
Chris Cwik (RotoGraphs)
(Click Year to Expand /
Year in Review:
Pronk is 32 and in a decline; that much should be obvious. Though last year didn't scream “bounceback,” there were some signs of hope. His ISO rebounded from a career low in 2008 to a more respectable .198 in 2009, as did his HR/FB mark (14.7% last year, 19.4% career). His fly-ball percentage came back from the depths and recovered to a number above his career average (40.1% last year, 38.1% career). His still-strong walk rate (10.7% last year, 13.2% career) meant that his OPS was reasonably strong once again (.826). Despite all this resurgence, the big designated hitter still only managed 383 plate appearances. Playing time (and health) is a bear to project, but most of his value is tied up in how many trips he can manage to the plate, even if it looks like he's rediscovered much of his power stroke.
The Year Ahead:
The power projections on Hafner range from terrible (.425 SLG%, 14 home runs from MARCEL) to decent (.476 SLG% and 22 home runs from The Fans), but it's his 2010 playing time that's the toughest to figure out. Nobody knows how many at-bats the oft-injured, hefty DH will garner, and no amount of spring training health updates should really push the needle in any direction. Since his secondary power statistics, ability to handle fastballs, and his contact rates in the zone all returned to historical levels (and better), the chances are good that he'll do some damage if he can make it to the plate. Perhaps a call to his doctor would help a fantasy manager figure out what Pronk will do in the coming year. (Eno Sarris)
In 2010, Hafner played in more than 100 games for the first time since 2007, and managed an unflashy, but useful, .278/.364/.449 line in a deflated 2010 run environment as Cleveland’s primary DH. However useful that may be in real baseball, for a DH-only player in traditional 5x5 leagues, it won’t cut it. Hafner was last a good fantasy piece in 2006, a lifetime ago in baseball terms. Without the power to truly make pitchers pay, his walk rate has dropped. Even 2010’s numbers need to be seen in light of his .332 BABIP, so his average will likely drop. Cleveland doesn’t really have any other options at DH next season, so if he stays healthy (and even in 2010, he only played in 118 games) Hafner will help in counting categories; although, given the condition of the rest of Cleveland’s offense, he isn’t going to get that many opportunities to drive runs in or be driven in. Expect .260/.350/.430 with about 60 runs, 60 RBI, and 10-15 home runs. In other words, at this point Hafner is Billy Butler without the average. He should go drafted in all but the shallowest leagues, but don’t spend a high draft pick or more than minimal fantasy dollars on him. (Matt Klaassen)
The Quick Opinion:
Hafner had a mini-comeback in 2010, but the pre-2007 Hafner is almost certainly gone for good. He’s better than people think in real baseball, but not in ways that can help a fantasy team very much.
The Pronk of 2004-2006 is gone, but Hafner is re-establishing himself as a viable utility play -- when healthy. Last year, the Indians DH hit .280/.361/.449 and added 13 home runs in just 94 games. He'll likely find himself hitting in the middle of the lineup in 2012, giving him a chance to put up some big RBI numbers, particularly if Shin-Soo Choo and Grady Sizemore, two of the players likely to hit in front of him, can stay healthy and get on base. Expecting much more than 100 games is not advised, and his lack of positional eligibility severely limits his value, but Hafner is useful if you use him correctly, particularly against righties. In 2011, he hit over .300 vs right-handers, with a .180 ISO. He probably isn't destined to be your everyday Util, but as part of a platoon, or as a bench option, particularly in deeper leagues, he is worth owning. (Chad Young)
The Quick Opinion:
He may not be the all-world hitter he was a few years back, but Hafner has re-established himself as a solid designated hitter. Particularly if you can play him only against righties, you can expect a high average, solid power, and decent RBI numbers.
For the last few years, Hafner has had a guaranteed starting job -- when healthy -- by virtue of an eight-figure-per-year contract to be the Indians everyday designated hitter. With the end of that ill-fated deal, Hafner is looking for a new home, and the options may be limited. There are only 15 AL teams, and only so many of them are going to be interested in an injury-prone full-time DH on the wrong side of 30 with a heavy platoon split. Fantasy players will have the same issue -- do you really have a roster spot for a Util-only player who you should only use against righties? Even if he ends up on the Yankees as is rumored as of the time of this writing? If so, Hafner will mash for you about half the time, but if your roster isn't deep enough to platoon him (and weather his inevitable trips to the disabled list), don't waste the spot. (
The Quick Opinion:
What fantasy team couldn't benefit from a part-time, injury-prone utility-only player with a heavy platoon split? Oh...right...well, if you can afford the roster spot, Hafner will crush righties for you.
The Yankees signed Hafner in 2013 hoping he could provide some cheap offense. He did knock 12 dingers, but provided little overall value throughout the season. Hafner is approaching 40 years old, and is a liability in almost every category. Add the fact that he won't play any defensive positions leaves him basically untouchable. (David Temple)
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Updated: Monday, March 27, 2017 3:36 AM ET
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