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6/15/1984 (32 y, 9 m, 10 d)
2005 June Amateur Draft - Round: 1, Pick: 21, Overall: 21, Team: Oakland Athletics
$3.8M / 2 Years (2016 - 2017)
Pennington (shoulder) is back in the Angels' lineup Thursday, The Orange County Register's Jeff Fletcher reports. (3/16/2017)
Angels Playing Time Battles: Hitters
Blake Murphy (RotoGraphs)
Cliff Pennington Might Have a Career On the Mound
Owen Watson (FanGraphs)
The Arizona Infield: Goldschmidt and the Gang
Adam McFadden (RotoGraphs)
Shortstops With Potential Second-Half Playing Time»
Blake Murphy (RotoGraphs)
Diamondbacks Infield: Unsettled at Shortstop
Howard Bender (RotoGraphs)
(Click Year to Expand /
Year in Review:
After ’09 free agent Orlando Cabrera was traded to Minnesota at the end of July, it was Pennington – and not former Rookie of the Year Bobby Crosby – who took over at shortstop. The move worked out well for all parties involved, as Pennington proceeded to bat .279/.342/.418 (104 wRC+) while playing in all but one of the A's final 61 games. That weighted RC also includes Pennington's poor stolen base record, 7/12 – a far cry from the 84% success rate he's posted in stealing 107 bases over five minor league seasons. Defensively, Pennington projects as an adequate, if not stellar, shortstop – a claim supported both by his -3.3 UZR from 2009 and mostly average TotalZone ratings from the minors.
The Year Ahead:
The question for Oakland – and for fantasy owners – is whether Pennington will be able to duplicate his late-season batting line. His minor league track record suggests that, no, he probably won't. Before he was promoted at the end of July, the shortstop was only batting .264/.345/.367 at Triple-A, making his Major League performance better than his minor league one. And it's his numbers at Sacramento that are more indicative of his previous performance. In fact, before his call-up, Pennington had never slugged more than .400 – ever. Of course, Pennington is also at an age (26 on June 15 of this year) where he could potentially make gains in power. Were that the case, it could have a ripple effect on his numbers – helping not only homers and RBI, but also his line-drive rate, and hence, average. (Carson Cistulli)
In his first full season as Oakland's shortstop, Pennington was solid with the glove and weak with the bat. His glove will keep in him Oakland's lineup -- in 2010 he handled more chances than any AL shortstop other than Alexei Ramirez. On the downside, Pennington's .250 BA placed him towards the bottom of a sea of .250-ish hitting AL shortstops. The only real standout offensive skill that Pennington showed in 2010 was an ability to steal bases. He swiped 29 in '10 as part of a fleet-footed trio that included Rajai Davis and Coco Crisp. With the A's projecting to lack home-run power again in 2011, Pennington figures to be frequently green-lighted this season as well. As for his other offensive contributions, it would be a surprise to see him start hitting with power, as he never showed that skill in the minors. So the rest of his value will be tied up in his ability to improve on his on-base skills. Pennington was one of the A's that managed to stay healthy last year, which is a good sign for 2011. (Patrick Newman)
The Quick Opinion:
Pennington showed strong defense and foot speed in his debut season. Can he improve on his batting as an encore?
While there was some excitement surrounding Pennington after he put up a solid fantasy line in 2010, after another full season in the big leagues, we have a pretty good handle on how good he actually is. The 27-year-old shortstop stole 29 bases in 34 chances during 2010, but he pulled back the reins in 2011 and stole bases at a much less successful rate. The switch-hitter doesn’t have much power to speak of, yet he still strikes out at a league-average rate, causing his batting average to sit around .260. If he fields well and gets on base at an average clip in 2012, it’s hard to see Bob Melvin pulling him from the lineup, but he could be poised to lose playing time if Eric Sogard gets hot. (Zach Sanders)
The Quick Opinion:
Pennington will steal double-digit bases and hit a handful of homers, but his batting average will sink his fantasy value. He could lose playing time in 2012 to the likes of Eric Sogard.
If Cliff Pennington is your starting middle infielder — let alone shortstop or second baseman — then your fantasy season is already in jeopardy. He gets a boost due to moving from O.co to the desert, but power — even in the form of doubles — just isn't Penny's game. Move along.(
With last year's arrival of Didi Gregorius and the emergence of Chris Owings, Pennington's role with the Diamondbacks has been vastly reduced. He saw just 299 plate appearances in 2013, most of which came in the first half of the season and he was relegated to sporadic back-up duty for nearly all of the final two months. At one time in his career, back with the Oakland A's, he showed some quality speed potential, but he failed to improve on that over these last two seasons. He'll compete for a utility role in 2014 and will likely end up as a back-up to Aaron Hill over at second base. He is best left for your waiver wire, even in the deepest of leagues, as he'll only see legitimate playing time if the Diamondbacks' middle infield is decimated by injuries. (Howard Bender)
The Quick Opinion:
After a season in which he was relegated to back-up duty and continued to fall down the depth chart in Arizona, Pennington will return to the Diamondbacks in 2014 in likely the same role. He'll probably slot in as Aaron Hill's primary back-up at second base, but won't see enough playing time to warrant a spot on your fantasy roster.
It's possible that Pennington gets more work this year with Didi Gregorious gone, but more than likely Chris Owings will get most of the work and Pennington will continue to be irrelevant. (Brett Talley)
Cliff Pennington has enjoyed a long major league career because of his defensive versatility, which he’ll bring as a backup utility infielder for the Angels for the next few seasons. For his career, Pennington has a triple slash of .245/.313/.344 which is pretty dismal for fantasy purposes. He has never reached double digit home runs, and while he stole double digit bases as recently as 2012, he has just 11 in the three seasons since then. From a fantasy perspective, Pennington’s biggest asset is his shortstop eligibility, which he will have again in 2016 following his 29 games there in 2015. However, with the Angels’ acquisition of Andrelton Simmons over the offseason, Pennington is unlikely to have many starts there this season. Without an injury to Simmons, third baseman Yunel Escobar, or second baseman Johnny Giavotella, Pennington will probably see just 200 plate appearances this year, and his fantasy potential in those limited opportunities is nonexistent.
The Quick Opinion:
Cliff Pennington will serve as a backup utility infielder on the Angels this season. Do not expect more than 200 plate appearances, and with a career triple slash of .245/.313/.344, do not expect any fantasy production in those limited opportunities.
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Updated: Saturday, March 25, 2017 3:38 AM ET
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