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4/9/1981 (35 y, 10 m, 11 d)
2003 June Amateur Draft - Round: 18, Pick: 24, Overall: 541, Team: Los Angeles Dodgers
$2.5M / 1 Years (2017)
Ellis agreed to a one-year, $2.5 million deal with the Marlins on Wednesday, ESPN's Buster Olney reports. (12/7/2016)
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(Click Year to Expand /
GM Ned Coletti obviously backed off his claims to “go young” behind the plate when he brought in a couple of thirty-somethings in to compete for the starting job with Ellis. His walk rate and OBP seem to be keeping him in the mix, but Ellis will need to step up some other aspect of his game before he lands on the short end of an expected platoon in 2012. (Howard Bender)
Here's the list of catchers who had at least a .373 on-base percentage and 13 homers in 2012: Buster Posey, Miguel Montero, Yadier Molina... and A.J. Ellis. The on-base skills weren't a total surprise, given that Ellis hadn't had a minor-league OBP below .382 since 2005 -- a large part of why many had been howling for him to get a chance over inferior options like Dioner Navarro & Rod Barajas in previous years -- but the power was shocking, considering Ellis had just two Triple-A homers in the prior three seasons despite playing at offense-happy Albuquerque. Ellis' 12.9 walk rate was a top-ten mark among all players, so while it's fair to wonder if he can repeat that power performance in 2013, he should still be among the more productive backstops in terms of simply getting on base. (
The Quick Opinion:
A.J. Ellis didn't get a shot to play every day until he was 31, but he wasted no time taking advantage of it, pairing expected quality on-base skills with a surprising amount of power.
A.J. Ellis wasn't able to repeat his magical 2012, putting up just a .318 on-base percentage a year after an excellent .373. He actually declined in all areas, making him a slightly below-average hitter overall (five percent worse than league average). The good news is that his walk rate of 10% was still solid, and catcher is such a thin position in fantasy that his 10 homers still make him relevant. He'll need to hope that his .269 batting average on balls in play was just a one-year dip, because if he can get back to a .270 batting average with double-digit homers, he'll be a viable fantasy option, since he heads into 2014 as the unquestioned Dodger starting backstop.
The Quick Opinion:
Since he's a starting catcher coming off two consecutive years of double digit homers, Ellis has relevance, though he's not likely to be a star in his age-32 season coming off a down 2013.
A.J. Ellis' 2014 really couldn't have gone worse, as left knee surgery and a badly sprained right ankle limited him to only 347 plate appearances, and when he did play, his performance was among the worst of any semi-regular catcher in baseball. If there's good news, it's that he walked more, struck out less, and put up an unsustainably low .225 batting average on balls in play, so with even slightly better health, 2015 should be better. Of course, he's a 34-year-old catcher with one good year under his belt, and he's now backing up Yasmani Grandal, so expectations should be kept to a minimum. (
The Quick Opinion:
At 34 and coming off an injury-plagued, under-performing year, A.J. Ellis may have to battle for playing time in 2015, limiting his utility in all but the deepest fantasy leagues.
Even though Ellis' best full time playing days are behind him, he continues to be a solid backup catcher for the Dodgers: he draws walks at twice the league average, keeps his strikeouts down, and provides around average power for the position. Even with his limited playing time due to Yasmani Grandal's emergence, 2015 saw him post his most productive year at the plate since 2012, and his overall defense remains solid -- even if various pitch framing metrics continue to dislike him. He'll serve as a strict backup to Grandal in 2016, assuming the latter is fully healthy after offseason shoulder surgery. (Owen Watson)
The Quick Opinion:
Ellis continues to be relevant for the Dodgers due to his plate discipline, little pop, and leadership abilities behind the dish, but fantasy owners who aren't in deep two-catcher leagues should look elsewhere: given his continually eroding playing time to Yasmani Grandal, increasing age, and fantasy irrelevant intangibles, there are almost certainly better options at the position.
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Updated: Monday, February 20, 2017 3:33 AM ET
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