Carson Kelly
Carson Kelly
25-Year-Old CatcherC
Arizona Diamondbacks
2020 Fantasy Outlook
Being shipped to Arizona in the trade for Paul Goldschmidt was a major blessing for Kelly, as he blossomed when finally out of Yadier Molina's shadow in St. Louis. Kelly received his first extended playing time in his age-25 season and delivered 18 home runs in 365 plate appearances (85 starts). He was solid defensively and his framing graded out exceptionally well. He had a 13.2 BB%, .232 ISO and a hard-hit rate in the 58th percentile. Manager Torey Lovullo utilized a heavy rotation behind the plate for a good chunk of the season, but Kelly was clearly the top choice at the end of the day and finished with some of the best offensive rate stats among catchers (his 108 wRC+ was identical to J.T. Realmuto's mark). Alex Avila -- who received 49 starts at catcher last season -- is headed for free agency, and while Avila could return, Kelly sets up to see an even heavier workload in 2020 regardless. Read Past Outlooks
$Traded to the Diamondbacks in December of 2018.
Out of Sunday's lineup
CArizona Diamondbacks
September 29, 2019
Kelly is not in Sunday's lineup against the Padres.
Kelly had an impressive season overall, but he hit just .167 with zero home runs in 16 September games. Caleb Joseph will start behind the dish and hit eighth in the finale.
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Batting Stats
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Batting Order Slot Breakdown
vs Right-Handed Pitchers
vs RHP
vs Left-Handed Pitchers
vs LHP
Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2017
Since 2017vs Left .960 126 19 6 19 0 .306 .405 .556
Since 2017vs Right .641 356 33 12 37 0 .194 .289 .352
2019vs Left 1.128 104 18 6 18 0 .356 .462 .667
2019vs Right .708 261 28 12 29 0 .203 .303 .405
2018vs Left .182 11 1 0 1 0 .091 .091 .091
2018vs Right .375 31 0 0 2 0 .125 .250 .125
2017vs Left .282 11 0 0 0 0 .100 .182 .100
2017vs Right .487 64 5 0 6 0 .186 .250 .237
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2017
OPS on Road
OPS on Road
OPS on Road
OPS on Road
Since 2017Home .575 230 19 4 18 0 .170 .297 .278
Since 2017Away .853 252 33 14 38 0 .268 .340 .513
2019Home .646 178 17 4 16 0 .192 .315 .331
2019Away .993 187 29 14 31 0 .294 .380 .613
2018Home .250 17 1 0 0 0 .000 .250 .000
2018Away .348 25 0 0 3 0 .174 .174 .174
2017Home .358 35 1 0 2 0 .129 .229 .129
2017Away .539 40 4 0 4 0 .211 .250 .289
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Stat Review
How does Carson Kelly compare to other hitters?
This section compares his stats with all batting seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 400 plate appearances)*. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.

* Exit Velocity and Barrels/PA % are benchmarked against 2019 data (min 400 PA) and Hard Hit Rate is benchmarked against last season's data (min 400 PA). See here for more exit velocity/barrels stats plus an explanation of current limitations with that data set.
  • BB/K
    Walk to strikeout ratio
  • BB Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a walk.
  • K Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a strikeout.
    Batting average on balls in play. Measures how many of a batter’s balls in play go for hits.
  • ISO
    Isolated Power. Slugging percentage minus batting average. A computation used to measure a batter's raw power.
  • AVG
    Batting average. Hits divided by at bats.
  • OBP
    On Base Percentage. A measure of how often a batters reaches base. Roughly equal to number of times on base divided by plate appearances.
  • SLG
    Slugging Percentage. A measure of the batting productivity of a hitter. It is calculated as total bases divided by at bats.
  • OPS
    On base plus slugging. THe sum of a batter's on-base percentage and slugging percentage.
  • wOBA
    Weighted on-base average. Measures a player's overall offensive contributions per plate appearance. wOBA combines all the different aspects of hitting into one metric, weighting each of them in proportion to their actual run value.
  • Exit Velocity
    The speed of the baseball as it comes off the bat, immediately after a batter makes contact.
  • Hard Hit Rate
    A measure of contact quality from Sports Info Solutions. This stat explains what percentage of batted balls were hit hard vs. medium or soft.
  • Barrels/PA
    The percentage of plate appearances where a batter had a batted ball classified as a Barrel. A Barrel is a batted ball with similar exit velocity and launch angle to past ones that led to a minimum .500 batting average and 1.500 slugging percentage.
BB Rate
K Rate
Exit Velocity
88.9 mph
Hard Hit Rate
Advanced Batting Stats
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Additional Stats
Games By Position
Defensive Stats
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Stats Vs Upcoming Pitchers
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Carson Kelly
The Z Files: Top 20 Catcher and Infield Changes
2 days ago
Todd Zola uses a busy start to the Winter Meetings to make some adjustments to his catcher and infield rankings, with Yoan Moncada being one of the beneficiaries.
The Z Files: My Top 20 Catchers
38 days ago
Todd Zola offers his first set of catcher rankings and wonders how much of a discount the market will place on Salvador Perez after he missed all of 2019.
Games Played By Position: 2020 Eligibility Notes
59 days ago
Clay Link looks at appearances by position and makes note of multi-position eligibility and lost eligibility for 2020.
Oak's Corner: Last Week Adds and Early 2020 Targets
85 days ago
In Scott Jenstad’s final column of the season, he offers some guys to target in 2020, including Marcell Ozuna, who he anticipates will have a bounce-back year.
Farm Futures: Top 15 Pitchers Under 26
108 days ago
James Anderson ranks the top young pitchers in the game and still thinks highly of Forrest Whitley, despite a year to forget.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
A miserable spring took Kelly out of the conversation for an Opening Day roster spot with the Cardinals. Opportunity knocked in May when Yadier Molina hit the disabled list, but Kelly made it less than two weeks before he landed on the DL with an injury of his own (hamstring). Kelly was optioned shortly after being activated and remained in the minors until September, ultimately logging a mere 10 at-bats for the big club over the final month as St. Louis made a last-gasp effort at a playoff spot. At Triple-A, Kelly walked as many times as he struck out in 349 PA and roped line drives at an above-average 22.9% clip. Now that he's out from Molina's shadow after being traded in the Paul Goldschmidt deal, Kelly should finally get an extended opportunity to show what he can do against big-league pitching as Arizona's primary backstop. The power is middling, but Kelly is very much in the second catcher mix given his contact skills and expected role.
Catching prospects should essentially be considered guilty of being replacement-level fantasy options until proven innocent. Kelly was seen by almost every outlet as one of the top catching prospects in baseball entering the 2017 season. We all knew he would find it hard to get consistent playing time behind Yadier Molina on the organizational depth chart, but the idea of a big-league-ready catcher who could hit for a decent average with some pop was appealing, even in limited at-bats. Not only was Kelly held down at Triple-A for much of the season so that he could get regular at-bats, but he now has a career .171 average with zero home runs in 89 MLB plate appearances. He hit well again at Triple-A, but finds himself in the same situation as a year ago -- behind a well-paid legend on a contender. The Cardinals also have another catching prospect in Andrew Knizner who is getting close to the majors and may be a better version of Kelly. At least this season Kelly figures to spend the whole year in the majors.
After performing as an above league-average hitter at Double-A (115 wRC+) and essentially a league-average hitter at Triple-A (98 wRC+), Kelly earned his first trip to the majors when rosters expanded in September. During his time with the big club, he went 2-for-14 across 10 games. He was also extremely impressive in the Arizona Fall League, where he hit .286/.387/.455 with three home runs and a 4:13 K:BB in 94 plate appearances. While it was exciting to see Kelly climb his way through the ranks of the Cardinals organization, Yadier Molina remains the unquestioned starting catcher in St. Louis. Kelly will compete with veteran Eric Fryer for the backup catcher spot in camp and may return to Memphis in order to continue to see the workload of a No. 1 catcher. If Molina were to get hurt, however, Kelly would figure to see the bulk of the action behind the dish and would become relevant in all two-catcher formats.
In his first full season as a catching prospect, Kelly struggled to make an impact with Low-A Peoria. Kelly still holds a ton of potential as he's been playing professionally since he was 17. He's managed in increase his walk rate and decrease his strikeout rate each year since turning pro. Learning a new position is never easy, and catcher may be the most difficult so some growing pains are to be expected. Still the Cardinals brass along with Mike Matheny are impressed with his rapid improvement. Kelly will work with the Cardinals this winter to help improve his workout strategy. He's still one of the team's better prospects, but is likely several years away from helping in St. Louis.
More Fantasy News
On bench Saturday
CArizona Diamondbacks
September 28, 2019
Kelly is not starting Saturday against the Padres.
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Sits again Wednesday
CArizona Diamondbacks
September 25, 2019
Kelly remains on the bench Wednesday against the Cardinals.
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Not starting Tuesday
CArizona Diamondbacks
September 24, 2019
Kelly is not in the lineup Tuesday against the Cardinals.
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Heads to bench
CArizona Diamondbacks
September 18, 2019
Kelley is not starting Wednesday against the Marlins.
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Fighting slump
CArizona Diamondbacks
September 17, 2019
Kelly went 1-for-3 with a run scored in Monday's 7-5 win over the Marlins.
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