Wilmer Difo
Wilmer Difo
27-Year-Old ShortstopSS
Washington Nationals
2020 Fantasy Outlook
Difo will return to the Nationals after signing a $1 million contract for 2020, avoiding arbitration. Despite some infield openings in the nation's capital, Difo is likely to return to the same utility infield role he's occupied the last three seasons, appearing at second, third and shortstop each year, though predominantly up the middle. Difo is out of the options but isn't assured of a roster spot as $1 million isn't too harsh a number to swallow if necessary. Defensive versatility is Difo's primary asset as he wields a weak stick, posting a career 72 wRC+. In 2017 and 2018, Difo chipped in with 10 steals, but he only attempted one last season, and was caught. Difo also played in his fewest number of games since 2016. The lack category sizzle and questionable playing time render Difo an end game option in NL only formats, with the hope of adding to shortstop eligibility, increasing roster flexibility. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a one-year, $1 million contract with the Nationals in December of 2019, avoiding arbitration.
Avoids arbitration with Nats
SSWashington Nationals
December 1, 2019
Difo signed a one-year, $1 million contract with the Nationals on Sunday to avoid arbitration, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports.
ANALYSIS
Difo's contract entails that the Nationals still view the 27-year-old shortstop as a potential utility player around the infield next season. He's not guaranteed a roster spot and is out of minor-league options, so the team is going to eventually have to make a decision as to whether it wants him on the 40-man roster or not. Difo had a slash line of .252./.315/.313 with two home runs and eight RBI across 144 plate appearances in 2019 and seemingly has proven he can play at the major-league level.
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Batting Stats
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2019
2018
2017
2019 MLB Game Log
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2018 MLB Game Log
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2017 MLB Game Log
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Batting Order Slot Breakdown
vs Right-Handed Pitchers
vs RHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
1
2
15
7
3
vs Left-Handed Pitchers
vs LHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
5
1
1
Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2017
Even Split
2019
 
 
+31%
OPS vs LHP
2018
 
 
+55%
OPS vs RHP
2017
 
 
+33%
OPS vs LHP
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2017vs Left .660 218 32 5 12 1 .241 .290 .369
Since 2017vs Right .661 747 85 9 59 19 .251 .314 .347
2019vs Left .773 29 5 1 2 0 .321 .345 .429
2019vs Right .589 115 10 1 6 0 .233 .307 .282
2018vs Left .453 99 10 1 4 0 .154 .222 .231
2018vs Right .704 357 45 6 38 10 .252 .319 .385
2017vs Left .848 90 17 3 6 1 .310 .348 .500
2017vs Right .637 275 30 2 15 9 .258 .310 .327
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2017
 
 
+41%
OPS at Home
2019
 
 
+15%
OPS at Home
2018
 
 
+59%
OPS at Home
2017
 
 
+32%
OPS at Home
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2017Home .774 481 64 9 34 10 .297 .351 .423
Since 2017Away .548 484 53 5 37 10 .202 .266 .282
2019Home .679 59 6 1 2 0 .264 .339 .340
2019Away .592 85 9 1 6 0 .244 .298 .295
2018Home .799 225 30 5 22 3 .289 .351 .448
2018Away .502 231 25 2 20 7 .174 .246 .256
2017Home .776 197 28 3 10 7 .315 .356 .420
2017Away .588 168 19 2 11 3 .219 .277 .311
More Splits View More Split Stats
Stat Review
How does Wilmer Difo 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.
  • BABIP
    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/K
0.41
 
BB Rate
8.3%
 
K Rate
20.1%
 
BABIP
.310
 
ISO
.061
 
AVG
.252
 
OBP
.315
 
SLG
.313
 
OPS
.628
 
wOBA
.277
 
Exit Velocity
83.9 mph
 
Hard Hit Rate
20.4%
 
Advanced Batting Stats
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Additional Stats
Games By Position
Defensive Stats
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Batted Ball Stats
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Stats Vs Upcoming Pitchers
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Wilmer Difo
Games Played By Position: 2020 Eligibility Notes
98 days ago
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250 days ago
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258 days ago
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NL FAAB Factor: Waiver Pickups of the Week
269 days ago
Jan Levine returns to survey the National League free-agent landscape, with Carter Kieboom looking good because of a strong path to regular playing time.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
Difo backed into a career high in plate appearances as injuries ravaged the Nationals' infield. He raised his walk rate by two percentage points from 2017 and chipped in 10 steals for the second straight year, but despite improving his flyball rate by nine percentage points (to 33.8%), the infielder continued to show little power. Difo mostly faced right-handed pitching, and chances are the switch hitter will continue to see most of his opportunities from the left side of the plate. The Nationals did not bring back Daniel Murphy, but they signed Brian Dozier to a one-year deal to man the keystone. Top prospect Carter Kieboom also looms for a possible 2019 debut. Even if he were to find his way into frequent work, Difo would only rank as a deep-league dart for steals and stat-compiling.
Difo's 2017 season was certainly nothing to write home about offensively, but he was a plus on defense and enters 2018 as the Nationals' top backup at three infield positions. His batting eye regressed from his 31-game sample in 2016, with his walk rate falling from 12.1 percent to 6.6 percent and his strikeout rate creeping up to over 20 percent. Difo hardly hit for any power (22.9 percent hard-hit rate, .099 ISO), but he did connect for a good number of line drives (24.4 percent) while also making an impact on the basepaths. He has stolen at least 28 bags four different times on the farm and was caught just once at the big-league level last season. As he enters his age-26 season, Difo still has a ways to go in terms of figuring out right-handed pitching (.273 wOBA in 2017). He will be forced to learn on the job if there is a long-term injury ahead of him on the depth chart.
After a solid but unspectacular 2015 at Double-A, Difo surprisingly found himself returning to Harrisburg last season, as the Nationals' offseason additions up the middle left no room for him at Triple-A. He didn't exactly force the organization's hand, as some aspects of his game took a step backwards in 2016, especially his efficiency as a base stealer. There were encouraging signs hidden behind a decline in his BABIP, though. His walk rate went up, his strikeout rate down, and Difo found himself on the postseason roster as insurance while Daniel Murphy dealt with a leg injury. This offseason proved to be a much better one for the switch-hitter's job prospects. With Trea Turner taking over at shortstop and Danny Espinosa now an Angel, things seemed to be looking up for Difo, although his future is looking a bit murkier following the return of Stephen Drew. Difo may have to start the season at Triple-A, but if he continues to progress, he could find his way up to the big leagues once again.
A speedster who has shown some surprising pop in the minors, Difo crushed High-A pitching to begin 2015, forcing a quick promotion to Double-A and eventually landing him a couple of cups of coffee with the big club. His plate discipline took a tumble at the higher levels, but Difo's 30-for-32 success rate on the basepaths highlighted his primary offensive skill, and his glovework at either middle infield position has been impeccable. The biggest question for the switch-hitting Difo is when he'll get a chance as a regular. He turns 24 right after Opening Day, and Danny Espinosa and Trea Turner are ahead of him on the organizational depth chart at shortstop following Ian Desmond's departure. With Daniel Murphy and Anthony Rendon manning second and third base, it is hard to see where Difo will fit in 2016. He may have to wait his turn and work on that plate discipline at Triple-A until the Nats have a vacancy, or get traded to a less crowded situation.
Difo spent an entire season with a full-season affiliate for the first time in his career in 2014, and the results were impressive. The 22-year-old split his time between second base and shortstop, showing more consistent defensive chops at the former position. While he failed to appear on most preseason organizational top prospect lists for the Nats, Difo opened plenty of eyes last season with his combination of power and speed, which included a 49-for-58 mark as a basestealer. Listed at 6-feet and 175 pounds, the switch-hitting Difo hit the ball on the ground less frequently last season, showing increased pop and maximizing the value of his plus-speed. The 14 home runs he hit last season were more than double his total from the previous four seasons combined. Difo will make the move to High-A in 2015, but he could begin to move a bit more quickly through the Nats' system after taking a few years to solve rookie ball.
More Fantasy News
Gets call to big leagues
SSWashington Nationals
September 3, 2019
Difo was recalled from Triple-A Fresno on Tuesday, Mark Zuckerman of MASN Sports reports.
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Heads to minors
SSWashington Nationals
May 17, 2019
Difo was optioned to Triple-A Fresno on Friday.
ANALYSIS
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Time at shortstop could be up
SSWashington Nationals
May 16, 2019
Difo will start at shortstop and bat eighth Thursday against the Mets.
ANALYSIS
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Looks like regular shortstop again
SSWashington Nationals
May 8, 2019
Difo will start at shortstop and bat sixth Wednesday against the Brewers.
ANALYSIS
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Playing time on rise
SSWashington Nationals
May 5, 2019
Difo will start at third base and bat second Sunday against the Phillies, Mark Zuckerman of MASN Sports reports.
ANALYSIS
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