Carson Kelly
Carson Kelly
26-Year-Old CatcherC
Arizona Diamondbacks
2021 Fantasy Outlook
Kelly looked like a solid mid-tier catcher last winter after hitting .248/.348/.478 with 18 homers in his first full season the year prior, but those who bought in expecting a repeat wound up quite disappointed. In 39 games, his slash line dipped to just .221/.264/.385 as he hit a modest five homers. While it's true that his good year was much longer than his bad one, his underlying numbers suggest his struggles were more a result of poor performance than small-sample misfortune. His K% rose slightly from 21.6 to 22.5 as his BB% cratered from 13.2 to 4.7. When he did make contact, it was significantly worse than in 2019, as his average exit velocity fell from 89.0 to 86.3 mph. As a decent defender, he'll only need a small step forward at the plate to be a solid starter in 2021, but he only projected as an average starter as a prospect, so it's quite likely he remains fine but fairly forgettable going forward. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
#260
ADP
$Signed a one-year contract with the Diamondbacks in January of 2021.
Not starting Monday
CArizona Diamondbacks
April 12, 2021
Kelly isn't starting Monday's game against Oakland.
ANALYSIS
Kelly will take a seat for the third time in the past five games. Stephen Vogt will start behind the dish once again Monday, batting eighth.
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Batting Stats
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2021
2020
2019
2018
2017
2021 MLB Game Log
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2020 MLB Game Log
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2019 MLB Game Log
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2018 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
3
2
vs Left-Handed Pitchers
vs LHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
1
Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2019
 
 
+30%
OPS vs LHP
2021
 
 
+64%
OPS vs LHP
2020
 
 
+48%
OPS vs RHP
2019
 
 
+59%
OPS vs LHP
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2019vs Left .933 157 21 8 23 0 .294 .389 .544
Since 2019vs Right .719 356 35 15 42 0 .222 .306 .413
2021vs Left 1.550 5 0 0 0 0 .750 .800 .750
2021vs Right .944 18 1 0 1 0 .357 .444 .500
2020vs Left .476 48 3 2 5 0 .133 .188 .289
2020vs Right .705 77 6 3 12 0 .257 .286 .419
2019vs Left 1.128 104 18 6 18 0 .356 .462 .667
2019vs Right .708 261 28 12 29 0 .203 .303 .405
More Splits View More Split Stats
Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2019
 
 
+30%
OPS on Road
2021
 
 
+17%
OPS on Road
2020
 
 
+37%
OPS at Home
2019
 
 
+54%
OPS on Road
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2019Home .685 252 25 6 32 0 .221 .325 .359
Since 2019Away .888 265 33 17 35 0 .270 .343 .544
2021Home .956 9 1 0 1 0 .400 .556 .400
2021Away 1.115 14 0 0 0 0 .462 .500 .615
2020Home .749 65 7 2 15 0 .279 .323 .426
2020Away .547 64 4 3 4 0 .164 .203 .344
2019Home .646 178 17 4 16 0 .192 .315 .331
2019Away .993 187 29 14 31 0 .294 .380 .613
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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.
  • 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
1.00
 
BB Rate
17.4%
 
K Rate
17.4%
 
BABIP
.533
 
ISO
.111
 
AVG
.444
 
OBP
.522
 
SLG
.556
 
OPS
1.077
 
wOBA
.452
 
Exit Velocity
81.9 mph
 
Hard Hit Rate
60.0%
 
Barrels/PA
5.3%
 
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 Carson Kelly
NL FAAB Factor: Waiver Pickups of the Week
Yesterday
Jan Levine is back and lists a number of players to target, including a veteran starter in San Francisco who's excelling.
The Z Files: The Fallacy of Stabilization and an Early Look at Home Runs
2 days ago
Todd Zola offers some thoughts on early-season trends, including the home run surge led by Nick Castellanos and the Reds.
RotoWire Roundtable: Final Update
16 days ago
Individual sets of Top 350s from Jeff Erickson, Todd Zola, Clay Link and Erik Halterman are compiled into a Top 300 composite ranking for the 2021 fantasy baseball season.
RotoWire Roundtable: Weekend Update
22 days ago
Individual sets of Top 350s from Jeff Erickson, Clay Link, Todd Zola and Erik Halterman are compiled into a Top 300 composite ranking for the 2021 fantasy baseball season.
The Z Files: Candidates To Lose Homers With the New Baseball
24 days ago
Todd Zola tries to determine whose power numbers might be impacted the most by MLB's new baseball, and finds reason to be concerned about Cavan Biggio.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2020
2019
2018
2017
2015
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.
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
Not in Saturday's lineup
CArizona Diamondbacks
April 10, 2021
Kelly isn't starting Saturday's game against the Reds.
ANALYSIS
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Not starting Thursday
CArizona Diamondbacks
April 8, 2021
Kelly isn't in Thursday's lineup against the Rockies.
ANALYSIS
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Not in Saturday's lineup
CArizona Diamondbacks
April 3, 2021
Kelly is not starting Saturday in San Diego.
ANALYSIS
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Makes debut
CArizona Diamondbacks
April 3, 2021
Kelly started Friday and went 2-for-3 in Friday's 4-2 loss to the Padres.
ANALYSIS
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Not starting Thursday
CArizona Diamondbacks
April 1, 2021
Kelly isn't starting Thursday's game against the Padres.
ANALYSIS
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