What a difference a year can make. Austin Barnes led the list of breakout candidates at catcher last year. However, Yasmani Grandal and the Dodgers decisions about playing time were not accounted for. Barnes actually only accrued 18 fewer at-bats last year compared to 2017, but his BABIP dropped by over 40 points, he traded five percent of line drives for an eight percent growth in ground balls combining to disappoint his owners.

Barnes appeared in 100 games with 32 runs, four home runs, 14 RBI, four stolen bases and a .205/.329/.290 slash line. Not quite second catcher material in mixed leagues. But, there’s hope. He maintained discipline metrics with a minuscule 5.8 swinging strike percentage and 20.5 O-Swing (swings and misses outside the strike zone). Barnes also recorded an 83.5 contact percentage. Part of his struggles could be in approach on batted ball contact, not in aggression.

Part of Barnes success in 2017 lied in his ability to hit the ball up the middle. When...