Not only did Jorge Alfaro struggle in 2020, he lost his starting spot as catcher in the postseason. Looking to rebound in 2021 and motivated by this, he enters the season at Age-27, his power peak. As for last year, things went awry with his slash lines cratering to .226/.280/.344 with 12 runs, three home runs, 16 RBI and two stolen bases over 100 plate appearances. Less than optimal.

Always prone to strikeouts, his swinging strike percentage rose to 24.3 and contact rate fell below 60 percent. Losing power affected his fantasy standing as well. Alfaro's isolated power fell to .118 and his strikeout rate rose to 36 percent. Since his batting average on balls in play (BABIP) flows with his average, monitoring this early may determine if it's worth holding onto him or dropping him early for the catcher du jour. For an illustration of this:

-    Alfaro 2018: .406 BABIP, .262 AVG

-    Alfaro 2019: .364 BABIP, .262 AVG

-    Alfarro 2020: .333 BABIP, .226 AVG

-    Alfaro Career: .380 BABIP, .262 AVG

Transitioning to Statcast, Alfaro produced 57 batted ball events with only four barrels (seven percent), an average exit velocity of 89.2 MPH but a 49.1 percent hard hit rate. HIs expected statistics reflect his season-long struggles with a .220 expected batting average, .379 expected slugging and a.283 expected weighted on-base average (xwOBA). Although his zone rates remained steady in terms of swing and contact, his chase percentage went down while his chase contact plummeted by over eight percentage points.

Despite his high hard hit rate, Alfaro's power gets harpooned by a 49 percent ground ball rate but he did generate a 29.8 line drive percentage last season. His home runs in 2020 went to center or right-center, so if he's in better shape and returns to pulling fly balls, a power burst could ensue at his peak age:









Expanding his sample size to the second half of 2019 through last year, here are his numbers:

-    Alfaro 2H 2019-through-2020: 93 games, 316 plate appearances, 32 runs, 11 home runs, 43 RBI, five stolen bases; .241/.297/.390, 5.7 BB%, 34.5 K%, .148 ISO

Then, over the last three years:

-    Alfaro Last Three Years: 271 games, 948 plate appearances, 93 runs, 32 home runs, 111 RBI, nine stolen bases; .260/.315/.416, 4.7 BB%, 34.6 K%, .156 ISO, .378 BABIP

It's a fine line if deciding to target Alfaro for a return to 18 home runs like in 2019. There's a chance but he needs to turn the hard hit data into fly balls or line drives, not grounders. Here are his projection sets:




Last year weighs heavily along with 2019's 18 home runs being the outlier in terms of power. Heed his early batted ball results and BABIP, then act accordingly. There's a chance for a rebound or Alfaro could cede at-bats once again if 2020's numbers carry over. Proceed with caution.

Statistical Credits:

THE BAT and THE BAT X courtesy of Derek Carty

ATC courtesy of Ariel Cohen

ZiPS courtesy of Dan Szymborsk