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2023 Player Outlook

2023 Recap: Heading into the 2023 season, we talked about Stephenson as one of the better values at the catcher position, as he was going to hit around the middle third of the order, and he was coming off a 2022 season where he hit an impressive .319. In fact, from 2020-2022, Stephenson hit .296! However, his BABIP tanked in 2023 (.314), resulting in a significant drop in his batting average. When looking at his contact metrics, his contact rate was down to 74.3 percent, while posting the highest swinging strike rate (10.9%) of his career. 

2024 Outlook: As we look to 2024, I don't believe Stephenson is as bad as 2023 made him out to be. His home park will play up his numbers, and even if he hits in the lower-third, he will be on base when the top of the order steps up to the dish. His 2024 season should serve as a middle ground between his 2020-2022 numbers and 2023 numbers, making him an intriguing second catcher in two-catcher setups. Stephenson has no significant threat for at-bats, but if he plays below average defense again, the Reds may be forced to trade his bat for a better glove in the lineup. Catcher is deeper in than years past, but Stephenson is an intriguing C2 this year at Great American Ball Park, almost as a post-hype guy.

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