Christian Vazquez

Christian Vazquez

32-Year-Old CatcherC
 Free Agent  
Free Agent
2023 Fantasy Outlook
Vazquez was acquired by the Astros at the trade deadline to boost their offensive production at catcher, but he never found his footing in Houston and had a .586 OPS across only 35 games as Martin Maldonado remained the primary backstop. Vazquez also struggled in 2021 with a 76 wRC+, but he still had a strong first half for Boston last season with a .282/.327/.432 slash line, eight homers and 42 RBI in 84 contests. The latter numbers are more in line with his production over the past few years, and he's hit north of .270 in four of the past six seasons. He clubbed 23 homers in 2019 but hasn't reached double digits in any other big-league campaign, so he shouldn't be expected to provide more than a handful of long balls. Vazquez shouldn't have trouble finding consistent playing time given his strong work behind the plate and provides a solid average, and he's likely to remain a decent mid-tier fantasy option in 2023 at a position of offensive scarcity. Read Past Outlooks
RANKS
$Signed a three-year, $13.35 million contract extension with the Red Sox in March of 2018. Red Sox exercised $7 million team option for 2022 in November of 2021. Traded to the Astros in August of 2022.
Homers in win
CHouston Astros  
October 5, 2022
Vazquez went 1-for-1 with a solo homer in Wednesday's win over the Phillies.
ANALYSIS
Vazquez entered the game in the sixth inning and crushed a solo home run in the seventh to extend the Astros' lead to 3-0. It was a nice finish to the regular season for Vazquez, who came into the game hitting just .161 since the start of September. It was also his first home run since July 22.
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Batting Stats
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2022
2021
2020
2019
2018
2017
2022 MLB Game Log
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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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Minor League 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
7
10
8
11
27
10
vs Left-Handed Pitchers
vs LHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
3
2
2
4
9
8
1
Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2020
 
 
+6%
OPS vs RHP
2022
 
 
+22%
OPS vs LHP
2021
 
 
+28%
OPS vs RHP
2020
 
 
+14%
OPS vs RHP
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2020vs Left .671 325 40 8 34 3 .247 .289 .382
Since 2020vs Right .713 784 73 13 86 10 .276 .327 .386
2022vs Left .823 108 14 3 13 0 .304 .343 .480
2022vs Right .677 318 27 6 39 1 .264 .305 .372
2021vs Left .555 160 18 2 12 1 .219 .250 .305
2021vs Right .710 338 33 4 37 7 .277 .335 .375
2020vs Left .710 57 8 3 9 2 .216 .298 .412
2020vs Right .809 128 13 3 10 2 .305 .359 .449
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2020
 
 
+8%
OPS at Home
2022
 
 
+29%
OPS at Home
2021
 
 
+1%
OPS at Home
2020
 
 
+18%
OPS on Road
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2020Home .731 547 62 12 62 7 .273 .328 .403
Since 2020Away .679 566 52 10 62 6 .264 .306 .374
2022Home .802 217 21 7 29 0 .294 .332 .471
2022Away .621 209 20 2 23 1 .253 .297 .325
2021Home .663 241 31 3 26 4 .259 .321 .343
2021Away .655 257 20 3 23 4 .256 .296 .360
2020Home .729 89 10 2 7 3 .253 .337 .392
2020Away .861 100 12 5 16 1 .309 .350 .511
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Stat Review
How does Christian Vazquez 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.
  • Expected BA
    Expected Batting Average.
  • Expected SLG
    Expected Slugging Percentage.
  • Sprint Speed
    The speed of a runner from home to first, in feet per second.
  • Ground Ball %
    The percentage of balls put in play that are on the ground.
  • Line Drive %
    The percentage of balls put in play that are line drives.
  • Fly Ball %
    The percentage of balls put in play that are fly balls.
BB/K
0.32
 
BB Rate
5.2%
 
K Rate
16.2%
 
BABIP
.310
 
ISO
.126
 
AVG
.274
 
OBP
.315
 
SLG
.399
 
OPS
.714
 
wOBA
.315
 
Exit Velocity
87.9 mph
 
Hard Hit Rate
25.9%
 
Barrels/PA
4.0%
 
Expected BA
.262
 
Expected SLG
.375
 
Sprint Speed
21.9 ft/sec
 
Ground Ball %
45.2%
 
Line Drive %
22.6%
 
Fly Ball %
32.2%
 
Advanced Batting Stats
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Additional Stats
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Defensive Stats
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Batted Ball Stats
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Stats Vs Upcoming Pitchers
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2022
2021
2020
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
Coming off a pair of strong seasons, Vazquez disappointed with his performance in 2021. His power production dropped precipitously, as he hit one fewer home run than in the 2020 season despite registering 309 more plate appearances. He maintained a strong contact rate (16.9 K%) and still lifted the ball regularly (37.8 FB%), the problem was simply a drop in the quality of contact. Vazquez's barrel rate shrunk to 2.6% (sixth percentile) as did his hard contact (30.9%, ninth percentile). Perhaps a sneakier problem was an inflated infield-flyball rate, as Vazquez has popped up at a 14.1% clip across the last two seasons. Looking toward 2022, Vazquez will be back as Boston's primary backstop after the club picked up his option. He lacks the power potential of most primary catchers, but Vazquez has hit .270 over the last three seasons and has chipped in four-plus steals in each of those seasons, and therein lies his fantasy appeal.
The 30-year-old had a breakout 2019 season with .797 OPS and 23 home runs in 138 games, and he followed up with a .801 OPS and seven homers in 47 contests during the shortened 2020 campaign. He also increased his walk rate to 6.3% and 8.5% over the past two years after hovering around 5.0% in previous seasons. Vazquez remains a strong presence behind the plate, which provides a solid base for his playing time even when slumping offensively. He may have already seen his peak over the past two seasons, but a minor dip offensively would still leave him as a reliable backstop both on the field and for fantasy purposes. The Red Sox were listening to offers ahead of the trade deadline, but for now Vazquez remains the No.1 catcher and a solid bat in the middle of their lineup.
In 2018, Vazquez underperformed his batting average by 40 points according to the expected stats, but everything else was as expected. In 2019, nothing that happened was expected. He increased his homer total by 20, although his average exit velocity and launch angles in 2019 were identical to what he had done the previous season. Yes, he made more hard contact, but there was no demonstrable change in his flyball rate, or his pull rate. He simply went from hitting one of every 25 flyballs for a home run to one of every six for a home run. It's almost like something was up with the baseball last year. The xStats are bearish on Vazquez for 2020 because his actual batting average and slugging percentage were both nearly 50 points above his expected numbers. Bake in two scoops of regression with your Vazquez expectations. Last season was fun for those who threw the dart.
Lost in the euphoria of the Red Sox championship was the utter futility from the catcher position, at least offensively. It's easy to rationalize a club wanting mostly defense from its catchers, especially when it's winning, but some modicum of production is desired. Coming off a season in which he hit .290, the hope was that Vazquez had finally translated solid contact skills into a consistently high average. However, he doesn't hit the ball with much authority so 2017's bloated .348 BABIP was due for a big downturn. Sure enough, Vazquez posted a .237 mark last season, resulting in an anemic .207 average. His defense remained above average as the primary receiver when neither Chris Sale nor Rick Porcello were on the mound, leaving that to Sandy Leon. Vazquez should still receive a little more than half the run behind the dish, but even with the weak catcher pool, he doesn't offer ample help anywhere to warrant mixed-league consideration.
Sandy Leon was the widely-drafted Red Sox catcher last season, but Vazquez ended up being significantly more valuable in both real life and fantasy. Granted his fantasy value was tied closely to a .290 average, and that number was buoyed by an inflated .348 BABIP. However, Vazquez was a big plus behind the dish and should get a chance to build on his run and RBI totals with more playing time in 2018, assuming the Red Sox don't bring in a more potent bat to serve as the primary backstop. Vazquez doesn't walk much (4.9 percent last season) or get the ball in the air very often (28 percent flyball rate), but he runs more than most catchers (7-for-9 in stolen base attempts) and can work the ball the other way (33.3 opposite-field percentage). As of now it appears Vazquez will open the year atop the depth chart, and that puts him in the discussion as a low-end first catcher.
Coming off of Tommy John surgery, Vazquez started the 2016 season in Triple-A Pawtucket, playing just five games before earning a callup. The 26-year-old was named the starter after being called up, starting 49 games behind the plate before losing his starting catcher role to Sandy Leon after he couldn't seem to find his form at the plate. Vazquez struggled mightily, slashing .226/.278/.305 in 51 games before being sent back down to Triple-A. Despite his continuing offensive struggles, he proved he is still an elite backstop, gaining 1.53 extra strikes per game, which was fourth best in the majors in 2016. Although he wasn't used, his defense earned him a callup before the playoffs, showing how much his glove is valued. Vazquez is currently locked in as a backup, but all it will take for the righty to become a starter is for his bat to produce numbers closer to the league average.
Vazquez was preparing last spring to be Boston’s starting catcher in 2015 when an elbow injury eventually led to Tommy John surgery, forcing him to miss the entire season. The history of catchers who have undergone this procedure is a short one. Most notably is Baltimore’s Matt Wieters, who had the surgery in June 2014 and returned roughly one year later. He played 75 games, catching 55 of them. Other catchers that have undergone the procedure say they don’t feel they’re fully back until year two. Vazquez was expected to get some ramp up time in winter ball, but his team folded and he’s not getting the expected at-bats leading up to spring training. It’s all a big question mark for Vazquez. He’s probably not going to be ready to go full-time when the season starts, so the Red Sox may have him spend some time at Triple-A Pawtucket, while the combination of Blake Swihart and Ryan Hanigan open the season in Boston.
Vazquez began last season as the starting catcher for Triple-A Pawtucket and finished the season as the starting catcher for Boston. He's about a half year ahead of schedule, but the A.J. Pierzynski signing backfired on the Red Sox and Vazquez was promoted in July. He hit .240/.308/.309 in 201 plate appearances. The question remains whether or not he'll hit consistently enough in the majors, though his defense will keep him employed in MLB for as long as he wants. The same thing was said about Yadier Molina -- a frequent Vazquez comparison. If there are enough quality bats in the lineup, the Red Sox can live with a .230 hitter at the bottom of the order. Vazquez did a credible job hitting with men on base or in scoring position, and showed a knack for moving runners along, so there are some encouraging signs. Projected to open the season as the Red Sox's starting catcher, Vazquez tore his UCL during spring training and will miss the entire season following Tommy John surgery.
Vazquez's prospect status is on the rise, largely due to his defensive abilities, and particularly his ability to control the opposing running game. He threw out 46 percent of would-be base-stealers and his pop-up time when throwing to second base is gaining notoriety. Though he can be a streaky hitter, Vazquez has improved offensively over the years, and he had a career-best OBP and reduced his strikeouts from 79 to 44 in 2013. Vazquez's defense has him headed for the major leagues. If he maintains/develops his improved plate approach and continues to make consistent contact, he figures to be a full-time starter. Look for him to start the season at Triple-A Pawtucket and possibly get a crack at the big leagues later in the season.
Vazquez, a ninth-round selection in 2008 at the age of 17, has worked his way up to the Double-A level largely on his glove. He was able to hit enough in the lower levels to get by while his improvements defensively and as a leader has garnered attention in the organization. He was added to Boston's 40-man roster in the offseason. He has the ability to control an opponent's running game. There's a sense that his glove alone will carry him to the major leagues. The bat, on the other hand, may be problematic. He'll return to Double-A Portland where he'll work on the more advanced aspects of catching: working with pitchers, game calling and varying pitch sequences.
Vazquez spent his second straight season in the Low-A South Atlantic League for Greenville, becoming the Drive's primary backstop in 2011. The defensive side of the game made impressive strides, though some improvement in mechanics are still needed. Vazquez is a work in progress as a hitter, but improved mechanics gave him greater bat speed and he generated more power than we expected. His swing will be challenged more as he advances levels in the organization. He'll likely land at High-A Salem where he'll see less mistakes, so a power drop is expected. Continued work on quickening his swing and maintaining good contact rates will be a key for hitting success in 2012.
Vazquez, a ninth-round draft pick in 2008, shows some agility behind the plate but still needs work in other defensive aspects (quicker release, blocking balls). He's got the attitude to improve. He's not very advanced with the bat, but has some power potential and could evolve into an adequate hitter. He'll likely be placed at Low-A Greenville.
More Fantasy News
Drives in two runs
CHouston Astros  
September 25, 2022
Vazquez went 2-for-5 with a double, two RBI and a run scored in Sunday's 6-3 win over Baltimore.
ANALYSIS
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Snaps hitless streak
CHouston Astros  
September 16, 2022
Vazquez went 1-for-4 with a double and an RBI on Thursday against the Athletics.
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Starting in series finale
CHouston Astros  
September 14, 2022
Vazquez will start at catcher and bat seventh in Wednesday's game against the Tigers, Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports.
ANALYSIS
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Not in starting nine
CHouston Astros  
August 13, 2022
Vazquez will sit Saturday against Oakland, Brian McTaggart of MLB.com reports.
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Sitting again Thursday
CHouston Astros  
August 11, 2022
Vazquez is not in the starting lineup for Thursday's series finale against the Rangers.
ANALYSIS
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