Kyle Higashioka
Kyle Higashioka
29-Year-Old CatcherC
New York Yankees
2020 Fantasy Outlook
HIgashioka slugged .581 with 20 homers at Triple-A in 2019, thereby besting his home-run total in the minors from 2016-2018 by one. He has shown little ability to hit major-league pitching in the cups of coffee the Yankees have given him the past three seasons; his job has been as the third catcher during September, or when Gary Sanchez and/or Austin Romine are hurt and the club needs another body. He doesn't have the tools necessary to be the primary catcher on a big-league roster and is now in a make-or-break situation since he is out of minor-league options and turning 30 years old. He will have to make the Yankees' roster out of camp or find another organization looking for a caddy catcher. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a one-year, $562,900 contract with the Yankees in March of 2019.
Solidifies backup role
CNew York Yankees
March 20, 2020
Higashioka appears to have won the No. 2 backstop role behind Gary Sanchez, George A. King III of the New York Post reports.
ANALYSIS
After toiling in the minors for the better part of 12 seasons, Higashioka is in line to assume a spot on the Opening Day roster of a major-league team for the first time in his career. Though the 29-year-old has hit only .164 across 146 big-league at-bats, he slugged 20 homers while hitting .278 in only 70 Triple-A games in 2019 and was enjoying a strong spring, batting .276 with three home runs over 29 Grapefruit League at-bats.
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Batting Stats
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2019
2018
2017
2019 MLB Game Log
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2018 MLB Game Log
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2017 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
5
3
vs Left-Handed Pitchers
vs LHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
2
2
2
Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2017
 
 
+16%
OPS vs LHP
2019
 
 
+43%
OPS vs LHP
2018
 
 
+1%
OPS vs LHP
2017
 
 
+86%
OPS vs LHP
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2017vs Left .605 47 7 3 7 0 .174 .191 .413
Since 2017vs Right .520 109 9 3 10 0 .160 .220 .300
2019vs Left .867 15 3 1 3 0 .267 .267 .600
2019vs Right .605 42 5 2 8 0 .195 .190 .415
2018vs Left .560 25 2 2 4 0 .160 .160 .400
2018vs Right .554 54 4 1 2 0 .170 .278 .277
2017vs Left .143 7 2 0 0 0 .000 .143 .000
2017vs Right .077 13 0 0 0 0 .000 .077 .000
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2017
 
 
+3%
OPS on Road
2019
 
 
+55%
OPS on Road
2018
 
 
+94%
OPS at Home
2017
 
 
-100%
OPS at Home
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2017Home .540 88 9 3 9 0 .163 .227 .313
Since 2017Away .555 68 7 3 8 0 .167 .191 .364
2019Home .528 29 3 0 3 0 .214 .207 .321
2019Away .821 28 5 3 8 0 .214 .214 .607
2018Home .737 41 4 3 6 0 .194 .293 .444
2018Away .379 38 2 0 0 0 .139 .184 .194
2017Home .111 18 2 0 0 0 .000 .111 .000
2017Away .000 2 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
More Splits View More Split Stats
Stat Review
How does Kyle Higashioka 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
0.00
 
BB Rate
0.0%
 
K Rate
45.6%
 
BABIP
.321
 
ISO
.250
 
AVG
.214
 
OBP
.211
 
SLG
.464
 
OPS
.675
 
wOBA
.284
 
Exit Velocity
89.8 mph
 
Hard Hit Rate
45.2%
 
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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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2019
2017
Higashioka spent most of the second half of the season on the Yankees' roster with Gary Sanchez missing time with a groin injury. He found himself the subject of a fun anecdote, becoming just the second Yankee in history after Alfonso Soriano to have each of his first three hits for the team go for home runs, but his performance was quite forgettable after that, as he finished with a .167/.241/.319 line (and no more homers) in 79 plate appearances. Throw in his 20 plate appearances in 2017 and his career line sits at .133/.212/.256. The 28-year-old projected as a mediocre backup as a prospect, with below-average defense and a decent bat. If the bat never comes around, he'll remain nothing more than a third catcher. He'll likely have to bide his time at Triple-A to begin 2019, and he's unlikely to excite should at-bats open up.
2016 served as a breakout campaign of sorts in the minor league ranks for the 26-year-old Higashioka. The catcher was limited to a total of 24 games between 2013 and 2014 after undergoing Tommy John surgery and he was slow to shake off the rust after that, but he found his stroke to the tune of 21 home runs, 81 RBI and a combined .276/.337/.511 slash line across both Double-A and Triple-A this year. Though he's always projected as a good power hitter, it's difficult to determine how much stock should be put into his 2016 season, as he floundered at the lower levels of the minors in the early parts of his career. Additionally, a sudden and sustained emergence like this is uncommon for someone who will turn 27 in the first month of the 2017 season. Higashioka was added to the 40-man roster for Rule 5 protection, and will compete with Austin Romine for the honor of backing up Gary Sanchez.
More Fantasy News
In line for backup role
CNew York Yankees
February 17, 2020
Higashioka is the front-runner to back up Gary Sanchez at catcher, Bryan Hoch of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Expected to split catching duties
CNew York Yankees
September 14, 2019
Higashioka will take on a "fairly even" split in catching duties while Gary Sanchez (groin) is on the shelf, Jordan Horrobin of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Returns from Triple-A
CNew York Yankees
September 8, 2019
Higashioka was recalled from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Sunday.
ANALYSIS
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Sent to Triple-A
CNew York Yankees
August 10, 2019
Higashioka was sent down to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre prior to Saturday's game against the Blue Jays.
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Goes off on O's for two homers
CNew York Yankees
August 8, 2019
Higashioka went 2-for-5 with two home runs and five RBI in Wednesday's 14-2 win over the Orioles.
ANALYSIS
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