2011 Dodgers Player Profile: A.J. Ellis, Backup Backstop In Waiting

A.J. Ellis is one of eight Dodgers drafted and signed in 2003 to make the major leagues. (Photo: Christian Petersen | Getty Images)

A.J. Ellis has always had the reputation of being a good defensive catcher, while his bat was secondary. He has an excellent batting eye, as his minor league on-base percentage is .398 in 1,871 PA, but he has no power (his last home run at any level was August 26, 2008) so there has always been a concern about how Ellis would perform at the plate at the MLB level. At the end of last year, though, Ellis was on fire with the bat.

When Russell Martin got hurt last year on August 3, the Dodgers went with a platoon of Ellis and Brad Ausmus at catcher to fill his shoes. However, the duo struggled mightily, and three weeks later Rod Barajas was claimed off waivers from the Mets. Barajas was claimed on Sunday, August 22, but was across the country with the Mets. Ellis, who was hitting .174/.237/.203, got the start on that day knowing he was on his way back to Albuquerque, at least until rosters expanded.

Ellis went 3-for-3 that day, then kept hitting once he was back up two weeks later. Over his last 49 plate appearances of the season, Ellis reached base 27 times, and hit .462/.563/.538 (Ellis was 8-for-28 with three doubles and three walks in in interim in Triple A, so over his last 80 PA combined he hit .388/.481/.478). Sure, his BABIP was .529, but it was a nice run for Ellis, who at least made his case as the backup catcher for 2011.

However, as is often the case for players with options remaining, life isn't always fair. The Dodgers have zero major-league ready catching depth, so it was pretty much a given that the Dodgers would sign two catchers this offseason. The Dodgers signed Barajas and Dioner Navarro to guaranteed deals, sealing Ellis's fate as the backup in waiting at Triple A.

Trivia

Ellis holds the career record with 263 hits at Austin Peay University, and was inducted into the Governors' Hall of Fame in 2009.

Contract Status

Ellis has one year, 62 days of service time, and has one option year remaining, which figures to get used this season.

Stats

Year Age PA HR Runs RBI BA OBP SLG wOBA
2008 (AAA)
27 337 4 44 59 .321 .436 .456 .398
2009 (AAA)
28 360 0 48 39 .314 .438 .375 .374
2010 (AAA)
29 76 0 11 7 .262 .400 .377 .366
2010 29 128 0 6 16 .278 .363 .324 .313
2011 Projections - Age 30 Season



Year
PA HR Runs RBI BA OBP SLG wOBA
Bill James
238 1 24 25 .266 .361 .343 .322
Marcel
265 4 24 30 .262 .333 .369 .313
Baseball HQ
136 0 12 6 .197 .279 .246
ZiPS
294 1 26 34 .245 .343 .319

2011 Outlook

Ellis will start the year in Triple A, but catchers have a tendency to get hurt, so expect Ellis to be called up once or twice during the season. Man, Baseball HQ does not like Ellis this year. I'll guess .258/.331/.319 in 78 PA, with 18 starts at catcher.

What is your guess for A.J. Ellis in 2011? Be sure to guess BA/OBP/SLG, PA, and number of starts at catcher.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join True Blue LA

You must be a member of True Blue LA to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at True Blue LA. You should read them.

Join True Blue LA

You must be a member of True Blue LA to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at True Blue LA. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker