- Rating: 5.69
- Age: 32
- 2019 Stats: 201 PA, .207/.353/.421, 97 wRC+, 1.3 fWAR
- 2019 Salary: $4.25 Million
- 2020 Status: Unrestricted Free Agent
When it comes to fan perception, 2019 was the complete opposite of 2018 for Alex Avila. In 2018, Avila really struggled with the bat, posting a Mathis-worthy 67 wRC+, with his batting line bottoming out at .109/.224/.168 for OPS of just .392 on June 18th. The fans jumped on the Avila Hate Train very quickly in 2018, with Twitter constantly blasting him, the sports radio finding hot take after hot take to blast Avila, and the overall fan perception of Avila was nearing Tomas levels. It got so bad that Jim even wrote an article, “Alex Avila: To boo or not to boo?” Despite his horrid bat, Avila still managed to post 0.7 fWAR in 2018 thanks to his defensive prowess, but the fans clearly weren’t seeing it.
Fast forward to the end of 2019 and Avila is in the middle of the Dbacks rankings with a respectable 5.69 rating. What changed? Well, simply, just some positive regression with the bat. It’s hard to really judge Avila’s 2018 when he only had 234 PA. Being a career 105 wRC+ hitter, it should have been obvious that Avila…