It didn’t take long for Avisail Garcia to get back in fantasy’s good graces. Even on the eve of a major holiday, his explosive Tuesday mobilized the pickup community.
Garcia’s season got off to a dead-end start. He didn’t hit for three weeks (.233/.250/.315, one homer), then a hamstring injury kept him out for two months. Out of sight, out of mind. I had Garcia stashed on a few DL lists, and every so often I’d calibrate the trade market. No takers.
But maybe this story comes with a happy ending. Garcia returned on June 22 and he’s been sizzling, hitting .365 with six home runs. Three of those homers came in the last two days, which is why his ownership spiked up to 50 percent. Heck, it jumped 27 percent on Tuesday alone.
To be fair, Garcia is riding a .406 BABIP (that’s no joke, Teddy) since his return, and he’s never going to be a SABR darling. He’s struck out 14 times and walked just once (his only walk of the season) over these 12 games. He sees the ball, he hacks at the ball.
There’s an irony to players like Garcia — the more modern your league is, the less likely they are to trust him. Egads, he doesn’t walk. Yikes, his chase rate is up to 47.6 percent this year (and it’s 42.2 percent for his career). But sometimes this actually turns out to be a leak of good fantasy player, the burden of being too deep into the advanced numbers. Garcia had all sorts of wonkiness to his 2017 profile, and he ended the year with a .330-75-18-80-5 line, nifty production over 136 games.
And to think, Garcia’s doing all this with a hamstring that might not be 100 percent.
— Zesty White Sox (@zesty_whitesox) July 4, 2018
Fifty percent is the equator for pickup usefulness. This is last call in the most shallow of leagues. Everyone else has to decide what Garcia is worth in the trade market.
Conventional wisdom says that freewheeling approach will come back and bite him, but it hasn’t in a year and a half. Maybe Garcia is a rare player who can succeed with an unorthodox style. Not everyone needs to hit the same way. And sometimes aggression is your best friend in that batter’s box.