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One of the most common questions I get asked leading up to the start of any regular season is, “Who are your sleepers this year?” While I love discussing Fantasy Sports with the all of our readers/listeners/people I find myself repeating myself far too often. So, I’ve decided to go ahead and periodically profile my top sleepers for this upcoming Fantasy Baseball Season and post them right here for all to read. This way the discussion can go from “Who” are my sleepers to “Why am I buying on these guys?” Also, I’m not going to be a bitch and give you names of players that will be on everybody else’s sleepers list. The following is another edition of my 2014 Fantasy Baseball Deep Sleepers:
Player: Avisail Garcia
Team: White Sox
Age: 23 on June 12th
2013 Stats: 244 AB’s, .283/.309/.422, 7 HR, 31 RBI, 31 Runs, 3 Steals
Current ADP: 219.16 (NFBC), 362.20 (MockDraftCentral)
It’s not hard to see why Avisail Garcia was nicknamed “little Miggy” by his teammates while he was in Detroit. The resemblance to Miguel Cabrera is striking on the surface but no player should have that kind of burden to carry around. Garcia is a powerful young man who can hit the ball to all fields with authority. His stroke is a perfect match for U.S. Cellular Field where the ball carries out well in the summer. He is a surprisingly good athlete also which will help him on defense in the outfield and also on the basepaths. Garcia has the raw tools to go 20-20 at the big league level. The best part of all is he is being taken far behind other young players who do not have jobs. Garcia will be the White Sox starting RF and a very important part of their future.
Garcia stands at 6’4” and 250 lbs. He is a hulking mass of a man yet has quick wrists that can deliver the ball to any part of the ballpark. He’s also an exceptional “bad ball” hitter meaning he can produce even when the pitcher is deliberately staying away from him.
One of the biggest mistakes in fantasy baseball is when people draft players who won’t have a role once the regular season starts. The White Sox view Garcia as a key component to their future and will set him in the middle of the lineup and allow him to develop while they improve other aspects of the team. If he gets 500+ at-bats which is fully expected there is no reason why he won’t hit over 20 HR’s and quite possibly 30 if all breaks right.
Because of his size few would expect Avisail Garcia to be as quick as he is. Nobody will draft him expecting much in the stolen base category but he genuinely could get 15+ steals in 2014.
1. Lack Of Patience
2. GB/FB Rate
Garcia is an extremely aggressive hitter. He doesn’t take pitches well and has survived because he is such a good bad ball hitter. But the lack of walks is alarming. Young ballplayers need to see a lot of pitches in order to make the necessary adjustments to survive in the league. Also, if he is not getting on base he is obviously not making use of his underestimated speed nor is he scoring runs.
Avisail Garcia hits too many groundballs right now. His minor league GB% of 45% is much easier to tolerate than his major league number of 56.1%. The more flyballs Garcia hits the more that will leave the park. In Chicago, he can get away with more line drives as well especially to the pull side because of the frequency of line drive HR’s there. But it will be important to monitor Garcia’s flyball rate in order to tell what type of power numbers we will be getting over the course of a season.
The Tigers signed Garcia out of Venezuela in 2007 and it took him quite awhile to breakout of single-A ball. He is a slow developer. The White Sox are expecting big things out of him but they will need to remain patient while he figures out how to navigate big league pitching. Fantasy owners will need to remain patient also as Garcia profiles as being a streaky power hitter early on in his career.
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