The Texas Rangers outfielder has put together two great seasons in a row, but fantasy managers still question where this production came from at such a late start to his career. That pause for hesitation keeps his ADP pretty reasonable. With MLB Spring Training going on and MLB Opening Day just a few weeks away this means your fantasy draft is rapidly approaching and you are left with the age-old question “who do I draft and in what round do I draft him?” Hopefully you have begun to create your fantasy baseball player rankings and checked out the free fantasy baseball draft guide. Maybe you've done a few fantasy baseball mock drafts as well to help get a feel for the draft room experience. Either way, studying fantasy baseball ADP is a must and you should also be looking at our fantasy baseball cheat sheet, because that will help guide you as well in your decision making process.

Adolis Garcia continues to show that those doubts shouldn't exist as he is hitting .360 with a pair of dingers in Spring Training thus far. Ray Kuhn and Ryan Kirksey take on one side of the argument as to why you should or should not draft Garcia at his current price. 


Why You Should Draft Adolis Garcia At His ADP

by Ray Kuhn

What more does Adolis Garcia have to do?

Three things that are highly valued in fantasy baseball are consistency, power, and speed. You cannot accumulate production if you are not on the field and you can never have enough home runs and stolen bases. If it seems as if I am just stating the obvious, it is because I am.

When it comes to Garcia, he is one of the more interesting players on draft boards heading into the 2023 season. While it does not seem like he is getting much in the way of respect, he is coming off the board around pick 60 with an average auction value in the low $20s, so clearly there is a large part of the population, or at least one or two teams per draft, that are in on Garcia. 

In the last two seasons, Garcia has played 149 and 156 games and that dependability should not go overlooked. If you want to get the negatives out of the way first, Garcia has struck out 31.2% and 27.9% of the time in the last two years while not really walking much and hitting .243 and .250, respectively. While that might not be a true asset, it is not really a liability in the current state of our game, and Garcia also delivers in each of the other four categories. 

Over the last two seasons, Garcia is averaging 29 home runs along with 20.5 stolen bases, 82.5 runs, and 95.5 RBI and that is production that I am sure you could find a home for on your fantasy team. Just learn to live with the batting average, as everything else seems stable after seeing Garcia post an ISO of .212 and .207 in the last two seasons. With a .306 and .309 BABIP in the last two years, the batting average does appear to be set at its current level after seeing his .244 xBA in 2022. 

If the production did not catch your attention, taking a quick look at some of Garcia’s Statcast metrics should take care of that. With a 12.9% barrel rate and 47.4% hard hit rate last season, Garcia certainly makes contact with authority and his 13.1 degree average launch angle helps him to drive the ball. 

The Texas lineup is strong, and should be better this season which should provide Garcia with ample lineup protection and RBI opportunities. It is hard to argue with this power/speed combination and acquiring Garcia in the fourth or fifth round certainly helps with roster construction. 

Why You Should Not Draft Adolis Garcia At His ADP

by Ryan Kirksey

Let’s think about Adolis Garcia through the lens of a thought experiment for just a moment. If he did not have 25 steals in 2022 where would you want to draft him? If he didn’t run at all and was just a 27-home-run, 100-RBI guy who hit .250 with an on-base percentage of .300, where would you take him? That looks and sounds a whole lot like someone such as Hunter Renfroe to me, and Renfroe is going around pick 140 instead of pick 55 in NFBC drafts where you have to take Garcia.

In my opinion, that’s the nail in the coffin for me when considering Garcia in the fifth round of my drafts. You need almost everything to align perfectly to get a repeat of his 2022 season, which essentially means lightning would have to strike in the same place twice because everything already DID align perfectly for him to go 27 homers/25 steals/101 RBI last year. 

Adolis Garcia is unquestionably a flawed hitter. Among qualified hitters in 2022, he had the seventh-worst strikeout rate (27.9%), he was 108th out of 130 batters in walk rate (6.1%), and he had the sixth-worst contact rate in the entire league (68%).  Add to that the fact that he swung at the ball at the 11th-highest rate in the league last season, and this was a guy who needed things around him to go right to reach fantasy stardom. 

He frankly could not have asked for a better scenario. With over 100 games batting fourth or fifth last season, he hit directly behind Nathaniel Lowe. This is the same Nathaniel Lowe who had a career-high batting average on balls in play (.363) and raised his batting average by 40 points from 2021 as a result. Is it possible that Lowe repeats that feat this season? Sure, but it’s more likely he settles back into a .270/.340/.450 slash line which is what all the projection systems spit out for him. 

The primary projection systems also don’t like what they see from Garcia’s plate discipline. All of them are in consensus that the high strikeout/low walk numbers will put him around .230/.288/.430 with 26 home runs and 20 steals. That low average and on-base percentage are killers for fantasy. 

In fact, Michael Baumann at Fangraphs analyzed every 3.0-win player from 2017. Garcia was responsible for two of the eight times a player secured at least 3.0 wins in a season but also had an OBP below .300. His point was that much of his value comes from his defense because batters with sub-.300 OBPs just don’t typically earn that level of production. 

The steals, however, are what could set him apart and make him worth a top-60 pick. But even with the pizza-box-sized bases coming to MLB this season, I wouldn’t say 20 steals for Garcia is a lock. Among all right fielders last season, Garcia had the 33rd-fastest sprint speed at the position (27.9 ft/sec). He was an opportunistic base stealer in 2022, but no one projects him to get to 25 again. 

Garcia also gets no extra help from his home park. According to Statcast data, Globe Life Field is almost perfectly average in every category. Overall, the stadium ranks 20th in offensive park factor for right-handed batters over the last three years. 

A bet on Garcia before pick 60 in drafts this year is a bet that everything, everywhere falls in place all at once for him again in 2023. It’s a risk I’m not willing to take. 


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