2018 Player To Avoid: Don’t Buy Into Avisail Garcia’s “Breakout”

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

We’ve long heard about the potential of Avisail Garcia and on the surface it would appear like he finally delivered on it in 2017:

518 At Bats
.330 Batting Average (171 Hits)
18 Home Runs
80 RBI
75 Runs
5 Stolen Bases
.380 On Base Percentage
.506 Slugging Percentage
.392 Batting Average on Balls in Play

Obviously the BABIP jumps out as unsustainable, regardless of any other metrics.  When you add in a lack of elite foot speed and a pedestrian 20.3% line drive rate and it looks all the more unrealistic.  That alone is going to drag down his average, but it isn’t the only red flag.

Garcia’s strikeout rate stood at 19.8% last season, his first year below 23.0% since breaking into the Majors in 2012 (and that was based on 47 AB).  He also continued to show abysmal plate discipline, casting even more doubt on his average:

  • SwStr% – 16.2%
  • O-Swing% – 39.8%

A career .277 hitter, Garcia had posted marks of .257 and .245 the previous two seasons.  With the BABIP set to implode and the strikeouts potentially rising significantly that would appear to be a lot closer to the truth.  At best you have to anticipate a .250ish average, and that’s simply not going to get the job done considering the other “tools”.

If Garcia had the potential to hit 30+ HR we may be willing to overlook the average issues.  However he posted a 52.2% groundball rate in ’17 and owns a 52.9% mark for his career.  That is always going to make it difficult for any hitter to post significant power, as his 16.1% HR/FB yielded his modest 18 HR total.  That may be his upside, and with the way the ball was flying out of the ballpark in ’17 that’s not going to get it done.

In regards to “speed”, he has never stolen more than 7 bases in the Majors and is 23-for-43 over his Major League career.

So you have an average that’s going to implode, coupled with mediocre power and little stolen base potential.  Does that sound like someone you’d want to invest in?  Someone in your league may be willing to pay for last season’s average, but don’t make that mistake.

Sources – Fangraphs

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