Breakout or Bust: Has Avisail Garcia Truly “Arrived” Or Should We Expect A Poor 2019 Campaign?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

There has often been hype behind Avisail Garcia, and at times he’s posted the numbers to back it up.  That said, at the end of the day is there any reason to actually be excited about his production?  While injuries played a role in 2018, the numbers aren’t all that inspiring:

356 At Bats
.236 Batting Average (84 Hits)
19 Home Runs
49 RBI
47 Runs
3 Stolen Bases
.381 On Base Percentage
.438 Slugging Percentage
.271 Batting Average on Balls in Play

His AVG/OBP plummeted from 2017 (.330/.380), though that was easily expected.  All you have to do is look at his .392 BABIP, which was never sustainable, and his continued abysmal approach.  Just look at his SwStr%/O-Swing% over the past few years:

  • 2015 – 17.3% // 45.2%
  • 2016 – 17.2% // 39.9%
  • 2017 – 16.2% // 39.8%
  • 2018 – 18.9% // 43.9%

His strikeout rate was 26.5%, but there’s room for even further regression.  That gets even more concerning as it looks like he was trying to hit for more power as his fly ball rate (27.5% to 34.4%) and Pull% (42.6% to 47.9%) both rose significantly.  While it did get the desired result, including a career best 21.3% HR/FB, is that enough of a reason to buy?

Sure it’s possible that Garcia could hit 25+ HR, but at what cost?  It’s impossible for him to maintain a strong average, given the other numbers, and he’s never shown an ability to draw a walk (6.0% career walk rate).  Does a .240ish hitter with some pop really call for a big investment?

Some will look at his power growth and think that the potential is there to emerge as an all around threat, pushing .290 with 30+ HR.  That would be misguided, however, as he’s going to be prone to shifts and also could see his strikeout rate continue to rise.  Throw in hitting in a lineup that could struggle to score runs and not being a stolen base threat and the downside far outweighs the upside.

Let someone else take the “gamble” and instead target someone with more upside.

Source – Fangraphs

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Make sure to check out all of our 2019 projections:

Player
Date Posted
Dylan Bundy10/22/18
Foltynewicz, Mike10/09/18
Gibson, Kyle10/29/18
Hoskins, Rhys10/16/18
Hosmer, Eric11/05/18
Wheeler, Zack10/02/18

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