Batter’s Box: Come Avisail Away

Ben Palmer takes a look at the best hitting performances from yesterday's games.

Photo by Patrick Gorski/Icon Sportswire

Since he returned from his hamstring injury, Avisail Garcia has been killing the ball, to the tune of a .333/.354/.778 slashline, including yesterday’s 1-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI performance. Garcia was excellent last year, slashing .330/.380/.506, but a lot of people saw the .392 BABIP that came with that season last year and screamed “REGRESSION IS COMING” this preseason. Once he started to suck at the beginning of the year a lot people ditched him, and once he got injured, just about everyone had given up on him. So is this return legit? Dave Cherman and I talked about Garcia at length on the latest On The Barrel podcast (which, if it isn’t posted by the time you read this, will be up soon), but suffice to say I think some of what Garcia is doing is legit. That slashline he’s had since he returned has come with a .350 BABIP, and for most hitters I’d say that suggests regression, just like last year’s BABIP—but I don’t necessarily think that’s the case with Garcia. His .330 average last year came with a .310 xAVG, and that ridiculous .392 BABIP came with a .357 xBABIP. Similarly, his .330 BABIP on the season so far has come with a .370 xBABIP and his .289 average comes with a .323 xAVG. And not only that, despite batting .245 with a .309 BABIP in 2016, he had a .270 xAVG with a .348 xBABIP. So what am I saying? I’m saying that Garcia is a player who can (and often should) maintain a higher-than-average BABIP—so I don’t think he’s due for as much regression as you might think, especially when you see that he’s hitting the ball really well. Currently, his value hit percentage is at a career-high 15%, his hard-hit rate is at a career-best 44.2%, and his barrel rate is at a career-best 11.9%. I do think that some regression is in order, but right now he’s on pace for about 26 home runs, which would be a career-best, and while I don’t necessarily think he’ll hit that many home runs, I do think 20+ is in sight with a .290s/.300s average. He’s on the White Sox, so the counting stats won’t be great, but there’s still value to be had here, and he’s available in 48% of leagues.

Let’s take a look at some of the other performances from yesterday’s games:

Shin-Soo Choo (OF, Texas Rangers) – 2-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI. Choo has been really hitting well this year, slashing .291/.401/.503 on the season, on pace for more than 25 home runs, which would be a career-best. While there might be some regression in order (he does have a .347 BABIP and a .272 xAVG), I still think Choo is mostly legit. His hard-hit rate is currently sitting at a career-best 46.5% and his plate discipline is still excellent.

Adam Eaton (OF, Washington Nationals) – 2-4, 1 RBI, 1 SB. I’d really like to see Eaton grab an extra-base hit sometime soon, but overall it’s hard to argue too much with the production he’s been giving you—the average and OBP have been there.

Rhys Hoskins (1B/OF, Philadelphia Phillies) – 3-5, 3 R, 2 RBI. Hopefully you didn’t quit on Hoskins during his cold spell—he’s been slashing .298/.387/.628 over the past month.

Odubel Herrera (OF, Philadelphia Phillies) – 2-6, 1 HR, 2 R, 4 RBI. Great game from Herrera who’s actually been struggling a bit over the past month, slashing .220/.254/.477. The power’s still there, but I mean we knew some regression was coming.

Scott Kingery (2B/3B/SS, Philadelphia Phillies) – 4-5, 3 R, 1 RBI. Kingery’s been solid lately, slashing .280/.324/.398 over the past month. There hasn’t been a ton of power but if you need some middle infield help (i.e. you just lost Gleyber Torres), Kingery’s available in about 81% of leagues.

Andrew Knapp (C, Philadelphia Phillies) – 2-4, 1 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI. Great game from Knapp who’s been solid when he plays, he just barely ever plays.

Starling Marte (OF, Pittsburgh Pirates) – 2-4, 1 RBI, 3 SB. Marte is awesome and he’s always capable of putting in a game like this. I know he’s been slumping lately (hitting .209 over the past month), but he’ll get better.

Aaron Hicks (OF, New York Yankees) – 1-3, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI. Hicks has got himself a .402 ISO over the past month, which is insane. If he’s still out there, grab him and ride this out.

Justin Smoak (1B, Toronto Blue Jays) – 2-3, 1 HR, 1 R, 3 RBI. I didn’t necessarily think Smoak would repeat last year, but I didn’t think he’d be this bad. I’m not encouraged by the fact that his hard-hit rate has dropped from 39.4% last year to 31.8% this year (the worst it’s been since 2012). He’s still got a .208 ISO, which is good, but I don’t really think he’s gonna hit much better than like .240/.250.

Matt Olson (1B, Oakland Athletics) – 2-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI. Olson has loads of power, and that makes his batting average a bit more bearable. That being said, I do think his average will get better—he’s got a .270 xAVG, and is he’s able to hit around there with 30+ home runs, that’s a very valuable fantasy player.

Jose Ramirez (2B/3B, Cleveland Indians) – 2-4, 2 R, 3 RBI, 1 SB. JoRam is on pace for a 40/30 year, which is insane. He’s incredible.

Jose Bautista (OF/3B, New York Mets) – 1-3, 1 HR, 1 R, 4 RBI, 1 SB. Surprisingly, Jose Bautista has been slashing .289/.429/.644 over the past two weeks. I don’t mind grabbing him while he’s on a hot streak, but I don’t believe in it. Is he hitting the ball hard? Yes, he’s got a 46.5% hard-hit rate, the best it’s ever been. But is he hitting the ball well? Not really. His 4.8 barrels per plate appearances is good for 177th in the MLB.

Jesus Aguilar (1B, Milwaukee Brewers) – 3-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 3 RBI. What is there left to say about Jesus Aguilar? He’s amazing and he’s still getting playing time. Somehow he’s available in 17% of leagues, which is weird.

Evan Gattis (C, Houston Astros) – 3-4, 1 HR, 2 R, 4 RBI. I feel like I write about Evan Gattis every Batter’s Box now. He’s been awesome, hopefully you didn’t give up on him. He’s got a .337 ISO over the past month, which is nuts.

Ben Palmer

Senior columnist at Pitcher List. Lifelong Orioles fan, also a Ravens/Wizards/Terps fan. I also listen to way too much music, watch way too many movies, and collect way too many records.

6 responses to “Batter’s Box: Come Avisail Away”

  1. Rob says:

    Got offered eflin for my hicks … hicks been on fire .. but does he keep it up … eflin is a ? Too … I need help in both … who do you lean ?

    • Ben Palmer says:

      Eh, I think I’d hang onto Eflin. I like what he’s doing and I think it’s pretty legit. His injury doesn’t seem serious at all.

  2. PitcherList Superfan says:

    Worth dropping Dozier for Olson in an 8 teamer? I’ve been holding out hope that second half Dozier shows up but I’m starting to lose faith.

    • Ben Palmer says:

      Ehhh in that shallow of the league I guess I’m ok dropping Dozier, though I do think he’ll be better in the second half.

  3. Jimmy v says:

    Everyone seems to forget about Avisail Garcia’s sprint speed. For a big guy, Avisail has a 29.0 ft/s ranking 47th in the mlb. This also contributes his inflated babip. Garcia, having speed and a high ground ball rate validates a high babip.

  4. Jay says:

    CCorrea and Hoskins for my Lindor in 12 team H2H points keeper league?

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