Patience or Panic: Adolis Garcia, Hunter Brown, Tim Anderson

What should we do with these struggling players?

Be patient! The season is almost over. Not to cause any panic, but the decisions you make now could affect you in the playoffs and potentially bring your season to an early end.

Let’s head into the final weeks with the same level of preparation and focus that we’ve had all season. If your favorite player is suddenly dragging you down, don’t just cross your fingers and hope for the best. Let’s take a look under the hood and really try to diagnose the problem … if there is one.


Adolis García, OF, Texas Rangers


Let’s make one thing clear. Under no circumstances should you drop Garcia. Even if there was a reason to panic, Garcia is on your team.

Should he head to the bench? Maybe. And likely a fair number of fantasy managers have already made that switch (update: especially considering he suffered what is hopefully a minor injury in Wednesday night’s game). It’s been a rough stretch.

Since August 1, Garcia has a slash line of .195/.291/.458 with a 100 wRC+. He still has provided a fair bit of power in that time with nine home runs along with 22 runs and 16 RBI. He only has one stolen base (eight total), but he has been frustrating in that department all season despite stealing 25 bases in 2022.

Garcia’s breakout last season was fueled by his improvements in plate discipline. He cut his strikeout rate down from 31.2% in 2021 to 27.9% last year. Still not very good but enough to help him take advantage of his top-percentile power and ability to elevate the ball. It was plain that Garcia would never hit for average, but the hope was that he wouldn’t hurt you there either.

Well, he’s hurting you there now. In the first three months of the season, Garcia clobbered 20 home runs with a slash of .263/.332/.510 and cut his strikeout rate down even further to 25.6%. Since then, Garcia’s strikeout rate has ballooned back to pre-breakout levels at 30.3% and it’s up to 35.1% since August 1.

To put it bluntly, Garcia can’t handle the heat. He is batting .197 against four-seamers this season and has seen an increasing number of them since the start of August. It has gotten to the point that nearly half of all the pitches coming at Garcia are four-seamers and he will need to make adjustments if he wants to survive.

Verdict: Patience. In a lot of ways, Garcia is having an even better season than his breakout last year. His exit velocities are among the highest in the league (92.2 average EV overall) and his hard-hit rate of 49.4% is in the 90th percentile. Even during his recent slump, Garcia has an astounding 94.1 mph average EV and a 52.9% hard-hit rate. He has struggled with four-seamers in the past, but he’s also had success at times. He had a +3 run value against the pitch last season. Some bad luck is to blame, too, with a .230 BABIP since the start of August.


Hunter Brown, SP, Houston Astros


Brown has had a solid rookie season. While there has been room for improvement, a strong start has propelled Brown to a 4.53 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 157:47 K:BB in 137 innings.

His fastball velo and strikeout rate are in the league’s top quartile and his 5.10 PLV is just under that mark. His 3.09 BB/9 needs work (and that’s nothing unusual for a rookie) but his 10.31 K/9 has been excellent.

Brown is blessed with a biting four-seamer that flies at nearly 96 mph on average. While his location hasn’t always been what you’d like to see (resulting in an opposing batting average of .270 this season), he generating strikes with the pitch.

His 33.3% CSW is 92nd percentile. I would like to see more whiffs overall, but that will depend on his ability to stabilize his secondaries and work ahead in the count, which are two issues he’s struggled with this season.

His slider and curveball need work. The slider has a .292 batting average against and the curveball has a -9 run value and .256 batting average against. Both pitches are getting hung in the zone far too often and that’s causing a lot of the damage that Brown has suffered lately.

Since August 1, Brown is 3-3 with a 6.31 ERA and 1.60 WHIP. Opponents are crushing the ball with a 92.6 average exit velocity.

Verdict: Patience. I could see a strong sprint to the finish line for Brown, but your patience might have to extend into next year. Brown has really good stuff and now it’s all about location, location, location. In many starts this season, Brown has shown how good he can be when working north/south with precision. That being said, Brown has faced his share of bad luck, as well. His BABIP on the season is .342 and is up to .373 since August 1. He has made plenty of his own mistakes, but too many hits are breaking through gaps in the defense at an unusually high rate. He has a 3.39 xFIP for the season and 3.83 xFIP since August 1. A little better luck, better location, and better command (let’s get that walk rate under control) could lead to an ace.


Tim Anderson, SS, Chicago White Sox


This season has been tough for Anderson who has been one of the most consistent hitters in the game for years. He has finished with a .300 average or higher for four straight seasons, including hitting .335 and winning the American League batting title in 2019.

He was runner-up the following year after hitting .322. He dropped to .301 last season but also saw a drastic improvement in his strikeout rate, which was a career-best 15.7%.

This season, Anderson is slashing .239/.282/.296 with 1 home run, 46 runs, 24 RBI and 13 stolen bases. Many managers already have moved on and he’s owned in only about half of leagues. He’s also missed time due to a suspension and a few bouts with injury.

Verdict: Panic. Most you already have. For those still hanging on, don’t bother. Anderson has long survived with an elevated BABIP mostly due to his excellent sprint speed and above-average contact ability. He rarely walks and he has slowed down tremendously this season (49th percentile speed). His BABIP is down to .314, which is the second-worst mark of his career. He has a .284 xwOBA and 58 wRC+. His strikeout rate is back up to 23.1% and his barrel rate is a laughably low 2.8%. If those were his numbers in the first month of the season, I would probably call for patience. But in September? Nah. Just hope he can reset for next year at this point.

Ryan Loren

Ryan Loren is a baseball writer for Pitcher List and a Detroit sports fan struggling to remember what it's like to root for winning teams.

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