Patience or Panic: Maikel Garcia, Daulton Varsho, and Jo Adell

What should we do with these struggling players?

Welcome back to our Patience or Panic series! Now that we are in late June, a handful of teams have already played at least half of their games, making this a good time for us all to stop and critically assess each of our fantasy squads. If you play in roto leagues, that means looking at the categories where you’re weakest and trying to find guys that will contribute there. In head-to-head leagues, I usually worry less about my strength in each category and more about what players or positions are dragging me down so that I can continue to improve my team incrementally. Regardless of format, the guys I’m covering today have been dragging you down big time lately even though they each offer tantalizing upside. And while I hate to be the bearer of bad news, I’m not optimistic about any of their rest-of-season prospects. All stats are through the games of June 24.


Maikel Garcia, 3B, KCR


Last 30 days: .171/.237/.190 (22 wRC+), 16 R, 0 HR, 6 RBI, 4 SB

Season: .236/.287/.345 (76 wRC+), 47 R, 5 HR, 39 RBI, 17 SB

Early on in this fantasy season, I was kicking myself for not having any shares of Garcia. After making a ton of loud contact in Spring Training, he stroked three homers in Kansas City’s first six regular season games, and seemed poised to have a monster season atop their lineup. While Garcia’s season-long stats still look good, there’s been no power in his bat since early April. Garcia’s 22 wRC+ in the last 30 days ranks fifth-worst among qualified hitters.

Surprisingly, this cold stretch hasn’t come with an erosion of either Garcia’s contact skills or plate discipline. His chase rate (23.4%), swinging strike rate (6.1%), and zone contact percentage (91.1%) over the last 30 days are all better than his full-season marks and border on elite. It seems like pitchers are going right at the speedy Garcia because they want to keep him off the base paths, and he hasn’t been able to make them pay. Nearly half (49.5%) of the pitches Garcia has seen this year have been in the strike zone, a rate that ranks in the 90th percentile.

Verdict: Panic. While I like that Garcia is sticking to his approach, he remains a deeply flawed hitter. Garcia hits the ball hard (90.3 MPH average exit velocity, 73rd percentile), but he can’t get to any power because he doesn’t elevate or pull the ball consistently enough. Garcia’s 7.1 degree launch angle ranks in the 13th percentile, and his 53.7% GB% is in the 89th percentile. His 36.9% Pull% is in the 24th percentile. All these marks are roughly in line with Garcia’s career averages, so I’m inclined to believe that this is who he is until proven otherwise over a sample size that is longer than a week. Garcia’s spot atop the Royals’ lineup seems somewhat secure, so he should continue to provide some speed and runs scored. But, he seems likely to be a detriment everywhere else unless his grounders start finding holes. Garcia is starting to play some second base and could get triple eligibility (2B/SS/3B) soon in some formats, so I would recommend shopping him to a team desperate for infield help.


Daulton Varsho, OF, TOR


Last 30 days: .205/.279/.359 (83 wRC+), 10 R, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 3 SB

Season: .207/.289/.426 (104 wRC+), 40 R, 11 HR, 35 RBI, 8 SB

Welcome to 2024, where a .207/.289/.426 slash line is actually 4% better than the league average! Aside from the poor batting average, Varsho has been stuffing the stat sheet this year for fantasy managers and has produced about what you would expect from an outfielder taken around pick 200. His surface stats in the last month aren’t all that bad, but I’m seeing some troubling batted-ball trends here.


Daulton Varsho, Last 30 Days vs. 2024


As the chart above illustrates, Varsho has completely sold out for power all season, and has leaned into this even more lately. In parentheses in the last column are Varsho’s 2024 percentile ranks in each statistic. He hits the ball in the air more than anyone and has the highest average launch angle as well, but he’s not hitting those fly balls hard at all. As a result, his expected slugging isn’t even average!  Varsho has been hitting the ball harder in the air lately, but it hasn’t mattered. This is a wacky approach from a guy who’s always had good pop (72 HR in 513 career games) but also offers some speed and the ability to take a walk. Hitting the ball in the air this much will always tank your batting average unless you barrel the ball up like Aaron Judge, and even Judge has never posted a flyball rate above 45% in any season!

Verdict: Panic. Things do not look good under the hood with Varsho, and he’s also day-to-day with a lingering back issue. Varsho’s excellent defense should keep him in the lineup most days, but I believe there’s some platoon risk here. The red-hot Spencer Horwitz appears close to establishing himself as Toronto’s everyday second baseman, which pushes Davis Schneider into a bench role and makes him a fit to platoon with either Varsho or Kevin Kiermaier. If you roster Varsho, make sure you monitor this situation closely once he returns to the lineup.


Jo Adell, OF, LAA


Last 30 days: .108/.163/.203 (0 wRC+), 7 R, 2 HR, 10 RBI, 1 SB

Season: .181/.242/.386 (74 wRC+), 30 R, 12 HR, 33 RBI, 9 SB

At this point in the article, I would like to inform everyone that this is a safe space to share our deepest, darkest fantasy secrets, free of judgment. So, here goes nothing. I drank the Jo Adell Kool-Aid and thought he might finally be breaking out after a torrid start to the season. I know I’m not alone! The prospect pedigree and power-speed upside that Adell offers at his best have always lured people in, and it seemed like he was finally going to show some good results in an everyday role on a thin Angels squad. Through the end of April, Adell was slashing .316/.365/.614 with four homers, five steals, and a very palatable K% of 22.4%. It seemed like a 20-20 season was the floor, and his roster rates surged.

But in the last month, the wheels have fallen off, and the car the wheels were on has gone up in flames. That 0 wRC+ you see above in the last 30 days is not a typo, and it makes Adell the worst qualified hitter in MLB in the last month. Adell’s 0.167 wOBA since 5/27 is fully supported by a 0.165 xWOBA and 37.5% K%. Quite frankly, I’m surprised Adell has been able to drive in 10 runs and score seven times given that he’s only had nine hits in the last month.

Verdict: Panic. At the risk of stating the obvious, I am fully out on Adell now and would recommend cutting him everywhere except maybe the deepest of dynasty leagues. I will admit that I still have him rostered in a 15-team, 5-OF league, but that is only because my offense is putrid and the depth of the league makes it so that very few everyday players are available. I plan on cutting him this week, don’t worry. Playing time is the only thing Adell has going for him, but he’s hitting at the bottom of a bad lineup and probably would have been sent down by now if he weren’t out of options.

Patrick Fitzgerald

Patrick Fitzgerald is a Staff Writer for Pitcher List's fantasy team. He is an alum of Vassar College, where he pitched on the baseball team and studied economics and political science. Patrick is an avid O's fan and head-to-head fantasy baseball player (roto remains a work in progress).

2 responses to “Patience or Panic: Maikel Garcia, Daulton Varsho, and Jo Adell”

  1. John says:

    Agreed that Maikel Garcia has not seen any improvements in his approach, and that’s frustrating for fantasy owners, not to mention the Royals, who keep batting him leadoff for some reason. However, it’s worth noting that with most everything the same, his BABIP is about 75 points lower, so he should be a little better than this. His BABIP may have been a little inflated last year, but he should generally carry a pretty high BABIP given how hard he hits the ball and the park that he plays in, which is not good for homers but is otherwise pretty good for hitters, despite its reputation (just ask Kevin Hastings about this).

    • Patrick Fitzgerald says:

      Thank you for reading, John. I agree with your thoughts on the BABIP with Garcia and would add that hitting a lot of groundballs and line drives should be good for the BABIP even if it’s bad for his power. Given this current approach, I think even at his best Garcia will be a two-category (R and SB) asset while having an OK average and hurting you in HR and RBI, especially HR.

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