I'd like to write about Luis Garcia here.
About how he set a career high with 19 swinging strikes Tuesday. About how his five pitches give him a diverse enough arsenal to stick as a starting pitcher rather than just pose as one. About how his minor-league track record paints a picture of dominance that somehow eluded all the prospect hounds. About how he followed up his first six-inning start against the mighty Dodgers last week with his first seven-inning start against an even more imposing Red Sox lineup, continuing the trend of taking a step forward at precisely the moment we expect him to take a step back.
I'd like to, but I can't because he's already rostered in 80 percent of CBS Sports leagues.
So I won't write about how you should add him (though of course, if it's still an option in your league, you should). I'll instead advise you not to drop him if you only picked him up for the two-start week.
To be clear, I'm not suggesting he's an ace in the making. His 4.09 xFIP betrays that idea, and he's a bit too vulnerable to the long ball for my liking. I also can't promise he'll retain a rotation spot all year, being a rookie coming off the short season that was. But he's proving to be a legitimate asset and not just the flash in the pan so many presumed him to be.
Let's look at some of the players who are more widely available, though.
- We talk Jonathan Schoop and Odubel Herrera double dongs, Luis Garcia, the Orioles bullpen and two more injuries on the Fantasy Baseball Today in 5 podcast. You can follow us to get the latest episodes on Apple, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.
Ty France 1B
SEA Seattle • #23 • Age: 26
I mentioned last week how Ty France's plummeting batting average coincided with him getting hit by a pitch on the wrist in late April -- an injury that landed him on the IL weeks later -- and sure enough, he appears to have regained his stroke, his three hits Tuesday making him 13 for 34 (.382) since returning. He hit .305 last season, .327 this spring and .399 in his last minor-league season, so I think this healthy version is closer to the real one.
SEA Seattle • #7 • Age: 29
Marco Gonzales didn't exactly dominate Tuesday, but what made the performance notable is that he was back from a month-long absence for a strained forearm. His ceiling isn't especially high, but he has been a reliable mid-class pitcher over the past three years, thriving on throwing strikes, keeping the ball in the yard and working deep enough to position himself for the win. If such a pitcher appeals to you, he's ripe for the picking.
Pavin Smith 1B
ARI Arizona • #26 • Age: 25
He's not batting leadoff anymore, but maybe that's all the better for Pavin Smith, who seems to have found his comfort zone with a 12-game hitting streak during which he's batting .413 (19 for 46) with two homers, a triple and three doubles. His low strikeout rate puts him in the 90th percentile for expected batting average, and he has underperformed his .487 xSLG as well. He's shaping up to be kind of a poor man's Eric Hosmer, only with outfield eligibility to boot.
BOS Boston • #10 • Age: 29
Like many all-or-nothing hitters, Hunter Renfroe has a tendency to disappear for long stretches, so it's important to catch him when he's on a hot streak. He appears to be heating up now, batting .588 (10 for 17) with two homers and six doubles over his past five games. He's a former 33-homer guy whose pull and fly-ball tendencies should be well suited for Fenway Park now that he's swinging the bat well.
PHI Philadelphia • #37 • Age: 29
It may feel like ancient history, but Odubel Herrera has been a highly regarded Fantasy asset in the past, most notably batting .286 with 15 homers and 25 steals in 2016. His two-homer game Tuesday follows a strong month of May in which he batted .292 (28 for 96) with two homers and three steals. If he's able to keep the strikeouts down and continue making full use of his speed, he'll matter in five-outfielder leagues.
Cole Sulser RP
BAL Baltimore • #54 • Age: 31
Bet you had no idea that the 31-year-old nobody who manager Brandon Hyde forced into the closer role early last year only to see him flounder had put together such an impressive stat line this year. In fact, Cole Sulser may be positioning himself to close again, recording his first save Tuesday with struggling closer Cesar Valdez working the eighth. Left-hander Paul Fry has similarly impressive numbers and may have gotten the call if he wasn't due for a day off. In the event of a timeshare, though, Sulser's right-handedness should work in his favor.