Does Avisail Garcia have value this season?

By Chris Cwik |

Can Avisail Garcia live up to the hype? (USATSI)
Can Avisail Garcia live up to the hype? (USATSI)

White Sox outfielder Avisail Garcia is back. After suffering a brutal shoulder injury April 9, there was a good chance Garcia would miss the rest of the season. That's no longer the case. Garcia worked his way back, and has dominated during a rehab assignment, hitting .340 over 13 games. Garcia entered the year as a late-round, high-upside player, so his activation should intrigue Fantasy owners. Will Garcia produce enough to help teams down the stretch?

The answer partially depends on how you evaluated Garcia entering the season. Scouts have been mixed. Garcia hasn't shown the best command of the strike zone while coming up as a prospect, but has tremendous physical skills. He frequently drew comparisions to Miguel Cabrera due to his body type. The White Sox obviously think highly of Garcia. The club not only dealt for him last season, but plugged him into the middle of the order immediately.

On a performance-basis, it's tough to know what to expect. Garcia performed admirably in 2013, and got off to a promising start in 2014. Unfortunately, his 2014 performance consists of 34 plate appearances.

The White Sox aren't expecting a dropoff. In his first game off the disabled list, Garcia will hit behind Jose Abreu. That's a desirable job for nearly any hitter in the majors. He'll also hit behind Adam Eaton, who quietly has a .370 on-base percentage. That should give Garcia some nice RBI opportunities, at least when Abreu doesn't go deep.

Even in a best case scenario, it's tough to recommend Garcia as anything more than a reserve in mixed leagues. Outfield is deep, and there are other players on the waiver wire with better numbers than Garcia. While there's upside with Garcia, no one knows how good he can be at this point in his career. Given the choice between picking up an unknown in Garcia or a guy like Christian Yelich, a safe owner would choose Yelich almost every time.

Garcia's outlook hasn't really changed since the beginning of the season. If you liked him then, you should like him now. But given the depth in the outfield, it's tough to say owners should spring to pick him up on the waiver wire. In three outfielder leagues, he can stay out there. In anything deeper, he's definitely worth an add.

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