Avisail Garcia to the Marlins

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The Marlins were a team of 95 losses in 2021, and one of the biggest reasons for that was that they got almost no outfield production, especially after they split Starling Marte to the A’s in a deadline deal.

There’s still a lot of work to be done before they compete for first place in the National League East, but they did tackle the outfield before the work stoppage and one of the better – and most underrated – bats in Avisail signed García. The Marlins signed Garcia to a $53 million four-year deal that also includes a club option that could pay him $12 million in 2026 if Miami decides to take a club option last year.

The number of years may come as a surprise, especially for a player turning 31 in June. That said, fantasy managers who had Garcia on the list in 2021 are aware that he is capable of offensive fireworks. He finished last year with a .262/.330/.490 slash, and the .820 OPS that yields is the second best in his career to date. He also added career highs in home runs (29) RBI (86) and, for good measure, stole a respectable – if unspectacular – eight bags. That’s a huge improvement from his 2020 season, when Garcia was able to add just two home runs and set an uninspiring .659 OPS in his first year with the Brew Crew.

While 2020 may be a bit of a throw for Garcia as it was just a sample of 53 games during the pandemic shortened season, it does speak to the fact that he hasn’t shown much consistency in his MLB career. That’s partly due to the fact that he’s never played 150 games in a season and only played five seasons with over 120 appearances, but in his 10 campaigns he’s only finished with an OPS+ of more than five of those years. over 100. Much of this is due to injuries or platoon roles, as well as his patience at the plate leaving much to be desired, with 38 runs being a career high for the right-handed batter in 2021.

Those are the negatives, but there are definitely pluses to Garcia, otherwise we wouldn’t be profiling him now. Even if some of these stats aren’t guaranteed to repeat, they’re hard to ignore. He was in the 80th percentile or better of all qualified batters in expected batting average, expected slugging percentage, and running speed; they all tell you how much the ball bounces off Garcia’s bat when it makes contact. He’s also smooth on foot despite so-so base totals stolen during his career, and Miami can give him the chance to run more; especially as a player who seems to have a regular role at the start of the year. He should also get a chance to hit the middle of the order, with the chance to drive in players like Jazz Chisholm.

Fantasy managers will have to take a risk taking over Garcia in early 2022 as he is likely to be a top 100 draft pick to start the year. Since you have to rely on a high BABIP (batting average on balls in play) and probably have some streaking, that risk may not outweigh the reward. That said, the reward is palpable, and if he’s able to play more than 140 games — or at that rate if we get a shortened season in 2022 — managers could be awarded an RBI of 35 homers and over 100. season. At the very least, he’s someone to be reckoned with, even if he’s just as confused as he’s going to bloom.

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