“He has the package. If we are able to tap into that, watch out. He could be the next [Randy] Arozarena”   – Luis Ortiz, hitting coach for the Texas Rangers

That’s high praise but is he in the best shape of his life? When are they not? So, who is this player that has the potential to help power a team to the World Series? I’m trying to make you move up to the edge of your seat, sweat in anticipation of the big reveal but who am I kidding? Most will just gloss over these words and gravitate to the bolded letters. Ah, such is the life of a fantasy blogger. Just writing words into the vast void of the internet, never to be consumed by 99% of the masses. Hi, mom! So Adolis Garcia has hit two home runs in 29 plate appearances. He’s been batting cleanup at times for the Rangers. Can he be the next Arozarena? Let’s dig in and find out.

Garcia is 28 years old, 6′ 1″, and 205 pounds. He is of Cuban descent and played for the national team. His older brother, Adonis, played for the Braves from 2015-2017. In 2016, Adolis played for the Yomiuri Giants of Nippon Professional Baseball, defected from Cuba, then signed with the Cardinals in 2017. In 2019, he was traded to the Rangers.

During his time in the Cardinals minor league system, the power/speed combo was always evident. In Double-A, he went 12/12 in 342 plate appearances. In Triple-A during the 2018 season, he went 22/10. In the 2019 Triple-A season, Garcia had 529 plate appearances and put up a massive line: 32 home runs, 14 stolen bases, 96 runs, and 96 RBI while slashing .253/.301/.517. The ISO was .265.

He was never a walker as the walk rate was in the 4% range. Early in his career, the strikeout rate was in the low-20% range and the average was .255-.301. The ISO was above .175. By 2019, though, the strikeout rate was 30.1%. The swinging strike rate was always in the double-digits – 12.3% early in his career then peaking at 18.5% in 2019. Tons of swing and miss to his game.

Throughout Arozarena’s minor league career, the strikeout rate was sub-20% and he walked more than double the rate of Garica so the comparison between the two doesn’t look apt. But, but, but….Last season, during Arozarena’s heater, he had a 28.9% strikeout rate. The swinging strike rate was 14.9%. This season? The swinging strike rate is at 16.3% while the strikeout rate is at 31.3%. Garcia has a 31% strikeout rate and 16.2% swinging-strike rate. Things that make you go hmmmm.

Arozarena hits a ton of groundballs, just like Garcia. Arozarena has a GB/FB of 3.25. That’s extreme so the numbers will normalize but in the prior two seasons, that number was 1.33 and 1.8. Garcia has a 1.83 GB/FB.

The main differences I see between the two players are in the plate discipline numbers. Arozarena is relatively patient and won’t chase, as the O-Swing% has been at 26% the last three seasons. Garcia has been above 30% in each of the last three seasons with a 40% this year. Yuck. But the contact rates are much better for Garcia. In the zone, it’s around 80% while it’s at 70% in general. Arozarena has contact rates of 70% in the zone and 65% in general.

There’s optimism, though, on the chasing pitches front. The Rangers had a plan to shorten his swing and, while the results haven’t completely manifested in the chase rates yet, it’s an ongoing process and has yielded some good things. Here’s what Calliz Crabbe, a Rangers assistant hitting coach told The Athletic:

“So from center of mass, when they get into a negative move (away from the pitcher), it’s a big shift, which causes their head to move off the center, and also it causes them to lose a sense of what’s happening on the ground — how quickly can they return their foot back to the ground so that they can go ahead and make a decision from a good launch spot? So Adolis (had a) big movement laterally. And what happens is the (resulting) forward movement becomes disadvantageous. It tends to have a big positive (toward the pitcher) movement to it.”

The Rangers implemented a toe-tap to replace the way Garcia would pick up his front foot entirely. Crabbe said that this “keeps his hips the same height from the ground and, more importantly, results in less movement of Garcia’s head.” The end game of this is to increase pitch recognition so that Garcia becomes more selective at the plate.

I say this all the time, especially for new hitters – pitchers will keep probing to look for weakness then expose them when found. It’s all about how hitters adjust to the adjustments. It’s a fluid game of cat and mouse. If he can continue to harness the swing improvements and hone the pitch recognition to foster more discipline, then Garcia could be the next Arozarena.

The power is real for Garcia. You can look at the ISO numbers or just watch this:

His other home run was an oppo taco too off Dylan Bundy and he was robbed of another oppo home run as it bounced off the top of the railing in Tampa Bay.

He’s in the 85th percentile for sprint speed so the wheels are 2 legit to quit.

He’s an excellent defender who can play all three outfield positions, so that could provide a semblance of floor to playing time.

Now, Garcia has benefitted from a plethora of injuries. Ronald Guzman went down while Willie Calhoun and Danny Santana have been out. When those two return, Garcia could get sent down. If he keeps mashing, though, and continues to develop, an Arozarena-esque heater is not out of the question.

He’s rostered in 1.6% of ESPN leagues so acquisition cost is minimal. It’s all upside. If he flames out, then whatever. Is it a high probability that he does become the next Arozarena? Probably not. Arozarena turning into THE Arozarena wasn’t a likely outcome either. With that said, it’s within the range of outcomes.

TREASURE….for now

 

 

 

 

 
  1. Joe Beisbol says:
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    Son! How do you feel about ever punting catcher in a h2h league, at least for a lil’ while? I have Garver at C and he’s been putrid, and the best available on the wire are Dom Nuñez, Carson Kelly, and Yan Gomes. I’m contemplating whether to: replace Garver with one of those names I mentioned, or add Stassi, stash him in an IL slot, and then use the roster spot to either carry an extra multi-position player I can use to plug in lineup holes during the week, or use as a streamer spot. Do you have strong feelings?

    • Son

      Son says:
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      I just stream catchers whenever I can.

  2. Thundershoe says:
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    Hi Son’s Mom, Son’s doing the Lord’s work here, you can be proud!

    What do you think of Senzel? He’s one of those players who somehow slipped into my blindspot despite his prospect hype a couple years back. Despite his current poor performance, I’m liking what I’m seeing with regards to his K and BB percentages and his xwOBA among other stats.

    Tying this directly to my fantasy roster, how would you compare Senzel to players like Vaughn and Kelenic? They all had/have similar prospect grades but Senzel obviously has much more major league experience. Whose the best lottery ticket for this year? I have Kelenic and Vaughn on my team now and Senzel is available on the wire. 14-team H2H points league, Ks are -1.

    • Son

      Son says:
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      Ha! Bless your soul.

      I’m intrigued by Solak. He’s been hitting 2nd against lefties and 5th or 6th against righties. I’m liking the 12% walk rate and 16% strikeout rate. The ISO is only .045 but he has an avg exit velcoity of 90 mph and a launch angle of 17 degrees. He’s just not barreling the ball right now. It’ll come.

      I’m not a huge prospect guy so you should ask Ralph and/or Itch. With that said, I like Kelenic the best in a vacuum but prefer Solak for fantasy because he’s been through the MLB ringer already

      • Thundershoe says:
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        Thanks for the input, and yah, I should also take my question to Ralph (or it’s Geoff now?) and/or Itch. You did mean Senzel, not Solak, right? You have the BB and K rate dead on for Senzel, so assuming that was just a typo!

        • Son

          Son says:
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          My bad. I had the two mixed up. That was Senzel. Sorry about that. The strikeout rate is elevated and the average is BABIP fueled, but he has power/speed combo and hits in the middle of the lineup. The conclusion remains the same, though, as I’ prefer the one who has been through the MLB ringer

  3. Thundershoe says:
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    Go worries, gotcha.

    BTW, I picked up Baddoo for last week, and you were spot on with the Bear with bull horns assessment (I think that’s what you said?). All he did while on my team was strikeout a ton; now that I’ve dropped him, he seems to be done hibernating and back to using those horns to smash baseballs.

    • Son

      Son says:
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      Cool.

      Yeah, the Baddoo roller coaster looks to have tremendous highs with vomit-inducing lows.

  4. Doobens says:
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    Doesn’t change the point, but Santana plays for Boston. No longer a Ranger.

    • Son

      Son says:
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      Right. My mistake. Thanks for catching.

  5. Chucky says:
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    Looks like Schwarber is toast. Drop for Senzel or buy a lottery ticket like Nolan Jones? JJ Bleday? Brandon Marsh? 10 keep forever league. Trying to keep my head above a rising tide with the likes of Story, Tatis, K Lewis types. Fading fast.

    • Son

      Son says:
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      I’m good with swapping for Senzel

  6. everywhereblair

    everywhereblair says:
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    I’m here for the Randy ratio

    • Son

      Son says:
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      Let’s go!

  7. JC says:
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    Brandon Lowe is on the wire in our 12 team h2h league. Crazy.

    With my team below, who would you drop to get him?
    -Polanco with Lowe covering 2B
    – Kelenic cuz we never know when he will play?
    – an OF with Lowe taking his spot?
    – Javier cuz he might get sent down again..but has been so good that would be tough to do.
    – or one of my pitchers? Saves and holds league

    C- open
    CI – Freeman, Abreu, Chapman
    MI- Polanco, Albies, Trea
    OF- Springer, Kepler, Pham, Winker, Robles
    DH- Yordan
    Bench: Kelenic
    SP- Burnes, Gausman, Plesac, Heaney, Eovaldi, Javier
    RP – Neris, Valdez, Romano, D Williams, Trivino
    IL: Stras of course

    • Son

      Son says:
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      One of your relievers

  8. Dillon D says:
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    Great stuff, I picked up Randy last year in my deep keeper league and I just picked up Adolis after reading this.

    I got an interesting question for you. In this deep keeper points league, I was just offered Blake Snell for Jazz Chisholm. I’ve been rostering Jazz for the past two years now so I have some strings attached, but seeing a trade offer come through for an early season struggling ace makes me salivate. Please let me know what you think!

    • Son

      Son says:
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      I usually hate bats for pitchers but every trade is different. What’s the squad look like? And keeper parameters?

      • Dillon D says:
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        12 team, 20 keepers, no restrictions other than that. I’ve rebuilt this team from the ground up, so my best players are young like Bieber, Luzardo, Kopech, McKenzie, W. Smith, Torres, Tucker, Robert, Arozarena, Bobby Witt, and Corbin Carroll. I think the obvious answer would be Jazz since he fits my teams timeline, but wasn’t where to value him at.

        • Son

          Son says:
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          You have a good pitching staff. I’m with you on Jazz. I usually side with bats

          • Dillon D says:
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            Thanks Son, I appreciate it!

            • Son

              Son says:
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              Anytime

  9. Umpy70 says:
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    Got a deal in the works. I send Stanton ($35, too expensive for me to keep next year) for $9 Gausman, Romano, and Trivino. Should i do it? I feel like im selling too low on stanton, even if i need the pitching….

    • Son

      Son says:
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      I’d want more

      • Umpy70 says:
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        same pieces but with Hendricks instead of gaus?

        • Son

          Son says:
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          Naw. I’m also not a big trading for relievers kind of guy

  10. John Oldrods says:
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    Thanks for the article! If you were in my shoes, would you rather grab this Adolis character, Naquin, Baddoo, or use a waiver claim (I’m 4 of 10 right now) to get the original Arozarena? H2H cat 5×5.

    • Son

      Son says:
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      OG Arozarena

      • John Oldrods says:
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        Thank you, my Son.

        • Son

          Son says:
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          Anytime, Oldrods. I hope you wear a batting helmet at the computer

  11. Harley Earl says:
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    Son,

    Great great write-up. I’m really glad you decided to attack this subject.

    All I want to add is a few personal observations just to see what you think about them. When Arozarena was in Triple A at Memphis, I often thought Adolis Garcia and him were very very very much alike. They seemed like steady outfielders with power and speed and I honestly couldn’t tell the two apart with the naked eye except for the PA guy saying their names and the different numbers on their uniforms. They really were that alike to me.

    I can see Adolis flaming out, but I can also see him sticking. It’s like you say, it’s all about adjustments. I just find this all very interesting because sitting in the stands at Auto Zone Park in Memphis a couple years ago, I thought these two guys were like twin brothers as far as baseball players go. I really couldn’t tell them apart.

    I’ve got one share of Garcia, picked him up Thursday, and he hit two bombs for me tonight. He’s earned his spot for now. Any more thoughts you have, I’d love to hear. It’s a shame the Cardinals keep trading away all their talent and wasting huge chunks of cash on bums like Dexter Fowler and Mike Leake.

    Thanks.

    • Son

      Son says:
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      Good stuff, Harley.. It’s nice to get that in person perspective.

  12. Murph says:
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    Would u drop tapia for Garcia?
    Thanks

    • Son

      Son says:
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      I would not

  13. Jose says:
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    Would you drop Lux for Adolis?

    I have: Lowrie, Moran, Lux and Ketel at 2B and Seager at SS
    OF=Acuna, Buxton, Lewis, Kepler, Reynolds

    • Son

      Son says:
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      I would not

  14. Jose Canseco says:
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    Thanks – I really appreciate your insight!

    Someone dropped Biggio. Would you pick him up and drop Lowrie or Lux?

    I know Lux has potential, but he’s yet to reach it and he’s burning a roster spot of mine right now…

    • Son

      Son says:
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      Go with your gut. It usually knows

Comments are closed.