One of best players of all time is available in nearly 40% of fantasy leagues. Alright, that’s not entirely fair. Alex Rodriguez has performed well in his brief stint this season, but his skills are greatly diminished. Still, based on what he’s done in the past, there’s no reason the 37-year-old should be available in so many leagues. On the opposite end, one youngster is getting his chance to make his mark in the majors. Avisail Garcia has only played 12 games with his new club, but he’s shown signs of life. Both players deserve to be owned more.
3B Alex Rodriguez 61% owned in CBSSports.com leagues
Public enemy number one has been through a lot this season, and has still managed to put up decent numbers even though nearly everyone is against him. It’s astounding to think of all the things Rodriguez has had to put aside to focus on baseball, so the fact that he’s hitting .296/.387/.444 in 14 games is pretty incredible. Though that’s a tiny sample, Rodriguez has a lot going in his favor that makes him an intriguing pickup. For one, it doesn’t look like his appeal is going to be settled until after the season, so he should continue to receive playing time. On top of that, he actually seems healthy. Rodriguez looked awful at the end of 2012, and those issues were magnified since he struggled in the national spotlight. But the truth is, he wasn’t that bad when he was healthy in 2012. His .272/.353/.430 line was a massive downgrade for him, but it was acceptable for a fantasy third baseman.
Rodriguez should probably be owned in his fair share of mixed leagues. Third base isn’t the deepest position, and A-Rod will probably produce enough to be a low-end starter. If you’re morally opposed to picking him up, you’re not trying hard enough to win.
OF Avisail Garcia 21% owned in CBSSports.com leagues
Garcia’s time with the White Sox has come sooner than expected, but he’s handled it well. While it’s technically his third stint in the majors, Garcia has notched a total of 65 games at the level. And this is the first time he’s been guaranteed a spot in the lineup. In his 12 games with his new club, Garcia has picked up a hit in all but two. His overall line with the Sox is a robust .341/.386/.463.
There’s considerable risk with Garcia, though. His ridiculous .424 BABIP with his new team is bound to fall. On top of that, he plays at a position where talent is generally freely available on the waiver wire. Since he hasn’t flashed strong power or stolen base numbers in the majors, his main draw is his average right now. Using Garcia as a short-term injury replacement could make him a useful player. And given his status as a decent prospect, there’s a chance he’ll continue to perform well even after regression hits. That’s possible, though unlikely. He’s not a recommended option in mixed leagues unless you need an injury replacement and you’re looking to take a big risk. He’s more interesting in AL-only leagues, but it’s tough to think he can be anything more than a third outfielder at this point.
Chris is a blogger for CBSSports.com. He has also contributed to Sports on Earth, the 2013 Hard Ball Times Baseball Annual, ESPN, FanGraphs and RotoGraphs. He tries to be funny on twitter @Chris_Cwik.