A former Astro may be worth picking up in your fantasy baseball leagues.
While Freddy Garcia may no longer be the dependable pitcher that he was early in his career with the Mariners (in the early 2000's), he's showing signs of being a decent fantasy gamble. Garcia was 4-0 in five starts at Triple-A Norfolk with 21 strikeouts to only two walks in 33.2 innings. His ERA was 2.67. His WHIP was 0.98. For those who scoff at minor-league stats and say a major leaguer should always dominate at that level, Garcia hasn't done this well in the minors, arguably, since a brief stint with the Mud Hens in the Tigers organization in 2008. The next step in his evaluation process, obviously, is how he does in the majors. So far, the 37-year-old has done okay. In his first start against the Angels, Garcia gave up only three hits in six innings against the Angels, giving up two runs in a no-decision. One game may be too small a sample size, but in his next start Thursday night, Garcia was better than his numbers suggested against the Royals. While he gave up four runs in six innings, those four runs came on two two-run home runs. Outside of that, Garcia was barely touched. He gave up five hits total in his six frames. So far, in his 12 innings, he has two walks. Now Garcia is obviously nearing the end of his time. He's almost 37 years old. But when you're pitching for a good team like the Orioles, that's like the icing on the cake. It'd be a different story if Garcia pitched for a mediocre team, as wins would be harder to come by, but since he's an Oriole, Garcia is worth a flyer in deep leagues. Right now, he's owned in two-percent of Yahoo! fantasy leagues.
On the other end of the youth spectrum is Oswaldo Arcia. The Twins outfielder has shown intriguing power in his short time up in the bigs, but he's been on a tear of late: Arcia is 6-9 for a home run, double, triple, with three runs and three RBI over his last two games. Too small a sample size, you say? Check Arcia's background and you'll be reassured. Before the season, Baseball America ranked him as the game's 41st-ranked prospect. At two minor-league levels last year, Arcia combined for 17 home runs and 98 RBI in 124 games. This season, in his first dabble at Triple-A, in 10 games, Arcia had three home runs, 8 RBI, a .394 batting average, and a 1.201 OPS. He's owned in four-percent of Yahoo! leagues. Definitely worthy of the gamble, not just in a deep league (mine's a 16-teamer), but also in semi-deep 10-12 team leagues.
TRENDING UPWARD: Mitch Moreland is a guy some may have given up on earlier in the season, as it appeared his first full season into full-time MLB every-day starter duty was a struggle. He was batting .150 in mid-April. Since then, though, the Rangers first baseman has recovered and lately, he has been scorching the ball. Over his last six games, Moreland is batting 10-23 (.435), three home runs (these all come in the last four games), four RBI, and six runs. Moreland's average is now .287. Basically, in just over two-and-a-half weeks, he's raised his average 130 points. Anybody that dropped him now is regretting it. Anybody who held on to him through the rough times now ready for Moreland to face Astros pitching. By the way, Moreland is only owned by 10-percent of Yahoo! fantasy owners.
WORTH HANGING ON: Delmon Young's start off the disabled list has not been good, to say the least. Granted, he was 2-3 with a home run in his first game back, but since that first game, he's batting .125 with only three hits (two of them on Thursday night) in 24 at-bats. It's pretty easy to think he's pretty worthy of dropping, until one examines where he is in the lineup. Currently, Young's sandwiched between Ryan Howard and Domonic Brown. Until his spot changes in the lineup, Young is being set up to see some good pitches. He's being set up to bounce back. His recent past suggests he's got the ability to bounce back. In essence, stay patient with Young a little bit more if you have him. If he's a free agent, there's no rush to pick him up, but definitely keep an eye on his situation in the event he does bounce back.