Fantasy baseball 2014 sleepers: Avisail Garcia, OF, Chicago White Sox – Penn Live

Chicago White Sox outfielder Avisail Garcia is ready. He’s a well-seasoned 22-year-old who has played professional baseball since the age of 17, finally getting an opportunity in the majors last season after a trade deadline deal sent him to Chicago. 

After hitting .304, Garcia has momentum going into this season and could be a factor in fantasy baseball leagues right away.

Overview: Well-traveled 22-year-old who will get his first starting opportunity with the White Sox this season.

Background: Signed with the Detroit Tigers as a 17-year-old international free agent from Venezuela in 2007. … was traded from Detroit to Chicago last summer in a three-way deal that sent Jake Peavy to Boston. … has a powerful frame at 6-4 and 240 pounds. … spent six seasons in the minors at six different locations, making his way from Rookie leagues in ’08 to Triple-A and the majors in 2013. … was ranked the No. 93 prospect in baseball before the 2013 season by Baseball America. … first arrived in the majors for a cup of coffee in 2012 and saw MLB time with both Detroit and Chicago last season.

2013 stats: .304 avg., 5 HR, 21 RBIs, 19 runs, 3 SB in 42 games.

Numbers and trends: Has managed his way around less than ideal strikeout rates with a .290 career average in the minors and .289 average in 95 career MLB games. … enters the 2014 season with plenty of minor league experience, having racked up 2,354 plate appearances over his six seasons. … power potential is real, but hasn’t yet fully materialized with a career-high of 14 homers set in stops at High-A Lakeland and Double-A Erie in 2012. … his hot finish after the trade to Chicago has earned him a starting job and, possibly, a prominent spot in the White Sox lineup, manager Robin Ventura said this week.

Strengths: Is only beginning to scratch the surface of his power … is a big, athletic hitter who can also run, leading many to predict double-digit stolen bases as early as this season. … could still be a factor at the top of the Chicago lineup, which would boost run production. … U.S. Cellular Field is one of the friendliest home ballparks in baseball, which can aid his power development.

Risk factors: While there’s reason to be confident, still must show the power that makes him such an intriguing fantasy target. … strikeouts are a threat to his average and consistency as he posted a 23.0 percent K rate, compared to a 3.5 percent walk rate, in Detroit and Chicago last season.

Average draft position: 223.6 ESPN; 238.5 Yahoo!

Verdict: Given his minor league experience and early success in the majors, Garcia represents upside with less risk than typical young players. That kind of “controlled upside” is very appealing as a bench outfielder with potential for more. He’s highly recommended as a late-round flyer in fantasy drafts.

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