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Risers and Fallers: Adam Eaton, Avisail Garcia and Others

Alex Kantecki identifies a pair of risers and fallers for Week 22, including Adam Eaton and Avisail Garcia.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Adam Eaton

A commenter last week suggested I talk about the hot-hitting Eaton, so here I am. Over the last 30 days, the Diamondbacks outfielder has a .313 BA and .836 OPS to go along with two home runs, 18 runs, 11 RBIs and three steals. He's a perfect fourth of fifth outfielder in standard formats who will give you value across the board without killing any one category, and -- while his ownership is beginning to trend upwards -- he's still available in 59 percent of ESPN leagues and 64 percent of Yahoo! leagues. The time to act is now. Eaton was hyped coming into 2013 (possibly overhyped), but an elbow injury in spring training kept him out until the second week of July. He's come back as a valuable piece in Arizona's playoff run, hitting .270/.343/.382 with two home runs, 26 runs, 13 RBIs and three steals in 171 plate appearances. Prior to Eaton's injury, ZiPS projected the 24-year old to score 87 runs with 33 steals. Hitting near the top of Arizona's lineup, the runs have been there (26 in 44 games), but Eaton has yet to flash his speed on the base paths, with three steals in four attempts (all coming in the last eight days). Eaton is the kind of talent you take a chance on; one that could put your team over the top. And if you're not playing for this year, he's someone to target in keeper or dynasty formats.

Avisail Garcia

The White Sox did well in acquiring Garcia from the Tigers in the three-way trade that sent Jake Peavy to the Red Sox, and the corner outfielder is already showing tremendous potential as an everyday player on the South Side. In 23 games with the White Sox, Garcia is hitting .349/.385/.477 with two home runs, 12 runs, 11 RBIs and two steals in 91 plate appearances. He's being helped out by a .452 BABIP, but don't assume his average is going to fall of a cliff, as he's shown the ability to hit for a solid BA in the minors, most notably a .312/.345/.465 slash at Detroit's Triple-A affiliate. Garcia profiles to have decent pop (20-25 home runs annually), and he's shown plus-speed for someone often compared to the body type of Miguel Cabrera. With a 24 percent strikeout rate and 4.5 percent walk rate, Garcia is likely to hit a snag at some point, but the 22-year old is someone to look at in deep leagues as an everyday contributor. He flew through the Tigers' minor league system and I expect him to make quick adjustments at the major league level.


Jose Altuve

Altuve is the No. 7 second baseman on the ESPN Player Rater for the season, but he's the No. 23 second baseman over the last 30 days. After hitting .290/.340/.399 in 2012, Altuve's slash has dropped to .275/.310/.350 in 2013. And that's the problem. Without a near-elite average, Altuve's value at a thin position drops considerably. Among second basemen with at least 400 at-bats, seven have a higher BA than Altuve, compared to four in 2012. He doesn't offer enough upside in the home run or RBI categories, and his runs (52) are down considerably from last year -- when he scored 80. Saving Altuve's value at second base is a league-leading 31 steals at the position -- nine better than Cleveland's Jason Kipnis. The real kicker is a .264 BA in the second half, including a career-worst .200/.226/.264 in August, in which he scored just seven runs and collected 22 hits in 26 games. Houston is among the worst offensive clubs in baseball with a .301 team wOBA (only the Marlins are worse). Flat-out dropping Altuve is not an option unless a better option like Omar Infante or Neil Walker exists, but it's worth some consideration for playoff hopeful teams in redraft leagues.

Chase Headley

This one is kind of a no-brainer, as Headley has been sidelined with a back injury since Aug. 28. After hitting .286/.376/.498 with 31 home runs, 95 runs, 115 RBIs and 17 steals in 2012, Headley was a prime bust candidate in 2013. And bust he went. The Padres third baseman stayed put in San Diego despite lukewarm interest from the Yankees, and he's gone on to hit .240/.331/.368 with eight home runs, 48 runs, 36 RBIs and six steals in 501 plate appearances this season. His ownership is down to roughly 60 percent in ESPN and Yahoo! leagues, and that's still too high for me. Headley's power has plummeted from a .212 ISO in 2012 to a .128 ISO in 2013, and his strikeout rate has risen from 22.5 percent to 25.3 percent. I suggest picking up Nolan Arenado, who is still available in 80 percent of ESPN leagues and provides much higher upside.

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Alex Kantecki also writes for Vigilante Baseball and The Dynasty Guru. You can poke him on Twitter at @rotodealer.