Adonis Garcia - 3B, ATL
Owned in 2% of Yahoo leagues
All year, the Braves have been waiting for Adonis Garcia to get hot at the plate. His slow progress led to a three-week demotion in May, but outside of that, Atlanta has seen fit to stick with the 31-year-old Cuban despite his poor plate discipline and shoddy glovework.
Finally, their patience is beginning to pay off. Garcia has been trending up offensively for more than a month and is creeping onto fantasy radars.
On June 8th, the third baseman went 0-for-5 in San Diego, dropping his OPS to a season-low .543 mark. He followed that game with a torrid homestand, going 12-for-30 with a pair of homers against the Cubs and Reds to lift his OPS by nearly 100 points. That stretch propelled him into a lengthy groove that still continues now. Since the start of that home series against the Cubs, Garcia is hitting .294/.321/.492 in 33 games.
During this stretch, he has struck out in 12 percent of his plate appearances. Prior, that rate was at 22 percent. It is clear that Garcia has turned a corner.
Recently the second-year big-leaguer has really begun to catch fire. He has four multi-hit games in his past 11 contests, with two homers in the last three days.
Garcia is finally recapturing the offensive potential he showed last year as a rookie, when he ripped 10 homers and slugged .497 in 58 games for Atlanta.
Given that he didn't come over to the United States from Cuba until his mid-20s and didn't break into the majors until 30, Garcia is the definition of a late bloomer. That's why he offers an unusual amount of upside for someone his age. The swing is very powerful, and he continues to make strides toward figuring out MLB pitching.
His recent work with the bat, combined with those factors, makes him an interesting pickup for the final stretch of the season. It would be no surprise to see him outhit many of the more recognizable third basemen across baseball. After all, it was around this time last year that he joined the Braves and posted impressive numbers the rest of the way.
Wilmer Flores - 3B, NYM
Owned in 8% of Yahoo leagues
When the Mets acquired Jose Reyes to fill in for injured David Wright at third base, it was a major bummer for Wilmer Flores, who appeared to have a shot at the gig prior to the move. Lately, Flores has had a tough time finding his way into the starting lineup.
But if he keeps hitting the way he has, how long will that continue?
Last year, Flores enjoyed a breakout season of sorts. He posted a meager .295 on-base percentage thanks to a lack of patience (only 19 walks in 510 plate appearances) but he also slugged .408 with 22 doubles and 16 homers -- impressive power production for a 23-year-old middle infielder.
As was the case with Garcia, Flores did some of his best work during the final leg of the 2015 campaign. In the final two months, he hit .292/.326/.460 with five homers and eight doubles.
This adds all the more intrigue to his recent burst. Flores entered the July with a .653 OPS but has come on strong this month, batting .341 with seven of his 10 home runs. Within the impressive streak was a six-hit game against the Cubs on July 3rd, which was one of two multi-homer contests he has recorded in the last three weeks.
Despite his rapid improvement at the plate, Flores has had to scratch for playing time, starting only nine of 16 games (though he has appeared in all but two). With Reyes currently entrenched at third, Flores has had to settle for the occasional action there, as well as at second and first.
His flexibility is a plus, though, and we're skeptical of Reyes' ability to maintain his power-fueled hot start with the Mets. Flores looks like a guy who might be gearing up for a strong second half once again. All he needs is an opportunity to play, and while that's been an issue lately, it could change in a hurry.
The Mets, ranked third-to-last among NL teams in runs, will be hard-pressed to keep him on the bench if he keeps raking.