Now that the trade deadline dust has settled, let’s look at a pair of players with rising fantasy stock following moves that were made (and not made)…
Jason Bourgeois | OF | Astros | Ownership: 15% Yahoo!, 30.0% ESPN
Hunter Pence and Michael Bourn are gone, and Bourgeois steps into a full-time job. He recently returned from an oblique injury and has actually been hitting third for about a week now, before the two trades went down. Bourgeois’ small sample size batting line looks really good (.354/.374/.449 in 132 PA), but ZiPS has a much more down to Earth rest-of-season projection: .285/.326/.366. Nothing in his track record suggests he’ll hit for much power, though being a righty in Minute Maid Park will help somewhat.
Bourgeois’ value comes from his legs. He’s played just 29 games these season and has 22 steals, including 17 in the 25 games he’s started. He’s got a number of 30+ SB seasons in the minors, so the speed is legit, though ZiPS only projects another ten swipes the rest of the way. That’s in 131 PA though, basically part-time duty. Now that Bourgeois has a clear spot for playing time, he should zoom past that projection and could be worth an additional 15-20 steals to your team the rest of the way. He’s unlikely to kill your AVG, but could drag down your OBP (just 3.0% walks this year, 6.4% MLB career, 7.5% MiLB career). As long as he’s stealing bases like the elite baserunners, he’s going to help your team.
Freddy Garcia | SP | Yankees | Ownership: 29% Yahoo!, 45.7%
The Yankees decided not to blow their prospect wad on a starting pitcher before yesterday’s trade deadline, meaning that Sweaty Freddy’s spot in the rotation is pretty secure. Garcia has been surprisingly very good so far, pitching to a 3.22 ERA that’s backed by a 3.58 FIP and 4.08 xFIP. His strikeout rate (6.14 K/9) is way up compared to last season (he’s whiffed nine fewer batters this year than last despite facing 176 fewer hitters), and his walk rate (2.61 BB/9) has held steady. No, that’s not a great strikeout rate, but it’s not far from the league average.
Garcia has run into some good homerun luck this year, with just 6.0% HR/FB despite a tiny 33.9% ground ball rate and tiny home stadium. ZiPS foresees a 4.22 ERA the rest of the way, though with the team he has backing him, that should lead to plenty of wins. I would advise you to pick your spots with him, sitting him against better offensive clubs (like the Red Sox this weekend) but turning him loose against the bad ones. Garcia’s next start will be in Fenway Park next weekend, but after that he’ll get the Rays, Royals, Twins, and Athletics.
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