At the beginning of August, the Minnesota Twins brought Kennys Vargas to the big league club. Vargas has rewarded them with a lovely slash line of .317/.341/.476.
Vargas has eclipsed the 100 plate appearance threshold with some decent counting stats thus far. The new primary DH of the Twins has 17 runs, 4 homers, and 26 runs batted in. Most importantly, Kennys Vargas has provided his new fantasy owners with a cheap source of average and a little pop.
As a current owner of Vargas in one league, I am happy with his current production, but I question his pace, especially due to his approach at the plate. Kennys Vargas only has four walks in 135 plate appearances.
With a 3.0% walk rate and .409 BABIP, I would have to expect his batting average to regress, but that does not mean you do not have the green light to start him. In fact, I am a big proponent of plugging and playing the hot hand assuming you are benching your stud bats.
For example, Emilio Bonfacio was the flavor of the month in April. He could not stop getting base hits and swiping bases. By May, it was about time to send Bonafacio back to the free agency heap. However, I took full advantage of owning Bonifacio for a month to collect hits and steals.
August may have been the only time to roster Kennys Vargas, but then again, Vargas could become a lineup fixture indefinitely. He is currently hitting well with 13 hits in his last eight games.
The difference between Emilio Bonifacio and Kennys Vargas is the possibility of the unknown. Bonifacio is there only to provide stolen bases and occasionally get hits in bunches. We know Bonifacio can only do so much for a fantasy team. On the other hand, Vargas could provide long-term fantasy value.
When a player appears out of the blue and starts red hot, you need to be quick to grab them because you never what they could amount to in the future.
I personally think Vargas will provide value for the rest of the season, but I would avoid drafting him in 2015 because his K/BB ratio terrifies me and his .409 BABIP is likely a product of some fortunate luck.
I have no idea if Kennys Vargas will be a fantasy commodity in the long run or just a guy that should you drop in a few weeks, but you should take the risk and own Kennys Vargas and the next guy who starts hitting well out of the blue because you do not want to miss out on the next big thing.