Avisail Garcia’s high fastball problem
(Courtesy of BrooksBaseball.net)
This is certainly is the gist of it. Avisail’s love of high fastballs (this chart is all him vs. fastballs) is matched only by his inability to do anything with them. Dayan Viciedo neither swings nor whiffs at high fastballs to this degree, to put that in the primary context White Sox fans have for “bad hitting ideas put into action.”
Given Garcia’s troubles pulling the ball or throwing the barrel out in front of anything, it’s not surprising that he doesn’t do well with upstairs heat. It’s borderline inevitable. Luckily, Garcia does not turn 23 until June and there’s plenty still to shave down from this motion:
But a better hope is that Garcia just trims this from his diet. If he’s never going to do much thriving taking walks and getting easy appearances on base, he has to make his living putting bat on ball. Between his speed and his raw strength, Garcia can make more good things happen with just simple contact than most. His swinging strike rate presently looks disastrous, but given how concentrated it is in one area, optimism for a maturing approach curing his ills can live on.
The massive raw strength is going to provide some home runs, and beautiful ones at that, but there are some hurdles to him becoming much more than a 20-home run threat, and being unable to drive pitches on the upper half of the zone is right at the top of the list.
At this point in his development, everything is just “something to watch for” for Garcia rather than a true trend, but Garcia will be carving out his MLB this season, and it has to be different what he’s previewed.
Follow James Fegan on Twitter @JRFegan