Sep 22, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Chicago White Sox right fielder Avisail Garcia (26) hits an RBI single in the fifth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
When the Chicago White Sox made that three way trade with the Detroit Tigers and the Boston Red Sox that sent Jake Peavy to Boston and Jose Iglesias to Detroit, the White Sox received back a plethora of minor league talent. Of those players that the White Sox recieved, Avisail Garcia was the prize prospect. Ranked 73rd before the start of the 2013 season, Garcia hammered the ball in the minors before coming up for 30 games in Detroit before being traded. With the Tigers, Garcia put together a .241/.273/.373 batting line with two home runs. Decent numbers for a 22 year old, but hardly anything amazing.
Once he was called up to the White Sox, however, Garcia performed better than may have been reasonably expected. For the rest of the year, Garcia produced a .304/.327/.447 batting line, hitting five home runs and even chipping in three steals. Even though he only hit a total of 11 extra base hits and was caught stealing twice, Garcia gave a hint of that five tool potential that he was expected to develop.
For a player that has been referred to as a miniature version of Miguel Cabrera, the sky would certainly appear to be the limit for Avisail Garcia. While there are concerns about his batting eye, given his 12 walks in 307 major league plate appearances, Garcia is still expected to develop into an excellent power/speed threat for the White Sox. In fact, Garcia may become that player as soon as this year.
Looking at projections for 2014, Garcia is expected to start to hit that potential starting this season. Taking the projections from Fangraphs and averaging them out, Garcia is expected to put together a .282/.322/.423 batting line with 17 home runs and 12 stolen bases. As excellent as those numbers may seem, there are still concerns about Garcia this season, specifically with his batting eye. Expected to have a walk percentage of far below average at 4.9% and a slightly above average strikeout percentage of 21.3%, there is the possibility that Garcia’s tendency to chase pitches could result in a disappointing season.
For now, however, Avisail Garcia is one of the young players that the White Sox have their hopes pinned upon to be a part of the turnaround. With Jose Daniel Abreu and Adam Eaton, the White Sox are hoping to have a nice young core to start building a lineup around in the coming years.
Avisail Garcia is expected to be one of the White Sox prime building blocks for the next few seasons. He could start to show that ability as soon as this year.