Apr 14, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Chicago White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu (79) is congratulated by Chicago White Sox right fielder Avisail Garcia (26) after hitting a solo home run against the Cleveland Indians during the fifth inning at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
The Chicago White Sox’s bats have had a slow go of it to start the 2015.
Of the nine players with more than 20 plate appearances entering Monday’s game, only three are hitting above .260, catcher Tyler Flowers (.304), left fielder Melky Cabrera (.261), and right fielder Avisail Garcia (.286).
Garcia has been the most consistent hitter in the lineup since the start of the season just two weeks ago.
One of the storylines in spring training was wondering if Garcia could live up to that potential he flashed in Detroit, and prior to his injury last year that nearly cost him the entire season.
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To this point the answer is yes.
That being said, I repeat my earlier statement that the season started two weeks ago. However, Garcia started well last year prior to the aforementioned injury, hitting .267 before that dive attempt in Coors Field in April 2014.
He could have had his breakout year last year, but the injury gods had other ideas. Free of any lingering issues now, Garcia seems to be figuring out the major leagues thus far in 2015.
I believe he will be able to continue this consistency for most of the season, with adding some power, as he is currently on pace for roughly 15 home runs and I think he will finish closer to 20-25 than 15. (Although math was never my strong suit I believe I calculated that correctly.)
With a more potent lineup surrounding him, he can enjoy a breakout year like fellow outfielder for his former team J.D. Martinez did last year for the Detroit Tigers.
Mar 27, 2015; Mesa, AZ, USA; Chicago White Sox right fielder Avisail Garcia (26) hits in the second inning against the Chicago Cubs during a spring training game at Sloan Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
All that potential could reveal itself as nothing more than a serviceable major leaguer (think Cameron Maybin, who was interestingly enough one of the key prospects in the Cabrera trade that sent him from the Marlins to the Motor City).
If Garcia can continue to produce at his current rate, when players like Adam Eaton and Alexei Ramirez break out of their early season struggles, Garcia will be an RBI machine and will have to be pitched to due to the weapons on this modern day version of the Southside Hitmen.
If someone were to ask me final predictions for the Venezuelan right fielder, I would slot him around .275, 23 home runs, with 90 RBIs. Those are numbers that could help propel this lineup to its first taste of postseason play since the 2008 season.