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White Sox: Sink or Swim for Avisail Garcia?

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Aug 2, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Chicago White Sox Avisail Garcia (26) celebrates his two run home run in the seventh inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 2, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Chicago White Sox Avisail Garcia (26) celebrates his two run home run in the seventh inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /
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With Avisail Garcia being 25 years old, the White Sox have a big question to answer in these final two months. Is it sink or swim time for their talented outfielder? Given 2016 is only his second full season at the big league level, should the question be asked that Garcia never reaches his full potential?

There is no question about Avisail Garcia’s raw skills. Just about everyone in the game will tell you that he is a five-tool player. But, at the MLB level tools don’t necessarily equate to success . For his career, Garcia has hit.258 BA, with 36 home runs, 156 runs batted in through 1,297 MLB at-bats.

Even though he has elite bat speed, it hasn’t translated into much power. That is mostly due to the fact he doesn’t have good plate discipline. On top of that, his pitch recognition is bad, as he seems to have trouble with the breaking pitch. Even when it is nowhere near the strike zone.

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Considering what was just mentioned, his numbers back it up. Even with immense talent, he has well underperformed with the White Sox. In his only full season with the White Sox, he hit .257 with 13 HR’s and 59 RBI’s. To make matters worse, his K/BB rate was awful. With 141 strikeouts and 36 walks, Garcia has shown his strike zone discipline was terrible. To top it off, he has struck out 331 times while only walking 88 times in his MLB career. That is a 3.76:1 strikeout to walk ratio.

Here is the big question: what would happen if the White Sox brought in a new manager? It is a very distinct possibility  this could be Robin Ventura’s final year as manager of the White Sox, meaning Garcia could be getting a new skipper for 2017. While this has yet to occur, would it make a difference for him? Does he just need a change in mechanics? Who knows, however the clock is ticking if he wants to reach his potential at the big league level.

All in all in, Garcia has all the tools to be a star in the major leagues. While I didn’t even discuss his defense, that leaves a lot to be desired. However, since this is the American League, he can always be the White Sox designated hitter, and considering the fact  there is no one who cannot currently perform in that role, it might make sense for him.

Next: Should White Sox Fans Continue to Trust Rick Hahn?

It seems as though the Whte Sox brass thinks highly of Garcia and I can understand why. His ability says All-Star, however his production is that of a minor leaguer. While he still has time to turn it around, it needs to happen quickly if it is going to at all. And the White Sox are counting on him.

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