White Sox: Should Avisail Garcia Be in Future Plans?
By Matt Manetti
White Sox outfielder Avisail Garcia struggled this season but also showed some promise. Should the 25 year old remain in the team’s future plans or is it time to move on?
The Chicago White Sox acquired Avisail Garcia via trade in 2013. Our hearts dropped when he injured his arm the following year and we learned he would miss the entire season. Now, it seems we can’t wait to get him out of here.
Garcia came to the Sox with much fanfare. Here was a guy who had drawn comparisons to Miguel Cabrera. The only reason Detroit would let him slip away it because they just had no place for him. It’s been a really interesting turn of events for the youngster. It’s apparent he is struggling to live up to the hype, that may have been falsely given to him, but for a guy as talented as him, he needs to play better.
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Still, I’m not ready to shoe him out of town. He missed 2014 because of injury. Last season he played 148 games, while previously only playing in 95 between the Sox and Tigers. Now, through 116 games he is hitting .248 with 12 home runs and 48 RBIs. Last season, he hit 13 home runs to go along with 59 RBIs.
If you track that out, he definitely has better numbers than last year. He has the same number of home runs in less games. I think it’s just a case of a guy who needs more experience. It may have also helped if the Sox gave him some time in their farm system instead of send him straight to the majors. Whatever the case is, it’s too late to fix that. Now, the coaches need to figure out how to get the best out of him.
It’s no secret he hit much better when he was playing the field. That should be no surprise. A lot of players have said they don’t like to be a designated hitter because they feel they’re not in the game. It definitely takes a certain type of mindset to be a DH. It’s comparable to being a closer or setup man. If you don’t have the mindset, you will not be successful. Maybe Garcia just hasn’t developed that mindset yet.
I think another issue could be how he views himself. Obviously I have never talked to him about it but maybe it’s just a case where he feels he isn’t being used to the best of his ability. I’m sure he is a very competitive guy, and it probably bothers him knowing his team puts him at DH but feel he is a liability to play the field. Every player wants to perform well on offense and defense. No one wants to be good at just one thing. Baseball has as much to do with mental toughness as physical ability. Garcia maybe just hasn’t developed that mental toughness.
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Garcia is in the last year of his contract. This season, he made $2.1 million. It will be interesting to see how the Sox approach negotiations with him or if they are willing to let him walk. Sometimes a change of scenery does a player good. In this case, I think it would be wise to resign him. After all, he’s still young and has some untapped potential. If the Sox can harness this, then they could have a really solid young player on their hands.