White Sox outfielder was a biggest surprise on offense for team this season, was able to revitalize his career on the South Side.
Avisail Garcia of the Chicago White Sox was once booed during player introductions at SoxFest earlier this year. However, those same people who booed the young outfielder might cheer him next January at the same convention for Sox fans.
Garcia had a tremendous turnaround in 2017, and could be in line for a hefty raise via arbitration this upcoming offseason. The 26-year-old was selected to his first MLB All-Star Game and was second on the team with a 4.5 WAR this season.
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The Sox received quality contributions from Garcia at the plate. Garcia compiled career-highs in batting average, home runs and RBIs this past season. He ended 2017 hitting .330/.380/.506 with 18 home runs and 80 RBIs.
For Garcia, his turnaround this season could be credited to him arriving at Spring Training 20 pounds lighter this year. According to Scott Merkin of whitesox.com, Garcia improved his physical conditioning entering this season.
The outfielder was able to get off to a hot start this season, and never looked back. Garcia’s batting average never dipped below .303 this season, and he never went more than five games without recording a hit. Garcia also had a 10-game hitting streak this season, and was able to reach base in 14 consecutive games during the year.
With the Sox rebuilding, Garcia has played his way into a potential future role on this team. Although Garcia will be up for arbitration again this offseason, he’s still under team control through 2020. The Sox could elect to trade him, but many teams will want to see if he can put up similar numbers next season before offering a top prospect in return.
Garcia will need to follow up his impressive 2017 season with a solid 2018 for the Sox. He probably won’t have similar numbers, but if he’s able to perform better than he did before the 2017 season, the Sox could have another talented young outfielder for the future.