Chicago White Sox: The curious case of Leury Garcia

Leury Garcia’s status in the Chicago White Sox’s lineup is questioned because there are factors that threaten his position. Is 2020 Garcia’s statement year?

This upcoming season, the Chicago White Sox are in an interesting situation with Leury Garcia. The White Sox have a great group of young guys who can all be effective in their own way, but every player will not get the opportunity to have an everyday role. Even though Garcia had a good season last year, he’s facing some obstacles in his eighth year. The curious case of Leury Garcia entails competition for second base and where he will wound up if not a second baseman.

The right-handed veteran has solidified his label as a dependable utility man by playing six positions. Last season, Garcia played the center-field position the most, but with the highly anticipated arrival of Luis Robert, he is most likely to move somewhere else in the lineup. In 2019, his slash line was .279/.310/.378 in 140 games. Garcia’s presence at the plate was not heavy with just 8 home runs and 40 RBIs but he still finished with a solid on-base percentage.

It’s no secret that he isn’t a power hitter and he doesn’t have to be. A lot of the time Garcia shines defensively, which makes him a suitable candidate for a  second baseman. With that being said, there are players who are better offensively and that puts an everyday opportunity for him in jeopardy. Besides Robert, Nick Madrigal‘s call to the show is very anticipated amongst White Sox fans. Madrigal is extremely talented and Garcia’s biggest threat to start at second base because Madrigal has tremendous plate vision.

Last season, He struck out 139 times which is something Madrigal cannot remotely relate to. Another downside to the veteran’s game is his clutch ability. With runners in scoring position, his slash line was .206/.214/.290. With those numbers, Garcia is looking more temporary than a player with a steady role. Along with Madrigal, last year’s call-up Danny Mendick will be looking to compete for starting role on Opening Day.

In his first 16 major league games, Mendick showed some true potential with a .787 OPS. Unless Madrigal can show he is ready for the majors. Mendick could be a more seasoned option for the second base position. Therefore, Spring Training is going to be Garcia’s proving ground and he has to showcase all of his qualities, but he’s going to have to shine while sharing the spotlight.

In the end, It’s not all bad for Garcia because he could just keep his current role. He could also work as a player to flip for the organization. Garcia has been the kind of player that has not shown a lot of improvement, but he has not regressed either. He makes the case for a good trade candidate because it’s likely he will put up similar numbers or slightly improve. It’s also important to note that he’ll be a free agent in 2021, which furthers the possibility he’ll be moved in the future.