No. 5: Avisail Garcia, Chicago White Sox
Apr 17, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Chicago White Sox right fielderAvisail Garcia
(26) receives congratulations from teammates after he hits a home run in the second inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
The White Sox are not far away from really reaping the benefits of the Jake Peavy-for-Avisail Garcia trade in 2013.
Once a highly touted prospect with Detroit, Garcia has struggled to stay on the field in the early part of his career. He’s never played in more than 72 big league games in one season, as he most recently tore his labrum last April, which forced him out of action until mid-August.
This should be the year White Sox fans get to see what Garcia is all about. According Neil Weinberg of Fangraphs in his preseason predictions, Garcia is on par with Dayana Viciedo in terms of production – which isn’t very good.
While Garcia has been solid this season, he hasn’t done anything particularly impressive. He’s hitting .274/.318/.371 through 16 games and has just one home run and four RBIs. Despite the lack of power, Garcia at a dangerously high rate (17 strikeouts) for a player who can’t seem to compensate for big swings with round-trippers.
His -0.5 WAR in 2014 is certainly less than impressive, but he’s still a young outfielder with a lot of room to grow. He is the least talked about difference-maker in a White Sox lineup stacked with new and incumbent talent, including Jose Abreu, Melky Cabrera and Adam LaRoche.
Chicago is going to rely heavily on Garcia to produce this season but, unfortunately, he’s just not there yet.
Next: No. 4