Throughout this preseason, I have dived deep into the trash bin, trying to unearth some diamands in the…smelly trash. Ewwwww. P. U. The things I do for y’all. Before I continue, I have to give a shoutout to Laura, for she is the deep league specialist, and I recommend that you all read her work if you don’t already. Now, I like to have some semblance of balance in my life, so I’m going to flip my world upside down, don the hater cap, and throw internet tomatoes on a player who I feel has a chance to disappoint this season. I got no shame in my game, as I’m playing don’t pass at the table if I sense a disturbance in the Force. The stink eye I get from the others ain’t no thing. So, I’m prepared for the internet tomatoes that will more than likely be thrown my way, but such is the life of a hater.
Adolis Garcia is his name. And I have no shame to proclaim that I be hating on his game.
Garcia is 30 years old, 6-foot-1, 205 pounds, bats from the right side. He signed with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2017 after defecting from Cuba. He spend three seasons in their minor league season and showed tremendous speed and power, culminating in the 2019 Triple-A season in which he racked up 32 home runs, 14 stolen bases, 96 runs, and 96 RBI in 529 plate appearances. He only received 7 plate appearances with the big club in 2020 before being traded to the Texas Rangers in 2021.
Now, to be fair, he has been pretty freaking awesome since arriving in Texas. In 2021, he put up 31 home runs, 16 stolen bases, 77 runs, and 90 RBI in 622 plate appearances. Last season, he went for 27 home runs, 25 stolen bases, 88 runs, and 101 RBI in 657 plate appearances.
It’s well within the range of outcomes that he puts up similar numbers this season, but I see a ton of downside, which would be troublesome because he is being selected as the 51st overall player in NFBC drafts from February to the end of March. The acquisition cost is close to his ceiling outcome. But, but, but…past performance is not indicative of future results and things do not always progress linearly.
Here is why I have some concerns with Garcia this season:
He strikes out a ton and has contact issues. The strikeout rate was 27.9% last season. That was an improvement from the 31.2% the prior season, but it’s still a high number and placed him with the 7th-highest rate last season. There are plenty of good power hitters that have high strikeout rates, so this by itself is not a death knell.
When I get to the plate discipline numbers, though, I cringe and want to cry.
The chase rate was 40.3%, contact rate in the strike zone was 76.9%, contact rate, in general, was 68.6%, and the swinging strike rate was 16.7%. Gross. Last season, Garcia was the ONLY player to be in the bottom 10 for all four of the above categories.
Obviously, not everything is bad because he was able to put up monster numbers. When he makes contact, it’s better than solid and the ball travels a long way. He has speed as well. In addition, he was able to adjust from 2021 to 2022, as the prowess against fastballs increased. That said, he became really susceptible to offspeed pitches after doing well against them in 2021.
The fact that he was able to adjust is a positive thing, but I think pitchers and opposing teams have been poking and prodding the defenses to figure out proper way to attack Garcia, because there are obvious holes. It’s the old cliche of “Once the book is out on him…” Teams will figure out how to exploit weaknesses. They always do.
A player that often entered my consciousness while writing this piece was Javier Baez. He’s always had obvious weaknesses but produced monster numbers in three seasons. So I’m not saying that Garcia is going to fail for sure. All I’m saying is that he is priced close to perfection, so any deviation in skills or production could be a negative. The path to downside is a very clear one for me.