In 2013, the Chicago White Sox completed a 3-team deal when they sent RHP Jake Peavy to the Boston Red Sox and acquired Avisail Garcia from the Detroit Tigers. Garcia had seen a small amount of time in the majors with the Tigers, but several scouts were already comparing him to his all-star teammate, Miguel Cabrera. Anytime a prospect is compared to one of the best overall players of a generation, eyes are opened all across the sport.
Garcia made an immediate impact when he joined an abysmal 2013 White Sox team that finished with a mere 63 wins. “Baby Cabrera” hit .304 with 5 homers and 21 RBIS in 42 games. As the 2014 campaign rolled around, Cuban slugger, Jose Abreu burst onto the scene, and he added a substantial power bat to the lineup. With the coalition of Abreu and Garcia, the White Sox appeared to have a long term heart of the order.
That all changed during an early season game in which the White Sox visited the Colorado Rockies. Abreu and Garcia each mashed 2 home runs the previous night in an offensive-led victory. The next day, Avisail was playing his normal position in right field when a looping line drive was hit towards him. In an attempt to make the catch, Garcia fully outstretched and dove for the ball. The results that became were less than stellar as Garcia was diagnosed with a torn labrum and was told that he would miss the remainder of the 2014 season.
Garcia ended up returning late in the 2014 season. Heading into the 2015 season, the White Sox were unsure of what they were going to get out of Garcia. Avi turned in a disappointing 2015 season with a .257 average, 13 homers, and 59 RBIs in 148 games. For a guy who was likened to Miguel Cabrera, the power numbers were a major disappointment. Garcia looked to finally live up to the hype in 2016, but he failed yet again. His average, home runs, and RBIs all declined in 2016.
The Adam Eaton trade gives Garcia yet another opportunity to prove that he is capable of being an every day player in the MLB. The rebuilding season gives him the chance to prove that he can provide benefits to the White Sox when they are ready to compete again. The Sox will continue to develop their prospects, so if Garcia remains at the pace he’s at, this will likely be his last year on the south side.
Photo: USA Today