Now that the dust has settled from the deal that sent Jake Peavy from the Chicago White Sox to the Boston Red Sox, it’s finally time to objectively look at the package that the team received. There was a lot of initial excitement/anger with the deal, which was headlined by “promising” outfielder Avisail Garcia.
As expected, a lot of fans quickly jumped to the Miguel Cabrera comparison. Because, you know, if a player physically looks like someone else, they will become that player 60 percent of the time, every time. While it’s great to dream about Garcia becoming a “mini Miggy” of sorts, one has to have realistic expectations about his future. Well, I am that one person who will be realistic about Garcia.
Sure, it’s a great thing that Garcia is hitting .374 in Triple-A. The thing that isn’t great, however, is that his ISOD (OBP-BA) is only .036 points in 2013 and is .033 for his entire career. Speaking of his entire career, his MiLB slash line is nothing to be overly excited about. I mean, .289/.323/.407 isn’t exactly lighting the world on fire.
Garcia is only 22 years old, so he has plenty of time to turn into a good hitter. However, I’m not counting on it, especially in this organization. If you want to depress yourself, try to think of the last hitting prospect the White Sox developed. The last one I could think of was Magglio Ordonez, who last played in the Minor Leagues in 1997. Carlos Lee is also another name to consider.
To put it simply: the White Sox have not developed a solid hitting prospect in 15 years. The homer in some of you might want to say Joe Crede, but Crede was below average in every season sans 2006.
The negative Nellie in me sees Garcia as another version of Dayan Viciedo, which will wear on my patience considering they have no patience at the plate. Garcia’s ceiling could be as high as Ordonez, who really didn’t turn into an elite hitter until he reached the Majors, or possibly even Alex Rios.
Nevertheless, can Garcia actually turn into the hitter some prognosticators think he can become? Sure, it’s possible. But it’s hard to believe that this organization can teach a hitter — with as little plate discipline as Garcia — how to hit when it hasn’t done so in over a decade.