Profile: RF - 6'3" - 190lbs - BT:R - TH:R - 2011 Age: 20
• Hit: 35-55
• Power: 35-50
• Eye: 35-45
• Range: 60-60
• Hands: 55-65
• Arm: 65-65
• Run: 65-65
Signed back in 2007 as an amateur free agent out of Venezuela at just 16 years old, Garcia has consistently been very young for his level. After one season in the Venezuelan Summer League the Tigers made the extremely aggressive decision to send him to the Midwest league at just 18 years old, an age at which most kids are either seniors in high school or in Rookie Ball. Not surprisingly, he struggled.
Garcia has a lot of really good tools including a plus arm and plus speed both on the bases and in the outfield and at 6'3" 190 has the build on which you'd project a solid bat and the hands to back it up. Unfortunately his approach is extremely raw, likely a result of being pushed so hard before almost anyone could be ready for the challenge.
Still, just watching Garcia swing makes it apparent what the Tigers swing. He has quick, strong hands and has a surprisingly clean swing with a smooth follow through. But that swing just hasn't translated into results, largely because he swings at everything he sees and doesn't put himself into many favorable positions. Still, he generates easy power, even if it's more gap power than home run power.
On the surface, Garcia's performance certainly doesn't seem like anything special - the OPS marks in the 600s despite healthy BABIP marks. However, one has to consider that the Midwest League average OPS is just .716, so while Garcia is still below average, it isn't as drastic a mark as it seems initially. Perhaps more importantly, there is consistent progress all the way across the board including incremental improvements in his strikeout and walk rates, and his power output which suggests that, struggles aside, Garcia is improving.
Talk about a tough project, I'm stepping out of my comfort zone where I can let a combination of performance and scouting help me predict a players future, and instead I'm going to have to project a kid on the eye alone. And I'll be honest, my eye likes what it sees. Not loves it, but likes it. Could he be a .280/.340/.420 guy? Maybe. Either way, I like his defense in right a lot and it should play him up.
Corey Ettinger is a proud contributor to both 612Sports.net, 312Sports.com, and 313sports.com. He also provides extensive analysis of the American League Central Division at his own blog, AL Central In Focus.