Could Adolis Garcia Be the Next Diamond in the Rough for the Rangers?
Not every rebuild is the same. They come in many shapes and sizes, depending on a wide variety of variables.
The traditional way is to tear everything down and rebuild from nothing. This is a long-term plan that could be torture for fans knowing their team isn't going to win for at least a half decade. The Astros did this, and while they spent years in the basement, their long-term plan paid off when they hit on several top draft picks.
Some teams like the Rangers are better set up to go through a shorter-term retool instead of a full blown tear-everything-down rebuild. The Rangers had several players that were early in their control years and were given the opportunity to prove what they had at the Major League level.
Another key part of retooling is finding young or established players on team-friendly contracts and relying on your scouting department to hit on a good percentage of those players.
If both of these strategies would have failed, it'd be time to tear it all down. Brick by brick until nothing was left and then start all over again.
Thankfully for the Rangers, they hit on a good percentage. Some of those players are still with the team (Mike Minor, Danny Santana) and some aren't (Andrew Cashner, Hunter Pence). This helps expedite the rebuild, or retooling, process. And that couldn't come at a better time for the Rangers with Globe Life Field set to be the Rangers' new home in 2020.
One of the Rangers' best finds has been Danny Santana. Their initial investment in him was on a Minor League contract with an invite to spring training. By the end of the season, he played in 130 games on the Major League team, slashed .283/.324/.534 with 28 home runs and 81 RBI's, and was named the Rangers' 2019 Player of the Year.
The Rangers have made a plethora of moves this winter. They've signed aging veterans to Minor League deals, traded for a two-time Cy Young award winner, and even designated Jeffrey Springs for assignment twice.
One under-the-radar move this winter was when they purchased outfielder Adolis Garcia from the Cardinals in December. The move gave the Rangers some outfield depth, but with a younger player that has a ton of potential instead of an aging veteran.
Garcia, 26, was signed out of Cuba by the Cardinals in February 2017 and became the Cardinals' #9 prospect on Baseball America by the end of the season. He was praised for being a potential four-tool player, with his raw power and strong arm as his two biggest assets. However, he was identified with an "uber-aggressive approach" and as a "wild swinger."
Garcia has struck out 366 times in three seasons in the Minor Leagues. In his very limited Major League stint in 2018, he had less plate appearances (17) than game appearances (21). He didn't necessarily make the most of those plate appearances either, going 2-for-17 with one RBI and seven strikeouts.
Last year at Triple-A Memphis, he put together a nice season. He slashed .253/.301/.517 with 32 home runs and 96 RBI's. He still struck out way too many times (159 strikeouts), but progress was made in several areas.
Now with the Rangers, he has an opportunity to make the Major League roster with a strong spring. During Rangers mini camp last week, Garcia impressed several people, including his future manager.
"I haven't seen him play a whole lot, but I've been impressed with what I've seen here," manager Chris Woodward said. "I watched him hit, take some ground balls and fly balls, and seen his arm strength. He's a pretty good player."
"He's a good kid, a smart kid, and wants to learn. He's already taken to our hitting coaches. We're trying to clean up some things he's had some issues with in the past, like his chase rate."
The Rangers have two other high-strikeout players on their roster that have benefited from Chris Woodward's philosophy. Joey Gallo immediately bought in and took his game to the next level. Danny Santana went from being a flamed-out prospect on a Minor League deal to a projected every day center fielder. While both Gallo and Santana still have areas to improve, it's more than just noteworthy on how vastly they both improved under Woodward and the coaching staff.
Garcia will turn 27 before the season starts and will look to improve in those areas he's struggled in right off the bat in Surprise. If all goes well, his name will definitely be in consideration for one of the final roster spots when the team makes its way back to Arlington. If all goes really well, they could potentially have the next Danny Santana on their roster.
Do you like the addition of Adolis Garcia? Leave us your thoughts in the comments below.
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