Acquired: Amateur Free Agent, 2007
Ranking History: #64 (2007), #50 (2008), #11 (2009), #12 (2010), #11 (2011)
Signed for just $200,000 in 2007, Garcia debuted with an impressive .298/.342/.449 line as a 17-year old in the Venezuelan Summer League the following summer. Among his 73 hits, Garcia ripped 12 doubles and seven home runs, hinting at the power potential in his young body.
Brought to the states for the 2009 season, Garcia was tearing the cover off the ball in extended spring training when a need arose in West Michigan. The 18-year old was shoved to the Midwest League where he held his own with a .264/.288/.322 line despite being the youngest player in the league.
The Tigers returned Garcia to West Michigan in 2010 and he improved across the board with a .281/.313/.356 line that included 17 doubles, four home runs and 20 stolen bases.
After finding success in the Midwest League, Garcia was challenged with a High-A assignment in 2011 and during an up-and-down season he made strides with his overall game. In the end Garcia posted a .264/.297/.389 line with 16 doubles and eleven home runs while striking out 132 times.
With more polish needed, Garcia repeated High-A to start the 2012 season. In 67 games with the Flying Tigers he hit .289 and popped 21 extra-base hits. He topped that off with a decreased strikeout rate, 14 stolen bases and impressive outfield defense.
At mid-season the Tigers pushed Garcia to Double-A where he saw action in 55 games and hit .312 with another 18 extra-base hits. His minor league season was cut short when the Tigers called him up to the big leagues and he hit .319 in 51 regular season plate appearances before contributing to the big club during the playoffs.
Garcia is a physical monster. Standing 6-foot-4 and checking in at 240 pounds of solid muscle and premium athleticism, he is a physical freak that stands out the moment he steps on the field. Garcia has continued to fill out his lanky frame and he now looks the part of a classic MLB power hitter.
Despite his size, Garcia is an above-average runner and quality baserunner. He gets good jumps at first base and has the potential to steal 15-20 bases a year at the MLB level. He is a high effort player and that plays well when he's getting out of the box or looking to take extra bases and augment his already solid speed.
In the field, Garcia is a premium defender. He handles the corner outfield spots exceptionally well and is arguably one of the best defensive outfielders in the minor leagues. He has good instincts for the position, gets good jumps on the ball and takes proper routes. He can even hang as an average defender in center field right now. Garcia's arm is a plus-plus weapon that will make runners think twice before trying for extra bases.
Garcia's impressive tools don't stop in the field. He has an innate feel for contact with superb hand-eye coordination and barrel control. Contact come so easily to Garcia that he often struggles staying within the strike zone; frequently expanding his zone and chasing pitches. He has the potential to be an average to above-average hitter as he continues to refine his approach.
With a more refined and focused hit tool Garcia should be able to translate more of his raw power to game situations. He can put on impressive batting practice displays that draw plus raw scores from scouts. His current hitting approach results in too much weak contact and he has yet to learn to turn on the ball and pull it with authority.
All told, Garcia's offensive profile is immense but there are enough question marks that it would be irresponsible to project complete realization of his offensive tools. In the end, Garcia likely ends up an average hitter with average pop.
Garcia is such an impressive player that he could actually realize five average or better tools at the Major League level. His defense and baserunning will keep him in the big leagues regardless of how his bat develops, but if the bat comes along as projected, he could be an above-average player with a lengthy career.
Performance Level Team AB AVG 2B HR RBI SO BB OBP% SLG% A+
Garcia is as strong as an ox with exceptional training and conditioning habits. He has yet to experience a significant injury in his professional career.
On top of his massive tool set, Garcia offers championship-caliber makeup. He is a mature individual with a good head on his shoulders and a high baseball IQ, giving him an excellent chance of realizing his long-term potential. With additional Triple-A polish, Garcia could be one of the Tigers permanent answers on the outfield corners. He should be a quality big leaguer and with his raw tools and physicality, you can never rule out the star potential he possesses.
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