St. Louis Cardinals: Welcome Cuban Prospect Jose Adolis Garcia
The St. Louis Cardinals have added Cuban free agent outfielder Jose Adolis Garcia.
The St. Louis Cardinals made their announcement of the signing Friday and the young Cuban prospect was at Spring Training the following day. Jose Adolis Garcia signed a minor-league deal with an invitation to Spring Training that has a $2.5M bonus per MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez.
Garcia is 24-years old and is the younger brother of Atlanta Braves third baseman Adonis Garcia. Back in August, Adolis Garcia was reported to have left Cuba in search of an MLB opportunity and was cleared to sign in early December.
Garcia is not expected to be MLB ready, however, he is expected to be ready for an assignment at a higher level of minors. Over his most recent 380 plate appearances in Cuba, he slashed .315/.395/.517 but also briefly played for a mid-level Japanese club and performed poorly. However, Garcia was the MVP of Serie Nacional (Cuba’s top professional league) in 2016 so there is a lot of faith in his abilities.
Ben Badler of BaseballAmerica.com says Garcia needs some polishing but is ready for the next level. Badler claims that Garcia has great speed, an outstanding arm, center field ability, and good bat speed. However, there are also some worries for Garcia at the plate. Badler names an inability to recognize offspeed pitches and a free-swinging approach to be limitations on Garcia’s potential.
This signing does not impact any other Cardinals’ international plans since Garcia was able to sign free of any limitations given his age and experience. The Cardinals will remain in the hunt for other older Cuban prospects in hopes they can made other additions similar to Aledmys Diaz.
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The St. Louis Cardinals began spring training with a shallow outfield depth. Randal Grichuk, Dexter Fowler, and Stephen Piscotty will be the starters but following them is a lackluster group of Tommy Pham, Jose Martinez, and non-roster invitee Todd Cunningham. Garcia may not be ready for the majors quite yet, but he increases the quality of the outfield depth immediately.