Last night, word got out that the St. Louis Cardinals show interest in Chicago White Sox outfielder, Avisail Garcia.
After the St. Louis Cardinals suffered a reversal of fortune on Saturday to the Orioles, some interesting news broke from mlbtraderumors.com. Reports suggest that the St. Louis Cardinals are interested in Avisail Garcia, the Chicago White Sox’s starting right fielder. According to the news, the Cardinals looked at Garcia before.
If you have followed the trade rumor mill closely, the biggest names associated with the St. Louis Cardinals are J.D. Martinez, Marcell Ozuna, and Jose Quintana. Quintana, a teammate of Avisail Garcia, is sought after by many teams. Yesterday, I wrote about the Cardinals revisiting a trade for him to bolster their rotation.
Of the two White Sox teammates, Quintana is the name that often rises up in talks. Perhaps that is why I found it so interesting to see Garcia’s name next to the Cardinals.
Check the news piece below or click here.
"Cafardo: Cardinals Linked To J.D. Martinez, Avisail Garcia https://t.co/5Mww7aiPPJ #cardinals #mlb— Tim Dierkes (@mlbtrcardinals) June 18, 2017Cafardo: Cardinals Linked To J.D. Martinez, Avisail Garcia https://t.co/5Mww7aiPPJ #cardinals #mlb— Tim Dierkes (@mlbtrcardinals) June 18, 2017"
As I mentioned earlier, J.D. Martinez is a name that has definitely circulated through the organization. A couple of writers, Dr. Michael Miles and Josh McDonald, have given their takes on a possible move for Martinez as well.
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However, this news about Avisail Garcia intrigues me.
Avisail Garcia is a relatively unknown player in Major League Baseball. I don’t expect the average fan to know what team he plays for, much less know who he is.
When the article said, “frequently linked to the St. Louis Cardinals,” I thought back to how many times I have heard his name in trade discussions. As you can guess, zero times.
Fortunately, I have come to know of Avisail Garcia through fantasy baseball. However, let’s take a closer look at his numbers entering today’s play.
Garcia is a 26-year-old outfielder from Venezuela. In his big league career, he spent time with the Detroit Tigers and White Sox, his current team. His hitting profile is described as a guy who hits for a modest average and occasional pop.
Check out his career stats below:
Garcia’s 2017 season is shaping out as a career year for him. He is currently batting .337 through 249 at-bats. No one on the St. Louis Cardinals is hitting above .300, so he would be a nice addition in the lineup. He is also on pace to best his home run mark for a season. The most he hit in a single season is thirteen. He currently has ten home runs, and is on pace to hit twenty-four.
He would slot nicely in either the two-hole, clean-up, or fifth position in the lineup. His profile looks more of a two-hole type of player, but seeing as the Cardinals do not have a prototypical third or fourth hitter, Garcia would be stranded on the base paths more often than not.
The counter-argument to hitting him second is the resurgence of Matt Carpenter at the lead-off spot. Carpenter’s continued success at the top of the lineup could be a major factor for hitting Garcia second. This will obviously dispel Dexter Fowler from the top two spots in the order. However, his hitting as of late has been good enough to consider him in the three-hole.
While Garcia has the make-up of a two-hole hitter, he actually has more time as a fifth, sixth, or seventh hitter:
While not a three hitter, Garcia is serviceable in any of the spots in the St. Louis Cardinals lineup. The current lineup needs production out of those spots in the order. should Garcia become a member of the Cardinals, I could see him hitting fifth. This would ultimately slide Yadier Molina down to sixth.
Defensively, Garcia does have his shortcomings, but would represent some improvement in the outfield defense. As a right fielder, Garcia is worth about two DRS (defensive runs saved). If you were to compare him to Stephen Piscotty, Piscotty currently has a DRS of one.
Another defensive stat to look at is UZR (ultimate zone rating). This defensive metric gives us a sense of the kind of glove a player has. A UZR score of zero is an average glove, while a fifteen is gold glove material. Garcia actually sits at -0.6.
Essentially, Garcia is an average defender. The St. Louis Cardinals are plagued with poor defenders, so maybe this is an opportunity to get better. One thing to consider is which corner outfield position Garcia would play in St. Louis.
While he slots as a right fielder, Garcia has logged time in left field as well. It’s very possible the Cardinals could use him in left field. What does that say to current outfielders Tommy Pham and Randal Grichuk? For Pham, it more than likely means a return to the bench. For Grichuk, I’m not too sure. He might actually be a piece in the deal for Garcia.
Outside of offensive and defensive production, Garcia’s contract is also very team friendly. He is on the books for $3 million in 2017. Following this season, Garcia would also have two years of arbitration before he becomes a UFA in 2020. The Cardinals could potentially have him through the prime of his career. If this is any sign of Garcia’s prime, it might be worth the look.
If there is one concern I have about Garcia, it’s if he can sustain his production. While this year has been good, he doesn’t have that many full seasons under his belt. This would just be the third full season he’s played in, and the only time above a .300 BA. He is a good player the St. Louis Cardinals should consider. It could help the team down the stretch.