I figured what better for a weekend double shot than a dual Luis Garcia post. Why you ask am I so enamored with the name Luis Garcia? Particularly when this unholy example of Garcia walks amongst us. This version of the Phillies Luis Garcia is a toolsy shortstop who made his stateside debut this summer in the GCL. Signed out of the Dominican Republic for $2.5 million during the July 2017 signing period. A top ten player in the class, he was, much like the Nationals Luis Garcia, a player heavily praised for his defensive prowess with a split camp on the quality of his hitting. We got some looks at Luis Garcia this summer in Florida. While it’s nowhere near enough information to determine his future value, it was a glimpse of an exciting player to come. Let’s dig in a little deeper…
Defense is far more important to fantasy value than many of us would like to admit. Particularly when it comes to young players in the lower minors. The glove can carry a profile, and when paired with at least average hitting can help avoid potential roadblocks along the way. Everything we’ve seen, heard, and read about the switch-hitting shortstop fits the latter description. A strong fielder, with advanced hitting for a 17 year old. It’s tough to truly project out future MLB power or speed totals for players at this age. Growth happens rapidly, adjustments, and challenges from each level are all part of the process. What often does standout is hitting. Bat speed, barrel control, plate coverage, discipline, and approach. In the lowest levels this is often what separates the elite from the rest. With a slashline of .369/.433/.488, a 8% Bb% to an 11.2% K%, and a wRC+ of 162, Garcia certainly separated himself.
My colleague, co-owner of Prospectslive.com, and constant source of top notch info Jason Woodell caught Garcia down in Florida his summer and here’s what he had to say.
#Phillies 17 year old SS Luis Garcia. Switch hitter.
15 BB/21 K in 165 AB
Loose, athletic. Plus defender, will stick at SS. Mature approach at the plate for age,LD hitter with present gap power. Power could project with growth. Plus bat speed.
Dynasty must add pic.twitter.com/w68GLBmzdo
— Prospects Live (@ProspectsLive) August 24, 2018
Jason is right, in deeper dynasty leagues this is definitely a player we should all be targeting this offseason. As you can see in the swing it’s geared toward line-drives at the moment, but displays quick hands, strong wrists, and lots of top spin on balls he puts in play. His swing, from most reports, is better from the left side than the right but the above looks good to me. While no burner, Garcia is an above-average runner, and has shown the ability to steal some bases, and make an impact on the bathpaths. The combination of his switch-hitting contact profile, and speed, make him a future leadoff candidate.
— Jason Woodell (@JasonAtTheGame) April 14, 2018
2019 should see a full season assignment for the Phillies farmhand. Likely to be assigned to Low-A Hagerstown of the South Atlantic League. I wouldn’t be shocked to see Garcia struggle out the gate getting acclimated to the cooler temps early in the season and the grind of the full season, but I’d be shocked if it takes him more than a couple of months to get settled. The opportunity for a big value jump is setup nicely. Be a shrewd manager and take advantage of that now.
Conclusion: Garcia was well outside the Top 100 at mid-season, but could easily find himself within that company by early to mid 2019. Go git’em!