The Cincinnati Reds signed shortstop Jose Garcia as an international free agent on June 8th. That was right before the signing period ended on June 15th. That put the organization into the penalty phase for the next two signing periods. The team went big in the last open free agency period when it comes to international players. In total they spent over $30M on the class when everything was said and done. Garcia never got into games last season after signing, but did participate in team activities in the Dominican Republic, including instructional league.
On Monday afternoon I was able to get my first in-person look at the soon to be 20-year-old Jose Garcia. It was just one game, and a few at-bats, but I liked what I saw. First, let’s go to the video from the game, and some batting practice before the game.
Quick Thoughts on Jose Garcia
At the plate, there’s a lot to like with Jose Garcia. He’s athletic, his bat is quick, and there’s already a little bit of pop in there. The part that was impressive was the patience he showed in his at-bats. Now, small sample size of one game alert here, but he seemed to have a pretty good idea of the strikezone and didn’t expand his swing zone. Garcia hit the ball hard three times on the day, including in that final clip of the above video that resulted in an extra-base hit. He was also impressive in batting practice earlier in the day.
In the field there wasn’t much happening. He had a few plays, but none that weren’t routine – at least that I saw. I did make my way to other fields a few times during the defensive half-innings for this team, so it’s possible I missed something. While the assignments haven’t been made yet, Jose Garcia was playing with the Dayton team (which at this point doesn’t mean anything). What does mean something, is that most of the other players on the team were the guys you would expect to be in Dayton. That likely suggests that he’s headed there to begin the 2018 season – and technically, his professional career.