The Cincinnati Reds went big in June of 2017 to sign Jose Garcia as their final big signing of the 2016-2017 international signing period. His signing capped off a signing period where the team spent nearly $30M, nearly all of it going to a trio of Cuban born players – including Garcia. He didn’t make his debut until 2018, and while he improved as the season went along, he struggled most of the year at the plate with the Dayton Dragons.
When the 2019 season began, Jose Garcia was still back in Goodyear recovering from an injury. He would show up in Daytona to join the Advanced-A Tortugas for the final week of April. After missing the start of the season he got out to a nice start, hitting .300 with three walks in the final five games of the month for Daytona.
That start didn’t quite carry over to May. In the first 11 games of the month the Tortugas shortstop hit just .200, going 9-45 with five extra-base hits. Over the next two weeks, though, he’d pick things up quite a bit. Garcia went 18-61 (.295) with eight extra-base hits and an .871 OPS. The final three games of the month did see him go into a mini-slump, going just 1-13. For the month he hit just .235/.298/.403 with 13 extra-base hits, six walks, and he struck out 25 times in 131 plate appearances.
The slump didn’t continue into June. Over the first seven games, Jose Garcia went 9-28 (.321) with five more doubles. He would then miss nearly a week heading into the All-Star break. After not playing for nine days he returned to the lineup on the 17th and slumped over the next week, hitting just .174. The shortstop would finish out June with a strong run, though, hitting two home runs in the final six games and posting a .929 OPS. Over the span of the 20 games in the month he would hit .267/.321/.440 with nine extra-base hits, six walks, and 27 strikeouts.
After going 1-3 with a walk and a double in the first game of July, Jose Garcia went 0-8 in the next two games. But over the next two weeks he got the bat going again, going 14-48 (.292) with seven doubles. Things did slow down in the final week-and-a-half of the month, though, as the Cuban-born infielder went just 7-33. The inconsistent month wound up being his worst of the season, hitting just .239/.321/.348 with seven walks, 10 doubles, and 18 strikeouts in 106 plate appearances.
When the calendar flipped to August the bat got red hot for Jose Garcia. He ran off a 10-game hitting streak to start the month, going 14-39 (.359) with just five strikeouts. After the hitting streak ended with an 0-4 effort against Charlotte on the 13th, he went on another tear. Garcia had hits in 12 of the final 14 games of the season, hitting .418 and slugging .691 where he struck out just four times while hitting six doubles and three homers. It would be the best month of the season for the shortstop, hitting .378/.426/.571 in 108 plate appearances with three walks and 10 strikeouts.
For all 2019 Season Reviews and Scouting Reports – click here (these will come out during the week throughout the offseason).
Jose Garcia Spray Chart
Jose Garcia Scouting Report
Position: SS | B/T: R/R
Height: 6′ 2″ | Weight: 175 lb | Acquired: International FA 2017
Born: April 5, 1998
Hitting | He’s got a slightly above-average hit tool.
Power | He has slightly above-average power.
Running | Garcia shows above-average speed.
Defense | He’s a plus defender.
Arm | He has a plus-plus arm.
Despite missing nearly the entire first month of the season, Jose Garcia led the league with 37 doubles. With the Florida State League being the toughest league in the minors to hit in, the .280/.343/.436 line was 31% better than the league average.
Across the board, the tools for Jose Garcia are at least slightly above-average, at least in raw form. But defensively he sticks out right now. He shows good range at shortstop with outstanding hands and a big arm with a quick release. There’s no questions about his ability to remain at shortstop long term.
At the plate the 2019 season was a bit of a break out. In spring training of 2018 it was clear to myself, as well as other observers, the Jose Garcia was the best player on the field in his time in Goodyear. But when the regular season began he simply struggled at the plate. You could see all of the pieces in action, but his plate approach needed refinement. That came in 2019 as he upped his walk rate and cut down on his strikeout rate. That helped lead to more power, too.
There’s still some work-in-progress going on at the plate for Jose Garcia. He’s got the chance to hit 20 home runs down the line if he fully develops, and should continue to hit plenty of doubles, too. His approach is a little bit pull-happy, but that’s not always a problem. Most of his power, like many hitters, is to the pull-side. The pitch recognition/approach will be something to keep an eye on as he makes the jump to the Double-A level in 2020, but the strides he took in that area in 2019 seemed real.
Longest Home Run of the Year
415 Feet on May 20th.
Interesting Stat on Jose Garcia
He hit .277/.351/.453 against right-handed pitchers in 2019. But he only hit .291/.311/.372 against lefties in 2019. The big difference was the lack of power and just two walks in 90 plate appearances against lefties.
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