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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29 Responses

  1. Jim t

    Jose is certainly one to watch going forward. If he takes another step forward in his development at AA he can fill s huge need for the reds in 2021.

    • Dawson

      Agreed. I really like the progress he has made. He just might be the SS of the future for the Reds. I don’t want to say, “skies the limit with him,” but there seems to be a lot of potential there.

  2. DocRed

    He is the one hitter I would not include in a trade at this time.

  3. kyblu50

    Who Would You Like the Reds To Sign …. in a series of minor-league signings How about our old friend Woods …. who needs to build back a following. How about a shortstop that can play centerfield ?

    Who would you like to see ?

  4. Oldtimer

    Garcia 2020. Leo Cardenas (Happy 81st Birthday yesterday) 1960.

    Garcia 2021 splitting SS with Galvis. Cardenas 1961 sharing SS with Kasko.

    Garcia 2022 starting SS. Cardenas 1962 starting SS.

    History repeats (?) 60 years later. Both from Cuba.

  5. GAffer

    I think Garcia is a make a break prospect for this reds farm system. If Greene is a quality MLB starter that is great but expected of a top 2 pick. Same goes for Senzel. Garcia being a borderline all star would be a HuGE win for this team. It would also save them a ton of money they can use on paying their pitching.

    • KyWilson1

      I dont see him as a make or break prospect, as one player will never break an entire organization, but…. i do feel like he is the most important player in the system with the impact he could have at a premium position.

  6. My Beloved Reds

    I think the progress he made in 2019 is a big reason the Reds FO is hesitant to go sign a SS to a multi year deal. He could arrive as a starter in 2021.

  7. Wes

    Be really tough for reds to part w any of their top 4 prospects as they are all playing a major position of need for reds moving forward. If reds top 4 prospects pan out the window can stay open for this franchise.

    • Gaffer

      Agree but so was trammel.

      The other thing is we don’t need to trade anyone. Either sign another free agent or take on a bad salary.

      • wes

        Baseball more and more is a becoming a homerun fest and Trammell projected as an average to below average power for a left fielder. He was surely more expendable than starting pitchers, catchers and short stops. That being said- return was a little low for him.

  8. DaveCT

    The one thing I hope is that we don’t rush Garcia, or let expectations run away. He’s going to need time to develop. The Rays use a very patient approach with their prospects — it seemed like forever for their SS Willy Adams to arrive but he was ready when he did. And it’s a pretty big jump coming from Cuba enough as it is. Which, by the way, is another reason to sign Iglesias, so he can mentor both Garcia as well as AlfRod

  9. jon

    Considering all the top 10 draft picks its scary how weak the reds farm system is.

    • MBS

      Senzel is in the MLB
      Greene is, was injured
      India is progressing (slowly)
      Lodolo is yet to be seen

      I’d guess 3 of those guys will be big time contributors for the Reds

    • Big Ed

      Jose Garcia is a gem, so this is a strange place to air this particular lament. Garcia in August slashed .378/.426/.571, with 7 stolen bases, all as a 21-year-old in a very pitcher-friendly league.

    • Doug Gray

      Which Top 10 draft pick is disappointing? Nick Senzel, Hunter Greene, Jonathan India, or Nick Lodolo?

      • jon

        senzel has done nothing so far for a #2 pick. Greene has been hurt. India? Its been stated a lot the reds are trying to trade him. Lodolo has been good so far. So in your eyes the other 3 have not been disappointing? Top 5 picks.

      • Jim t

        Senzel has battled injuries and illness. He has been moved position wise at least 3 times. His play in CF last year for a guy who had never played there was very good. To say he’s done nothing is a lot less then accurate. My thought, I’d leave him alone let him build on the experience he gained last year and I think he will reward our patience.

      • RojoBenjy


        Didn’t you know that all top 10 picks should be good like Mike Trout and Gerrit Cole?

        Because draft pick order is a perfect predictor of MLB success.

        Isn’t it, jon?

      • RedsKoolAidDrinker

        And how about top 11 picks? Tyler Stephenson hasn’t been too shabby. Conveniently Jon didn’t want to do a tip 11 or 12

      • Oldtimer

        Senzel had a rookie year comparable (not identical) to NL ROY in 1963.

  10. Bill

    Should the Reds target Chance Adams (recently DFA by the Yankees)?

  11. Jim t

    While like many I think the reds need to improve offensively. I’d like to point out are regression last year was also in part to Scooter being injured and never being able to get untracked and produce as he had in the past. We now have replaced his output with Moose. In my mind this will take more pressure off Joey and allow him to continue to be a OBP machine rather then providing more power. I think the game may be a bit easier for Joey this year with this addition. I also expect Winker and Senzel to move forward production wise as many young players do with experience. Hoping they stay healthy.

    • Oldtimer

      In the decade of 2010s, Joey Votto led NL in OBP for 7 of the 10 seasons. The only other two MLB players to do that are Ted Williams and Rogers Hornsby. Pretty good company.

      • Oldtimer

        (Clipped from MLB All-Decade Team article) 2nd Team — Joey Votto (CIN) Votto started the decade by winning the 2010 NL MVP Award, and the Reds cornerstone led his league in on-base percentage seven of the 10 years — one of three hitters to ever do so, along with Hall of Famers Ted Williams (1940s) and Rogers Hornsby (1920s).