Age: 21 yr, Weight: 175 lbs, Height: 6-2
Current Level: A+, ETA: 2021
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One of the most underrated prospects in all of baseball who’s primed for a huge 2020.
If you follow me on twitter, you definitely already know how much I love Jose Garcia. When Garcia signed for $5 million in 2017, he was viewed as a plus athlete with the potential to be a great defender at shortstop who could also spray line drives to all parts of the field. Two years later, all of that still applies to Garcia, but he’s evolved into so much more. Part of that is that the FSL suppressed his production versus the actual gains he’s made.
First off, he’s absolutely a plus athlete. He’s been a 60 runner since he signed, and has always had great range at shortstop. One improvement that I saw from Garcia this year is that he became much more adept at using that speed on the bases, as his stolen base success rate went from 59.1 percent (13 of 22) in 2018 to 88.2 percent in 2019. This speed also comes in handy at shortstop, where his plus-plus arm and smooth hands give him the potential to be an elite defender. Some have said that they can see Garcia losing a step as he fills out, but Garcia did quite a bit of filling out this year and he hasn’t lost that step yet. Despite being listed at 6-foot-2, 175 pounds, Garcia is likely closer to 6-foot-4 200 pounds. He’s put in significant work to add muscle this year, and he now looks more like a major league third baseman than a 21-year-old shortstop prospect.
His added muscle has contributed to a significant increase in power, as he added 21feet to his average flyball distance. Of players who had at least 50 FB% at High-A, Garcia’s average flyball distance ranked 19th, and out of the players ahead of him, only MJ Melendez, Mason Martin, Sherten Apostel, Julio Rodriguez, and Triston Casas were younger. The common denominator amongst these prospects is that they all have plus raw power, yet Garcia never gets graded anywhere near that. Obviously I don’t think Garcia has the same raw power as Julio Rodriguez, but I would give it at least average raw, with the potential for a bit more.
Garcia has completely revamped his swing this year, adding a big leg kick that creates Josh Donaldson level leg extension and separation, and a swing geared for more loft and power. He’s not an extreme flyball hitter, but he hits enough and he pulls a very high percentage of those flyballs, so I can see Garcia being 25+ HR hitter, especially in Great American Ballpark.
Even when compared to the top shortstop prospects in the game, there are very few that can match Garcia’s combination of offensive and defensive potential.