Chicago White Sox: Avisail Garcia’s long-awaited season of success has finally arrived

(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images) /

Chicago White Sox right fielder Avisail Garcia has finally put up the offensive numbers the organization had hoped to see for years.

Back in 2013, the Chicago White Sox, Boston Red Sox and Detroit Tigers pulled off a three-team trade in which the White Sox acquired Avisail Garcia. The young outfielder had been described by many as a five-tool player, which obviously only heightened the South Siders’ interest in him.

Drawing comparisons to Miguel Cabrera and garnering the nickname “mini Miggy” was certainly enough to add pressure to a player who already had high expectations, both of himself and from the White Sox organization.

And Garcia’s first 42 games with the White Sox in 2013 went great – five home runs, 21 RBIs and a batting average of .304.

But the young right fielder ran into some difficulties in the following seasons.

In 2014, his development was cut short when he suffered a frightening shoulder injury, forcing him to miss a massive portion of the season. He finished 2014 with a .244 batting average in only 46 games played while hitting seven home runs and knocking in 29 RBIs.

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Unfortunately, the problems only continued, as the next two seasons weren’t kind to Garcia either.

He backed up his injury-ridden 2014 campaign with 13 home runs, 59 RBIs and a batting average of .257 in 148 games during the 2015 season. Even more disappointing was the fact that he struck out 141 times compared to just 36 walks. But he got the benefit of the doubt due to the fact that he missed a huge chunk of games in 2014, thereby missing the opportunity to grow into the player for which the organization had aspired.

But more disappointment followed and nagged Garcia in the 2016 season. A vast majority of fans grew tired of him as he finished the season with 12 home runs, 51 RBIs and a batting average of .245 in 120 games. Much like the previous season, he had high strikeout numbers compared to few walks–115 strikeouts and 34 walks.

The wait pays off

Since the outlook of the organization changed preceding the 2017 season (rebuild), the White Sox maintained little risk in starting him in right field, and their expectations for him most likely weren’t as high like in previous seasons.

But in a rebuilding season that has seen many low, dull moments, Garcia, to this point, has finally grown into the player he and the organization had expected right from the beginning.

Prior to Wednesday night’s game against the Houston Astros on September 20, Garcia has a batting average of .333 with 17 home runs and 77 RBIs. Despite his strikeouts still filtering at a large number (103), he has looked like a completely different player in the 125 games he’s played in.

Next: White Sox young players finishing strong

The player that we’re seeing right now is who the organization traded for back in 2013. Many fans have been waiting all season for a disappointing reduction in his numbers.

But that hasn’t happened. Garcia looks like a new, re-energized player, and that could spark some difficult decisions for the Chicago White Sox in the near future.

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