But wait, the once top prospect has put together a fantastic start to the 2017 campaign to go along with the supreme exit velocity everyone points to when trying to convince others to “give him one more chance.” I’m here to tell you that his 1.007 OPS is going to crash and burn faster than the Hindenburg :).
Yes the numbers are good, but going off trends and historical data we can see that this performance is nothing more than a hot streak that will cool off before the weather heats up. Garcia’s BABIP is an absurd .465, a rate that not even Mike Trout or Miguel Cabrera can sniff in their best years. So knowing he can’t maintain that luck all season, he would need to be striking out at a lower rate and maybe even walking at a higher rate to make me believe he’s worth a damn.
He’s not. He’s striking out every 4.25 plate appearances which is better than last year’s 3.94 but right on par with his 4.21 average over the duration of his career. Perhaps the one saving grace is that he’s walking more often, reducing the time between walks by about three plate appearances against his career average.
The most damning thing to his perceived success is the fact that he’s not hitting more fly balls. He’s at an even 1.00 ground ball to fly ball ratio, again near his career average, while the better hitters in the game routinely hit more balls in the air than on the ground. While it’s a small sample size, we can hypothesize that any of the “swing adjustment” news that came out of White Sox camp is a crock of shit.
In reality this is a perfect scenario for the White Sox. If they recognize that this is all probably smoke and mirrors maybe they can find a sucker to trade for Garcia and help their rebuild take another step. As long as they hang on to Cy Young candidate James Shields, the rebuild might not take as long as expected.