Since coming over from Cuba in 2012, outfielder Adonis Garcia‘s minor league numbers have been pretty lack-luster. In 110 games spread across an assortment of minor league levels, the soon-to-be 29-year-old hit just .261/.301/.395. Numbers like that certainly don’t scream “big league ready,” yet Garcia managed to stick with the big league club through the entirety of spring training, outlasting players like Austin Romine, J.R. Murphy, Scott Sizemore, and even fellow outfielder Zoilo Almonte.
Of course, it could just be that the Yankees kept him around to act as a warm body late in spring. Although, they didn’t appear to have much need for a warm-body outfielder. Jacoby Ellsbury, Carlos Beltran, Brett Gardner, Alfonso Soriano, and Ichiro Suzuki were all locks to make the team, while Almonte and Antoan Richardson figure to be possible callups should a need arise. To me, the fact that he stuck around so long means the Yankees really wanted to get some extra looks at Garcia, who’s hit a torrid .419/.438/.516 this spring.
Although he’s nearly 30, we still don’t really know what Garcia is yet. He has less than 500 PA’s to his name and many of them were likely hampered by injury. It’s not out of the question that he’s much better than his unimpressive minor league numbers suggest. After breaking his hand in last year’s Spring Training, Garcia was limited to just 50 games with Triple-A Scranton, where he hit an unimpressive .256/.312/.357. One thing that really stood out in those games was his 9.7% strikeout rate. Clearly, this is a guy who can at least put the ball in play, and now that his hand injury is behind him, maybe he’ll start hitting for some power as well.
We shouldn’t look too deeply into anything that happens in spring training, but the Yankees seem to like what they’ve seen from Garcia and seem to think he’s more than just minor league fodder. Garcia will be one to watch in Scranton this year and it wouldn’t surprise me if he found his way onto the big league roster at some point in 2014.