A Cuban defector who signed for close to $5 million near the end of the 2016-17 signing period, the Reds challenged and pushed Garcia right away to full-season ball. After a slow start in 2018, he’s been as advertised from their scouting and showing what he can do both offensively and defensively.
Turning 22 as the 2020 season begins, Garcia is already viewed as someone who has a chance to become an everyday Major League shortstop. He has more than enough arm, enough range, above-average athleticism and plenty of agility for a bigger prospect. Garcia isn’t known for taking plays off but has occasionally lost focus on the field. Standing at 6-foot-2, he could eventually add strength and weight from his current 175 pounds to between 200-215 lbs.
Speaking of weight, it was a tough offseason for Garcia, who had an illness from a visit to Cuba and dropped several pounds. He’s been able to put it back on, however, which should give him a solid chance to build on his 2019 season in the Florida State League, when he slashed .280/.343/.426 with eight homers, 55 RBIs and 15 steals over 104 games.
Scouting grades: Hit: 50 | Power: 40 | Run: 60 | Arm: 55 | Field: 55 | Overall: 50
The Reds were thrilled to be able to sign Garcia, an exciting infielder from Cuba, for close to $5 million at the end of the 2016-17 signing period. Then they had to wait 10 months to see him play in real competition, after he hadn't played for quite some time after defecting, challenging him with an assignment to full-season ball. After stumbling out of the gate, fans got to see what the fuss was all about in the second half of 2018.
Despite some concerns of pushing him too hard, Garcia was skipped over rookie ball and sent straight to the Midwest League with Dayton. The Reds were glad that they did. After he struggled at the plate the first three months, Garcia started to figure it out in the second half, hitting for average and showing some power, with five of his six homers for the season. He has shown a balanced set-up at the plate and the ability to send line drives to all fields, though he'll have to continue to refine his overall approach. He did deal with a left shoulder injury as well, but it was not too serious.
Garcia's plus speed and athleticism allows him to have very good range, and he has more than enough arm for the position. He largely played second base for the Cuban junior national team but played a majority of his games at shortstop for Dayton and the reviews have been good. The organization feels he has the makings of a solid Major League shortstop, with a caveat. If he continues to grow into his 6-foot-2 frame, he could outgrow the position and need to be moved.
Scouting grades: Hit: 50 | Power: 40 | Run: 60 | Arm: 55 | Field: 50 | Overall: 45
Imagine splurging on an expensive sports car, but not getting to drive it on the open road for a year. That's kind of where the Reds are with Garcia, the exciting Cuban infielder they signed for close to $5 million right at the end of the 2016-17 international signing period. Needless to say, they're excited to see what he can do in competition.
Garcia is a plus athlete who largely played second base for the Cuban junior national team, but has been getting very good reviews at shortstop by people like Barry Larkin within the organization as they've seen him get work in at the premium position. His plus speed allows him to have very good range and he has more than enough arm for the position. In the past, he has shown a balanced set-up at the plate and the ability to send line drives to all fields. It's still gap power right now, but there should be more as he fills out his 6-foot-2 frame, and he attended the Reds' strength camp over the winter to help.
The Reds have peeked under the hood and really like Garcia's engine. Now it's time to let him loose on Minor League competition and see how fast he can move.
Scouting grades: Hit: 50 | Power: 40 | Run: 60 | Arm: 55 | Field: 50 | Overall: 50
The Reds continued to be at the forefront of aggressive signings of Cuban players when they signed Garcia for close to $5 million in June. Garcia, a past member of the Cuban junior national team, joins shortstop Alfredo Rodriguez and Vladimir Gutierrez as big-ticket Cuban prospects to join the organization as part of the Reds' 2016-17 international signing period spending spree.
A 6-foot-2 middle infielder, Garcia played a lot of second base for the Cuban national team, but the Reds believe he has the goods to stick at shortstop long-term. His plus speed -- the Reds have him with 6.4 and 6.5 times in the 60 -- allows him to cover plenty of ground and while he'll have to break the habit of a lowered arm slot and flips to first, he has shown more than enough arm for the left side of the infield. At the plate, he has a balanced set-up and makes hard contact to all fields. Garcia will battle through at-bats with an advanced approach at the plate and mostly shows gap power right now, but his athletic 6-foot-3 frame looks like it should add strength. With that should come at least some over-the-fence pop.
Garcia will spend the rest of this season in the Dominican Republic. He should join his fellow countryman in the United States for instructs in the fall and will make his official U.S. debut in 2018.