The most unlikely big leaguer of 2019, Garcia originally signed with the Indians out of the Dominican Republic in 2010 and got released four years later. He married an Italian woman and spent three years playing in Italy before coming to Arizona with its national team to face instructional league clubs from MLB organizations last fall. The Cubs saw him homer off Reds right-hander Hunter Greene, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2018 Draft, and signed him in October. He raked in Minor League spring training, then in Double-A and Triple-A to earn a call to the Majors, where he homered in two of his first three starts.
A switch-hitter, Garcia has plenty of bat speed and an extremely aggressive approach, a combination that produces exit velocities and strikeout rates worthy of Joey Gallo. Whether his surprising production is sustainable with that all-or-nothing mentality remains to be seen. He has no trouble catching up to velocity but will have to prove he can handle offspeed pitches at the big league level.
Garcia has solid arm strength, though his below-average speed limits his defensive value. He's capable of playing an average third base and is adequate at second base, where he has seen most of his action with Chicago. He has spent time at all four infield positions as well this season.
Statcast - Batting
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2B Robel Garcia assigned to Aguilas Cibaenas.
Chicago Cubs recalled 2B Robel Garcia from Iowa Cubs.
Chicago Cubs optioned 2B Robel Garcia to Iowa Cubs.
Chicago Cubs selected the contract of Robel Garcia from Iowa Cubs.
2B Robel Garcia assigned to Iowa Cubs from Tennessee Smokies.
Tennessee Smokies activated 2B Robel Garcia from the 7-day injured list.
2B Robel Garcia assigned to Tennessee Smokies.
Chicago Cubs signed free agent SS Robel Garcia to a minor league contract.
Mahoning Valley Scrappers released 3B Robel Garcia.
3B Robel Garcia assigned to Cleveland Indians.
3B Robel Garcia assigned to Mahoning Valley Scrappers from Lake County Captains.
Robel Garcia assigned to Lake County Captains from Mahoning Valley Scrappers.
Robel Garcia assigned to Mahoning Valley Scrappers from Lake County Captains.
Robel Garcia assigned to Lake County Captains from AZL Indians.
Robel Garcia assigned to AZL Indians from Cleveland Indians.
Cleveland Indians signed free agent SS Robel Garcia to a minor league contract.