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updated: 8/15/2013 12:21 AM

White Sox believe Garcia's a keeper

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  • Avisail Garcia, recently acquired from the Tigers in the three-team Jake Peavy trade, is off to a promising start for the White Sox.

    Avisail Garcia, recently acquired from the Tigers in the three-team Jake Peavy trade, is off to a promising start for the White Sox.
    Associated Press

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So, what do we know about White Sox newcomer Avisail Garcia?

He has a Mohawk haircut, and Garcia wears it pretty well.

His first name, which is never going to roll off the tongue, is pronounced ah-VEE-sah-eel.

He is fast, really fast, even at 6-feet-4, 240 pounds.

Garcia's only played in six games (5 starts) with the Sox since arriving from Class AAA Charlotte on Friday after coming over from the Tigers in a three-way trade that sent Jake Peavy to the Red Sox.

More time is needed before Garcia can be accurately judged, but he is off to a promising start for the White Sox.

"I think we're going to enjoy watching this kid over the course of his career," said White Sox executive vice president Kenny Williams. "I'm excited to see him. He's going to be a guy that people will actually say, 'Let's go out and see this kid.' He can do a lot of things, and he seems to play and have fun. A lot of guys will go out and can do a lot of things he can do, but they don't have that flair and fun about them, and that hustle.

"I like the way he runs balls out and rounds bases. That's who we are. We've got to get back to that grind."

Garcia started his fourth straight game in right field in Wednesday afternoon's 6-4 loss to the Tigers at U.S. Cellular Field. In his first start for the Sox, last Saturday against the Twins, the 22-year-old Garcia played center.

"Probably right now we'll just leave him there (right field)," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "With the other guys we have, Jordan (Danks) and (Blake) Tekotte and (Alejandro) De Aza, we have enough guys who can play center so let him be comfortable there right now. If we need to he can go out there (center field). It's not something we're shying away from."

Garcia has already shown the Sox he has a rifle throwing arm, and that's an important skill when you're playing right field.

Offensively, he's batting .273 (6-for-22) with a triple and 3 RBI.

As he gets older and stronger, Garcia should hit between 25 and 30 home runs a season.

For now, he's using his above-average speed to leg out infield hits, and Garcia whizzed around the bases on a triple to right field Tuesday night.

"Last year he did that a couple times, and it does surprise you," Ventura said of Garcia when he was playing for Detroit in 2012. "The first time last year we saw him, there was a groundball where he got down the line. You take notice just because of how big he is and he can run that fast."

The Sox can't wait to see Garcia develop into a power hitter who can run, and Ventura offered up Raul Mondesi as a comparable player.

"There are a handful of guys around, but not a whole lot, who are as big as he is, as strong as he is, have the ability to stay inside the baseball, drive the ball up the middle and stay within his swing, as well as go out there on defense," Williams said of Garcia. "He's an exciting player."

Off the field, Garcia has been decidedly low key.

He's still a kid, and he's trying to adapt to a new team and a new city.

Garcia is soft spoken, and he speaks English to the media. As a precaution, Garcia likes having a Spanish interpreter next too him in case he doesn't understand a question or knows how to articulate an answer.

"I feel very good," Garcia said. "I'm just trying to do my job, play hard and do something good for my team. I'm trying to win games."

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