Breaking News Bar
posted: 9/28/2017 1:00 AM

Breakout season bodes well for Garcia's future with Chicago White Sox

hello
Success - Article sent! close
  • Chicago White Sox's Avisail Garcia, center, celebrates with teammates after his two-run home run against the Kansas City Royals during the first inning of a baseball game in Chicago on Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017.

    Chicago White Sox's Avisail Garcia, center, celebrates with teammates after his two-run home run against the Kansas City Royals during the first inning of a baseball game in Chicago on Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017.

 
 

Top prospects Yoan Moncada, Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez have already joined the Chicago White Sox, and many more are on the way in 2018 and beyond.

The higher the expectations, the more disappointing the failures, but that is all a part of the rebuilding process.

When Moncada was going bad in August, and when players such as Eloy Jimenez, Zack Collins and Luis Robert hit inevitable rough patches in the future, Sox general manager Rick Hahn can turn to Avisail Garcia as a survival example.

"It's a very good example," Hahn said. "It's also an example of a kid, in Avi's case, who had gotten here very quickly and who had very high expectations once he got to Chicago and who unfortunately did go through a period of failure and needed to get to a point where he was open to making certain changes to his approach, both with the way he conditioned himself off the field, with how he approached each and every at-bat, and ultimately the people who had a lot of faith in him are being rewarded. The kid deserves a world of credit."

A .257 hitter for the White Sox from 2013-16, Garcia didn't seem to be a future fit heading into this season. That outlook has changed.

With four games left on the schedule, Garcia ranks second in the American League with a .329 batting average. The 26-year-old right fielder also has established career highs with 18 home runs and 80 RBI and was the Sox's lone all-star this year.

Garcia played winter ball in his native Venezuela after the 2016 season, and he also shed almost 20 pounds.

"I'm grateful that God give me the opportunity to be who I am now," Garcia said. "I'm just thankful. I've got to keep the same routine, the same everything, and work hard every day, every year, every month so I can bring the best for my team."

Now carrying 225 pounds on his 6-foot-4 frame, Garcia is big and strong enough to hit even more home runs, but that's not a priority.

"I'm just trying to make it simple, see the ball and not do too much," he said. "I have power, but when I try to do too much that's when I start missing the baseball. I'm just trying to keep it simple and see the ball and hit the ball."

Delmonico wins it:

Nicky Delmonico is going to remember two things from this season.

First, getting the call from Class AAA Charlotte and making his major-league debut on Aug. 1.

Second, hitting a 2-run homer in the 10th inning Wednesday night to lift the White Sox to a 6-4 win over the Angels at Guaranteed Rate Field.

"To be able to do that is something you dream about in the backyard," Delmonico said.

As a junior at Farragut High School in Knoxville, Tennessee, Delmonico hit a game-winning homer in the state championship game.

"It kind of felt something similar," Delmonico said of Wednesday's blast. "Same pitch, too. It brought back memories."

With the loss, the Angels (78-80) were eliminated from the playoffs and the Twins (83-75) clinched the final AL wild-card spot.

Rookie right-hander Reynaldo Lopez made his final start of the season Wednesday night, and the 23-year-old righty allowed 4 runs on 5 hits and 2 walks in 6 innings.

Get articles sent to your inbox.

Article Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.