In what is supposed to be a “rebuilding” year for the Chicago White Sox, it hasn’t exactly been that way. Currently the Sox are in the midst of a four-way tie for second place in the American League Central Division with the Minnesota Twins, Cleveland Indians, and the Kansas City Royals. All four teams sport a record of 7-7, trailing the division leading Detroit Tigers (8-6) by just one game. Many expected the White Sox to be a lot less competitive but so far they’ve played their hearts out.
One major reason why they’ve been so competitive is because of outfielder Avisail Garcia. The 25-year-old Venezuelan has had an up down career in a White Sox uniform since being traded from Detroit back in 2013. He’s been the subject of many trade rumors over the years, and even more so this year, and there have been times where Sox fans have demanded that the front office cut him loose. Perhaps that has motivated him as he’s putting up some of the best numbers of his career at the moment.
As of Thursday Garcia leads his team in batting average (.423), on-base percentage (.483), ranks third in slugging percentage (.654), and is second on the team in OPS (1.137). He also leads the team in hits (22), is tied for the lead in home runs with Matt Davidson and Geovany Soto (3), Garcia is also atop the team leader board in runs batted in (13), runs scored (9), and total bases (34). In the last four games alone Garcia has gone 6-for-14 with two home runs and five RBI’s. The Sox went 2-2 during that stretch.
“I haven’t seen Garcia like this. This is pretty impressive. Really impressive. Every single at-bat he’s had a really good at-bat. Without talking to him or asking him what he’s doing, because you let him keep going, it just seems like he’s seeing the ball really well and he’s on what they’re throwing,” said infielder Tyler Saladino in an interview with CSN Chicago after the White Sox defeated the New York Yankees on Tuesday.
Whether or not Garcia is trying to impress potential trade suitors is unclear. But what everyone can see in plain sight is that Garcia has become a prime example of manager Rick Renteria’s promise that the White Sox will give the effort to win this season despite the front office’s future plans. How Garcia’s performance will effect those plans down the line remains to be seen, but for now White Sox fans are happy to see their team putting up a fight.