García rounds out HR Derby field with Texas-sized power

July 5th, 2023

ARLINGTON -- After he was announced as an American League All-Star reserve on Sunday, Rangers outfielder joked that he could definitely beat his good friend Randy Arozarena in the Home Run Derby if he was participating alongside him.

Luckily, he’ll now get a chance to prove it.

On Wednesday, it was announced on the T-Mobile Home Run Derby Bracket Show on ESPN that García accepted an invitation to participate in the event for the first time in his career. García will be the No. 4 seed, setting him up for a first-round showdown with none other than his buddy Arozarena (No. 5 seed).

García’s addition completes the star-studded field as he joins Arozarena and two-time champion Pete Alonso, along with Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Julio Rodríguez, Mookie Betts, Adley Rutschman and Luis Robert Jr. The 2023 T-Mobile Home Run Derby is set to take place at T-Mobile Park in Seattle on Monday at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN.

This is the third straight year that Texas has had a Derby participant -- Joey Gallo in 2021 and Corey Seager in ‘22 -- but García is looking to become just the third Ranger to win the event after Rubén Sierra in 1989 and Juan González in '93.

Now a two-time All-Star, García leads the Rangers with 21 home runs and his 69 RBIs are the most in the Majors. His .258/.326/.505 slash line has been one of the driving forces behind the Rangers’ high-powered offense.

García has had a long journey to becoming one of the Rangers’ biggest stars on the franchise’s most successful team in a decade. The Cardinals designated the then-26-year-old outfielder for assignment in December 2019 and Texas acquired him for cash considerations shortly thereafter. He played just three games for the club during the COVID-shortened ‘20 season and was then DFA’d again that winter, staying in the Rangers’ Minor League system.

In 2021, he finally broke into the Rangers lineup, earning his first All-Star nod and finishing fourth in the AL Rookie of the Year voting, becoming a centerpiece of the club as it came out the other side of its multi-year rebuild.

“It’s been an incredible journey for me, with everything I’ve gone through,” García said through interpreter Raul Cardenas. “It’s also been an incredible experience for me to be able to make it to the All-Star Game multiple times now, and I’m very grateful for that.”