GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Avisail Garcia has a response for those who have criticized him after a disappointing 2015 campaign, for those who believe his numbers after 1,098 career plate appearances are indicative of his future production.That response began with a smile that the White Sox right fielder has featured for
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Avisail Garcia has a response for those who have criticized him after a disappointing 2015 campaign, for those who believe his numbers after 1,098 career plate appearances are indicative of his future production.
That response began with a smile that the White Sox right fielder has featured for most of Spring Training.
"We play a sport like [Cristiano] Ronaldo plays soccer," said Garcia, a big fan of Real Madrid. "He's an All-Star. He's great, and people talk bad about him. So, you have to live with it. People hate you, people like you.
"They are just that. They just talk a lot of [garbage]. You know what I mean? They never go up or they never go down. They always stay the same spot. I don't care what people say. I don't pay attention to anything that people say.
"I play for my team and I play for me, and my team especially," Garcia said. "The most important thing is your team. I care about my team, me and my family. Those are the people who are going to be with you in good and bad situations."
Since working this offseason to change his swing mechanics, the 24-year-old has been brimming with confidence.
His confidence translated into a .353 average with four homers, four doubles and a team-best 16 RBIs in Cactus League action entering Wednesday. Garcia has pulled the ball more and believes the lowering of his hands and change of his head position in the swing are what he needs to turn things around.
"If it wasn't a mechanical problem, I wouldn't be hitting like I'm hitting," said a smiling Garcia. "I feel good. I'm trying to do everything that [White Sox hitting coach] Todd Steverson says. Pay attention and learn."
"When it happens and you can feel it and it's right there and you know that it works, the way it works in your brain and your concentration and your confidence, the sky is the limit," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "We all know he has potential, but when you put it together, it's when it becomes special. Right now his confidence is really at an all-time high since we've had him."
And even when Garcia faces struggles, as every hitter does, he knows what he needs to get back on track.
"Life is a good situation, bad situation," Garcia said. "You have to thank God for everything because we are alive, we can breathe, we can see, we can hear, we are healthy. So why do you want to complain?"
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.