Hahn discusses Garcia's future with White Sox
Club continues to express confidence in young right fielder
CHICAGO -- Two schools of thought exist in judging Avisail Garcia's uneven 2015 campaign in the context of his overall development.
On the positive side Garcia, at just 24, is completing his first full season in the Majors. Although he fought his way back from surgery to repair a torn labrum and an avulsion fracture in his left shoulder, he still missed most of an important 2014 season.
On the other hand, Garcia needs to work on his plate discipline. It's a point hitting coach Todd Steverson has hammered home to the right fielder for much of this season.
"He has to be, from a simple standpoint, he has to be more selective or aggressive in the strike zone," said White Sox general manager Rick Hahn of Garcia. "It's about his plate discipline, to an extent. From a defensive standpoint, we want to make sure he's in the right physical condition to maximize those tools."
Garcia showed the ability to make spectacular catches this season -- just ask Chris Davis and Didi Gregorious for references. He also had 17 outfield assists, but the team needs to see better routes, and as Hahn indirectly alluded to, greater agility from the right fielder.
Most of these improvements fall under the learning curve category according to Garcia, who already has made adjustments with his body position during swings.
"I've got to be more consistent and I know I've got to have a routine," said Garcia, who has hit .256 with 13 homers, 59 RBIs and a .674 OPS. "I know this year I could have had more RBIs, but you learn from that.
"You got to learn from what you did this season and what you're going to get better for next season if you have the opportunity to be here. I'm just going to do my best and in the offseason, work hard every day to be 100 percent in my game. Know the situation we're facing in the game."
Trayce Thompson's impressive arrival gives the White Sox outfield situation another viable alternative. But the team has not given up on Garcia.
"Confidence is still there in Avi very much," Hahn said. "This is his first full year in the big leagues, he's still 24 years old and he's still a developing player. We knew that. Going back to some strengths of some of this coaching staff is the ability to help players at the big league level, and a lot of instances this year on the fly.
"Avi is nowhere near the player we foresee him being. But you see flashes of it, you know the talent is there, and age is very much on his side. That's a player that has specifically been given a plan about what we're expecting from him going forward, and a roadmap to get there. Now it's going to be incumbent on him to follow that roadmap."