By Manny Randhawa / MLB.com
When the White Sox non-tendered right fielder Avisail Garcia on Friday, it brought an end to a six-year union that began with many calling the prospect “Mini Miggy” because of how similar his swing was to superstar Miguel Cabrera. And it was fitting, given that the White Sox acquired Garcia from the Tigers in 2013 as part of the three-team trade that sent Jake Peavy to Boston.
It took five seasons for Garcia to demonstrate the type of ability that earned him that nickname, but in ’17, he hit .330/.380/.506 with 18 home runs in 136 games. He made his first All-Star team, and for a time, it looked as though he had finally begun to fulfill his potential. But then came last season, in which knee and hamstring injuries limited him to 93 games. His production took a steep decline, as he finished the season with a .236/.281/.438 slash line, albeit with a career-high 19 homers.
“I had been feeling something, something, something [in my knee] and then I started feeling my hammy, because I think I was [favoring it],” Garcia said in September. “Especially because it’s my right knee, and that’s where all my power is.”
The White Sox have one of the best farm systems in baseball, and many of Chicago’s top prospects are outfielders who will soon be knocking on the door to the Majors. Chief among them is Eloy Jimenez, the No. 3 prospect in baseball per MLB Pipeline. So the organization decided it was time to move on from Garcia. But while the White Sox don’t have a place for him, he could prove to have plenty of upside elsewhere if he stays healthy.