After posting a .789 OPS with a career-high 144 hits, 14 home runs and 23 stolen bases between High- and Double-A in 2011, Avisail Garcia, 21, was promoted to the major leagues at the end of August just in time for the Tigers’ late-season surge.
The 6’4”, 240-pound outfielder ultimately appeared in 23 games over the final month—often as a defensive replacement late in games—and batted .319/.373/.319 with three RBI in 47 at-bats.
More importantly, Garcia’s hot bat carried over into the postseason, as he’s currently batting .286/.318/.333 with four RBI in 10 games. Furthermore, he’s 3-for-4 off the bench as a pinch hitter this October.
Considering his unexpected success, Garcia has seemingly impressed to the point where he’ll at least have a spot on the Opening Day roster as a platoon outfielder. However, after handling himself so well since debuting, and especially in the postseason, he may receive the nod as the team’s everyday right fielder.
But besides Garcia, what other highly regarded rookies are worth following closely in 2013? Here’s my quick take on a few specific players.