Chicago White Sox: What Did They Get in Avisail Garcia?

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Chicago White Sox:  What Did They Get in Avisail Garcia?
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By now the struggles of the Chicago White Sox have been well documented.

They are a team in need of change—and in a big way.

As the July 31 trade deadline approached, many thought they would be one of the biggest players in the trade market, but that wasn't really the case.

General manager Rick Hahn decided to take a more careful approach instead of just dumping guys like many expected.

The White Sox did trade away veteran reliever Matt Thornton to the Boston Red Sox for a solid prospect in outfielder Brandon Jacobs, who has looked better than expected since joining the organization at Double-A Birmingham. Jacobs still needs polishing before he can contribute at the big league level.

Then came the deal that sent another veteran reliever and 2013 All-Star, Jesse Crain, to the Tampa Bay Rays.

The White Sox actually don't even know yet what they are getting in return for Crain, as he was moved for the proverbial "players to be named later" or "cash considerations."

Finally, just before the deadline, there came a move that got White Sox fans a little more excited.

In a three-team deal that sent veteran pitcher Jake Peavy to the Red Sox, the White Sox acquired prized outfielder Avisail Garcia from the Detroit Tigers.

At the time, Garcia was the No. 2 prospect in the Tigers organization, and he is a guy who White Sox brass feels should make an impact in the near future.

How quickly that will be is the current debate, but there's no doubt he will get his shot soon.

Hahn is excited about the acquisition, saying, "Garcia is a very young, five-tool player who already has spent time in the major leagues. Our scouts are extremely optimistic about his future and view him as a potential impact talent for many years to come."

Prior to joining the White Sox, Garcia was hitting .374 with five home runs and 23 RBI in 33 games for Detroit's Triple-A affiliate in Toledo.

And since coming to the Sox, he is hitting a meager .417 with one home run and nine RBI in 22 at-bats with Triple-A Charlotte.

Based on those numbers, it appears that Garcia may be ready to come back to the major league level, where he has played in 53 games and posted a .269 average with two home runs and 13 RBI in 130 at-bats over the past two seasons with Detroit.

Garcia is no doubt a highly touted prospect and was praised by many of his former teammates in Detroit, including Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera, who took Garcia under his wing over the past couple of seasons and formed a relationship with the young slugger.

Garcia was often compared to Cabrera during his time in Detroit, even to the point where he earned the moniker "mini-Miggy."

Whether that's a fair assessment remains to be seen, but that's pretty high praise and certainly a lot to live up to for the 22-year-old Garcia.

He certainly looks a lot like Cabrera, but the more important thing is, can he hit like him?

My initial response would be no, because not many people can hit like Cabrera.

However, that doesn't mean that he can't be a productive player and possibly an All-Star.

Another former teammate in Detroit, Torii Hunter, had this to say about Garcia.

He's 6-foot-4 and can run with any big man in the world, he has a great arm. He's a great kid who always wants to work and always wants to learn. The ceiling definitely is high for him. So the more he plays, the more at-bats he gets in the big leagues. I think he's going to be one of the elite.

So it's apparent that he has the support of his former teammates, but he still has to prove it on the field.

While there is certainly reason for excitement for White Sox fans, they need to remember that Garcia still has only had 130 at-bats in the major leagues and still has areas for improvement.

The scouting report on Garcia at the plate is that he struggles with pitch recognition and therefore is a bit of a free-swinger.

This can lead to a high amount of strikeouts and not many walks, which is certainly true in Garcia's case as evidenced by his career strikeout and walk percentage numbers, per Fangraphs.com.

That being said, just about everyone you ask will tell you that he has the raw talent to be a very good hitter.

And defensively, he projects as an above average outfielder with good speed and a great arm.

So the question is, when will Sox fans get to take a look at the young phenom? 

Well it sounds like he may get his shot soon and if he does, the White Sox are hoping that he never looks back.

He has been compared by many to Cabrera, but as a Sox fan I would be happy if he turned out to be like Magglio Ordonez.

And I think most other White Sox fans would, too.

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