Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Welcome to the Bigs, Adonis!

It was a depressing development to see that Phil Gosselin, or Goose, was headed to the disabled list with a fractured thumb. Gosselin had gotten off to a pretty good start, hitting .325, with a pair of steals. With the injury to Chris Johnson, Gosselin looked like a good bet to receive a decent amount of playing time. Of course, this being the Braves, when he hit the DL, a lot of us wondered if the Braves would start the Jose Peraza era, but that's not happening right now. Instead, the Braves purchased the contract of Adonis Garcia, which leaves us with one simple question. Who the hell is Adonis Garcia?

Garcia played in the Cuban National Series for seven years until leaving the country in 2011 and playing ball in the Venezuelan Winter League. While there were rumors of a big payday in his future, he simply lacked the profile of a player who might be the kind of game changer teams spent eight figures on. He ultimately received a one year, $400K offer from the Yankees and he joined their minor league system. The then-27 year-old played in both Tampa and Trenton two months later. He both underwhelmed in Tampa and looked intriguing in Trenton after being promoted (.817 OPS).

In 2013, he missed some action early before joining the Gulf Coast League for a six game rehab assignment before joining Scranton over the last couple of months. He slashed .256/.312/.357, taking away any kind of star he had at that point. He did hit well as a 29 year-old the following year, slashing .319/.353/.474 with 20 2B, 3 3B, and 9 HR. He also swiped eleven bases, but wasn't in position to earn a promotion to the majors.

Garcia's chances of sticking with the Yankees became less likely this offseason when the Yankees added Chris Young and Garrett Jones. With other players in the mix at AAA, Garcia was without a job completely and was released at the end of spring training. He didn't remain unemployed long though. Four days later, he joined the Braves and was assigned to Gwinnett. He's gotten off to a great start in the International League and has hit .351 with 11 2B, a homer, and a pair of steals.

While most tweets involving Garcia yesterday called him an infielder, he's actually a utility guy. Over the last two seasons, he's played all three outfield positions plus 37 games at third base. He also has experience at second base. He has enough gap power that if he is able to utilize it, he could be a promising guy off the bench for a few years. Essentially, he's a worthwhile replacement for Gosselin on that front and deserves a look considering how well he's hit in the International League the last two years. It'll be up to him how long he sticks. After all, the fun thing about being a poor team is that everyone has a chance to stick.

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