GLENDALE, Ariz. — Avisail Garcia didn’t meet his own expectations during his first full season by hitting .257 with 13 homers, 59 RBI and seven stolen bases in 148 games.
He arrived at the White Sox’ first full squad workout Tuesday, ready to try a new stance, work on his defense and make himself the player the Sox thought they were getting when they traded Jake Peavy at the trade deadline in 2013.
“I’m only 24 years old,” Garcia said. “You are always learning. Every day you learn something new. The more you play, the more experience you have and then you put it in the game. Let’s see what happens.”The Sox fan base has had fingers crossed since November that the Sox would acquire a replacement — Alex Gordon, Justin Upton and Yoenis Cespedes were coveted free agents — but it appears as though Garcia will be the Sox’ guy in right, although it remains a possibility general manager Rick Hahn will acquire another piece to strengthen the outfield before Opening Day April 4.“No, I don’t pay attention to all that stuff,” Garcia said. “I just do what I can to prepare myself to be ready and focused for this year.”
The Sox believe it’s too soon to give up on Garcia, a big, strong talent. Garcia appreciates the love.
“Yeah, yeah for sure,” he said. “They believe in me and I believe in me, too. I’ve been working really hard. I know I have a lot of talent and I just have to keep working and believe what I’m doing and trust myself.”Is there pressure this spring?“No, because sometimes you have rough times in the big leagues in your first full season,” he said. “You just have to keep working because I know I have the talent. I have to work and do what they told me and that’s it.”