A newer player to the organization, OF Adolis Garcia is a player for Texas Rangers fans to keep an eye on throughout Spring Training.
Throughout this offseason, one of the most discussed topics was the Texas Rangers need to add right-handed hitting, specifically some with power, to their lefty heavy lineup. While the two additions that will garner the most DFW headlines were Robinson Chirinos and Todd Frazier, the club added a power hitting outfielder who lit Triple-A up in 2019 and will look to find a big league spot with the Rangers this season. Adolis Garcia joined Texas in a trade from the St. Louis Cardinals for cash considerations and could be a dark horse to make the big league roster if he can put together a strong spring.
As it stands the Texas Rangers outfield looks to feature a starting trio of Willie Calhoun in left, Danny Santana in center and Joey Gallo in right. Nick Solak is looking to make a push for that starting center field gig but whether it’s him or Santana in center for traditional roster purposes, that equals three outfielders as Santana and Solak both can play infield and outfield spots. The race to land the fourth outfield spot will be an intriguing one and looks to come down between Scott Heineman and new guy Garcia.
As of now, it seems that Scott Heineman has the inside track after playing in 25 games for the club last season. However, his spot is hardly ironclad after he hit .213 with a .679 OPS in his first stint in the Majors. The big positive helping Heineman retain a roster spot is his ability to play at all three outfield spots, specifically center field and left field, positions where Texas lacks a bit of depth.
Garcia is not without big league experience too though having featured in 21 games for the Cardinals in 2018. With just 17 plate appearances, Garcia hit .118 with a .294 OPS, striking out seven times. He faired much better with St. Louis’ Triple-A affiliate in 2019 though hitting .253 with an .818 OPS and most importantly, 32 home runs in 132 games. His strikeout rate is always going to be a concern, and he went down on strikes at 30.1% in Triple-A last season, but his ability to bring power to the right side is something Texas desperately needed last season.
Garcia has above average physical tools with plus speed, a quality glove and plus-plus speed. That might allow him to play some center field if needed although he profiles best as a right fielder. Still, he should have the versatility to play each outfield spot if needed and in a fourth outfielder, that’s key. What he might lack defensively compared to Heineman, he makes up for in power at the plate which could put him over the top. His push for a roster spot will be an one of the more interesting, albeit under the radar position battles this spring.