Could Rangers' Adolis Garcia be regressing back to his former self?

Chicago Cubs v Texas Rangers
Chicago Cubs v Texas Rangers / Stacy Revere/GettyImages

During the Rangers' World Series run last fall, Adolis Garcia became an eternal legend in the Dallas sports landscape. Garcia reached legendary status in the DFW  due to his phenomenal performance throughout the playoffs before going down with a strained oblique after Game 3 of the World Series.

While healthy, Garcia was a key contributor to the Rangers' postseason success, slashing an astounding line of .323/.382/.726 through 68 plate appearances and smashing eight homers. Five of those came during the ALCS, earning him the series MVP award. He was also given the Babe Ruth Award, which is awarded to the player who had the best offensive performance throughout the postseason.

Garcia's high offensive production did not just arrive when the postseason started, but was constant throughout the entire 2023 season. It turned out to be the best offensive season of Garcia's career so far, as he finished with the highest slugging and on-base percentage of his career to date. His success at the plate helped him earn his second All-Star appearance and a spot on the All-MLB second team.

One major factor that contributed to Garcia's success at the plate last season was his patience and plate discipline. These were both things he had been lacking early in his career. He often drew criticism due to these deficiencies, as he quickly turned into a typical three-true-outcomes power hitter after his initial promotion, similar to how Joey Gallo was during his time with the Rangers. However, going into the 2023 season, Garcia concentrated on adjusting his approach at the plate and becoming a more well-rounded batter. The positive impact of this showed up almost instantly.

Has Rangers star Adolis Garcia changed his approach for the worse in 2024?

Due to Garcia's new approach at the plate, he was able to get on base much more frequently. He was able to draw 65 walks while at the plate, which was over 25 more than he drew during the 2022 season and over 30 more than in 2021. Garica's strikeout rate also went down drastically; he only whiffed 175 times, which is a considerable improvement compared to the 194 strikeouts he had during the 2021 season. Garcia's offensive improvements did not go unnoticed, and he quickly became a fan favorite for being one of the most lethal and consistent hitters in the Rangers lineup.

Unfortunately, this season it seems that Garcia has regressed somewhat offensively, as his approach at the plate has been similar to the way it was prior to his remarkable 2023 campaign. He has only managed to draw two walks in his 49 plate appearances, a stark contrast to last season. Additionally, he has already struck out 15 times, placing him near the top of the AL for most strikeouts to start the season.

Even though the season is still just starting, and it is probably too early to start worrying about whether or not Garcia is regressing into a three-true-outcome hitter once again, it is still somewhat problematic due to how the season has begun overall for the Rangers. With the recent injury of one the Rangers' most solid hitters, Josh Jung, who will be sidelined at least until June with a fractured wrist, as well as Corey Seager still not being 100% yet, not to mention a multitude of other injuries the Rangers are currently dealing with, the team does not have time to wait on Garcia to readjust his batting approach.

It is not like Garcia is off to a horrible start to the season by any means; he has already smacked four homers and has a .585 slugging percentage and .896 OPS to begin the season. Regardless of results, it is frustrating to see Garcia chasing more balls out of the zone, striking out more often, and becoming a less disciplined hitter once again, especially after seeing how well-rounded of a batter he can be

Hopefully, Garcia can quickly regroup and help generate runs for the Rangers' currently depleted offense. The Rangers will once again need substantial contributions from Garcia to remain contenders in the AL, which will require Garcia to be a disciplined and patient hitter once again this season.