Friday Newsletter time: Mixed bag for Adolis Garcia, who wins one award but is snubbed for another
The Sporting News selected him as the American League Rookie of the Year, but he won't have any gold on his glove.
Adolis Garcia brought home his first hardware from awards season Thursday, when The Sporting News selected him as its American League Rookie of the Year.
The Texas Rangers outfielder launched 31 homers, drove in 90 runs and stole 16 bases. He was selected to the AL All-Star team, but his numbers dipped in the second half and he finished batting only .243.
His defense was also behind being saluted by The Sporting News. It just wasn’t good enough, somehow, to be a finalist for the Rawlings Gold Glove despite topping baseball in two key statistics.
Garcia finished tied for the MLB lead in outfield assists (16) with Boston Red Sox right fielder Hunter Renfro, who is a finalist there along with Joey Gallo and Kyle Tucker of the Houston Astros. Gallo, of course, spent most of the season with the Rangers.
The problem for Garcia is that he split his time between center field and right field, becoming the right fielder after Gallo was traded to the New York Yankees. Garcia played 79 games in center, with seven assists, and 51 in right field with the other nine assists and an MLB-best 13 defensive runs saved.
Renfro played 138 games in right field. Gallo, who had 12 defensive runs saved, played 92 games there.
Another problem for Garcia? Voting shifted a few years back from simply selecting three outfielders regardless of position to naming a winner at each position. Maybe in the good old days of the early 2010s Garcia would have won a Gold Glove this year.
He remains a front-runner for the Baseball Writers Association of America’s rookie award, which will be announced Nov. 8. Ryan Mountcastle of the Baltimore Orioles was selected as Outstanding Rookie in the Players Choice awards.
AL West shakeup
The big news on the World Series off day came from out west. The San Diego Padres filled their managerial vacancy by hiring Oakland A’s manager Bob Melvin.
Melvin had been the longest tenured manager in baseball. He did a masterful job dealing with what Oakland ownership gave him, and just let him go. That suggests the A’s might be ready to dive into another rebuild.
If so, that could put first baseman Matt Olson and third baseman Matt Chapman in play. And a couple starting pitchers. The A’s have a lousy farm system and a bevy of players who could bring in minor-league talent.
The Melvin departure could also give Ron Washington another chance to manage. It makes a lot of sense.
The Rangers hired Washington from the A’s, where he was their third-base coach and infield instructor. He returned to Oakland after his departure from the Rangers, first as a special-assignments coach whose only job was fixing a young shortstop named Marcus Semien.
Washington was then added to Melvin’s staff, where he stayed until leaving for the Atlanta Braves. Washington will be free to talk soon, once the World Series ends. Maybe he can add a ring to his resume.
Card of the Week
Hopefully this takes away some of the pain Garcia feels after being snubbed for a Gold Glove. His 2019 Topps Series 1 rookie card is the Newsletter’s Card of the Week.
My son was pretty fired up when Garcia burst onto the seen, and wanted one of his cards post haste. So, like any good dad would do, I hopped on eBay and found this one.
Did we overpay? Almost certainly, though it’s not like I spent $1,000 on it. It was some where around $8 for two of them.
Garcia has a 2018 Bowman card on which his full name, Jose Adolis Garcia, is listed. The image — he’s in his batting stance awaiting a pitch — isn’t nearly as good as the 2019 Topps.
I wonder how much this cost and how long it took. Anyhoo, enjoy. See you Monday.