Wednesday Newsletter time: No other AL rookie has been better than Adolis Garcia, who did it all in Texas Rangers' win
The right fielder drove in two runs, but his biggest impact was made with his glove and arm.
As the Texas Rangers’ season has gone further and further down the drain in the second half of the season, so have Adolis Garcia’s offensive numbers.
He hasn’t been as productive as he was en route to earning a spot on the AL All-Star team, and his numbers have really suffered this month. Nevertheless, he’s second among MLB rookies with 30 homers and leads with 88 RBIs, 258 total bases and 58 extra-base hits.
And no rookie has played the same spectacular brand of defense.
“We he did today on defense, those are two plays you don’t see anybody else make,” manager Chris Woodward said.
Garcia was the defensive hero again Tuesday with two sparkling plays in a 5-2 victory over the Los Angeles Angels that again held a 100th loss on the season at bay. Garcia also drove in two runs to move into a tie for the club’s single-season RBI mark for a rookie (Pete Incaviglia in 1986).
So, with apologies to Ryan Mountcastle (Baltimore), Randy Arozarena (Tampa Bay), Wander Franco (Tampa Bay) and Luis Garcia (Houston), Adolis Garcia should be an easy choice to be the AL’s top rookie.
“I will be very disappointed if he doesn’t win it,” said fellow Cuban and rookie Andy Ibanez, who went 3 for 4. “Just knowing the fact of how much Adolis works and how hard he plays the game, it would be something he deserves.”
Woodward took it a step further, saying Garcia’s offensive numbers are good enough and that the defense should not be overlooked in an era when a player’s overall value is weighed more heavily.
Garcia has played the second half without a veteran to protect him in the lineup. The next closest Rangers hitter to him in home runs is Nathaniel Lowe with 17.
“It’s easy to play defense when you’re doing well offensively,” Woodward said. “He hasn’t been as good in the second half offensively, but the defense hasn’t changed one bit.”
The two plays:
Play No. 1: Second inning, David Fletcher batting, line drive hit foul toward the netting in front of the stands. Garcia, shaded toward the right-field line, races over, leaps and catches the ball as he hits the netting and the padded railing below it.
“I’ve never seen one like the one on Fletcher,” Woodward said. “I thought he dislocated his shoulder.”
Play No. 2: Fourth inning, Jack Mayfield at first, Jose Rojas hits a line drive to deep right field. Garcia goes back, makes the catch and throws to first base in the air to double up Mayfield.
“What this guy has done on the field has been pretty special,” Woodward said.
It’s been better than any other rookie in the AL.
Leody: I needed this
Leody Taveras was terrible to start the season, with four hits in his first 46 at-bats. That’s a cool .087 batting average.
He had lifted it to .169 entering Tuesday, so he has been better since returning last month from nearly four months at Triple A Round Rock. He needs to be better in spring training to ensure that he is the Opening Day center fielder for the second straight season.
He seems confident that he will be. He’s going to play for Aguilas in the Dominican Winter League, where he wants to work on being more consistent offensively. The defense and base running are MLB-ready.
Taveras has also learned a lot this season. He’s only 23, and he said he needed a season like this.
“To learn,” he said. “We never know everything. In this game you never stop learning.”
He said the No. 1 thing he learned is that a bad result doesn’t mean he has done poorly as long as he did everything correctly. Once the ball leaves the bat, it’s out of his control.
“You can’t control results,” Taveras said. “You just can control preparing every day, do your routine and just go enjoy the game. That’s the only thing you can control.”
Instructs under way
A 17-game instructional league schedule begins Thursday for the Rangers, who shipped 69 players to Surprise, Ariz., for the annual fall program.
The expectation is that Jung, Huff and second baseman Justin Foscue, who missed time this season with a rib injury, will be in Arizona in some capacity during instructs. They could end up playing in the Arizona Fall League.
Also not on the roster is 2021 first-rounder Jack Leiter, who is hitting the books this semester at Vanderbilt. However, he is expected to attend instructs for a few days next month.
Evan Carter, the 2020 second-round pick, isn’t on the roster as he recovers from a back injury but could play toward the end.
Among the prospects of note participating are outfielder Aaron Zavala, the 2021 second-rounder; right-hander TK Roby, the third-rounder in 2020; outfielder Yeison Morrobel, the prize of the 2021 international class; outfielder Bayron Lora, the big 2019 international signee; and right-handers Owen White and Ricky Vanasco.
Roby is recovering from a sprained elbow, White missed time with a broken hand, and Vanasco expects to pitch Oct. 5 in his first game since Tommy John surgery.
Listen to Vanasco below in the latest episode of the Texas Rangers Baseball Podcast.
Dog did nothing wrong. Enjoy. See you Thursday.