The Detroit Tigers Minor League affiliates seasons are now officially in the books. With another season completed, the time has come for me to announce the 2011 MCB Down on the Farm All-Star Team.
In an effort to reward less talked about prospects, only players that did not receive a call-up to Detroit this season were eligible. While you may recognize some of the names, remember these awards aren’t a pronouncement of the Tigers top prospects. The awards were based heavily upon the best overall statistical season per position.
Similar to previous years, the breakdown of the roster will consist of one player per position, a designated hitter, five starting pitchers and five relievers.
2011 MCB Down on the Farm All-Star Team: OF Avisail Garcia
TEAMS: Advanced-A Lakeland Flying Tigers
STATS: 488 AB, .264/.297/.389/.686
16 doubles, 6 triple, 11 home runs, 56 RBI, 14 SB, 18 BB and 132 SO
The Detroit Tigers signed then 16-year-old Avisail Garcia out of Venezuela back in 2007. Garcia began his tenure as a Tiger in 2008 in the Venezuelan League. The legitimate five tool talent hit a respectable .298 with 12 doubles, 2 triples, 7 home runs and 31 RBI. After just one season in the Venezuelan Summer League the Tigers made the extremely aggressive decision to send him to the Midwest league in 2009 at just 18-years-old. That season Garcia posted a pedestrian .264/.289/.324/.613 slash line for the Whitecaps. In 2010, the Tigers had Garcia repeat Class-A West Michigan. Although the numbers still weren’t through the roof, they were much improved. Garcia improved his batting average, on-base-percentage and slugging-percentage and also posted a career high 63 RBI. Now 20-years-old, the 6’4″, 240 pound right-handed outfielder began yet another aggressive assignment, this time for Advanced-A Lakeland.
BEHIND THE NUMBERS:
TigsTown may have said it best: “Imagine Miguel Cabrera; now imagine him with burning speed and a trimmed up physique – that’s what you’ve got when you see Avisail Garcia.”
Garcia has a plus arm and plus speed both on the bases and in the outfield. It was an absolute treat watching him patrol right field last season in Advanced-A Lakeland. His size suggests that the power will eventually come around too. The biggest hurdle for Garcia though remains his approach at the plate. He has consistently struck out at around a 25% clip and he rarely walks. So naturally he must reduce the strikeouts and find a way to get on base more. That task will likely be the key to his future with the Tigers. Still, his defense, speed and raw power will make up for his atrocious hacking at the plate.
Realistically, Garcia could just as easily wash out as he could blossom into the next superstar. The majority of the hype is wrapped up in his age and raw abilities. In all fairness, those previous two sentences can be said about pretty much every prospect though. Garcia has the raw stuff to develop into a household name. Like most young prospects, hard work and dedication will be the keys to his future.
I wish the Tigers would let him repeat Advanced-A Lakeland but I have a feeling that similar to Francisco Martinez they’ll continue to challenge him and hope for the best. He would be still be young for another year in Advanced-A Lakeland but I believe he begins the 2012 campaign in AA-Erie.
Congratulations to Avisail Garcia for an outstanding season.
2011 MCB Down on the Farm All-Stars
Next Up: OF