Walkoff Woodward

Concerning Detroit Baseball
February 21, 2013

Avisail Garcia, when sitting next to Miguel Cabrera

Chicago White Sox v Detroit Tigers

Like many fine luxuries, some baseball players come out of nowhere, relative to their minor league statistics. This was the case of Miguel Cabrera, as you will soon see. Furthermore, I would like to make the correlation between him, and one of the newest top 100 prospects, Avisail Garcia, as you will now witness in the text below.

Miguel Cabrera

Bats: Right, Throws: Right
Height: 6′ 4″, Weight: 240 lb.

Avisail García

Bats: Right, Throws: Right
Height: 6′ 4″, Weight: 240 lb.

Oh my!

Miguel Cabrera

Born: April 181983 in Maracay, Aragua, Venezuela (Age 29)

Avisail García

Born: June 121991 in Anaco, Anzoategui, Venezuela (Age 21)

We can’t have everything the same can we!

Miguel Cabrera

Prospect Ratings by Baseball America:
Pre-2001: Rated #91 Prospect
Pre-2002: Rated #38 Prospect
Pre-2003: Rated #12 Prospect

Year Age Lev PA H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG
2000 17 Rk 250 57 10 2 2 22 1 23 46 .260 .344 .352
2000 17 A- 34 8 2 0 0 6 0 2 6 .250 .294 .313
2001 18 A 465 113 19 4 7 66 3 37 76 .268 .328 .382
2002 19 A+ 545 134 43 1 9 75 10 38 85 .274 .333 .421
2003 20 AA 303 97 29 3 10 59 9 31 49 .365 .429 .609

Avisail García

Prospect Ratings by Baseball America:
Pre-2013: Rated #74 Prospect 

Year Age Lev PA H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG
2008 17 Rk 263 73 12 2 7 34 7 15 39 .298 .342 .449
2009 18 A 315 79 11 2 1 31 8 8 70 .264 .289 .324
2010 19 A 524 139 17 4 4 63 20 20 113 .281 .313 .356
2011 20 A+ 515 129 16 6 11 56 14 18 132 .264 .297 .389
2012 21 A+ 287 77 8 5 8 36 14 11 57 .289 .324 .447
2012 21 AA 226 67 9 3 6 22 9 7 38 .312 .345 .465

Before the 2003 season, Baseball America ranked Miguel Cabrera as the #12 prospect in the country. An interesting ranking because, while he had shown progression with the Marlins high A team – 43 doubles as a 19 year old – he only slugged .421 and walked a mere 38 times in 545 plate appearances. However, the folks at BA were correct to rank him that high. He started 2003 in AA and it was there that he exploded. In 303 plate appearances he had 42 extra base hits and an OPS of 1.038 before he was called up to the Marlins, which is the point where he never looked back.

Garcia has obviously just broken into BA’s top 100 and, at 21, is a year older than Cabrera was when he broke out so there is a certain difference between the two. How much so remains to be seen, as highlighted by last September, when Cabrera and Garcia were so infamously linked together by stature and nature, and apparently  nurture. So, while the stats for Cabrera were noticeably better, there still are some striking similarities that go behind appearances.

Both players improved their statistics as they moved up the minor leagues system, from rookie ball to double A, and they both were promoted to the big leagues after succeeding in double A. The most significant improvement for both players was at double A, although Cabrera had a more noticeable leap. This leads most to think, and probably correctly so, that Garcia isn’t going to have the impact Cabrera has had. It makes sense since the going belief is that he is going to spend 2013 in the minor leagues, but that’s all comparative to the Tigers situation; the Marlins had a need for Cabrera, the Tigers at this point do not. That said, Garcia still needs to work on that walk rate, which is the one criticism I can make. Once he does that, he’ll probably be up for good before he turn 23. This is what I’ll be looking for this year in Garcia’s game.  I think it’s the key difference between him becoming an impact player and not becoming an impact player.

There’s obviously a huge difference between Miguel Cabrera and Avisail Garcia, and I’m in no way suggesting that Garcia is ever going to be the type of hitter Cabrera is. But they look similar and have advanced through the minor leagues in a similar fashion and, simply put, we like to compare people who look similar or have similar up-comings.

What I am saying, if I’m saying anything, is that baseball players are not always found on the top 10 lists of prospect rankings and when there is improvement as a player moves up the minor league chain, things tend to look interesting, when seen next to a player blows everyone away in or A ball and then struggles in the higher levels, as so much top talent does.

  • cep32101

    It will be nice when both these men are in the same lineup!

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