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August 9, 2013

Transaction Analysis

Rios in Texas

by R.J. Anderson and Jason Cole



IN THIS ISSUE

American League
National League

CHICAGO WHITE SOX
Team Audit | Player Cards | Depth Chart
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Acquired a player to be named later from the Rangers for OF-R Alex Rios and $1 million. [8/9]

MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan is reporting that Leury Garcia will be the player to be named later. Although Garcia is currently in Triple-A, he’s a member of the Rangers’ 40-man roster and would have to pass through waivers (or fall to the White Sox, who are currently second in the pecking order) in order to be traded right now. Garcia is a cheap 22-year-old middle-infield prospect, so expect this trade to be completed when the 2013 season concludes.

Best known for his fantastic defensive and speed tools, Garcia most likely profiles as a high-level utility infielder. There are some scouts who believe he’ll hit just enough to be a speedy, defensive-minded everyday shortstop, but that’s certainly not a majority opinion. The 5-foot-7 infielder is a top-of-the-line runner with plus-plus range at short and a borderline 70-grade arm. Like many young infielders, he’s prone to the occasional routine lapse in the field, though he has improved with age and should continue to progress. Garcia is a no-doubt plus glove at both middle infield spots, and he has even played some third base and center field over the last two years.

Garcia’s bat lags far behind his legs, glove, and arm. He cracked the Rangers’ Opening Day roster in a utility role this season but was optioned after hitting just .192/.236/.231 in 57 plate appearances. He currently has a .264/.314/.409 slash line over 208 Triple-A plate appearances. While the switch-hitting Dominican Republic native has some bat-to-ball ability, he also has just enough power to get him into trouble. In the past, Garcia has too often overswung rather than using a more contact-oriented approach and using his blazing speed to get on base and put pressure on defenses. He has improved in that area, though he still falls into the trap on occasion. At his peak, Garcia could be a .275-ish hitter with minimal power who provides an impact with his legs and glove. —Jason Cole

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