Luis J. Garcia
Signed as part of the Phillies J2 IFA class out of the Dominican Republic in 2017, Garcia received $2.5 million, the highest of the Phillies signees that year. Garcia offers a mix of projectable defensive ability, speed, and offensive ability that makes him one of the higher-upside players grinding it out in the complex this summer.
At just 17 years old, Garcia already shows an advanced approach at the plate, rarely chasing pitches and working into hitter’s counts, and showing unusual patience for his age to wait for the right pitch to drive. From both sides of the plate, Garcia combines bat speed with a smooth, compact swing that uses the whole field. The overall hit tool is better from the left side, where the bat speed and pop manifest moreso than from the right. He could be a future 60-grade hit tool type if the offense improves as a righty, though there are ample signs of an at-least-average hitter simply because of his left-handed barrel feel. Garcia still lacks physicality and doesn’t project to fill out more than 15-to-20 pounds on his lean frame, so there isn’t much pop in the bat. He works the gaps well, but given his size, he doesn’t project to anything more than below-average raw power. A plus runner from both sides of the plate, Garcia’s wheels translate well to the field, where he shows quality range and the actions to stick at an up-the-middle position. His hands are soft and he’s able to make the routine plays, albeit with some “hair on fire” tendencies that cause him to overrun balls or make poor reads. The arm is a plus cannon that’s more than capable of sticking at shortstop, with throws that come out on a line and shoulder high, though there’s still some work needed on his the accuracy of his throws as well as his game clock.
Garcia is going to be a longer-burn prospect – one that needs to add strength and physicality to his frame, and his consistency at shortstop should come along with experience and reps. The ceiling is an above-average everyday shortstop.