Luis Garcia is the Readers’ selection as the Phillies’ #6 prospect.
Luis Garcia was born in San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic on October 1, 2000. He was signed by the Phillies on July 2, 2017, at the age of sixteen.
2017: Garcia was not placed on a roster after signing. He spent the summer at the Phillies’ Dominican Academy.
2018: Garcia was brought stateside for his first professional season, bypassing the Dominican Summer League. The accelerated assignment didn’t seem to affect Garcia as he led the league with a .369 batting average and 62 hits. The seventeen-year-old (he was 2.8 years younger than the average age in the league) finished top 15 in most offensive categories – 168 AB (14th), .433 OBP (3rd), .488 SLG (14th), .921 OPS (6th), .418 Babip (3rd), 33 Runs (4th), 11 Doubles (12th), 3 Triples (7th), 32 RBI (3rd), 12 SB (9th). In 187 plate appearances, Garcia walked 15 times (8.0 BB%) and struck out 21 times (11.2 K%, 8th), and posted a .714 BB/K (15th).
2019: After such a successful GCL season, the Phillies sent the eighteen-year-old Garcia to Lakewood to experience full-season ball. If he struggled, the plan was to have him repeat the season in 2020 if necessary. Well, in a league where he was giving up 3.5 years to the average, Garcia did struggle. But, he handled the struggles well enough that the Phillies didn’t see a need to demote him back to short-season ball. His power did pick up a little (from 1 to 4 HRs) and he did walk 44 times in 524 plate appearances (8.4 BB%), but he struck out 132 times (25.2 K%).
2021: According to their pre-pandemic plan, Garcia started and played most of the 2021 season at Low-A Clearwater. He was promoted to Advanced-A Jersey Shore for 16 games. Garcia posted an improved slash across both levels – .243/.353/.414/.767 in 465 plate appearances. His power kicked up again – 18 doubles, 5 triples, and 13 HRs. He walked 64 times (13.8 BB%) and struck out 112 times (24.1%). He stole 15 bases in 21 attempts (71.4%). For the second year, his Babip was considerably higher than his AVG, .305. A reduction in strikeouts would conceivably increase his success at the plate.
Defensively, the Phillies have been playing Garcia at both middle infield positions. He has played about twice as many innings at SS, but fields both positions with equal precision.
Physical Description: Short and slender build lacking standout features. Wiry, athletic frame with long legs. More room for added muscle and weight as he matures. Has the physical tools to become a top-end athlete.
Hit: Active load and swing path from both sides of the plate. Hands stay well above the letters and legs stay shoulder width apart. Lots of pre-pitch movement in his hands and feet, doesn’t stay set in the box. Developed a leg kick within his load to calm his approach for better contact and pitch recognition. Quick hands produce solid contact to all fields. Aggressive first-pitch swinger. Punishes fastballs in the zone, struggles mightily with off-speed stuff. Looks more comfortable from the right side, but has untapped potential in switch-hitting ability. Tools are present, lacks a refined approach. Grade: 50
Power: Struggles to hit for consistent power at this stage in his development. Lacks in-game and raw power, showed more glimpses last season. Doesn’t pull the ball effectively well. Room for more power as he matures physically. Has the tools and physical ability to produce more XBH and homers. Grade: 30
Field: Has a great feel for his defensive ability. Has a smooth and quick glove-to-hand transfer. Covers ground with his athleticism. Shows the ability to play on the dirt long term. Good instincts, plays the ball consistently and effectively. Stays on his toes, turns double plays with ease. Plus tool with his overall makeup defensively. Grade: 60
Arm: Above-average arm strength and accuracy from the infield. Throws are crisp with great zip and touch. Makes difficult throws from awkward angles. Makes throws from either side in part to his strong arm. Near plus tool that bodes well for his defensive fit. Grade: 55
Run: Above-average speed and quickness. Has a good burst out of the box, translates well defensively. Lacks long strides, but has short bursts of acceleration. Has the top-end speed to steal bags. Aggressive base stealer, needs to slow down and perfect his jump to make the most of his athleticism and base-stealing ability. Grade: 55
Overall: One of the most highly touted 2018 international signings, Garcia’s array of tools continues to develop. He has a true defensive skill set with crisp fielding and a near plus-grade arm. His offensive approach and ability to tap into more consistent contact and power need to improve to fulfill his sky-high ceiling.
Role: 50 – Average Everyday Regular
The report was written before he showed increased power with his 13 home runs in 2021.
Garcia became Rule 5 eligible after the 2021 season and was placed on the Phillies’ 40-man roster in November prior to the Rule 5 draft that was postponed earlier this month.