OF Willy Garcia
I actually got to see Willy Garcia play this summer as I interned in baseball operations with the Washington Wild Things, and the Tri-City ValleyCats came to town. The ValleyCats got a lot of attention this summer for signing former Vanderbilt ace and the second overall pick in the 2022 draft (and 11th overall pick in the 2021 draft), Kumar Rocker. However, Willy Garcia has done great for them.
Garcia was originally a prospect for the Pittsburgh Pirates. He signed with the team a decade ago, back in 2012, out of the Dominican Republic. Coming up through the system, Garcia was a power-hitting outfielder. His best season was in 2014, when he batted for a .789 OPS, .346 wOBA, and 114 wRC+. He belted 18 home runs for Double-A Altoona and entered the 2015 season as the Pirates’ 14th best prospect.
However, things didn’t work out for Garcia as he struggled as he reached Triple-A. After the 2016 season, he was claimed off waivers by the Chicago White Sox. Garcia did appear in some major league games, though, collecting 25 hits in 119 plate appearances across 44 contests. However, after the season, he was released.
Garcia has since mostly played in the Dominican, Mexican, and Venezuelan Leagues but returned to the United States in 2021 with the Schaumburg Boomers. He’s currently with Tri-City, hitting .305/.351/.496 in 142 plate appearances.