The Hangover: A (Fake) Scouting Report On Cuban Shortstop Jose Israel Garcia

Jose Israel Garcia is, apparently, a 19-year-old Cuban shortstop, according to Jon Heyman and Jon Heyman only. There is scant other info available on Garcia from anyone, not even Ben Badler, lord of international prospects. So I took my (fake) scouting self down to Mexico to deliver you the real (er, fake) inside dope on Garcia, who’s probably on the Padres radar (if he exists).

Overview: Plenty of raw tools; athletic frame, but not chiseled like Luis Robert or Yoan Moncada; quick twitch athlete with solid feel for game; defensive asset with foot speed that will play; bat is wild card; loves playing the game.

Bat: Generates plenty of bat speed, but there’s some effort present in the swing; a lot of moving parts; susceptible to spin off the plate and stateside velocity could pose challenge; bat path can lose plane at times; when struggling, tends to get pull happy; pitch recognition a work in progress; plenty of swing-and-miss; possesses gap power when at best, using all-fields approach; shot at double-digit home run power at physical maturity; plus hand-eye makes up for some deficiencies; biggest question mark is overall hit tool.

Run: Lacks elite straight-line speed, but he’s a heady base runner; consistently 4.2-4.3 down the line; willing to take extra base in limited game action; opportunistic base stealer; times pitchers well; if he doesn’t gain too much bulk, he’s a plus base runner with fringe-average speed.

Field: Plus range at short at present; particularly adept going to his right, though he maintains solid range up the middle; can get sloppy at times with footwork; will rush glove to hand transfer; needs refinement at finer aspects of position, but tools are there; displays smooth actions when in good rhythm; soft hands; arm is potentially plus-plus; has no problem making long throw from hole; third base is likely landing spot if he outgrows short; has plenty of arm for the hot corner, and the instincts will play there; not ready to give up on him at short, but he should stick on left side of the infield regardless.

Outlook: Garcia is a project; expect him to start at the lower levels of minor leagues and take time to develop; limited game action may stunt rapid progression; tools are there for an everyday infielder with good secondary skills; whether he can consistently square up good velo and identify spin remains main question; bat could work with mechanical adjustments, but may require complete teardown and restructuring of swing; good raw tools but patience and care are required.

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  • ballybunion

    Dang! For a guy who might not exist, that’s an excellent scouting report! I wonder if A.J. Preller might want you to join his brain trust?

    • Scouting guys who might not exist is my thing, and A.J. knows where to find me. (Actually, shoot, no he doesn’t.)