Avisail Garcia is in right field on Sunday, and while he might end up there down the road, the White Sox still intend to try him out in center field.
Manager Robin Ventura put Garcia in right field Sunday as a function of the lineup, but he said the youngster has expressed confidence he’s comfortable at any of the positions. Ventura also believes Garcia, despite his 6-foot-4-inch, 240-pound frame, is fast enough to handle center.
“We can move it around and play with it a little bit just to see where he fits and how comfortable he is in each one,” Ventura said. “He’s pretty quick. Now getting to see him and see him run, he’s a little bit quicker. He surprises you with his size and how fast he is.”
Prior to the eight games he played in center at Triple-A Charlotte and Saturday’s appearance there with the White Sox, Garcia had 74 games in center in the minors with Detroit. Coupled with a bat they hope is capable of one day producing 30 home runs, general manager Rick Hahn wants the White Sox to experiment.
If Garcia can handle center, it’s a bonus for the White Sox.
“If a player is able to produce at the level offensively that we think this kid can produce and do that at a premium position, it becomes even more valuable,” Hahn said earlier this month. “Traditionally center field is not a premium offensive position. You put a premium offensive player at a premium defensive position, it puts you in a pretty good spot for a club going forward.”
But nothing is set in stone.
The camps are split on whether or not Garcia is a center fielder. Some think he’s capable, and others believe he’s destined for a corner spot. Hahn just wants to see what it looks like, one of the few advantages to the team being out of contention with 47 games left.
“We are not married to the idea of him playing center,” Hahn said. “We wanted to take a look at it, get to know the kid a little bit better. He’s extremely athletic, he has a world of tools and we want to give him the opportunity to play it out again at the premium position even if he ultimately does wind up at a corner here in Chicago.”