Remember when the Chicago White Sox dealt outfielder Alex Rios to the Texas Rangers just prior to the 2013 trade deadline? Well, the trade was originally constructed to include a “player to be named later” heading the way of Chicago, but on Thursday, they will finally meet the player they received in the deal.
Shortly after the trade went through, it was announced that second baseman Leury Garcia was the mystery player, but when he arrived in Chicago, he was sent to the minor leagues. However, Thursday’s option of outfielder Blake Tekotte paved the way for Garcia’s debut with the White Sox, and he has been summoned to take up the roster spot.
In 57 plate appearances with the Rangers earlier in the season, Garcia struggled to a .192/.236/.231 slash line, but he is mostly known for his high-end speed. The 22-year-old has posted seasons of 46, 30, and 31 stolen bases in the minors, and while he has never slugged over .400 during any full campaign (ouch), there is a bit of promise with the bat thanks to that speed.
It would be ambitious to think that Garcia’s bat could play right away in the majors (it won’t), but he is a high-end defender from most reports, and the White Sox don’t have an immediate need in the starting nine. They are likely promoting him as a “trial”, and it’ll be up to Garcia to earn a spot going forward.