Versatile Cubs infielder Robel Garcia has a legitimate chance to make a name for himself at Wrigley Field this year.
Ian Happ really looked like he was coming on at the end of last season, and he’s poised to show Chicago Cubs fans the proper beginning of his prime years come 2020 — especially if Major League Baseball’s fancy-shmancy universal DH idea goes into effect. But given the Cubbies‘ limited farm system juice right here, right now, there’s a power bat on the edge of the big league roster that has a unique opportunity to break out this season.
His name is Robel Garcia, and he swings that lumber.
Garcia logged just 26 plate appearances across 14 games at the MLB level in 2019, but he showed very real pop, launching five dingers and adding two doubles and two triples, good for a slugging percentage of .500. It’s a small sample and he needs to develop more patience at the plate — even in the minors, he struck out 120 times in 98 games last season — but there’s a lot of upside here.
Just consider the 26-year-old’s versatility. He’s a switch hitter, and appeared defensively at second base, left field, and right field in the Show in 2019 despite his limited action.
He even covered at DH in an interleague game. Bookmark the one, folks.
All told, this man has an intriguing role to play for the North Siders this year, especially if rosters are expanded to take into account the inevitable contraction of the minor league season (or even entire minor league teams).
Yes, Robel Garcia has weaknesses in his game. But you’d be hard-pressed to find any team looking to get over the hump that couldn’t use a plug-and-play guy who knows how to launch a bomb to straightaway center.