The Nationals have a uniquely impressive record developing position player prospects under general manager Mike Rizzo and the way Luis Garcia has bursted onto the scene this season begs the question if he is next in line.
Only 20 years old, Garcia now has 10 hits in 27 at-bats (.370) through eight games. He went 3-for-4 on Sunday against the Marlins in his third multi-hit game.
It is very early to compare Garcia to those guys, but his play so far follows a trend.
"That's not normal," outfielder Adam Eaton joked.
But Garcia is making it look a lot easier than most expected he would. He has some work to do evening out his walks and strikeouts, but he has an advanced ability to make contact and use the entirety of the field.
"I think he's holding his own for a player, who at 20 years old, has never played above Double-A. I think he's got an unusually mature approach at the plate," Rizzo said.
Rizzo went on to speak of Garcia in the context of the organization's track record with prospects. Bringing him up at the age of 20 and giving him important responsibilities follows a well-established plan, Rizzo says.
"We're an organization where we put a young player on a championship-caliber club just about each and every year. Whether it be when we brought up [Stephen] Strasburg or Harper or [Anthony] Rendon or Soto and then [Victor] Robles. Now, Garcia and [Carter] Kieboom," Rizzo said.
"You look at a future lineup, if you will. Beyond this year, you've got young players at third, shortstop, second base, left and center field. It's really an uplifting and positive outlook for the future of this team."
Garcia was known much more for his defense while he was passing through the minors. He never held an OPS above .750, so his .879 mark through eight games has to be taken for what it's worth.
That said, he had shown progress getting on-base, holding a .345 in the Arizona Fall League late last year, for example. If he could add some power, the outlook for him might be a lot different. And given he's only 20, power could naturally follow as he gets older and stronger.
"I think that the early returns right now is that he's going to have a positive impact on this team not only this year but moving forward," Rizzo said.
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Nats GM Mike Rizzo says Luis Garcia 'unusually mature' at plate for his age originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington