One of the Cardinals’ most advanced prospects has reached the highest level of the minor leagues.
With Randal Grichuk back in St. Louis and Dexter Fowler hitting the disabled list, the St. Louis Cardinals took advantage of the vacancy in the outfield at Triple-A Memphis by promoting one of their most talked-about prospects, outfielder José Adolis García, from Double-A Springfield to the minors’ highest level.
García, who signed with the Cardinals in early March, was the MVP of Serie Nacional, Cuba’s top professional league, in 2016. As the Cardinals sought to get him acclimated to North America and get a good feel for his abilities against tougher competition, they assigned him to Double-A to begin the season.
He made his Triple-A debut on Monday night, getting one pinch-hit at-bat as Memphis faced the Oklahoma City Dodgers.
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He made his first start with Memphis on Tuesday, going 2 for 4 with a run scored. Perhaps not coincidentally, he’s wearing No. 66 with the Redbirds, the same jersey number worn by his countryman–and a player whom he projects as a poor man’s version of–Yasiel Puig.
In 263 plate appearances at Springfield, García was solid if unspectacular, posting a .284/.342/.432 slash line with six homers and nine stolen bases. He caught fire near the end of his Double-A stint, going 13 for his last 24 (.542) at the plate.
His greatest skills, however, are in the field, where he’s got a cannon arm that rivals Puig’s. The disappointing thing is that García probably won’t get much time in right field once he reaches St. Louis unless Stephen Piscotty is injured or gets a day off–at least while Mike Matheny is in charge, that is–but he can still use his skills throwing out runners from left or center field.
García should be in a good position to get regular playing time with the Redbirds, at least until Fowler returns and the Cardinals have to send another player down. Harrison Bader is the only regular starting outfielder in Memphis’s lineup, with Nick Martini, Todd Cunningham, Rangel Ravelo, and Chad Huffman splitting the remainder of the time.