The Oakland A’s and Texas Rangers completed a surprise trade on Saturday involving designated hitter Khris Davis and shortstop Elvis Andrus. Included in that deal was former a former SF Giants catching prospect.
Former SF Giants catching prospect traded to Oakland
The A’s also sent catching prospect Jonah Heim and pitching prospect Dane Acker to Texas to complete the trade. Garcia joins Austin Allen and Sean Murphy as the three catchers on Oakland’s 40-man roster.
Presumably, Murphy will have the inside track to be the A’s starting catcher next season with both Garcia and Allen fighting for the backup role.
The Giants originally drafted Garcia in the second round of the 2014 draft out of Florida International University. Given his draft pedigree, the catching prospect had generally be regarded as one of the better prospects in San Francisco’s farm system.
In six minor-league seasons, Garcia slashed .258/.322/.430 with 63 home runs and 270 RBI. He struggled to control the strike zone against minor-league pitching given that he had a 24.1 percent strikeout rate against a 7.7 percent walk rate.
However, he profiled as a backup catcher, so as long as he was a solid receiver with a good arm and some power, that is the type of skill set that can stick in the majors for years. He debuted with the Giants in 2018 and flashed impressive power as he posted an. 800 OPS with four home runs and nine RBI in 63 at-bats.
In the following season, Garcia did not make the club out of camp and began the year in Triple-A. San Francisco attempted to expand his versatility by challenging him to play left field. He appeared in a handful of games out in left field with Sacramento. This is one experiment that will be interesting to follow while he is with the A’s.
The 28-year-old appeared sparingly with the Giants in 2019 where he generated a .527 OPS across 42 scattered at-bats. He missed all of the 2020 season after sustaining a labrum injury in winter ball that required surgery.
He returns to the Bay Area and should have an opportunity for some playing time with the A’s behind Murphy. Injuries and circumstances have slowed down his development, but there is still some upside for Garcia left to realize.