Senior baseball writer for The Athletic Keith Law recently ranked his Top 100 prospects. Cincinnati Reds farmhand Jose Garcia made the cut.
About this time every year, Keith Law, a senior baseball writer for The Athletic, distributes his Top 100 prospects list. This season, three members of the Cincinnati Reds organization landed on Law’s list, with the most surprising being Jose Garcia. The young shortstop signed with the Reds back in 2017.
Fans won’t be too surprised to see the likes of Hunter Greene and Nick Lodolo among Law’s Top 100. Both pitchers were former first-round picks. Greene is hopeful to return from elbow surgery at some point this coming season, while Lodolo has an outside chance to make the Cincinnati roster at some point this season.
Reds Country might not be as familiar with Garcia, who signed for $5M on June 10, 2017. The 21-year-old was slowed by injury during the 2018 season, but put together a nice offensive campaign in 2019, which now has him among the best young players in the Reds farm system.
MLB Pipeline, who has yet to release their complete preseason rankings, currently has Garcia sitting at No. 9 among all of Cincinnati’s prospects. A season that saw Garcia hit .280 and rack up 37 doubles will surely see him elevated to the upper echelon of Reds minor league talent, especially with less than stellar results from Jonathan India and Tony Santillan.
Law notes that Jose Garcia’s arm is good enough for him to stick at shortstop, something that will be music to the ears of Reds Country. Cincinnati’s fanbase was clamoring for thee front office to go after the likes of Francisco Lindor and Corey Seager this winter. Perhaps, if Garcia realizes his potential, the Dominican native will join the big league club next season.
Last winter, Cincinnati lost their former top shortstop prospect Jeter Downs, who was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers along with Josiah Gray. In return, the Cincinnati Reds received Yasiel Puig, Alex Wood, Matt Kemp and Kyle Farmer. Downs was traded to the Boston Red Sox this winter, a move that helped LA secure Mookie Betts.
While some fans may bemoan the trade, let’s not forget that it rid Cincinnati of the massive salary of malcontent pitcher Homer Bailey. Furthermore, according to Law, who ranks Downs as the No. 70 prospect in all of baseball, the former Reds farmhand is more of a second baseman than a shortstop.
Jose Garcia, who’s currently not on the 40-man roster, was a non-roster invitee to spring training in Goodyear. Garcia will be eligible for the Rule 5 Draft this coming winter, so expect to see him on the 40-man roster later this year. If Garcia has the big season that many in the front office are expecting, he could find his way on the Cincinnati Reds Opening Day roster around this time next year.