Cincinnati Reds: José García inching closer to major league debut in 2020

GOODYEAR, ARIZONA - FEBRUARY 19: Jose Garcia #83 poses during Cincinnati Reds (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
GOODYEAR, ARIZONA - FEBRUARY 19: Jose Garcia #83 poses during Cincinnati Reds (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /

Reds prospect José García was sighted at Great American Ball Park on Thursday.

José García was not on the radar of many fans throughout Reds Country before this past March. Now, however, the wait is unbearable, as many anticipate the major league debut of the Cincinnati Reds top infield prospect. According to C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic, García was working out with the team at Great American Ball Park on Thursday.

Does this mean that García will be placed on the 40-man roster, wow the coaches during the remainder of summer camp and be the Reds Opening Day starting shortstop when Cincinnati goes head-to-head with the Detroit Tigers on July 24th? No, that’s unlikely.

In fact, if for some reason Freddy Galvis, who’s Cincinnati’s starting shortstop, was unable to play against Detroit, I’d wager fans would see either Alex Blandino or Kyle Farmer pick up the slack and take over. But, that doesn’t mean that García won’t make his big league debut in 2020.

García was originally among the 22 players sent to Prasco Park at the beginning of the month. The Reds split their 60-man player between Cincinnati (Great American Ball Park) and Mason, Ohio (Prasco Park). García, along with fellow prospects Tyler Stephenson and Jonathan India were some of the Reds minor league talent who were allowed to continue getting reps with the team.

Before spring training was shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic, García, signed in 2017 out of Cuba, made a big leap towards showing he is big league-ready. The 6-foot-2, 175-pound shortstop prospect opened the eyes of scouts near the end of his 2019 minor-league campaign, but a .769 slugging percentage during Cactus League play was unreal.

The Cincinnati Reds need one of their top prospects to make a difference, and García could be that guy. The team also has high hopes for Stephenson, who honestly has a better chance of debuting in 2020 than García. However, both García and Stephenson represent potential upgrades over who is currently occupying their spots on the roster.

The duo of Curt Casali and Tucker Barnhart are a solid catching tandem behind the plate, but neither offers the offensive potential of Stephenson. Galvis, who plays Gold Glove caliber defense, showed some power last season with 23 homers. However, Galvis is a free agent this winter, and the likes of Farmer and Blandino don’t offer the same level of excitement as García.

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For now, José García is just another non-roster invitee who is preparing for the 2020 season. But, the 22-year-old could be one injury away from seeing time in the big leagues this coming season. Let’s hope he’s ready for it.