The road to the sustained success has been a long one for White Sox outfielder Avisail Garcia and the fact his success in 2017 held water long enough to merit him an invitation to the All-Star Game has been long awaited. For many on-lookers though, it began to feel like a pipe dream. Before this season, Garcia had never seen his batting average any higher than .257 in a White Sox uniform and, despite having as much power potential as he does, had never seen his slugging average reach anything higher that .385 in a full season of work.
“I learned from all my mistakes, and now I’m learning everyday,” Garcia said of his past struggles. “That’s the word: believe. Believe in yourself.”
With a newfound approach at the plate and the knowledge he’s acquired since his debut in 2013, Garcia is slashing a healthy line of .318/.362/.518 and finally able to tap into his potential. It’s likely that Garcia is just now getting started, but what baseball has seen from him was enough to land him his first trip to the Midsummer Classic.
“I am very happy to represent the White Sox in the All-Star game,” Garcia said. “I know I believed in myself, so I knew I would work hard to improve myself and my career,” He continued. “If you believe in yourself and do the work, you have the opportunity like I have now of representing the White Sox in the All-Star Game.”
The work Garcia has put in has paid off, and it’s been on display in full force this season. He’s taken on a rigorous workout routine and even changed his diet.
“First of all, I lost weight,” Garcia said. “I wake up every day at like 5 a.m. to go to the gym and work hard, I go back home in the afternoon and then go to hit like three times per week. All that work is coming together.”
Indeed it is. Next Tuesday, Garcia will be the lone White Sox player to represent the South Side on the American League team. He’ll be alongside his former teammate Chris Sale, Yankees breakout star Aaron Judge, and other surprising players like Blue Jays first baseman Justin Smoak.
The special announcement didn’t come without his fellow teammates and coaches close by. “I was in the training room when they called us together as a team,” Garcia said of the team meeting called at 11:30am on Sunday. “When they said my name, I was really proud. Really proud. This now gives me even more motivation.”
“I can’t wait for when they hang the All-Star jersey in your locker room,” Garcia said, the sound of pure excitement in his voice. “I can’t wait for that. It’s exciting.”
Garcia has seen his struggles at the plate recently, currently sitting an 1-for-23 stretch, yet that still hasn’t derailed the 26-year-old’s numbers on the season. Garcia has also been day-to-day since suffering a minor knee injury in the White Sox’s series finale against the Yankees on Thursday. “We’re just taking it a little slow,” manager Rick Renteria after the game of Garcia, “He said he felt good.”
So will the Garcia family be in Miami to help him celebrate this very special achievement? “Of course,” Garcia said without hesitation. “I asked Jose [Abreu], he said make sure you bring your family with you because you know, it’s the first time. Hopefully many more to come.”