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Cuban Outfielder Jose Garcia To Play In Japan

Cuban Outfielder Jose Garcia To Play In Japan

Posted by PanamericanWorld on April 22, 2016

Jose Adolis Garcia, one of the better young prospects remaining in Cuba, signed a contract to play for the Yomiuri Giants in Japan this season, according to an announcement from the Cuban baseball federation.

Garcia, the 24-year-old brother of Braves third baseman Adonis Garcia, will return to Cuba after his season with the Giants ends. At 6-foot-1, 175 pounds, Garcia has some of the best raw tools and athleticism of any player in Cuba, with quick bat speed, good power, plus speed and well-above-average arm strength, mostly playing right field in Cuba but looking comfortable when he’s been in center field. NPB pitching will be a better test of Garcia’s plate discipline, as he has a free-swinging approach and trouble with pitch recognition.

Garcia just wrapped up the 2015-16 season with Ciego De Avila, helping lead his team to a second straight Serie Nacional championship. During the regular season, Garcia batted .315/.395/.517 in 380 plate appearances with 14 home runs, 34 walks, 59 strikeouts and 11 stolen bases in 16 attempts. Prior to the season, Garcia ranked as the No. 20 player in Baseball America’s rankings of the Top 20 Cuban players in April 2015.

With the Cuban government open to having its players participate in foreign professional leagues, Garcia is the latest Cuban player to have a contract brokered with an NPB team, with slugging outfielder Alfredo Despaigne already in Japan playing for the Chiba Lotte Marines. Third baseman Yulieski Gurriel (who has since left Cuba), outfielder Frederich Cepeda and righthander Hector Mendoza are other Cuban players who have played in Japan.

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