DENVER – José Adolis García is the first Rangers rookie to reach the All-Star Game with 20 home runs or more. He also set team records in May for most home runs (11) and most RBIs (27) from a rookie.
The Cuban has been a revelation at the plate in 2021, standing out at 28 after being in limbo twice in just over a year. But now, about six months after being designated for assignment by the Rangers, Garcia is one of three Texas players to make the All-Star Game.
“They were hard moments, almost frustration, but keep working, keep trusting,” Garcia said of his path to stardom. “It gives (you) a lot to think about. But nothing, go ahead and here I am ”.
Yes, is here. With an outstanding hard contact rate and a “barrel” ratio that put him among the leaders in that regard, Garcia has been a sensation, unexpectedly. Although his production has returned to earth since May, when he was the AL Rookie of the Month, the Ciego de Ávila native reached the All-Star break with a .270 / .312 / .527 batting line (OPS) 840), 22 homers, 62 RBIs and a 126 OPS +.
The road to those successes was by no means easy. At the end of 2019, Garcia — signed by the Cardinals after defecting from Cuba in 2016 — was put on assignment by San Luis and later traded to the Rangers. After running out just six official at-bats (seven visits to the plate) in which he struck out four times and did not hit with the big team in 2020, Garcia was designated for assignment once more in February of this year, but went through waivers without be claimed and kept fighting.
In the end, he earned a spot on the big team roster for this season and, with sheer hits, has made a space in the Rangers outfield. It was definitely an unexpected turn.
“First of all, it was with the favor of God,” Garcia said about it. “God gave me the strength to continue and go through everything that was happening. Thank God, here I am. They were hard moments, almost frustration, but keep working, keep trusting ”.
Garcia is the younger brother of Adonis Garcia, who played three major league seasons with the Braves in the past decade and is a true globetrotter of professional baseball. Adolis acknowledges the support of his brother and the rest of his family in discussing his promotion this year in Texas.
“What really kept me going was my family. Hundred percent. He has always been with me, ”said Adolis. “Always supporting me. The advices. That support that when you need it most, they were always there. I think my brother has been a big part of that.
And speaking of support, Garcia also doesn’t fail to mention his compatriot and good friend Randy Arozarena, the Rays’ hero from last postseason. That friendship was forged in the Cardinals system, before both were traded for St. Louis.
“We are very good friends,” he said. “We are brothers. We always talk, we advise each other and we have felt many similar things in this sport. Very happy for him, who is doing very well. And I know that the feeling is reciprocal ”.