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Sunday, August 4, 2013
Avisail Garcia embraces new team

By Chuck Pleiness, Special to ESPNChicago.com
Special to ESPNChicago.com

DETROIT -- After overcoming the shock of being traded, Avisail Garcia has fully embraced coming to his new team, the Chicago White Sox.

“I was surprised by the trade,” Garcia said during a conference call Sunday. “I’m happy for the trade. It’s a new opportunity for me. I thank God for that. I just have to keep playing hard and do something good for my team. I’m going to do what I can to help my team win the games.”

Garcia was part of a three-team trade that saw him go from Detroit via Boston to the White Sox. Also part of the deal, Chicago sent Jake Peavy to the Red Sox and Boston sent infielder Jose Iglesias to the Tigers.

Chicago immediately assigned Garcia, 22, to Triple-A Charlotte, where he’s hitting .400 through three games.

On Friday, Garcia was 3-for-4 with a two-run homer and four RBIs. He also drew a walk.

With the White Sox struggling to score runs all season, Garcia could be looked upon as a savior by fans to solve Chicago's offensive woes.

“I don’t pay attention to what the people say, I just try and focus on my game,” Garcia said. “All I want to do is help my team win. I’ve got a new team. I’m with the White Sox and I’m going to try and win like I did with the Tigers.”

However, Chicago manager Robin Ventura isn’t ready to say when he’ll make his first appearance.

“I don’t see a move [Monday], but once we get home everyone gets together and starts discussing what we’re going to do from here on out,” Ventura said prior to the White Sox's game against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. “You never know what’s going to happen.”

After playing most of his career in one of the corner outfield positions, the Tigers began grooming Garcia to play center.

“I haven’t gotten into that part yet,” Ventura said when asked if Garcia would play center field when he is called up. “They’re seeing him as being able to do that [in Charlotte]. I don’t know if he’s going to do it here, it kind of fits for them down there.”

Garcia has played all three of his games thus far with Charlotte in center field.

“I feel good in center field,” Garcia said. “Before I played more [left and right]. I feel I can play center field. I like right field, too. Wherever they put me I’m going to play hard and do what I need to do. I work hard.”

In 30 games with the Tigers this season he hit .241 with two homers and 10 RBIs.

"Garcia is a very young, five-tool player who already has spent time in the major leagues," said White Sox senior vice president/general manager Rick Hahn at the time of the trade. “Our scouts are extremely optimistic about his future and view him as a potential impact talent for many years to come.”

While with Triple-A Toledo this year, Garcia, who began the season on the disabled list with a bruised right heel, hit .374 with five home runs, 23 RBIs and 23 runs scored over 33 games.

“I try to just go out there and play, but at the same time I try to be consistent at the plate because in this game you have to be consistent,” Garcia said.

Garcia was Detroit's Minor League Player of the Year in 2012 and entered the season rated by Baseball America as the No. 2 prospect in the Tigers' organization.

“Hopefully soon, I don’t know yet,” Garcia said when asked when he’ll make his first appearance with the White Sox. “I’ve been [to Chicago] like two times. It’s a great city. They’ve got lots of fans. I think I’m going to like that. I’m happy to be part of the White Sox.”