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Monday, September 23, 2013
The future is now for Semien and Garcia

By Bruce Levine

The results of a meaningless September are rarely overanalyzed, but White Sox brass are paying close attention to their young core of players. Solo home runs by Marcus Semien and Avisail Garcia on Monday might be a snapshot of the future core of the team beyond 2013.

Semien, who was the MVP of the Southern League, hit his first major league home run, giving starter Jose Quintana a two-run cushion to work with against the Blue Jays.

Marcus Semien
Shortstop Marcus Semien hit his first major league home run Monday to give the White Sox a 2-0 lead. It might be a sign of things to come.
“It was really a great feeling," he said after hitting the second-inning home run off J.A. Happ. “Whenever you have a big league first it is kind of a great feeling.”

The young infielder has made a strong impression on manager Robin Ventura during his brief late-season call-up.

“I have somewhat of a feel what type of player he is," Ventura said before the Sox's 3-2 victory. “Again, you are going to have a month in spring training to see him again, and see how he progresses. He is going to the fall league. We will follow him there and be able to see how he [improves].

“Marcus is showing us what he can do up here and making some good plays on defense as well. He is making a good case for himself that he can play at this level.”

Garcia, acquired in the trade that sent Jake Peavy to Boston in a three-way deal with Detroit, has shown some ability in his two months with Chicago. “That is a part of having these guys up here and moving forward," Ventura said.

Garcia is hitting .369 in his last 13 games with 13 RBI and 10 runs scored. Semien is also on a tear, hitting at a .342 clip in his last 11 contests.

Playing a full Arizona Fall League season, which begins Oct. 8, might be a letdown for some young players who have been playing full-time in the major leagues like Semien. But not for Semien.

“Not at all," Semien said. “It will be a great experience. Fall league is traditionally a great league; the best minor league players in baseball are there. I am happy to be there too.”