To say that Avisaíl García had a down year is an understatement. García had the worst season of his career, but there were moments where he showed his value.
- May 27: Miami Marlins placed García on the COVID related injured list.
- May 29: Miami Marlins activated García from the COVID related injured list.
- June 29: García hits game-winning, two-run home run against the St. Louis Cardinals.
- August 3: Miami Marlins placed García on the 10-day injured list. Left hamstring strain.
- August 26: Miami Marlins sent García on a rehab assignment to Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp.
- September 6: Miami Marlins activated García from the 10-day injured list.
- September 13: Miami Marlins placed García on the 10-day injured list. Left hamstring strain.
- September 26: Miami Marlins sent García on a rehab assignment to Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp.
- September 29: Miami Marlins activated García from the 10-day injured list; García hits game-winning grand slam against the Milwaukee Brewers.
When the Marlins signed Avisail García, General Manager Kim Ng was excited about his power potential and his ability to hit the ball hard. True to his history, García ranked among baseball’s best in max exit velocity (98th percentile). The problem was he did not make enough contact.
García’s plate discipline was bad in 2022, causing him to strike out 28.7% of the time against a 4.5% walk rate. He constantly swung and missed at pitches (2nd percentile in whiff rate). Overall, García hit 21 less homers than he did in 2021—it was one of the league’s biggest year-to-year drop-offs, and most of the players ahead of him got way less playing time than García did.
García’s best month came in June when he slashed .274/.319/.429/.748. Also worth mentioning, when he came back from his hamstring issues at the very end of the season, he looked like he was in better shape (skinnier than he had been before missing time).
Should we have expected these struggles from Avi García? His track record shows that he tends to have one amazing season followed by a mediocre-to-bad season. In García’s 2017 All-Star season, for example, he slashed .330/.380/.506/.885/18 HR/80 RBI; in 2018, his numbers slipped to .236/.281/.438/.719/19 HR/49 RBI. According to Baseball-Reference, García has never had back-to-back years of being worth more than 1.0 wins above replacement.
This down year was not totally surprising, but it was more extreme than the Marlins could have feared and it does raise concerns that García might not come close to justifying his $53 million contract.
There should be a bounce-back season of some sort awaiting Avisaíl García in 2023, right? Projection systems believe so.
Avi is expected to be the starting right fielder for the Miami Marlins on Opening Day. Rookies like JJ Bleday, Peyton Burdick and Jerar Encarnación were not able to take advantage of the playing time they got when García was struggling or injured, so the job is still his unless he disappoints again. I hold high hopes for García and am excited to see how he will contribute to the 2023 Marlins.