Coming out of spring training, the decision to put Leury Garcia on the major-league roster instead of baseball's top prospect, Jurickson Profar, probably drew the collective ire of a lot of Texas Rangers fans.
But the decision was made based on the desire to have Profar playing every day in Triple-A and not playing once or twice a week with the Rangers, which makes a whole lot of sense. To prove that point, you saw Garcia get just one at-bat in the Rangers' first 11 games this season, but when given his chance to make an impression this weekend, Garcia came through.
The speedy utility infielder got the start at shortstop on Saturday in Seattle, and then got another start on Sunday at second base and made a good impression on Rangers manager Ron Washington.
“I didn’t know how he was going to react,” Washington told The Dallas Morning News. “He didn’t show any effects in terms of being afraid. We talked to him before the game about relaxing and having fun. I’m pleased. I’m happy I can send him out there and trust him. He is going to make mistakes, but as long as he goes about things the right way, I’ll be very happy.”
Garcia executed a nice hit-and-run on Saturday night in the Rangers' 3-1 win and showed a little pop in his bat during Sunday's loss with a triple and a ball that was nearly a home run. But perhaps the most eye-opening Garcia moment of the weekend came Saturday when he was playing shortstop.
He made an amazing play on a grounder to the first base side of second base that he ran down, almost seeming to be in double-speed while everyone else was in slow motion, to throw out the runner at first base by flicking the ball right out of his glove. I'm really not sure what Ian Kinsler was doing on that play, but Garcia was phenomenal, and very fast.
“He’s got wheels,” said Elvis Andrus, who was DHing that night. “He’s also got great eye-hand coordination. It’s a really difficult play. I don’t think I’d want to try and make that play; I might pull a hamstring.”