A lot has been written about Carter Kieboom as a top infielder in the Nationals system. But don’t sleep on shortstop Luis Garcia. He is another top farmhand who has garnered national attention as the No. 3 prospect in Baseball America’s Nats top 10.
He was also the No. 3 prospect available from the 2016 international signing class. The 6-foot, 190-lb., 18-year-old native of the Dominican Republic slashed .299/.338/.412 for high Single-A Potomac, finishing the season hitting .357 in his last 10 games.
Garcia combined to hit 21 doubles, six triples and seven homers, and provided 54 RBIs between low Single-A Hagerstown and the P-Nats.
Baseball America national writer Carlos Collazo throws names like Kieboom and Juan Soto’s around when talking about Garcia. High praise for the talented teenager in the Nats system.
“Garcia, he might have an even higher ceiling than Carter Kieboom just because of some of the reports you hear back from scouts and different guys that have seen him speaking in regards to his bat-to-ball skills,” Collazo said. “He has really exceptional feel to make adjustments, put the barrel on the baseball. The success that he had, he is still low in the minors, obviously, but he is incredibly young still for his age. He was only 18 in the Carolina League hitting close to .300. He was right at (.299) across two leagues this year.”
Nationals hitting coordinator Troy Gingrich told me that Garcia made great strides this season.
Collazo said the club likened the plate discipline Garcia demonstrated in 2018 to another international prospect, one who made the biggest splash with the Nats in his rookie campaign this past season.
“He has tremendous feel for the barrel inside the batter’s box,” Collazo said. “I didn’t get any direct comps to Juan Soto, but I did hear from several people he makes adjustments in a similar way that Soto did when he was in the minor leagues. Obviously, that’s extremely high praise, considering what Soto did in his rookie year. I would hesitate to maybe put that kind of a bar in front of him, but the fact that he is this young and having the success that he is while being pushed fairly aggressively is very exciting.”
And what’s even more exciting is that Garcia was born in 2000. Think about that for a second. He could make a big leap this season, and yet he is only 18.