Travis Garcia is on a tear
Tommy John surgery for a position player is rare, but a UCL injury and the subsequent grueling rehab following surgery is what kept Revolution infielder Travis Garcia on the shelf most of the 2012 season and all of last year. After playing most of the last five seasons with the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs around stints in the Mexican League and with the Seattle Mariners at Double-A, Garcia elected a fresh start with York when he decided to come back this year, re-uniting with Mark Mason who had Managed him in the Frontier League in 2005 and 2008.
Unfortunately, the Atlantic League does not recognize a “Comeback Player of The Year” award, but if it did, such honors would already be locked up.
While Garcia game to camp healthy, of course there is an adjustment period in reacting to live pitching again when a player has been off the field for so long. After some early struggles, Garcia has morphed back into the player that hit .353 with 16 homers and 63 RBI in just 79 games for Southern Maryland in 2009…the effort that earned him the contract with the Mariners to end that season. He also blasted 17 homers with 71 RBI in 124 Atlantic League games in 2010, and 18 dingers with 57 RBI in 69 games in 2011 before going to Mexico.
On June 9 of this year, Garcia’s batting average stood at .183. He’s batting .389 since as of July 27 (56-for-144), with seven home runs and 26 RBI in that time. In his last 13 games as of July 27, Garcia is hitting .469 (23-for-49). In raising his average 109 points to .292, Garcia has 11 homers on the year, second on his club only to Chad Tracy (12), and is getting on-base at a .314 clip. It’s not outlandish to say Garcia is the most valuable player in the Atlantic League right now, based on those recent numbers. Without him having to get back into the routine of playing everyday, he very well might have been the league’s top hitter in multiple categories this year.
As we anticipate the return of Johan Limonta for the end of the regular season and playoffs, the Revolution offense is getting scary. As it turns out, the biggest second-half addition for the team may turn out to be the guy that was on the roster all along in Garcia.