Is Luis Garcia the Answer for the Nationals at Second Base?

It’s been an up-and-down couple of years for Luis Garcia, both literally and metaphorically. He got off to a hot start in 2020 when he debuted at only 19 years old, but we haven’t seen much growth since. Last year, Garcia was sent down to the minors to work on his swing and his attitude—not a great sign in your fourth big-league season.
Sep 30, 2023; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Washington Nationals second baseman Luis Garcia
Sep 30, 2023; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Washington Nationals second baseman Luis Garcia / Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
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Let’s start this off with two positives about Luis Garcia: he is only 23 years old, and we know he has the talent to be an everyday second baseman. The problem is not lack of talent, it is the lack of consistency and growth. Just when you think you are done with him, he gets hot and does something like this…

Doesn’t his swing remind you of someone very familiar? It is games like this that remind me of Garcia’s potential, and the fact that he’s only 23 makes me want to keep him around and give him another shot. I have always thought that we brought him up too early, so why punish him for his slow development? If we wanted him to develop more, we should have kept him down in the minors when he was still a teenager. 

The talent is there, we just have not been patient enough as a fanbase or an organization. Anyone who can hit a moonshot like this off of the great Max Scherzer and make it look this effortless gives me reason to believe he belongs in the Majors.

Rumor has it Luis Garcia has slimmed down this offseason. We know he’s been raking in the winter league. Maybe it’s not time to give up on the sweet-swinging lefty just yet. Check out this home run he hit the other night. 

There is just something about Luis Garcia. He always seems to come up clutch in big moments, or get the big hit against a great arm. He broke up Spencer Strider’s first no-hit bid a few years back, and I am sure he has more great moments in him. 

Everyone is waiting for Mike Rizzo to make some sort of move, but I do not think it should be for another infielder. Garcia’s worst quality at the plate is his lack of patience, but we saw him more than double his career high for walks in 2023. He needs to be more consistent at the plate and continue to improve on his plate discipline, but I have seen some improvement in his patience since his rookie season. 

Garcia hit 9 home runs last year, which was also a career high. The consistent power will come with consistent playtime. We’ve seen him hit home runs farther than almost any other National on this roster, and for a team lacking power, they should keep Garcia around considering his potential. The Nationals and Davey Martinez had issues with Garcia's preparation last season, which prompted a demotion to AAA Rochester, but we have always been high on his potential.

Let’s be honest, the Nationals probably are not going to win the World Series this year. If they do, I will happily eat my words, but it is not like we are expected to be a top playoff contender. Why not give Luis Garcia, who is only 23 years old and has proven he can get the big hit, one more shot at locking up the second base position? He is under contract for another four seasons, he is cheap, and he has all of the potential in the world. Considering the spot the Nationals are in right now, it seems like a no-brainer. Let’s give Garcia one more shot to prove it in the big leagues.