Avisail Garcia was the talk of the dugout and clubhouse before the White Sox's 5-2 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday night.
He had Gordon Beckham playing general manager:
"I’ve been very happy with the way he goes about it, which is the biggest compliment I can give to anybody,’’ Beckham said. "He wants to be good, he wants to win, he wants to do well for himself and the team. Paul [Konerko] and I were talking earlier, his basement is just being good and his ceiling is off the charts.
"You’re going to miss [former veteran right fielder Alex] Rios, but for the money he’s making and what he brings to the team, he’ll be very valuable to the organization and to us as a team.’’
While Paul Konerko sounded like a proud father:
Sox first baseman Paul Konerko called Garcia "a good kid."
"He's obviously doing well, but besides that everybody is liking him a lot," Konerko said. "When you trade somebody like Jake (Peavy), which is a valuable piece, you hope you get something back in return that is valuable.
"It looks like that's going to be a good deal for both sides."
But Dan Hayes' account is most pertinent to our discussion, because he relays the wonkier quotes about Garcia's oppo-oriented approach from Konerko, Robin Ventura and Jeff Manto.
Konerko and Ventura both said it's preferable that Garcia has to learn to pull the ball, rather than learn how to use the opposite field. Manto seems to have an idea of what's taking Garcia that way:
White Sox hitting coach Jeff Manto noted Garcia looks to right -- sometimes with his upper half only -- a little too often. Eventually, Manto hopes Garcia sticks with the same approach, but starts in the direction of left center.
"He’s going to be even better once he learns that the ball’s going to go a little bit better when he’s set up to hit it to left-center," Manto said.
For the time being, everybody seems more than pleased with the current state of his game. He certainly buys himself plenty of goodwill wih the way he busts it out of the box. While the Royals had his number at the plate on Wednesday, he still extended his hitting streak to eight games by turning a routine grounder into an infield single: