Silver Slugger Award: Avisail Garcia
After a down season in 2020 in which Avisail Garcia battled nagging injuries and was forced to play out of position, he has bounced back in 2021. Along with playing well, Garcia has stayed healthy and reported to spring training in the best shape of his life.
In the off-season, he dropped 30lbs mainly due to a cleaner diet that consisted of cutting salt and sugar out of his diet during the week. The change in his physique and his play so far has gotten Brewers twitter using #SkinnyAvi when he makes big plays!
Despite this, there still were a lot of question marks surrounding Garcia’s fit in the teams outfield entering the season. With the addition of Jackie Bradley Jr, the Brewers put together a very deep outfield group and consistent playing time was a bit of a concern. However, so far I’m sure David Stearns is glad that he did this given the amount of time Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich have lost due to injury.
Currently, Garcia is the Brewers team leader in multiple statistical categories including: hits (46), home runs (15), runs batted in (46), and among qualified hitters slugging percentage (.443). His career high in home runs is 20 and runs batted in is 80. At this pace, he will set new career highs in both.
Garcia also seemingly has locked down the cleanup spot for the Brewers. Despite not being a traditional clean up hitter, he has performed exceptionally well as the teams fourth hitter. With Christian Yelich consistently getting on base and Kolten Wong excelling as the leadoff hitter, having a dependable cleanup hitter is very important to a team’s success.
With playing well, remaining healthy has played a big part in him being on top the offensive leader boards. However I would also like to say kudos to him for stepping up when Christian Yelich and Lorenzo Cain were sidelined and with Jackie Bradley Jr still trying to get his bat going. Garcia was one of the league’s best hitters in the month of May and he certainly helped the Crew win a lot of ball games when the team needed him the most.
Although he may not be the popular choice, Garcia is very deserving of the silver slugger award at this point in the season. His bat has played a big role in the teams success and the offensive leaderboards back up his play. Hopefully he is able to finish out the second half of the season strong and help this Brewers offense finally get rolling on all cylinders.