Avi Garcia has been one of the biggest turnaround stories for the Brewers. He struggled last year, but this year has finally become the player his underlying metrics have suggested he is capable of being.
April was a rough month for Garcia, but he has managed to turn his season around, and now has an OPS of .849, to go with a career high 24 home runs. Throughout the season he has flirted with having both his HardHit% and Sprint Speed rank in the 90th percentile, which would put him in elite company with the likes of Juan Soto and Ronald Acuna Jr.
Since July 1st, Garcia has greatly reduced his strikeout totals. In July he struck out 19.3% of all plate appearances. In August it has fallen even lower to 8.1%. What has led to this precipitous decline in strikeouts?
After a rough 2020, Avi Garcia has rebounded for the Brewers. Garcia has been on a tear as of late, fueled by making more contact.
Garcia’s turnaround has been great, and has helped propel the Brewers as they continue to run away with their division. Garcia is making contact on more of his swings.
It may seem like common sense that making more contact would lead to a decrease in strikeouts, and to a certain extent it is. What is perhaps more interesting is there is not a change in the frequency of the swings Garcia is making.
Outside of a very aggressive jump in July, Garcia has been very consistent in how often he swings, swinging at about 55% of all pitches he saw.
Another possible explanation is Garcia is seeing more pitches in the zone, and that is what is explaining his increase in contact, and his decrease in strikeouts. But that is not true. In fact, Garcia has seen fewer pitches in the zone as the season progresses.
Garcia’s swinging strike numbers mirror his Swing%, which make sense. More or fewer swings would have an impact on how many swinging strikes one has.
Garcia did not change his approach in a way that is reflected in the number of pitches he has seen per plate appearance this season either. Throughout the season he has stayed relatively consistent.
There again was a noticeable change in July, as he appears to have become more aggressive, but that reverted to around 3.5 pitches in August.
Avisail Garcia is amidst a career season, and has been a key cog in the Brewers’ lineup and plans to compete. He rebounded nicely after April, and has been on an undeniable tear since July 1st. When looking at the numbers to see if there has been a noticeable change in Garcia’s approach it appears there hasn’t been. He merely is making more contact, and the bat is finding the ball more.
It is unclear if Avi will be with the Brewers next year, his contract will likely become a mutual option next season, and with JBJ, Cain, and Taylor all under contract there may not be space for Avi.
But that is a concern for later, as Avi continues to rake and be a key contributor to the Brewers offense.