Friday, May 17, 2019

Welcome to the Blue, Kyle Garlick!

The Dodgers have once again shuffled their roster. Along with both Caleb Ferguson and Matt Beaty, the Dodgers are bringing up 27-year old Kyle Garlick for his first stint of Major League ball.
He is a southern California kid (La Habra) who plays the outfield, and bats and throws right-handed. This season at Oklahoma City he is slashing .280/.375/.627/1.002 in 35 games, and has exhibited some pop. He has ten homers so far, to go along with 20 RBI and 20 runs scored. Over five minor league seasons (covering 418 games) he is slashing a more than respectable .283/.341/.519/.860 with 78 career homers. Per Baseball Prospectus:
A 28th-round senior sign in 2015, Garlick is old for the level. He shows natural bat-to-ball skills and raw strength that translates into game power despite an unorthodox swing that doesn't incorporate much lower half. That swing has undergone some overhaul since last summer, specifically in the setup and launch, and his production hasn't missed a beat. He wants to hit in the box, though he has exhibited improvement in his command of the zone against hard stuff in particular this spring. The successful adjustments are a good sign, though the path is narrow. Poor foot speed limits his ceiling on the bases and in the field, so the bat will need to carry him to a 25-man cameo or three.
In other words, it's his bat that will carry him, and fortunately he's got the skills to make his mark in the game. His detractors seem to believe that he's likely to be one of those AAAA ballplayers -- very good in the minors, but not quite good enough to make it in the 'Bigs'. I guess we'll find out soon which one he is. As for his charachter, JP Hoornstra shared the following on his Inside the Dodgers email report:
“Just as a person, real humble,” said Kyle Billingsley, who was the head coach at Chino Hills High when ... Garlick passed through. “He comes from a really good family. He’s not cocky, not arrogant. He’s humble, works hard, does the right thing. Just a real good person. These are the kind of guys you like to see succeed.”
Below are some links about Garlick that I thought was worth checking out:
Garlick is continuing to hit as the invisible man. He is a foot soldier that has continued to work at his trade among incredible odds. He has survived his injury plagued year in 2014, been with his mother in her battle with cancer, played among more high profile players in the Dodgers system and produced.
On his path to professional baseball: “I got injured my junior year at the University of Oregon and sat out that season. I then got ready to go into my redshirt junior year, expecting to have a big season and get drafted reasonably high, possibly in the top 10 rounds. Right before the season started, I got the news that my mom had breast cancer. That was a little curveball that I had to deal with.
“I ended up not having the season I wanted. I didn’t even get drafted. I thought I was going to get a shot, and I didn’t. I’d graduated, so rather than stay at Oregon, I decided to go closer to home for my last year of eligibility. I chose Pomona to be with my mom. She’s good now. Fortunately, she’s been cancer free for over a year now.”
In celebration of Kyle's promotion to the Dodgers I made two custom fantasy Baseball cards of him. You can see both of those at the very top.

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* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *

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