Cuban outfielder Jose Adolis Garcia has reached agreement on a contract with Japan’s Yomiuri Giants, Ben Badler of Baseball America reports. The 24-year-old is the younger brother of Braves third baseman Adonis Garcia.
Garcia will be playing on a one-year arrangement with the authorization of the Cuban government. he is expected to return to his home island after the deal expires — as has been the case with several other top Cuban players in recent years.
Per Badler, Garcia is one of the better prospects who has yet to leave Cuba. He has the speed and arm strength to play center or right field. And he’s demonstrated good bat speed with some pop, though Badler notes that it’ll be interesting to see how he adapts to the higher-quality NPB pitching that he’ll face.
It seems unlikely that Garcia will end up with a major league organization in the near-term, of course, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he won’t make it here eventually. After all, he’ll have a chance to improve against better competition and will certainly give MLB organizations a long look in Tokyo. And given the massive change currently taking place in U.S.-Cuban relations, it’s eminently possible that there will be a reasonable mechanism for player movement in place when Garcia’s NPB stint is up.