The White Sox announced on Friday that they’ve claimed outfielder Willy Garcia off waivers from the Pirates and designated fellow outfielder Jason Coats for assignment to clear a spot on the 40-man roster. Garcia was designated for assignment by the Pirates last weekend to open space for Ivan Nova on Pittsburgh’s roster.
The 24-year-old Garcia posted solid numbers throughout his minor league tenure until reaching the Triple-A level, where he’s struggled to a .245/.290/.388 batting line in 790 plate appearances across the past two seasons. However, Garcia delivered strong production at the Double-A level in parts of two seasons, hitting .285/.324/.467 with 23 homers and 11 steals in 698 trips to the plate. Baseball America rated him 12th among Pirates prospects just last offseason, praising his “incredible” arm and above-average speed. While Garcia’s plate discipline is a major concern, per BA (and he indeed at a near-27 percent clip last year), their post-2015 scouting report noted that improvement in that regard could lead to an everyday corner outfielder.
Coats, meanwhile, will turn 27 next month. The former 29th-round pick made his big league debut in 2016, tallying 58 plate appearances and batting .200/.298/.340 in that brief cup of coffee. Coats did post a huge season with Triple-A Charlotte last season, slashing .330/.394/.519, and he’s delivered reasonably productive results throughout his minor league career. A right-handed hitter, Coats is primarily limited to the outfield corners.