Avisail Garcia can hit a ball very hard.
He showcased this during Friday night’s game, when the Tampa Bay Rays took on the Toronto Blue Jays. Garcia squared up three pitches and crushed them at over 114 mph off the bat.
Only one other hitter in the Statcast era (2015-2019) has accomplished what Garcia did on Friday night, and that was Nelson Cruz who hit three balls at over 114 miles per hour on April 28, 2008.
For his efforts, Garcia collected three hits, including a double as part of an 11-run onslaught by the Rays offense.
The Rays signed Garcia to a one year deal in January, paying the veteran outfielder $3.5M for the 2019 season with up to $2.5 available in incentives.
Heading into the 2019 season, during the Statcast era, Rays hitters had only reached exit velocities of 114 or higher only five times, thanks to the bats of Steven Souza, C.J. Cron, and Logan Morrison. Thus far in 2019, the Rays have already matched that amount, with Garcia’s three bullets, plus contributions from Mike Zunino and Brandon Lowe. The 2019 season is only 15 games underway.
Thus far in 2019, Garcia has hit .319/.360/.426 over 50 plate appearances and is currently leading to the team in average exit velocity, ranking 16th in the majors overall.