It’s been a busy day for the Cincinnati Reds when it comes to roster moves. The latest one on the day is the pick up of infielder Robel García off of waivers from the Chicago Cubs. Earlier in the day the team placed Mike Moustakas on the injured list and called up catching prospect Tyler Stephenson.

Robel García saw time in the big leagues in 2019 with Chicago. He played in 31 games and got 80 plate appearances. He showed off some real power, slugging .500. But he struggled to hit for average, posting a .208/.275/.500 line on the year with seven walks and 35 strikeouts. That strikeout rate was a concern.

In the minor leagues during the season last year, the then 26-year-old crushed the ball, mostly in Triple-A after a 3-week stint to begin the year in Double-A. In his 98 games and 388 plate appearances he hit .284/.369/.586 with 17 doubles, 2 triples, and 27 home runs between Tennessee and Iowa in the Cubs farm system.

Defensively, García can do a bit of everything. Between the Majors and Minors last season he played first base, second base, third base, shortstop (just one game in Double-A), left field, and right field.

Where he played before that isn’t exactly worth talking about. The reason for that is that in both 2017 and 2018 he played for Bologna in the Italian Baseball League. From 2014-2016 he was out of professional baseball entirely. As a teenager he signed with the Cleveland organization and played for them from 2010-2013.

How does a guy go from playing professional baseball in Italy for two seasons to reaching the Major Leagues the next year? Well, a little bit of luck came into play. While playing in Italy he joined their national team and the Italian National Team was playing games all around the world. Some of those games came out in Arizona around the spring training complexes following the 2018 season. That’s where García caught the eye of a Cubs scout, and he liked him enough that the team signed him that October.

It’s been a long, interesting journey for Robel García to get where he’s at today. He’ll be over at Prasco Park with the Reds for now. But with all of the position flexibility he has, and the real power in his bat – he could provide the team with an intriguing bench piece at some point in the future.

Here’s the updated Prasco Park Cincinnati Reds roster:

Prasco Park

Position

RJ Alaniz RHP
Jesse Biddle LHP
Matt Bowman RHP
David Carpenter RHP
José De León RHP
Hunter Greene RHP
Ryan Hendrix RHP
Joel Kuhnel RHP
Nick Lodolo LHP
Alex Powers RHP
Sal Romano RHP
Tony Santillan RHP
Tyler Thornburg RHP
Mark Kolozsvary C
Francisco Peña C
Alex Blandino INF
Jose Garcia INF
Robel García INF
Jonathan India INF
Alfredo Rodrigeuz INF
Stuart Fairchild OF
Boog Powell OF