Garcia Following Family Tradition For White Sox





CHICAGO—Second baseman Drew Garcia must know that it won't be easy to get to the big leagues. He's a third-generation player, working to complete a climb that his father and grandfather couldn't quite finish as players.

His baseball bloodline started with his grandfather Dave, who played 15 seasons as a minor league infielder but didn't make it to the major leagues until he had become a coach. He spent almost 70 years in the game, retiring after serving as a coach for Buddy Bell with the Rockies. Garcia's father, Dave Jr., played briefly in the Yankees system.

Drew, 21, still treasures the memory of a road trip he took with the Rockies with his grandfather, when he was able to take ground balls in early batting practice and get to know Neifi Perez, among others.

"He taught me a lot about fielding and the thinking part of the game," Garcia said of Perez. "That was a great experience for me."

Strong teams start in the middle infield, and that has certainly been the case for Garcia's teams at high Class A Winston-Salem this season and low Class A Kannapolis in 2009. Along with shortstop Eduardo Escobar, he had helped those teams compile a combined record of 109-68.

Escobar, a defensive standout, has received more attention, but Garcia has also been a favorite of White Sox coaches since arriving from UC Riverside in the 21st round in 2008. He too is a switch-hitter who is considered strong defensively, but he has started to emerge as a hitter.

Garcia was one of five Winston-Salem players in the Carolina League top 10 in hitting at the end of May, batting .323/.380/.524 with four home runs and 30 RBIs in 124 at-bats. His grand slam on May 9 carried the Dash to one of its most exciting wins of the season, 16-13 over Salem.

"We don't stop fighting the whole game," Garcia told the Winston-Salem Journal. "That's just how we are.."

CHI-LITES

• Winston-Salem outfielder Brandon Short continues to battle Wilmington's Eric Hosmer in the Carolina League batting race. Short was hitting .388.

•  Having switched from third to first base, Dayan Viciedo had moved into consideration as a possible replacement for Paul Konerko, whose contract expires after the season. Viciedo was hitting .292/.328/.512 with Triple-A Charlotte.