Arlington, Adolis García forged his career by embracing the extremes.
He is known as “El Bombi,” the MVP of the American League Championship Series; a villain booed relentlessly, likened to Michael Jordan in Houston. He possesses the unique ability to strike out four times in a game, only to then hit a grand slam. His story is one of unlikelihood – an undrafted rookie who was twice let go but ultimately became a two-time All-Star.
Naturally, in the grand occasion of Game 1 of the World Series, García would undoubtedly rise to the occasion on the grandest platform of his professional life. In a stunning display of skill, he crushed a walk-off home run in the 11th inning, propelling Texas to a glorious 6-5 victory against their opponents. On Friday night at Globe Life Field, the D-backs faced off against their opponents, and in doing so, further solidified their position within the playoff record books.
Corey Seager praised the exceptional individuals who rise to the occasion in times like this, acknowledging that he has consistently delivered remarkable performances throughout the entire season for our team.
With his tremendous opposite-field solo home run, he has achieved a remarkable 22 RBIs in this October, setting a new record as the highest number of RBIs in a single postseason in both the American League and National League history. This outstanding feat surpasses David Freese’s previous record of 21 RBIs, accomplished during the St. Louis Cardinals’ World Series triumph in 2011.
In an impressive display of power, García smashed a home run for the fifth consecutive game, solidifying his place in the annals of postseason history with the second-longest streak. In addition, he managed to secure RBIs in his seventh consecutive game, which also equaled the second-longest streak ever seen in postseason history. The only longer streak was achieved by Ryan Howard, who had eight RBIs in 2009.
García expressed in Spanish, with the help of interpreter Will Nadal, that it is merely a chance granted by God to be part of MLB postseason and contribute to a small fraction of its history. In my opinion, it is splendid.
García accomplished it all by defying the very characteristics he is recognized for – be it his immense home run strength, his tendency to go after risky pitches, or his visible display of emotions during his leisurely home run strolls.
In the year 2021, the 30-year-old emerged with an all-or-nothing mindset, smashing 31 home runs while displaying elevated percentages in chasing balls (35.7%, ranking in the sixth percentile) and striking out (31.2%, ranking in the fifth percentile).
In the year 2023, an offseason solely focused on mastering the strike zone and making wiser swing choices has revealed an even more formidable incarnation of “El Bombi”. García managed to reduce his worst misses, exhibited a remarkable increase in walking rate (10.3%, ranking in the 74th percentile), all while maintaining his unique power intact.
From the moment he stepped up to the plate on that fateful Friday night, the enhanced version of García was unmistakably evident. The count was worked by the right fielder to 3-1, and subsequently, an RBI single was powerfully struck by them at a blazing speed of 116 mph. This remarkable hit marks the hardest ball hit in the World Series since the introduction of Statcast in 2015.
In the third inning, he proceeded with a six-pitch walk, marking his initial instance of receiving a free pass during the postseason. After engaging in a challenging battle, he managed to secure a single despite an intense eight-pitch struggle in the ninth inning. Undeterred by being hit by a pitch on his hand, he courageously stole second base, igniting the possibility of a rally in the subsequent 10th inning.
“Yeah,” García said, “you cannot deny it.” Despite being hit in that situation, my main priority is to have successful at-bats and make solid swings on balls. I believe I have done that exceptionally well.
Manager Bruce Bochy praised his ability to maintain emotional composure and avoid excessive swings, remarking on the excellent job he has been doing in this regard. It is enjoyable to observe when he engages in that action.
During Game 5 of the ALCS, García found himself in a notorious situation, having been plunked by Astros reliever Bryan Abreu. This incident subsequently led to a benches-clearing situation. The player he has become, the emotional backbone of the Rangers, is defined by his empathic bat flips and slams, along with his long, glorious home run trots.
At times, García’s heroics are of such magnificence that they can effortlessly convey their own tale. After making a remarkable catch, snatching the ball over his shoulder to prevent Corbin Carroll from getting extra bases in the ninth inning, he paused for just a moment to savor his accomplishment.
As he connected with a 96.7 mph sinker thrown by D-backs reliever Miguel Castro, Adolis García’s home run celebration was notably muted. He calmly carried his bat while observing the ball soar beyond the ballpark, casually tossing it aside. With an elegant Eurostep, he gracefully approached his teammates at home plate, joining their embrace in celebration.
The stands and the Rangers’ clubhouse were filled with the echoing chants of “El Bombi”. In his typical manner, the Cuban outfielder maintained his humility, as he always does following every significant moment in his career. He acknowledged Seager’s game-tying two-run blast in the ninth, attributing the success to him, and expressed gratitude towards God.
When García was asked how many more of these moments he had in him, even he couldn’t help but crack a grin.
García chuckled and expressed his hopeful anticipation for a multitude of them.