When you learn what is beneath the surface of a Kyle Garlick, it’s a lot easier to hang on every at-bat for the guy. That’s because a short time ago, Garlick was your every man. Literally, he was delivering 300-pound doors and worked as a barback at a pub in Pomona.
Furthermore – Garlick is 17 games into his big league story – and handling his duties in a more than handy way. Right now, he has a batting average of .333 and an OPS of 1.051 on the year.
While considering where the player has come from, you gain an appreciation for his story. Thanks to Pedro Moura’s story over at The Athletic, Garlick is a little less of a mystery-man with a funny last name. Indeed, he’s the latest Dodger to go blue collar to the highest level of baseball in the world (does Max Muncy ring a bell?).
As of February, Kyle Garlick was delivering doors across Southern California, making $15-16 an hour to pay off his truck and survive the minor-league season. Now he is a Dodger, making $3,000 per day. I wrote about how he got here. https://t.co/mC8z008yiH
— Pedro Moura (@pedromoura) June 25, 2019
Equally important – Garlick was making around $3,000 dollars per month in the minor leagues. Now, Garlick earns that amount each day he’s on the Dodgers’ roster. Since his call-up, he’s more than doubled his earnings in his previous four years of professional baseball.
The lesson on Garlick – is for every Corey Seager or Cody Bellinger – there’s a Garlick-type who emerges from the draft to make it to the big leagues. Surely, a player that scouts missed on. Currently, Garlick is making a lot of scouts look like they overlooked.
A 28th round draft-pick out of Chino Hills High School, Garlick talks about his life as a pro prospect.
“I was never a big prospect or anything,” he said. “But I always believed in myself. I just wanted the opportunity and tried to make the most out of it.”
Moreover, one should consider the perspective that a player like Garlick adds to a clubhouse full of big leaguers. If anything, it’s that no at-bat should be taken for granted. His manager Dave Roberts speaks of a player who plays with a passion.
“The guy plays the game because he loves it,” Roberts said. “It’s not about the money. It’s about being a Major League Baseball player. That really resonates in our clubhouse. And, to be honest with you, that’s a good thing for all of our guys to see that. It’s refreshing.”
Honestly, before I read Roberts’ quote carefully; I considered what playing with a Garlick might mean to these guys. Then Roberts really summed up exactly what I was thinking. While you can’t win a title without an ace like Hyun-Jin Ryu or a superstar rookie like Alex Verdugo; every championship team needs a Kyle Garlick. Without question, his teammates root for him when they learn his story; just like you and I do.
Is Garlick the next Dodgers’ diamond-in-the-rough? Let us know your early impressions on the bread man in the comments section!