Catcher Aramis Garcia arrived at A’s camp with one thing many of his new teammates didn’t possess: Learning from six-time All-Star Buster Posey.
Garcia, before he was traded by the Texas Rangers to the A’s at the beginning of the month, spent two seasons with the Giants, meaning he was able to soak up as much knowledge from Posey as possible.
“Getting a chance to work with Buster, over the years, I guess he’s shown me what it takes to be a Hall of Fame-player on the field, but then off the field -- to be that same caliber person,” Garcia told reporters on Friday. “I really enjoyed my time with him. You really just learn so much and just watching guys like that. Obviously, I’m very thankful for my time with him.”
In addition to that, Garcia was able to learn from Posey when it came to framing pitches behind the plate, and he noticed how great Posey was at it from the moment he was drafted.
Posey is known for being an elite framer, so there isn’t anyone better to learn from. Well, maybe one other guy.
“Watching [Posey] -- he’s obviously really good behind that plate with that type of stuff, and personally I know Yasmani Grandal, he’s helped me a lot over the years -- and he’s always at the top every year.”
A’s manager Bob Melvin, a former big-league catcher himself, even noticed similarities between Garcia and Grandal.
“It’s a lot of the same mechanics that you’re seeing from guys, you know the knee on the ground, the low target, low-to-high, trying to bring the ball up in the zone. He’s very good at doing that. It’s easier said than done,” Melvin said Friday.
Garcia also learned how to create strong, trusting relationships with pitchers by observing Posey -- especially in a short timeframe.
“I would say [Posey] probably goes about it the same way,” Garcia. “Just having conversations with guys, video when you can -- things like that. Obviously, Buster’s the best so, just doing whatever you can, just being proactive about it. You really got to take the effort to know these guys especially when you haven’t worked with a lot of them.”
As far as how Garcia feels after undergoing hip surgery last year, he appears to be ready to go. His workload might increase now that the A’s starting catcher, Sean Murphym is out for a while due to a collapsed lung.
“Physically I feel great,” Garcia said. “Everything with the surgery and the rehab went just as planned. This offseason I was able to regain a lot of my strength back."